Eugene Fodor gave hope to millions of people when he said, “You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Travel Well”, hasn’t he?
While this might have sounded like a sentence from a fool’s paradise about 20 years ago when travelling and in particular flying or going by Cruise were privileges restricted to rich brass only. With availability of a number of wonderful yet insanely cheap destinations , aided by equally cheap flights available on travel portals like CheapBizClass, FlightHub etc. many of us , if not all can very well dream to fly & travel multiple times in a year .
Now multiple being a relative term & largely dependent on yearly family budget, it may be twice in 12 months for some while it may easily be 4 times a year for those who plan their travel smartly. And for any traveller to fall in latter category, all one needs to do is to follow the points mentioned below:
1.Shortlisting relatively Cheaper yet wonderful destinations to explore
While most of the ardent explorers (especially solo travellers, backpackers and bloggers) now look for relatively unknown & exotic places but still a large chunk of people usually go for the ‘oh-so-popular-places’ only. While there is absolutely nothing wrong in that but if one can go for annual travel plans that clubs usual high-on-demand (and hence usually expensive) destinations with budget destinations, it will be an impeccable combo that will quench the wanderlust despite being light on pockets. And that just makes up our Travel Tip no. 1:
- Instead of randomly following cliched places, go for some lesser know yet worth visiting places – both domestic as well as international. Go through the online reviews, read blogs of people habitual of exploring the unexplored or as a bare minimum effort, just google top 10 fascinating & cheap places to visit. Select 5 from the them, have discussion with family / friends whomsoever will be travelling with you and bring the list down to 03, compare the total expected tour cost and bingo, you are ready to freeze the destination to visit.
2.Shortlistlisting Right time to Travel
There is no exact definition of the perfect time to travel because for some – Montreal Jazz Festival ,Christmas eve , New Year, Thanksgiving , Diwali, La Tomatina , Winterlude etc seem to be perfect time to blend with the culture of the country / place they intend to visit however if you really want to feel the heartbeat of a place and know a destination inside out , then be a traveller and not a mere tourist . Choose non-festival time of the year when instead of mad tourist rush, probability of interacting with local people, exploring local places and enjoying local delicacies without waiting for minutes outside Restaurants and Cafes is obviously high.
And the best part is, you will easily get Cheaper flights, Cheaper Cruises, Cheaper Hotels during that time. Going into micros, you will be able to bring back a greater number of souvenirs & gifts for your loved ones because of less crowded market streets and hence possibility of negotiation for good deals. While some will say contrary to this because of festival sales but locals will vouch for the facts that on normal days, most of the things are available for cheaper prices than during those much-publicized bumper sales in the markets popular among tourists. So that takes us to our Travel Tip no. 2:
- Preferably choose to travel in off-peak season, at least on some occasions however do smartly maintain equilibrium with the weather forecast. Remember, there is a difference between off season and bad time to travel.
3. Shortlisting Right Portal to book Cheap Travel Packages & Cheap Flights / Cruises
Coming to the final and perhaps the most important step before actual travel happens – the Booking part. Irrespective of how much you have planned on paper before actual booking, but if you fail to choose a correct Travel agency or portal for freezing flights, hotels, Cruises, sightseeing tours or a travel package as a whole, your budget will go for a toss. But don’t worry, just follow the steps listed below and more often than not, you will be able to finalize a great deal:
- Once you have fixed the destination and the dates of travel , give a call to at least 3 popular travel portals that you are aware of and tell them to mail you the composite travel package for that particular Travel Destination , inclusive of flights or Cruise , hotels , sightseeing , Dining etc with detailed information about each of these. Do mention your budget so as to receive relevant package only.
- Once the package is received, immediately pounce upon the Hotels that they have mentioned in the itinerary. Now go online, search for these Hotels, read the reviews. If the reviews are good, fine. If not, then it’s time to show little smartness. See the price band of Hotels listed by the travel agency, find 4-5 hotels at that particular place in the same price band but with better reviews. Do this for all the 3 offers received from different portals. Also see what best is included in each of the offer. With destination, dates of travel and budget fixed, usually there won’t be much difference except 1 or 2 things. Just focus on these 1 or 2 extra things each one has to offer and make a composite package thereof.
- Now revert back to each of the offer with a mail , clearly mentioning that while you are considering & reviewing their offer but you wish the Hotels of your choice (given them 4-5 options that you have shortlisted at each location in the desired priority order) and some additional things to be included in the package ( in line with previous step listed above) . Request them for final offer after inculcating the changes suggested by you.
- Ultimate & the Jackpot step: Once you get final offers from all the 03 travel portals in line with discussions above, just see which one is offering most (if not all) the things you have requested at the least price. Mail the other two that you are being offered similar package at a reduced price. Wait for the response from other two and most likely you will finally receive your ‘Best Offer’.
* The steps above are not hypothetical rather based on experience of various travellers, including us.
*While these steps seem to take a lot of brainstorming & efforts from your end but believe us , the whole exercise above will take half the time you spend to look for and freeze Cheap destinations & Cheap Flights.
*For your own satisfaction, just see if by booking everything individually all by yourself instead of taking a package as a whole, are you able to come up with a better price. If yes, obviously go with your itinerary but chances of that are slim, after you have done your homework in the order mentioned above.
With these words we just want to wish you all a very Happy Travelling !! 🙂