Vacations can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. If you are careful about how and where you book your vacation, you can get the most value for your money. The key is to explore all of the options for your particular destination and time frame so you’re sure you are getting the best deal.
Sometimes getting the most value takes some creativity on your part. However, if you follow the steps below, you can end up with a great vacation that won’t break the bank but will still be satisfying.
Look at All Inclusive Trips
All-inclusive trips are not always the best way to go, but they can offer a good value if you find the right deal. The advantage is that you do not have to budget for additional expenses since everything is included.
Trips that are all inclusive don’t always have the same meaning though, and you need to check with the resort you will be traveling to and determine exactly what that term means. Here are the sticking points:
? Meals: Most all-inclusive trips include meals, but they may not include premium meals, or may only include dinners, meaning you are on your own the rest of the day. Know before you go so you can plan accordingly.
? Activities: Usually these destination resorts include certain activities, but be sure to know if you need to book the most popular ones in advance. Failing to plan can mean the trip will actually cost you more in the long run or you will miss out on things you want to do.
? Drinks: All-inclusive destination resorts often include an open bar, so you don’t have to pay for drinks, but sometimes premium cocktails or spirits do cost more. Check policies to determine what is and is not included.
If you are careful and book properly, an all-inclusive trip can be a great value, and also cuts down on the time you need to spend planning.
Talk to a Travel Agent
Travel agents still have a place in trip planning, and often they have access to and can offer you deals that you can’t get on your own. They also know the area where you will be traveling, and can make suggestions about activities and saving money that you may not know about yourself.
Often, the do it yourself trip you plan does not end up being the best value and can even cost you more in the long run. You can also end up missing out on some great opportunities. The more complex your trip, especially if you are traveling outside Australia, the more likely it is that a travel agent offers some real advantages.
Book Directly When You Plan Yourself
Planning a trip yourself? You can use travel sites to look up when flights are and what hotels you want to stay at, but often if you take the time to call the hotels directly, book with the airlines instead, and even take care of your rental car yourself, you will probably save money.
Hotels and airlines will often offer you just as good of deals as you will get from travel sites, and then you can be assured of your reservation being done correctly. Booking a trip on the web is not always the best way to go.
This can be especially true of activities. If you don’t book directly with the attraction you want to visit, your reservation can be lost or mixed up, and you could miss out on things you want to do. Booking directly, if you are going to undertake the trip planning task yourself, will save you time, money, and frustration. This will help you get the best value for your money.
Get Travel Insurance
Travel agents, travel sites, airlines, hotels, and even attractions all have cancellation fees and deadlines, but if you are planning your trip far in advance, there are a number of things that can go wrong in the meantime that might cause you to have to cancel your trip.
This is where comparing travel insurance comes in for the Australian traveler. You want to buy the correct insurance that covers the cost of your trip should anything happen but also doesn’t cost too much. Then at least if something goes wrong and you have to cancel your trip, you can recoup the financial costs.
The other way to get the best value out of your vacation is to be flexible. This means being flexible about the dates you travel and the airport you land in. If you are traveling to the United States to visit a digital marketing agency there, you can fly into Los Angeles, San Francisco, or even Seattle further north, and take a connecting flight to your destination.
If you travel mid-week instead of on Monday or Friday, and can stay for a longer period of time, you will also save money. When you book your ticket is important too, and how far in advance. Booking your ticket at least 30 days in advance can save you hundreds of dollars in airfare.
Getting the most value for your vacation dollar is important, and you can manage to do so as long as you are willing to be creative and look at all of the options for your trip.
What are your best tips for saving time and money when choosing a vacation package? Leave us a comment below.