As your mind begins to drift off into a world full of wonder, exploring and adventure your day dreaming of tropical beaches with white sand and crystal clear water, those covered snow peak mountains, and the emerald rivers running into streams full of life and serenity are rudely interrupted by the reality of life and the fact it is only 3pm on a Monday afternoon. You have 3 deadlines to meet by 5pm and your boss has just told you, you will need to work back late this week to get all the work done.
We have all been in a similar situation before, and believe me it sucks! It is in times like this, that we resort to day dreams about how far and wide we can travel, how long we can go for and whom we may take with us on our adventures if we got a chance.
I have quite a few questions asked lately, where different people in different circumstances have asked how they too can afford to travel to those places they thought were not possible to travel to without blowing a hole in their savings! Well whether you are married, single, have a family, small children, grown up children, have a partner, friend, or group of people closest to you, travelling IS possible and inexpensive holidays DO really exist!
Yes you heard me.. inexpensive what?… holiday! yep. Its true. I’m about to tell you how it is possible to book that trip of a lifetime on the cheap! Now we aren’t talking about cheap cheap where you have to stay in Joe’s 50 year motel in the back alleyway. We are talking simple, budget, and affordable accommodation and tours available for all fitness levels, age groups, and travel types, all of which offer the same experiences, destinations, and activities!
Now you may think this is all way too good to be true, believe me I thought there must have been some catch that would throw me off and force be back into day dreaming mode..well unfortunately there is always a catch, But it isn’t one that should affect you in creating that amazing holiday you have been dreaming about for months!
So its time to get your calendars out and start marking down the days! We are booking you an inexpensive holiday ! ! !
Option 1: Ever heard of off season, peak season, low season, high season etc etc? Well chances are if you have, then the destination you are thinking about has different weather and seasonal increases and decreases in tourists annually each year. Peak/high seasons, as by the name mean this is the time of year that most tourists visit it also is the time of year where the weather is at its very best. Now low/off season is in the same concept, but the opposite and is when tourist numbers are low, and whether conditions don’t tend to be as great! Now this my friends is where the discounts on all accommodation and tours lay, right here in the seasons.
Now if you want to book a budget trip then look no further than the time of year! BUT this can mean a few things – The weather may not be amazing. You may pay cheap money to stay in a beautiful beach resort and have it rain 10/10 days although the chances of having constant rain is very rare and depends on where your destination is – So chances are, yes it might rain, but hay! You can still do all the same things, you just have to bring your best poncho and keep positive, plan a few activities that won’t be affected by the rain and make sure you have a good book with you to read! Another important thing to remember is low/off season is most likely going to be nowhere near school holidays or public holidays… This means your children may have to take time off school, or you may have to take some extra time off work!
Option 2: Raise your hand if you have ever booked through a travel agent and then looked online for the same deal and found it cheaper AFTER you booked it with your travel agent. Yep most likely 90% of us are guilty, I myself am as well. Sometimes we find it is just easier and more safe to book through a travel agent, they do everything for us, the phone calls, the pricing, billing, booking and itinerary planning and have a 100% guarantee that there bookings are secure and real! BUT one thing is questionable… how much money do they really save us? Now my travel agents are amazing! and yes I still use them for holiday planning and booking. In fact I have three travel agents, with three different companies, and I play all three of them against each other to see who can beat the price and give me the best deal…OK so I know that’s really bad, but I ALWAYS make sure I evenly book my holidays between them, so they all get a sale for around the same price, so everyone is happy at the end of the day and its all done fairly. (To read more about my travel agent affair NEW BLOG POST: My Travel Agent Affair – Coming Soon!) So yes travel agents are great, helpful and help us book some amazing holidays – BUT before you intend to book a holiday with one, I strongly encourage you to do a bit of research yourself. I’m talking detective style, if your going on a tour find out the trip code (all tours have a trip code) and call the tour company directly. Here you can ask them the prices, travel dates and if there are any last minutes deals/available positions on tours within the next 3 months that you are happy to book, (you will find tours leaving within the next 3 months are more likely to be cheaper as they are last minute deals and the companies will want to fill the positions fast!). Also make sure you ask them for any upcoming sales! Some companies do annual sales up to 50% OFF!!!!! So keep an eye out and make sure you subscribe for email updates from the tour companies.
Option 3: Now for the most important thing of all! We are talking bulk buying. When I say bulk buy, it can be anything, but here we are talking about tours! If you have a family, partner or group of friends you want to take away all at the same time then this is the best thing for you! BULK BUY TOURS! Basically this involves a little thing call bargaining. Now don’t run away just yet, its simple, easy and can save you thousands! literally THOUSANDS! I used this method just last weekend and booked onto over 8 weeks of travelling in over 5 countries and saved a whooping $3250!!!!!! I only ended up spending $2800 for three tours which ends up costing me less than $50 a day for accommodation, transport, and all meals!!!!
So how you ask? well we use the combination of the two options above. You find a destination and a tour your interested in, then once you have done a bit of research on that place you’d like to travel to, work out the low/off peak season, pick the tour dates that fall under this timeframe and BAM! Pick up that phone and start calling that tour company. Once you have their direct tour company quote, go visit your local travel agents and see how much they can beat off the prices between each other. Once you are happy with your quote, call up the tour company and ask them what other deals they have available and IF you were to book this tour with 2,3,4,5+ people right now, right on this phone call, how much would they be able to take off.
Within the next five minutes you will have the best quote you thought you would have never been given, ever! I know for those of you who don’t like hassling, calling, or jumping around to find better prices it can be difficult, and sometimes the price wont be able to be beaten. But there is no harm is asking and if you have more than one person with you on this trip you are planning, the chances are you will be offered some great discounts!
So there you have it! This my friends, is how I manage to save a bucket on travel holidays! It may sound slightly out of character for you, and too much effort but please at least try asking more than one travel agent before you book if they can beat the price you have been quoted! Chances are, yes they will!
Good luck and don’t stop looking! whether it be online, in brochures, magazines, papers, advertisements, or through email subscriptions! There are ALWAYS deals on! Its just a matter of working out the cheapest/most appropriate time to travel for you and your family and then working from there with your local travel agents and tour companies to find a price you will be happy to pay!