What Matters Most to You?
We all travel differently. Mainly because we value different things. Where do you put your emphasis? How do you spend the dollars that you’ve allotted for your vacation? It’s something to think about and plan for. Perhaps if you put less dollars into getting there you could stay longer. Or if you stayed in a nicer hotel it would impact your overall experience. Maybe taking the cheap way out by traveling off season means your holiday is rained out and therefore ruined…. I recommend spending some time to determine what is important to you before you purchase.
The Flight- First class or Economy??
For some, getting there in style and comfort is above all. It’s first class flat bed seat or nothing. Perhaps it’s because they are physically larger or taller and traveling around the world in an economy airplane seat would wreck them for a week. The overall experience traveling first class is definitely less stressful and more fun. You are treated with actual respect, offered a beverage in a real glass and served almost real food.
For me, economy does fine (though I love the upgrades when I get them). I would rather spend my money elsewhere. Often, I will take a flight with more stops or one that is less convenient to save money and put those resources to better use. Fortunately, I am not a big person so I can survive economy. I just slap on the noise canceling headphones, curl up in the seat and go to my happy place.
Transit overnights can add a lot of cost to getting there. But, again, it depends on what is important to you. At Changi airport in Singapore for instance, there is a beautiful Crowne Plaza hotel you can stay at very conveniently and in luxury for about $200/night. However, I can also grab a sleeping room inside the airport and pay by the hour. I can get a good night’s sleep for about $50. Again, when I travel, I prefer to put my money to use elsewhere rather than getting there.
I am a firm believer in that you get what you pay for. But here as well, think about what is important to you. I have seen many people choose a budget hotel and then complain about the service and amenities. However, you don’t have to stay in five star luxury to have a good time, unless that is what is important to you on a vacation. And for our guests at Global Diving Adventures, good friends, good food and luxury accommodations are just as important as great diving. So we focus on providing both. This August we are hosting a group in Isla Mujeres. Total cost for the trip will be about $3000/person for the week inclusive. Yes, we could run the trip for $1500 BUT we would not be using the luxurious Villa Rolandi on a gorgeous beach with all the amenities. Having a beautiful view, perhaps something romantic, a spacious junior suite the best food and highly experienced guides is worth a little extra.
Time of Year
Here is where many people get into trouble when they plan a trip. You can find all the deals you want on the internet. You can find incredible deals anywhere if it’s in the off season. And here again, I say, you get what you pay for. A few years ago, I was in Australia at a dive shop on Heron Island. A diver was bitterly complaining about the dive conditions and the weather and how he could have had better diving if he had stayed in the Caribbean. Then he blamed his travel agent. I turned to him and explained that he had booked his trip during the middle of the rainy, low visibility season and that was not his travel agent’s fault. He needed to be diligent about his research. BUT….he got a deal…Some deal that turned out to be! I knew it was the poor season to be there but it was the only time I could get there. So I prepared myself for the rain and low vis and looked on it with a professional eye for it’s potential for a future trip during the best dive season.
What Will You Remember?
Price vs. Experience
And how many people care more about the price than the experience? Well, I believe that it depends on when you ask them!!! Ask people when they are planning the trip and they are all about saving money and the deal they are getting. Ask them when they are ON the trip and they have a crummy hotel room, it’s raining and there are no whale sharks in sight because it’s not the right season. People want the cheapest price first and then complain that their expectation did not meet their reality.
I’m not saying you can’t have an experience of a lifetime on a budget. What I AM saying is to pay attention to where you are spending your money and make sure that you get the experience that you are expecting. Down the road you won’t remember what you spent on that trip of a lifetime but you WILL remember the experience.
To your Adventures!
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