Advantages Some excellent offers, clipboard facility to keep track of possibilities
Disadvantages Search facilities a bit limited if your not too sure where to go
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I find that booking holidays can be so stressful that you need the holiday to get over the stress from booking! Travel agents put pressure on you to take the higher priced deals, or are so damned useless you are in the office for 3 days just trying to communicate to them that you don't want to go on a package holiday to Benidorm. I hate it. I generally travel independently in any case, but last year I tried to book a lastminute break, ony to find that most lastminute deals aren't up to much. I got so fed up with travel agents I jsut bought an interrail pass and fled.Then my brother told me about Teletext.co.uk's holiday search. I knew about the normal teletext on the telly version, but don't have text so thought it would be of no help to me. The website is great though.
The opening page is nice and bright. You're first choice is what type of thing you want - overseas, UK, flight only, cruise or ski. You can browse the ads or you can search for your destination (with price and room limits also available). The site features Late Deals, Resort and destination info, safety tips and advice and even stuff from the FCO (as an aside, I urge everyone to read up on their destination from the FCO (www.fco.gov.uk) - but do bear in mind it's a little OTT to make sure you are safe!)You can buy currency/travellers cheques, sort out travel insurance, get language tips, weather info and more. The site really is full of info and easy to use. Why spend hours trawling the web when you can get almost everything you need in one place.As for the holidays themselves. My brother went to Gran Canaria with a deal from this site and it was great - the price was really low (I think he saved £300 for two people). In the winter, I decided to take a break and went to Canada for 1week. Although the price quoted on the site turned out to be inaccurate (in reality, it was another £40-50 each), it was still an excellent deal. For the summer, I'm off to Kenya with a deal found on Teletext at a totally fab price - almost £200 cheaper per person than the price quoted in the brochure. The range of holidays listed on teletext.co.uk is massive - everything you could dream of (saving of course the more independent touring type deals - but that's normal - obvious really).
Ok - so there must be some problems right? Yeah, well, nothing is perfect. Obviously, often to actually book your holiday you have to ring up the tour operators which brings you back to the nightmarish travel agents scenario - but you are armed with info this time! That said, often you don't know much and may end up following up some dead end holidays - but in the 2 rather systematic searches I've done with Teletext I've only really had 2 dead end phone calls. The ads sometimes don't tell you where in the country you'll be or give very many details - but are generally enough to know if you want to go or not - and if you register you can save ads that you think you like to the clipboard - saving you from scribbling on bits of paper! The only real problem with this site is if you don't know where you want to go, but have a budget - you could well be searching for quite a while as it doesn't offer the "Don't mind" option for destinations that sites like Lastminute.com do (but holidays are cheaper with Teletext than with lastminute on the whole).All featured agents are ABTA and ATOL certified, by the way, which is always good.
I love this site and hopefully when I get back from Kenya I won't have any horror stories! Happy holiday-ing.
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