Friday, November 24, 2017

5 Ways to Make Your Travel Dollar Stretch!

May 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Cruising Tips

Everyone is looking for a deal today.  As a travel professional I hear from people all the time that they still want to vacation but money is tight.  How do you afford to take a vacation that doesn’t involve tents and port-a-potties?  Not that camping is a bad thing but personally, if it doesn’t have maid service and requires cooking, it is not a vacation.  So if you are of a like mind, here are some tips on how to take a fabulous vacation that will not break the bank but give you some of that pampering you deserve:

Take a Cruise. Ok I know.  I am a Cruise Planner.  It makes sense that I would recommend a cruise.  Trust me I wouldn’t recommed it if I didn’t believe cruising is a great way to save you money on your vacation.  Here are some of the reasons why:

1.  Cruise lines want your business. Well, they have always wanted your business but right now they really want your business.  They are offering fantastic deals that haven’t been seen since 9/11.   On top of that they are offering other kinds of enticements such as, Discounted Deposits, Shipboard Credits, Prepaid Gratuities,  and Upgrades.

2.  Your meals and entertainment are included. For just this reason cruising is always a fabulous deal.  Compare this kind of vacation with a regular land vacation where you have to rent a car, pay for a hotel, go out to eat for every meal and pay for your entertainment.  Cruising is an amazing deal.

3. Get your cruise fare paid back to you. How is this possible?   Organize a group of people to cruise. Invite family, friends or coworkers to sail with you.   If you have at least 8 cabins at double occupancy and everyone sails you will receive the price of 1 berth back after the cruise.  The cruise line decides how much that berth is worth depending on which categories are booked.  You also get special group pricing and some extra amenities for being a group!

4.Plan ahead, Pay over time. Cruise lines love it when you book 9 months to a year out.  You can plan where you want to go for next year and budget for your vacation each month, paying for it as you go.  Cruise lines don’t mind if you pay a little each month as long as the balance is paid by the final date which is 75-90 days before sailing.  This way you don’t have to run up your credit cards, just budget for it!  Also, the money you put down is fully refundable until the day before your final payment date so there is no risk if you change your mind.

5.Use a Travel Professional. Ok you knew this was coming.  I am a firm believer in the use of travel agents.  Of course, the fact that I am one has something to do with it but really why not, when they don’t cost anything?  They also save you money, time and hassle.  Tell your agent where and when you want to go and then go back to what you were doing.  My job is to find you the perfect vacation at the best price I can and provide you with quality customer service and travel advice.  We are also trained and constantly educating ourselves about travel so we will know the best deals and most fabulous places to go.   I love my job, as most agents do.  Trust me we aren’t in it for the money.    Find an agent you like and trust.  Tell them about that dream vacation and see what they can do for you.

There are other ways to save money when you travel but sometimes budget traveling can mean a lot more hassle too.  Planning every single moment of your trip so you don’t overspend can be draining.  Vacations should be fun and hassle-free.   Cruising accomplishes that.  As a matter of fact that is their goal.  Take advantage of the difficult economic times.  Cruise at a discounted rate,  get the shipboard credits and special offers.  Travel with people you love and care about.  Plan ahead so you don’t overspend for your vacation.  Use a travel agent and take the hassle out of planning.

Take a vacation.  You deserve it!

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