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Have Mouse, Will Travel
Thu, 19 Jun 2003, 22:53

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(NAPSI)—Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, there’s one destination that you’ll want to check out before you even pack your bags—the Internet.

According to a leading research company, 29 percent of U.S. online consumers already research and purchase travel via the Web. And total U.S. leisure and business online travel purchases will more than triple in the next five years, from $18 billion in 2000 to $63 billion in 2006.

The Web offers some of the best travel deals available as well as the ease of online booking. And many consumers turn to the Internet to help them find a wide variety of tools and resources to help bring their dream vacations to life.

While the Internet is a great place to begin your travel plans, there are myriad ways to make packing up and hitting the road a more care-free experience. Orbitz, the new full-service online travel site, offers some expert tips—both on and offline—to help you go far.

Travel Tips

• Plan ahead. Book early to get the best deals and the most options. Thirty days is best, but fare changes also occur at 21, 14, 7, and 3 days.

• Travel midweek to get the best fares—Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday—and stay over a Saturday night. The airfare savings often make up for an extra night at the hotel.

• Make reservations between midnight and 1 a.m.—that’s when unpaid reservations expire and those seats become available again. Note this happens after midnight in the city in which the airline is based.

• If you have time, plan a trip with at least one stop in the middle—fares are usually less expensive. Visit your best friend in Atlanta whom you haven’t seen for years, for instance, before going on to Miami for that business convention.

Internet Booking Advice

• If you have to fly last minute, or want to take a last-minute getaway, check Orbitz’ online Web-only fares on Wednesday after midnight. All new low-cost fares available for that weekend are posted at that time, so you’ll see the best values.

• Use search features that check all airlines flying to your destination—to be sure you’re seeing the most fares and flight options. If you can drive a few extra miles, you can check alternate airports as part of your search to possibly land a cheaper fare.

• Buy a travel package online—air and/or hotel and car. It may be cheaper than paying for them separately.

• Look for a site that has travel alerts, destination tips and weather predictions. offers these alerts via email, personal digital assistant or phone, and you can check the Travel Watch feature for flight information.

• Look online for street, bus and train maps of the places you plan to visit before you arrive.

With these tips in mind, you are set to plan your dream vacation today. The next step is finding an online travel site that best suits your needs.

Orbitz has Internet-only fares from a wide selection of airlines and car rental companies, as well as access to hotels, cruise lines and vacation packages.

To learn more or to jumpstart plans for your next vacation, visit

More and more travelers are turning to the Internet to plan their leisure and business travel.

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