For the right price, a complimentary hotel stay was all the motivation I needed to click on the “purchase” button.
Was I in for a surprise! I read the fine print a second too late.
Here are 5 out of the ordinary tips for your next trip.
- Complimentary hotel stay – I would soon discover after the fact that, narrowing down my choice based on airlines that offer a complimentary hotel stay for long layovers is not enough. Other conditions may apply. For example, some airlines require there be no connecting flights within a certain number of hours available to the customer in addition to the base fare before taxes exceeding a certain monetary threshold.
- Special Needs – As part of the narrowing down process, carefully reviewing the airline’s animal friendly or not policy may be necessary for those traveling with pets and even for those who have allergies. Some limit the type of animals allowed to travel as well as if they are allowed to be checked in with the luggage or allowed into the aircraft cabin.
Managing expectations as far as the logistics of the trip, be it lodging at a 4 star plus all the way, or a mix of hotels and bed and breakfasts is important. Other lodging considerations beyond cost may include accessibility to the areas of interest and public transportation; sharing rooms or and even beds.
3. Group Travel – What is your budget that is comfortable for the group for each item; accommodation, flight tickets, tours, cab fare etc. Agreeing on the budget for these expenses eases the potential for confusion or anxiety over money matters. Even the minute details relating to individual preferences should not be overlooked. Aisle or window seats, food sensitivities, motion sickness, are people within the travel party flexible enough to consider sitting apart to get their preferred seats etc. are crucial considerations.
4. Group activities – Are people open to going off to do some activities on their own or and doing some collectively? The interests may be as varied as the different personalities. Do your research ahead of time to determine if a self guided tour of an attraction is an available option. In addition to the price of a group tour, there are schedule and time limitations. Varied Interests – While some may be open to an overnight desert safari, hiking, ziplining, bushwalking or even snorkeling, others may be interested in retail therapy or and lounging by the pool and taking in the sun as they bury themselves in a good book.
5. Downtime – Planning ahead of time and communicating with the group is always a good idea. Working in some downtime during the trip so one is not completely exhausted from the trip can have significant benefits.
Finding that balance between having things your way and being adaptable enough to changing or unforeseen circumstances makes for a more relaxing and enjoyable experience.
Different people have different sleep or bedtime rituals; some need noise in the background; sleeping with the light on and for some others shutting all stimuli down due to a heightened sensitivity to noise including, loud conversations, snoring, sleep talking etc. It may be worthwhile arranging for separate rooms.
Far from being a “champagne taste on a beer budget” vacationer, proper planning and full disclosure are the secrets to an experience filled with great memories.