Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Holiday Travel Package
by Sami Fab
Your well-deserved vacation is near and you are thinking about making reservations. You have two basic choices:
Do you book different components of your holiday such as airline, hotel, and car rental separately or do you book the components as a package, all in one booking?
Depending on whether you have the time and the patience, you could book separately, which sometimes can lead to some savings. However, if you prefer to have everything ready and included in one price, then the package alternative is for you.
Holiday packages can be cheaper than other alternatives because the company selling the products has already negotiated substantial discounts, some of which are passed down to you, the consumer. The principle of packaged holidays is that places and seats are reserved in huge numbers, thus making an individual package relatively cheap.
In a sense it is good to know that all the reservations have taken place. An added bonus can be traveling with other like-minded people possibly leading to friendship. Also in case any difficulties arise, there is often a company representative who will be able to help you.
It is worth bearing in mind, the apparent ease and convenience that packages bring can have downsides too. This is how lower prices are achieved:
1. Your plane may depart late at night. Be prepared for this and it won’t be too much of a disappointment. Alternatively if you have the choice to have a late night departure you should notice a lower price. If not, “ask” for the discount. You’ll be amazed how often you get discounts by simply asking.
2. The allocated seats on the aircraft are sometimes in the middle (away from windows). This may be important if you are traveling with children. Make sure you carry plenty of suitable entertainment. Note that the in-flight movie may not be interesting for the children.
3. If there are several members in your party, you may not all be able to sit together. Again this is even more important if you have children with you.
4. Your hotel room may not offer the best view possible, nor may it be the quietest. Can you handle this? Ask before you book, find out the situation and take alternative action if necessary.
5. Packages are geared to suit groups, as opposed to individuals. They are not always flexible. Flexibility costs extra, quite a bit extra.
6. Cancellations usually involve a penalty or at least an administration charge, which can be more than you expect. Always “ask” before booking.
7. Extras such as upgrades and add-ons can attract a substantial premium.
8. You are stuck with other travelers in the group, whether you like them or not. There is always at least one annoying person in the group but then there are usually a few very interesting and likeable people too.
8. Popular packages are usually fully booked early. You may have to settle for an alternative.
9. Your airline may take an indirect route and a stopover may be on the cards. The right holiday packages can be fun and the majority of people using them are pleasantly surprised. Don’t let the downsides to package holidays put you off.
Remember, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect set-up’. Provided you go into it with reasonable understanding and an open mind, you’re sure to have a great time.