Buying Happiness Around the World

Vacation Packages

Do Vacation Packages Save You Money?


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Vacation packages can save you money. A vacation package is one that bundles two or more of the costs of a vacation – e.g., the flight with the hotel stay. It could also include the cost of food, tour guides, transportation, and activities as in the case of a resort.

How Do Vacation Packages Save You Money?

Vacation packages are generally cheaper than if you had to purchase different segments of your travel separately – hotel stay, flight, activities, tours, and transportation. Because tour operators are able to purchase these different segments in large volumes at a discount. They then package them and sell them. The savings are passed on to the traveler who would otherwise not be able to negotiate these discounts on their own.

A vacation package also offers cheaper travel insurance. Within a package, a traveler can add-on travel insurance from one supplier rather than purchasing one for the ailine and another from the hotel.

Looking For The Perfect Vacation Package

Before searching for a vacation package, make a list of your vacation goals.

  1. Are you planning on domestic or international travel? 
  2. What type of experience do you want? Nature or urban? Beach or culture?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. It is a solo, couple, or family trip?
  5. What is the purpose of the trip? For rest and relaxation or do you want lots of activities?
  6. Are activities for the children important? Is the trip for the purpose of personal growth? 
  7. Are your travel dates fixed or flexible? High season to a “shoulder” season and then low season.
  8. Are you interested in a tour?
  9. Do you need to rent a car?
  10. What type of lodging do you prefer?

How To Save Money On A Vacation Package

Money is not the only factor to consider when planning your trip. Here are ways to save on your vacation package.

  • Check what’s included in the price and what’s not. Is the price quoted for airfare from your home city? And if it is not, will there be an additional cost for an “add on” airfare.
  • Are there additional service charges, taxes and air surcharges?
  • If you are interested in activities, look for packages where activites are included. 
  • There is often a supplement fee for solo travelers. Find a friend or travel partner to share the cost. If you are single, consider joining a travel program for singles.
  • Travel during the “shoulder” or low season. It is much cheaper.
  • Hotels are cheaper away from the city center, but you may end up paying more for transportation to get to tourist attractions.
  • Food costs can add up. Many hotels offer a complimentary breakfast to their guests. Or else, get accomodation with a kitchenette. This will reduce the costs of eating out.
  • Last minute deals – vacation packages offer great discounts on last minute deals. This works well if you have the flexibility to go on a vacation without much notice.
  • Enrol in a loyalty program. Expedia Rewards offers great discounts on vacation packages for loyal customers.

Where to Book Cheap Vacation Packages

The travel industry is highly competitive and there are countless online travel agencies that offer cheap vacation packages. Orbitz and Expedia offer great discounts on vacation packages and a competitive rewards program for loyal customers. Travelocity is another site that offers cheap vacation packages although there isn’t the same broad selection as Expedia. Cheap Tickets offers cheap vacation packages targeted to student travelers.

Other Benefits of Vacation Packages

Aside from lower costs, convenience is another benefit to vacation packages. If you end up having to cancel or make changes on your plans it can be a hassle to contact every segment company individually.  

Disadvantages To Vacation Packages

A vacation package is advantageous because it creates a single-point of contact with one vendor. The biggest disadvantage to buying a vacation package is that there is less flexibility to change or cancel your plans especially when purchased through a third party.  

The other drawback with vacation packages is there are limited options for accommodations outside of the traditional hotel. If you prefer an Airbnb or a smaller boutique hotel, it’s not usually offered in a package. This could potentially change in the future.

Read The Fine Print

When purchasing your vacation package, it is important that you read the fine print at the bottom of the brochure. Why do you need to read the fine print? It’s where you will find details about penalties for making changes or cancellations to your vacation. And what would or would not qualify for a refund. If you were to purchase travel insurance, be very clear avout what it will cover and what it will not.

Plan Your Next Vacation

Planning a vacation involves a combination of flights and hotel bookings, car rental, and tickets to tourist attractions. Purchasing a vacation package that bundles these elements could save you time and money.  Are you ready to plan your next vacation? It is important that you know what you want. Start saving for your next trip.

Happy travels.

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