This is the season of my discontent. It’s travel time. Guiding a husband, lugging luggage, and herding three pre-schoolers through airport check-ins all over the country is not going to be a fun time.
Even worse, my best laid travel plans and deals were struck down by a Dashboard Widget my husband found. Sure, I could point and click for hours or days on a dozen different sites, but he found a better way. So it seemed.
The Widget Disguised As A Travel Site
Here’s the deal. I worked for a few days to get our travel plans nailed down. Five of us. Two stops. Departure and return dates. Hotels. Rental cars. Personal session at the resort spa for me.
After the deal was ready to book, my husband says, “Honey, check this out.”
He pointed to a little suitcase Dashboard Widget on his Mac’s screen.
There’s no way that little doo-hickey Widget was going to get me to change any of the stuff I’d worked on for the past two days. That’s what I thought.
AirCompare is a Dashboard Widget for your Mac (and Windows PC) that does just that. Kinda sorta.
Enter the To and From information. Select the Departure and Return dates. Add the number of adults (too many) and number of children (still too many). Click Find Fares button.
At that moment, the Widget opens a browser window for the web site BargainTravel.com.
Uh oh. Isn’t that kind of a bait and switch? I was hoping the Widget would do all the work. My hopes were shattered. BargainTravel simply gives you search buttons for a bunch of different discount online travel sites.
The advantage here is merely the amount of time saved to search for travel details on different sites.
Instead of opening each site in a browser, entering all the departure and arrival information, the site does that for you, reducing the number of clicks, but still giving you too many web pages to browse through to find the lowest fares.
Once my husband realized that the Widget didn’t do all the work, and there would be a dozen different travel sites to dig through, he lost interest.
So, I was back to point and click, then review and compare the sites and their fares.
In the end, my original flight schedule and fares, which took me a couple of days to figure out, were merely confirmed by the Bargain Travel site, thanks to the Widget.
As it turns out, the Dashboard Widget maker, Widgetizer, has a bunch of similar Widgets for Car Rentals, Hotels, Insurance, Cruises, and so on.
Were there any savings from my Widget adventure? Nope. Same prices. I suppose the Widget maker gets a cut from the airlines and hotels and rental car agencies for every component booked through Bargain Travel.
For me, it was just another way to book travel online. And exercise my patience and clicking finger.