Top 3 things should be checked before booking online tour package.
What are the vital things to check before booking a tour package from OTA?
In the current scenario of COVID-19, everyone is getting bored of sitting at home for so much longer duration. Either it’s the husband who is doing WFH (work from home, something was alien 2 years ago for bosses, a different story will talk on that later) and kids are busy on online classes or officially bunking classes and a mother busy in the kitchen cooking whole day and managing the office as well (the best multitasker in the world).
In short, everyone is looking for a break or holiday. Summer 2020 went by and seems 2021 as well due to the pandemic. And everyone is just waiting for conditions to improve so they can go on that long-awaited holiday. I am sure you would have already finalized the hotel to visit for a weekend or holiday packages online.
The cost is always the major factor when finalizing a holiday. But remember one thing booking a hotel or holiday is not like buying a LED TV or Cell phone where you pay, after on-hand experience or testing it, here you will be paying the full amount in advance and enjoying the holidays later. So, kindly consider the below factors before finalizing your dream holiday.
Hotel Cost – I am sure you will always compare costs between 3-4 online portals, and local travel agents. But remember cost is secondary, first check the hotels they are offering, then location and services. For example, you are traveling to Shimla or Nainital and if you want to stay at MALL road then be ready to pay a premium cost for even 2-star hotels or resorts. And if you are staying at Bhimtal or Sattal, which is a little far from the main Nainital, you will get good 4 Star hotels at cost of 3 Star. In short cost of the hotel depends on location, the more the central location higher the cost, a bit far from the central location lower the price.
Transportation – Second major cost deciding factor. If you travel by bus with a group then the cost will be lower but you cannot take that vehicle anywhere, it goes as per the group itinerary. Wherein if you have hired a private vehicle and you are traveling as a couple then the cost will be higher, wherein if you are 2-3 couples traveling together cost will be lower. For example, the cost for a 6N 7D Himachal trip (2N Shimla + 3N Manali + 1N Chandigarh / Ex-Chandigarh) is INR 16000/- for a sedan then the entire cost is on 1 couple. Now let’s say you are 2-3 couples then the cost of Innova is INR 24000/-, you do the math.
Hotel Cost – This remains the same as domestic travel.
Transportation – In International travel, hiring a vehicle (on disposal) is expensive. So, here you will get transferred by SIC (seat in coach) or Private Vehicle. Seat in Coach is the same as traveling by minibus or coach with co-passengers, wherein in Private Vehicle transfers you are having the vehicle for you and your family. So, as per your choice, the cost will of the tour be varied.
Cruise – Staying on a Cruise is a major cost of a package (if it is a part of the package). If you are booking a Cruise package, check out the following;
Check the cabin they are offering (rooms in cruise are called cabins). As Inside cabin (base category) is the cheapest cabin onboard and Suites (many options) is the highest.
Do check the photos and description of the cabin and understand whether it suits your requirement. So, the higher the cabin category offered higher the cost.
Attractions Included – Kindly check the attractions offered in a package. As attractions or excursion cost increases the packages, so many OTA or agents offer lower rate by offering fewer attractions or excursions.
So, next time when you are trying to book Domestic or International travel, do check these things and accordingly budget your travel.
Solve this Puzzle:
Hey, you have booked a package of 50K for 5 days for people of 4 to Kerala. Your friend, who is also looking to book a tour, has booked the same package for just 30K.
Now, after reading this article you are smart enough to know why your friend is getting a cheaper package than yours. And next time don’t argue with your friend as to why he is getting a lower rate package.
Remember, No OTA or travel agent is lying, it’s just the way they wrap the gift. And we like the packaging so much that we forget to check what’s inside.
So, keep your fingers crossed that the current phase passes, all are near and dear once remain safe and healthy, and we start traveling again.