International Travel Bookings

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Normally, I find the results between a travel agent, Expedia, Orbitz or any other discounter to be about the same in the US. But, I’m finding that for travel to China, there are vast differences. Also when we went to Europe, I tried to book via Expedia, Orbitz etc and the airfares were on the order of $6,000 per person, but when our wonderful travel agent did it, she got it for $2,200 per person. So beware, this is one area where an agent can do a better job:
* “Navigent”:http://navigent.com Corporate travel. We use a corporate travel group at Navigent. They seem to provide fares that are reasonably close to Expedia.
* “Expedia”:http://expedia.com. In doing a search for an open jaw leg from Seattle to Beijing and then back from Hong Kong, Expedia found a bunch of flights on United and the like via Narita, San Francisco and Los Angeles
* “Orbitz”:http://orbitz.com. The same query on Orbitz, generated many more fares at about half the price. It found Air Canada to do the same trip via Vancouver. So Orbitz seems to find more interesting fares. Particularly for Business Class, the differences are enormous. Just going to Orbitz lowered the price of the fare from $6K on Expedia to $3K on Orbitz in one example I tried.
* Discount air tickets; cheap airfare, discount airfare, International airfares. This looks like some sort of discounter.
* Vacation Travel specialist. They almost always seem to do the best job. There are so many tricks in international travel that you almost have to use one. We’ve used a variety of folks. The main issue here is that you have to have a good working relationship with the particular person rather than than the agency. For instance on one European trip, I priced it with Expedia at $6K per person within Europe and our specialist friend did it for $2K per person.
The other thing to do is to try different dates, while Expedia and Orbitz does this automatically for

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