Obviously, a lot of planning goes into putting together a vacation package. Operators set dates and prices more than a year ahead of the departure date so they can be printed in brochures. Today, planning that far ahead comes with a risk.
A few years ago, travelers were smart to book trips as early as possible. Vacations such as cruises and group tours filled up quickly. But that was before the economy took a nose dive. There are far less people with the extra financial cushion to spend on vacations today, and tour operators are worried about finding enough paying customers to cover costs.
As Michelle Higgins says in today’s Practical Traveler, vacationers that are making moves are holding out for last-minute deals. This is forcing tour operators to revise their budgets and cancel more trips.
And as tour operators cancel trips, travelers who have already booked are stuck with airline cancellation fees, botched vacation plans, and other unexpected fees. In her article, Michelle lets readers in on some of the system’s tips and tricks to avoid getting slammed, and called on me for my two cents. Have a look at the article, and keep it in mind when booking your next vacation!
The New York Times Practical Traveler published an article today about the state of Thailands tourism (and the subsequent deals you can now find) amidst some of the recent unrest in Bangkok. The Tourism Authority of Thailand predicts the number of tourists will drop this year, in part because of the anti-government protests that have recently taken place.
As a result, Thailand has become an even more ideal destination for finding great deals. Thailand is already established as the place to find affordable luxury, and now prices for "five star treatment" is dropping even lower than "three star prices."
When writing the article, Practical Traveler reporter Michelle Higgins asked what I thought about touring in Thailand, since our travel agency frequently books tour throughout the country.
As I said to her, we havent had a single cancellation to the Treasures of Thailand tour as a result of the protests (even to the tour that was over there in the middle of the action earlier this month), and we dont have any concerns about sending tourists today. In fact, Im heading out for my first trip to Thailand in a few weeks, and I cant wait!
If you have an interest in international travel (as I assume you do, since youre here), and especially if you have an interest in Thailand and Asia, the article is definitely a worthwhile read. So have a look!
A recent Friendly Planeteer was interviewed by The New York Times Michelle Higgins for her weekly Practical Traveler column.
Denis Weber, who traveled with us to China in February, pointed out that with our deals, he was able to take advantage of a 10-day tour of Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai for less than what he would have paid for airfare alone had be been trying to book a trip himself. Thanks for pointing us out, Denis!