Attempts to save money on vacation often do not justify themselves. The self-organization of rest threatens, at least, a spoiled mood, because sometimes tourists do not even realize what “pitfalls” can expect them.
Vacation is always an opportunity to change the environment, to get new impressions and a break from routine. The tourist, who buys a ticket from the tour operator, is protected from the unexpected by the contract and the law. But the traveler, planning a vacation on their own, may find themselves in a number of uncomfortable situations.
Mistake 1. Careless to buy tickets
Self-guided vacation suggests that you have to buy your own plane, train or bus tickets. Not everyone knows where to do it safely, there is a great risk of stumbling on fraudulent sites, book the wrong dates or just overpay for what you can buy cheaper. Websites of foreign rail and bus companies are rarely translated even into English, on the spot you have to explain on your fingers, and no one will tell you about the discount programs and bonuses.
Experienced travel agents know the days and even hours when ticket prices drop and when they rise. In addition, the pros have access to booking charters that don’t go on open sale. The traveler is highly likely to pay more in total for the trip than he could have. There is another nuance: there may be several airports in a city that are in completely different locations. For example, the airport of Beauvais is technically considered the airport of Paris, but in fact is almost 100 km from the city, and the way from there is a separate adventure. Not all tourists are not ready to delve deeply into these nuances.
Mistake 2. The wrong hotel
Often tourists can misjudge the object of accommodation, choosing a bad location. For example, you want to fly with children, so you need a comfortable quiet place with appropriate infrastructure. You can choose a hotel with a good price, but it will be youthful and party. Or on the contrary, you want noisy discos, clubs, and night promenades. For a good price you found a calm and quiet guesthouse, which will not shine with noisy entertainment programs and, of course, will not meet your expectations from the rest. To understand the multitude of hotels and hotels on the Internet can be very difficult, because reviews and ratings are often bought, the number of stars in different countries suggests a very different level of service. Independent search can take a huge amount of time, and the result will not always be exactly what you wanted.
Mistake 3. Not buying insurance
Many people save on this criterion. Packages from operators include the service, and, in case of emergencies, you can always count on help. If something happens to you, the operator will help solve the problem, and the insurer will compensate for physical and mental damage. However, when travelling independently, many people turn a blind eye to all types of insurance, counting on luck. But it is dangerous to do so. You can buy insurance ten times and not take advantage of it, and on the eleventh time encounter such problems that it will more than compensate for all previous expenditures. Insurance is especially important if you are planning an active vacation: skiing, diving, hiking.
Mistake 4. Do not include transfer in the cost of travel
Often tourists book a package tour, but decide not to go by bus with everyone – long, stuffy, better we ourselves by cab. But the chance to run into expensive drivers is very high. Everyone knows that the locals charge tourists much more than the real price, so there is a chance to overpay for services. In addition, the risk of getting into an unpleasant and even dangerous situation is high – unfortunately, everything happens. Also there are situations when tourists find a great hotel on Booking, or an apartment on Airbnb, without paying attention to their location. And upon arrival it turns out that the way there will take much more time and, most importantly, money than planned. Unexpected expenses can add significantly to the overall cost of your trip. Be careful with this criterion, because no one wants to pay more for a transfer than the plane, even if it takes you to the best hotel.
Mistake 5. Overconfidence in online services
Many people forget that Booking, Airbnb and other services are foreign companies. In unforeseen situations, it is difficult to make a claim, because they will either ignore it or make minimal efforts to solve the problem. In a pandemic, many bookings are cancelled and no refunds are given. People are left empty-handed: no travel, no funds. Even on the most serious platforms, one can stumble upon a fraudulent or dangerous ad and get into a lot of trouble, up to and including health and life risks. On the Internet, there are many untrue, pro-paid reviews, as well as schemes where the advertised price is 2-3 times higher. Tour operators offer better deals, because they have contracts with many hotels.