Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Don't Break Your Head Over Booking Holidays, Here's How You Can Plan Better According to a number of surveys, about 80 per cent people research for holidays online but only 60 per cent finally book their holidays online

By Kousik Bhattacharya

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


A holiday is one of the biggest purchases of the year for most people, so they spend time researching and visiting multiple sites before making a decision. People abandon online travel bookings, with "just looking' as the biggest reason for this.

According to a number of surveys, about 80 per cent people research for holidays online but only 60 per cent finally book their holidays online. While consumers regard online research as the easiest and most secure way to search and compare itineraries and holidays, it is still not the most preferred option for these same consumers to book their holidays online. Mobile phones are also currently one of the least preferred ways of booking and there is a long way to go before both these media pick up as the most preferred booking tools.

What people do not realise is that booking online helps you combat overpriced deals, all-inclusive deals that don't suit your pocket, arrangements, calculations of time and money that are getting cumbersome...Taking a break need not mean breaking your head over booking your holidays. Planning a vacation and then booking it online can be a fun ride.

Via.com tells you what are the advantages of booking travel online and why you should hop on to the bandwagon of booking your holiday online, like right now.

Book round trips

Flight fares can sometimes kill you. The fares often depend on the destination and distance. You must try and book your flights in a manner that you depart and arrive at the same airport, roundtrip fares can be usually less expensive. While you may choose to travel to various places on a single trip, it is advisable to book round trips.

Any good online travel agency (OTA) should customise discounts, offers and inform the users when there is a sale in that particular segment where the customer is more inclined. Hence, customisation is a very important quality and we have done that successfully at VIA. The referral scheme at VIA offers exclusive discounts and reward points for users who recommend the app to other friends and family. Through the VIA app, consumers are also able to book complete holiday packages and bus tickets from the country's largest inventory of suppliers.

Say no to extras

Travel packages often tend to lure by giving you options to select additional services to make your trip more pleasurable and memorable. However, these extra offerings may unnecessarily add on to your budget. Offerings such as airport transfer, shopping assistance and likewise can be avoided if you want to save cash. Keep the deal to the basic minimal.

Travel agency should be 24*7 open

Be careful while choosing your OTA; chose the one which will be readily available to help any time. On vacations, travellers may often need urgent assistance to locate your hotels, revise a booking or initiate any emergency change of plan. Therefore, it is advisable to book with a travel company that offers 24X7 assistance. Also, flexible payment option makes holidaying hassle-free as you do not have to think about spending a bomb, all at once, where you can block the deal and then pay later. This is another innovation that VIA has already implemented.

Chalk out a travel plan and specify your preferences

While booking through an OTA, many people tend to ignore the calendar themselves and rely on the agents for even last detail planning. However, it is important to remember that it is your vacation and you need to have a fair idea of the "Must Do's" on a particular destination, even if an experienced travel agent is planning it for you. A ready-made package to Kerala might contain visits of equal duration to the backwaters, beaches as well as the hill stations. However, you might be an out-an-out beach person desiring to spend maximum time at the beaches and restricting even avoiding other places. Your preferences therefore have to be specified clearly to the planner. For this to happen, a rough travel itinerary must be chalked out in your mind, complete with locations of preference, budget as well as number of days. It is important to have an outline of your vacation ready before checking out for travel packages, as it would help you to remain focused. For example at VIA, we have a feature called Airfare Calendar that helps travellers find the dates with the lowest fares and assists them in making bookings wisely. So that the users can book flights according to dates of festivals, we have also integrated the festivals calendar in this feature. Our app was the first one to unveil such a feature.

Plan your trip in time

The old saying "the early bird gets the worm" is absolutely true when it comes to vacation planning. Flight fares are significantly cheaper if booked more than a month in advance, and so are hotel rates. Online Travel companies as well as Hotel chains now offer significant discounts and special offers for "Early Bird" bookings. Also, by booking late, you might miss out on the best beach view hotel in town and may have to settle with an ordinary one. In case of last minute bookings, you are left to select from the available options and also paying a higher price for the services and bookings.

Popular place? Think again

We often tend to believe that the most popular ones are automatically the best planners and service providers while dealing with travel agencies or websites. However, it might not always be true. Often, travellers find more lucrative and more customized solutions from lesser known service providers who are more eager to build a good image and a loyal clientele for themselves. This also needs to be driven by strong content. Thus, check the content on these websites to guide you better while choosing your destination. With VIA's regular curated content on destinations, the OTA also brings an array of places and destinations that you must visit based on your mood, must-watch events around the world that are happening during that time, etc.

Enroll yourself with multiple travelling sites

With plenty of players in the market, the customer is often spoiled for choice. However, it helps to conduct a fair comparison and research before sealing a deal. Therefore, it will help you to register with 2-3 travel agencies and sites from which you can receive a slew of deals, discounts and offers in your mail. Different agencies might be providing different packages for a visit to a particular destination and you can pick the best one from them or negotiate with the others.

Check the facilities

If you are on a business trip, make sure you ensure before sealing the deal that all the facilities required for making your visit comfortable and successful are in place. Whether the hotel offers wifi, conference rooms suitable for your meetings, facilities such as fax, foreign exchange etc are crucial details which need to be pre-ascertained.

Kousik Bhattacharya

Head- Marketing and B2C Business, VIA

Kousik Bhattacharya is the Head of Marketing and B2C Business of VIA, South-East Asia’s largest travel network with presence in over 2600 towns and cities. He heads the overall marketing strategies and planning for VIA in India, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Dubai and Thailand.

Side Hustle

The Side Hustle He Started at Age 15 Led to a $4 Billion Boon for Small Businesses: 'They Would Take a Chance on Me With Their Hard-Earned Money'

Nic Beique asked his local barber, gym and more if they'd like him to build a website for their businesses.

Thought Leaders

Need More Confidence? These 10 Bestselling Books Will Help Improve Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem can be hard to come by and even harder to maintain. To give yourself a boost, try these authors' words of wisdom.

Growing a Business

Want to Expand Your Market Overseas? Here's Everything You Need to Know About Global Logistics in 2024

With rising geopolitical tensions and changing market conditions it can be hard for businesses to navigate supply chain logistics even in a post-pandemic world. Here are three tips from the CEO of an international customs brokerage.

Business News

Elvis Presley's Granddaughter Fights Graceland Foreclosure, Calls Paperwork 'Forgeries'

The 13.8-acre estate was scheduled to be sold in a public foreclosure auction on Thursday. Presley's granddaughter and heir, Riley Keough, is fighting to save Graceland in court.

Business News

Target Is Lowering Prices on Thousands of Items — Here's Where You Can Expect to Save

The news was announced ahead of Target's Q1 2024 earnings call, expected to occur Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST.

Business News

Kickstarter Is Opening Up Its Platform to Creators and Making Big Changes to Its Model — Here's What's New

The company noted it is moving beyond traditional crowdfunding and making it easier for businesses to raise more money.