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Saturday, December 3rd 2016

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YYC." - Chris Myden



2013
5
February
Calgary to Thailand | How To Get The Best Deal On Packages


Guides >> Asia >> Southeast Asia >> Vacation Packages from Calgary to Thailand

The Ydeals Noise-Free Guide To Getting The Best Deal On Flight & Hotel Packages From Calgary to Thailand

Ydeals logo There are thousands of travel sites out there, all wanting you to believe they have unique or special prices on travel packages from Calgary to Thailand. They don't.

They use marketing noise to hide the fact that there is really only one source of unique prices on vacation packages to Thailand.

This guide will remove the noise and show you what that source is, so you can stop wasting so much time when searching for the best deal.

What are the unique sources of prices on flight and hotel packages from Calgary to Thailand?

Unique Source #1 - The Flight & Hotel Combiners

The Flight & Hotel Combiners are sites that simply mash together the latest flight prices from the major airlines with the latest hotel prices in Thailand to create a package. They tend to be U.S. based brands (but offer vacation packages from Canada).

Some destinations have at least two sources of unique holiday package prices, because of packages offered by the Canadian Tour Operators. But there are not currently any tour operators in Canada that offer packages to Thailand from Calgary.

Where should I look to get the best package deal to Thailand?

This is the noise. The flight price component of the package from the major airlines is identical for every site that offers these types of packages. There may be a slight differences in their source of hotel prices, but for the most part they're all grabbing the latest hotel prices from similar sources, at similar prices.

The result is that the Flight & Hotel Combiners usually all have very identical package prices to each other, and travelers tend to waste a lot of time thinking they are comparing prices from unique sources against each other, when they're not.

Here are the Flight & Hotel Combiners that spend the most on advertising, you have likely heard of at least one of them...

Expedia Travelocity Book It Orbitz Hotwire


When should I book my trip to get the best price from the Flight & Hotel Combiners?

Try to remember that at the end of the day, the vacation packages offered by the Flight & Hotel Combiners are simply made up of two components:

1) The latest flight prices from the major airlines. The major airlines don't tend to offer great last minute prices, so waiting until the last minute can backfire. I find the major airlines tend to usually offer their most decent prices around 8 weeks before departure.

2) The latest hotel prices. It's more common to see hotels offer discounts at the last minute, but then you have to weigh that against the fact that the flight price component from the major airlines can rise as the date nears, meaning the package price could go up.

So as a whole I'd probably consider the flight price component as being the limiting factor, and suggest that I'd be comfortable watching prices from the Flight & Hotel Combiners up to about 8 weeks before departure. But everyone has a different tolerance for risk.

Travel packages from Calgary to Thailand will depend a lot on the airfare that is bundled with it. The packages will usually involve a flight to and from Bangkok, which is the capital city of Thailand, with the largest international airport.

One strategy can be to first look for dates that involve cheaper flight prices to Thailand, and then use those same dates when looking for a package. You may want to read the guide: Calgary to Thailand | How To Get The Best Flight Deals.

What about my local travel agency or independent travel agent here in Calgary?

If it's booking through a travel agency in Canada, or a Canadian travel agent, they would normally try to sell you a holiday package from one of the Canadian Tour Operators.

But since there are not currently any tour operators in Canada that offer packages to Thailand from Calgary, they'd likely just book a package for you that was similar to what is available through the Flight & Hotel Combiner sites. They may or may not charge you a booking fee for their time.

What about booking flight & hotel separately? Is that cheaper or more expensive than a package?

Holiday travellers often want to know if booking a flight and hotel package to Thailand is better or worse than booking flight and hotel separately.

To beat the package prices generated by the Flight & Hotel Combiner sites, you would need to find a hotel price that is better than the source of hotel prices used by the Flight & Hotel combiner sites when generating their package prices.

Is this possible? Yes. But is it likely? Probably not. Hotel prices for the most part have been squeezed down to the point where all the travel brands and search engines out there have fairly identical hotel prices.

But if you do want to give it a shot, I'd suggest starting with finding the cheapest flight to Thailand that you can. You may want to read the guide mentioned in the paragraph above to do so.

Remember that for a fair comparison of a pre-packaged deal vs. building your own, you should always keep as many variables the same as possible, including the flight quality (number of stopovers, layover time), the number of nights for your trip, and either the exact same hotel, or one of similar quality. A few quick searches on TripAdvisor can tell you if the accommodations are comparable.

I would also suggest that when searching for accommodations to build your own package, you don't use the same site that contains the packages you're comparing against. The total cost has a very good chance of ending up being extremely similar.

An important thing to remember is that there are *many* wonderful hotels and places to stay that aren't 'linked up' with the major travel search engines, especially in Thailand. As a result, a search for packages using well known travel sites will not return packages that contain these accommodations.

TripAdvisor is a great place to look for places to stay that you won't find bundled with packages through the search engines. You need to look for them manually. Do a Google search for tripadvisor thailand hotels. Click on the first result.

Now that you're on the TripAdvisor page for Thailand hotels, click on the area in Thailand you're interested in to start browsing all the accommodations in that area. Using the menu at the top, I like to look under 'B&B and Inns' and 'Specialty Lodging'. These two categories are where you are most likely to find amazing places to stay for a great price that are sometimes not found as a bundled package through travel search engines.

Once you've found a few places that you really like, take the accommodation names and start copying/pasting them into Google. This will lead you to their personal website, where you can contact the owner (usually via e-mail or an inquiry form) to make your booking or ask about availability and rates. I usually just copy/paste the same e-mail to the various places I'm interested in.

Tip: If you click on 'See which rooms travelers prefer' on the TripAdvisor listing for the hotel (it's right under the rating bar graphs) you can often find out which rooms are the best, and inquire about their availability when contacting the owner.

What about holiday packages from Calgary to Thailand with direct flights ?

There are not currently any airlines that offer direct flights to Thailand from Calgary. As a result, there aren't any flight and hotel packages that do either.

The fastest flights from Calgary to Thailand involve 1 stopover each way, with about a 1-2 hour layover. The layover is usually in Asia (Tokyo is common). Flights on Air Canada, or a combination of Air Canada and China Southern usually involve the least amount of flight time. Look for packages involving these flights if travel time is a concern.

What about all inclusive packages in Thailand?

Unlike some countries (Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic), where there is an abundance of all inclusive resorts, Thailand does not really have many true 'all inclusive' resorts where all meals and drinks are included. When using the Flight & Hotel Combiner sites, you could keep an eye out for hotels that offer a room type of 'all inclusive', but there are very few in Thailand.


What about budget-minded holiday packages to Thailand from U.S. airports within driving distance of Calgary?

If you've ever read my guide about flying out of U.S. Airports within driving distance of Calgary, you may know that I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see a package from a U.S. airport to Thailand that's at least a certain number of dollars less per person than a similar package from Calgary.

How much cheaper it needs to be depends on which U.S. airport you're flying from. Below, I'll list how much cheaper I feel it should be from each U.S. airport, to be worth the drive.

From Kalispell (FCA) or Great Falls (GTF), Montana

I feel it could be worth the drive, when you see an package from Kalispell or Great Falls to Thailand that's at least $500 less per person than from Calgary.

Being smaller airports that primarily serve U.S. destinations, flights from Kalispell or Great Falls to Thailand are generally not cheaper than from Calgary, so packages generally won't be either. It's usually not going to be worth the drive.


I think I've found a great deal on a vacation package to Thailand!

Excellent! Please share it with your fellow Calgary travel lovers, they will appreciate it and thank you for it! You can post it in the YYC Deals Facebook group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive), where thousands of travel deal enthusiasts from Calgary are crowd-sourcing the best deals, and sharing great travel advice.

Or if you prefer, you can always give me a shout through the YYC Deals contact form or on Twitter @YYCdeals or through Google Plus. Great deal finds are always appreciated.


Why should I trust this Calgary guide to Thai travel?

Chris Myden Ydeals The info in this guide is based on my observations of the travel industry over the years, including all the thousands of websites out there, and where all the different players get their prices from and how they interact with each other.

The goal is to remove the noise of travel marketing, so vacationers can stop wasting so much valuable time searching the same prices over and over.

But, as social proof of it's accuracy, feel free to join the YYC Deals Facebook Group (click 'Join Group', at the top-right, when you arrive) and publicly disagree with any of it, or make a comment below. Critiques are always welcome!


I think I have some info that could help improve the Thailand vacation package guide!

Great! Please post your info in the Facebook group above, or contact me directly. Suggestions for improvement are always appreciated. Let me know if you see something that seems inaccurate or outdated.

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3 Responses to "Calgary to Thailand | How To Get The Best Deal On Packages"


    Has Craig been here?
       Craig on February 6th, 2013

    So we know that many of the flight-hotel combiner sites have the same price, now I think it would be good to evaluate the benefits of using one over the other (assuming they offer the same package for the same $$$).
    For example, you can earn Airmiles from Expedia if you navigate through airmiles shops.ca. Orbitz and other sites offer price protection if someone else books the package for cheaper (I question whether they admit when this happens as the customer has very little chance of knowing). Some sites offer your trip for free if it snows more than 20" on a certain day (I wouldn't bank on this one).

    As a travel pro Chris, what do you look for in a site?

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on February 6th, 2013

    Hi Craig,

    I think that's definitely something worth looking at. Personally, when I plan my trips, I'm usually buying my airfare and hotel separately, rather than as a package, as they are usually itineraries that involve multiple cities, and may involve accommodations that can't be booked online. I just find it easier to book the components separately.

    Orbitz price protection is one of those things where you're unlikely to ever actually receive a refund, as the terms and conditions make it nearly impossible for someone to book an identical package.

    Can't say I've seen the free trip if it snows more than 20" though :) Which site is that?

    Looks like on Expedia you collect 1 reward mile for every CDN $35 spent, as opposed to the usual 1 mile for every $20. So if you spend $2000, you get 57 miles.

    If I remember correctly, people generally place a value of about 12 cents on each Airmile, so you'd effectively earn $6.84. Better than nothing I guess!

    Has Craig been here?
       Craig on February 7th, 2013

    I believe it was iTravel2000 that offered the 20" snow deal (I hear it advertised on the radio). I'm not sure it has ever been awarded. This promotion wouldn't affect my decision to book with them.

    Some of the other deals I can think of are;

    Flight Center - "Unbeatable Airfare" if you bring them an quoted airfare deal (Cdn site, in $CAD) they will beat the price. I believe the deal used to be that they would beat it by $50, but I just read the terms and they will beat it by $1 and give you a $20 voucher for future travel. So I question how great this deal is anymore.

    Travelocity - they guarantee price of flights even after you have booked. You just have to fill out a form to get refunded the difference. For this I recommend using Yapta which will track your specific flight and notify you if the price drops. They also have some promises regarding finding another hotel and booking it for you if the pool is closed for example.

    Expedia - currently offering a future $150 travel credit for select bookings. They also offer a best price guarantee (find a better price within 24 hours and they will refund the difference and give you a $50 credit).

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