Originally posted in YMag:
Travel is exceedingly more than a simple flight, transfers and accommodation booking.
It’s about challenging your perceptions of the world, and exiting your comfort zones.
But there is a lot involved in ensuring you get what think you are getting! There’s a lot of incorrect information out there
Top 5 travel tips:
Families usually travel in school holidays. You will need to book far earlier! Airlines and resorts bring out specials to fill up seats/rooms. But in busy times such as School Holidays, that isn’t the case. The earlier you book, especially on airlines, the cheaper it will be. If you are flexible, then you can book later, but avoid the busy times.
Summary: if you want to travel in busy times, book early and don’t wait for a last-minute special!
Where to go? It is important to talk to experts so you are not disappointed. For example Fiji, most of the resorts are mini-destinations themselves, and you are generally more resort-bound. Whereas other areas such as Asia, that is not the case. What is important to you, Beaches? Culture? Activities etc? And - budget!
Summary: Talk to experts who have been there, they can help you work through the options
If travelling with children, it is a good idea to look for resorts that have kitchens, then you can purchase some basic groceries to save some money.
Lots of resorts offer kids staying/eating free. The stay free is really a bit of a marketing ploy. Rooms are costed on a per room basis, then divided by the number of adults sharing, so what you see advertised is always based on 2 adults sharing. So because the room is paid by the adults, kids can stay free!
With sites such as Trip Advisor etc, remember they are subjective. They are great for a guideline, and if you see one with a lot of complaints, then avoid it!
Summary: Keep an open mind, talk to people who know, and remember Photoshop is an amazing tool!
Be really careful when using currency conversions on booking or hotel websites.
These sites usually use a generic exchange rate from xe.com. However these are not accurate as they are just for estimation purposes. Your card will be charged in the local currency not the Australian equivalent, and your credit card will use their bank rate!
Beware - these cheaper sites often have restrictive conditions.
Summary: check every site carefully, if it too good to be true, it probably is
If you can’t afford the insurance, you can’t afford to travel!
Particularly if you are booking a long way ahead, if anything happens you may be able to claim back cancellation fees etc. Don’t skimp on the cover either, if you lose your possessions, the cheaper cover may only refund a portion of the value. Be wary of free credit card insurance. Check it through and make sure you have an individual policy number, not a group one.
For overseas you will need passports, and in most cases they need to be valid for at least 6 months past your return. Also check if visas are required!
Summary: Make sure you are covered for all eventualities. We have had clients come really unstuck!
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