My Hotel is Just For Sleeping…

Continuing on the theme of verifying or busting travel myths, here are two thoughts that I often hear. While I can’t say that they’re myths per se, I did want to address them, as they both are statements that I hear often, and ones that I think warrant a different perspective.

Myth #5
It doesn?t matter where I stay; I only sleep at the hotel anyways.

Answer: False, with a little bit of truth. Let me give you a few “what if” scenarios that might have you rethink this:

1. It?s a torrential down pour (or other awful weather) and you really can?t walk around and do much in the city, so you’re stuck at the hotel for a day or two.

2. Your mattress feels like you?re sleeping on coils alone, and you toss and turn all night so are exhausted while trying to visit your destination each day.

3. You fall ill and either can?t go out for the day, or worse, need a doctor and the hotel doesn?t have 24 hour reception or a concierge to call one for you so you have to, in your ill state, find a doctor yourself.

These are just three examples of why where you stay might matter. That being said, there are options between a 2-star motel and the Ritz. But don?t just ?choose anything? – selecting the right accommodations might matter more than you think.

Myth #6
I don?t like to cruise because I don?t want to be herded like cattle during shore excursions, nor do I aspire to participate in belly flop contests at the pool.

Answer: False, with some truth. Cruise line ads often do an injustice to the cruising industry. There are cruise lines that cater to this crowd. However, what about a small luxury river or barge cruise (barge sounds like a misnomer, they are quite upscale)? These may take you along the Rhine, Rhone, Danube where you get to travel through the small towns in France, Bavaria, Austria, and Hungary. You have customized meal service ? often included in your cruise cost – and very small group, or even private, shore excursions each day. Or how about a clipper or yacht cruise, very intimate and incredibly customized? Before you say, ?I don?t cruise? (a caveat being if you know you get violently sea sick), inquire into all of the options. You might be surprised to find something that really fits what you?re looking for in a vacation.

Fact or Fiction? More Travel Myths

As promised, today I have two more travel tips/myths that I’m addressing. To keep these blogs rather short, I’m doing just two at a time.

Myth #3
Europe is full of crowds in the summer. I?d rather go in the spring or fall.

Answer: True! Europe is a great destination year round, and if your travel dates aren?t flexible (i.e. it?s a business trip, you?re going for your honeymoon right after your summer wedding), you certainly don?t have to avoid Europe. However, you?ll have more crowds and longer lines, most likely. If you can adjust your dates, you?ll have more pleasant weather, and you?ll also have fewer tourists. Prices will most likely be lower as well, since it?s not peak season.

Myth #4
I can get the same products online as I can if I work with a travel professional.

Answer: False. I?m not saying it?s never possible. If it?s a simple flight for a business trip or one night in a domestic hotel, that might be true. If you?re planning two weeks overseas, though, talk to your travel planner. Did you know that many suppliers ? hotels, tour operators, etc ? provide us with opportunities that they don?t offer to the general public? It might be a unique private tour offered only to our clients, or an automatic room upgrade upon arrival at the hotel. We work with experts that are on the ground in destinations around the world, and many times they have in depth knowledge about things to see that you?d never even find in a guide book ? and if you did, you may well not be allowed to access them without on of our on-site tour guides.

True or False – Travel Myth Busting (Part 1)

By now, my readers have realized that I like doing things in series. Truthfully, it’s often because I have so much to say about travel and the industry as whole that it would make for a ridiculously long read if I put it all in one blog.

This next series is going to address travel myths. These days you see travel tips and tricks virtually everywhere you look ? from online travel companies, twitter, Facebook, blogs, numerous travel books, not to mention personal stories from those that you know. It can be tough to tell fact from fiction. Furthermore, what works for some destinations and some travelers doesn?t necessarily work for others. Travel is highly personal, and it varies greatly depending on the type of trip you?re planning, experience you?re looking for, where you?re headed, the time of year, and numerous other factors.

In this blog series, I?ll address some travel myths, based on my knowledge and experience as a travel industry professional, to give some credence to the truth, or lack there of, behind these commonly utilized travel tips. This blog includes two of the most common myths I hear about booking travel.

1. It?s cheaper to buy an airplane ticket on Tuesday nights because they up the prices on Wednesdays. (I?ve also heard this about Wednesday night to Thursday).

Answer: False. I?m not saying it?s never cheaper, it may be. However, air prices are based on availability, fuel costs, and a whole host of other things (some that we understand, some that bewilder even us). Fuel prices could jump at any time. Seats could be taken up on any day of the week, and then you?re paying for a higher class of seat. There are seat classes even within coach class – it?s a long explanation but the short version is that if the lowest seat class is sold out, you go to the next class, which is pricier. When that class is sold out, you go up to the next, which is even pricier, and so on.

2. I don?t need to buy travel insurance.

Answer: False. A big resounding false! I have had numerous clients have to cancel trips due to unforeseen circumstances, or come home from a trip due to illness. Did you know that international flights cost $250 per person to cancel or change (plus any difference in the new flight price if it?s higher)? For domestic it?s $150 per person. Tours, hotels, transfer companies and the like vary in their cancellation policies. Travel insurance will run you, probably on the high end, up to a couple of hundred per person. Often, it?s less. Is it worth losing the $4K, $5K, $8K you spent on your trip over not spending that small amount on insurance?

Have a travel myth you want verified or busted? You can comment here, post on our Facebook page, ask me on twitter, or send me an email!