The Rise of the Internet Holiday

There is no question that the internet has revolutionised the way we purchase items in our everyday lives. Whether its gifts, clothes, the weekly food shop or even our flights and holidays, access to sites which help us compare prices, view items in 3D, or read reviews from other purchasers of the same item, really makes us wonder what we did before this virtual, ‘we-can’t-live-without’ mechanic.

With all this information available at the click of a button, it is no surprise that more than half of all active internet users are booking holidays through the internet. In fact, 55 per cent of internet users are booking holidays online, while 7 per cent still book on the high street with travel agents. Meanwhile, what was once the prime source of cheap and immediate holidays – Teletext – sees only 1 per cent of people actually utilise this service now.

So is this the death of the travel agent? Well, in this world there are still those who like to dabble in the internet, and making purchases online is still not their preferred method of shopping.

Most internet users search for accommodation online, purely due to the huge amount of choice available, and take that information back to the travel agent to book via a ‘human’. These people sum up the surfers who are still not quite into making large purchasers online but will freely use it for information. Although this works in reverse also, as some users will take the recommendation from brochures in store, but find a cheaper price on-line, and then book through the internet.

Whichever method you choose to book, there are guides on the internet to help you purchase a flight, or package holiday online. There are top tips for travelling, holiday guides by previous travellers, and even specific advice for travellers going abroad with children and babies, or for those in wheelchairs. The internet can tell you what vaccinations you require for specific holiday destinations, and when you need them. Some sites can even send you email reminders to make sure you don’t forget!

Without the ‘human’ travel agent to ask an exhaustive list of questions about booking currency in advance, or arrangingĀ travel insurance, these are some of the things, and more to consider yourself and make sure they are booked and arranged.

So, to book on-line, all you need is a notepad and pen, some recommended sites from family and friends, a little patience and your credit card; because once you’ve booked your first holiday on-line, you’ll never go back to the high street again.