Girl...Let Me Give You Some Tips
One of the top mistakes people make when planning their summer travel is not doing it ahead of time. A year seems so far away to plan a vacation but avid travelers will tell you, you're late if your next vacation isn't already be on the books! Depending on how your budget is set up, one reason why you may not be traveling as often as you'd like is because you fail to plan early. Here are some facts about the travel industry and vacationer experiences that should be compelling enough to get you moving forward.
Spring Break and Summer are two times in the US where families are rushing off to their vacations. EXPECT prices to be elevated! Also, depending on where your're going expect there to be shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and hot and humid weather, depending on where you're going. Traveling in the brink of fall may offer some cooler temperatures but heightened possibility of hurricanes and inclement weather...but, if you're lucky you might find the perfect mix of weather, less crowds and amazing colors of nature in your destination. Though we highly recommend travel protection for all trips, this is one season you don't want to be without it.
Expecting Payment Plans
Most resorts and cruise ships want your balance to be paid in full 60-90 days prior to travel. Trying to book a trip too or after this time frame will result in short to NO payment options offered. Becareful of those pay when you get there hotel and resorts. Imagine they were booked by the time you arrived. Did you read the fine print?
Waiting Until Tax Time
There are two types of tax time vacationers. Those who really do use their refund to go on vacations, and those who feel like they can do anything with their refund so they start vacation shopping, but when their quote comes back with a comma in it, they retract that decision quickly. If this is you, we suggest you put down a deposit for a vacation that is a year or more out...then begin chipping away at your vacation each month rather than blowing your refund in one place. Not to mention, tax returns can be less, off-set, delayed, lower than expected etc.
Last Minute Deals
Most last minute deals come with fine print or a little star at the top of the price. READ IT...you may have just booked yourself a low-price obstructed view cabin aboard your ship or a resort with spring breakers when you're looking to meditate. Another commonality with last minute deals is there are usually no payment plans offered. It's like trying to put a clearance item on lay-a-way. It's a nogo.
Price Vs Quality
Price is what you pay, quality is what you get. Many customers feel uncomfortable expressing their budget to their travel professional and often use adjectives like "cheap" or have unrealistic expectations for their vacation cap. It's not to say that there aren't great deals out there...but be careful. For starters, the word cheap describes the type of quality you expect, not the price. It also gives your agent no idea what to look at for you. For example, cheap to someone making 140K a year is very different from someone making 40k a year. If you don't mind one, two or three star resorts bed bugs, and cringing when you go into the restroom etc. no problem, there are plenty out there. However, if you value great service, cleanliness, love all inclusive accommodations, and unforgettable experiences you should expect to see that reflected in your price or discounted in a promotion.
A lot of vacationers only look and plan for the price of the trip. They forget about the cost of taking off work, the bills that are still due when they come back, transportation costs to and from their destination, associated expenses like oil changes, tune-ups, hotel stays, UBERs, Hotel, food during pre and post travel, dog sitting, childcare, luggage, clothing, hair, nails and feet just to name a few. And, and I forgot to mention the things you might want to do in destination like...go zip lining, snorkeling or purchase memorabilia. This is one reason why we encourage our vacationers to try to get their vacations paid off as soon as possible so they can start tackling and preparing for other expenditures.
It's a Double Occupancy World
Most cruises and resorts are priced at "double occupancy" and booking as a solo traveler can come with some hefty fees. Why is this? Glad you asked! Most resorts, cruise lines, etc are staffed to accommodate full capacity within their guests 365 days a year, and those workers need to be paid whether you or your companion choose not to go. If you are a single traveler, this fee is commonly billed as a "single supplement fee" and is usually less than the full rate of another guest, but can be the same amount of traveling with another person! Most prices you see advertised are based on 2 people occupying the room or cabin.
Pretending to be Physic
Declining vacation protection is perhaps the biggest mistake second to not planning early. We could go on and on sharing the tearful reasons why our clients could not go on a vacation for one reason or another. From airports closing due to mysterious electrical reasons, to Noreastern storms during spring time, flat tires and missed flights. Simply put, without vacation protection you don't even have a chance at recovering a portion of the money you've spent for your vacation. Really, whatever the cost may be for your vacation package, it truly is a small price to pay for a lot of peace of mind.
Have realistic expectations
I got a request for a 7 Day Vacation, for 5 people with flights at an all inclusive resort during peak season travel wanting 4-5 Star accommodations with a per person budget of $500.00 per person. I had a hard time explaining to the customer that with the flights alone being priced at $450.00....finding a resort that would fully house, entertain, serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, unlimited drinks, snacks etc within just $50.00 left was not going to happen (Without being a travel agent, of course) A rule of thumb is to expect to pay between $80.00- $100.00 per person per night for most travel accommodations.