Can anyone tell me the difference between booking through the resort vs Expedia?
I wouldn’t say there’s no difference. At the very least there’s likely differing cancellation policies. Read the fine print to be sure. As far as reliability is concerned, no worries...go with the best deal/what suits your travel needs.
sometimes a resort may show sold out .. but you may be able to book direct with the resort... We have used Expedia the last 8 trips..
usually, I book with expedia, however this time I booked direct through the resort this year...first time I've done this....price was cheaper than expedia and it came with free roundtrip transfers...
I book with expedia all the time. They usually have the best price. The problem is if you have to change anything or there is a hurricane. You'll be on hold a very long time.
Over the years, I've found the best price varies. One year it might be booking directly through a resort and with the airlines. Another year, it might be booking both through one third party or another.
My go-tos for third parties are cheapcaribbean.com and cheaptickets.com. I've found their prices will almost always beat any of the others.
In our experience, it seems like the best prices usually come about 3 months out. I always follow the same routine for our twice-a-year Caribbean trips. I start an Excel spreadsheet with the resort price from the resort website and the flight prices from the 3 major airlines. I add prices from cheapcaribbean and cheaptickets for combines airfare and resort. Because airfare prices change so often, I watch them daily and log them in the sheet. After a week, I have the numbers I need to made a decision.
Some years I've saved several hundred dollars booking separately. The most recent trip I booked to Punta Cana, cheapcaribbean's price for combined was hundreds less than others.
Price search many avenues. Find a great price and call resort directly and find out if they are willing to price match. Many times they do. Just be sure to factor in difference in airfare and transportation to destination before deciding.
If you’re booking a package, also keep in mind that you don’t necessarily see all flight/airline options. Since you’re from Virginia, it’s worth noting that there’s a direct flight to Punta Cana from BWI. Southwest flights can only be purchased on Southwest.com or Southwest Vacations, not third parties like Expedia or Orbitz.
Expedia was always cheaper than the resort price for me.