But are they as good as they appear? As the old saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is!
7 travel tips for researching your next holiday
Holidays are precious. There is often a huge emotional investment, as well as the obvious commitment of time and money.
Travel is the stuff that dreams are made of – and you don’t want your dreams turning into nightmares! So here are few of the potential pitfalls to watch out for when looking at bargain travel deals.
Online holiday research, time well spent!
1. Are there restrictions on travel dates?
Many specials are designed to help fill low-season gaps for operators – and low season is generally the least suitable time of year to visit a particular destination.
2. Who will you be travelling with?
Check your group size, is it over 20?
There are some overseas operators using the Australian market to fill last minute spots on their tours, particularly in Asia. If you’re happy to travel with a bus load of 50 international tourists this may not be a problem! It’s also a good idea to check that the company uses reputable airlines and land operators.
3. What’s NOT included?
Make sure you’re comparing apples with apples when you look at these bargain deals. Are airfares and transfers included? How many meals? Tips and taxes? And how much of the sightseeing program is optional (meaning that it will cost extra). Look out for things like ‘upgrade fees’.
Are special experiences included like this?
4. Watch out for gimmicks
Genuine discount? - beware of gimmicks
Are those ‘specials’, really special? For instance ‘Fly free’ can be misleading. Check the prices of similar tours with and without airfares and you’ll often find that the price of the tour has simply been inflated to cover the cost of flights.
Check wording too. Terminology such as ‘For two’ probably means the quoted price is per person, twin share – not the total cost for two people. If you’re unsure, check the fine print or ask.
Beware also of ‘price guarantees’. The terms and conditions of these are sometimes written in such a way as to be almost impossible to claim or challenge.
Tip: A handy rule of thumb is to work out the per-day cost. Just divide your trip total by the number of days.
5. Where will you be staying?
It’s a good idea to check the grade and location of the hotels being used, and the standard of rooms reserved for the tour. For instance, small to medium boutique hotels that are centrally located can be a big time saver. This lets you explore the local area on foot and cuts down on transport time to and from many of the central sights.
Are you centrally located to the sights?
6. Check flight connections
Are return international flights included?
If flights are included in the package, make sure you check the connections. While some international airports are amazing places, they’re certainly not where you want to spend days of your precious holiday time waiting for a lengthy or complex set of connecting flights.
7. What support is available?
In the event that something goes wrong while you’re on tour, do you know who you can call? Are contact & staff details easy to find. If you’re touring with an international discount travel company, you might find customer service and cultural barriers become an issue at the worst possible moment! It may also be worth checking when purchasing travel online whether you are protected by Australian Consumer Law
We invite you to browse this web site for more information on our own small group tours.