Under Construction

So, got the time off from your job.  Found a GREAT deal on a plane ticket to that sunny and sandy destination in the caribbean because it is low season.  And, are thinking about all of those lovely rum drinks you will have as soon as you land.  One problem.  You didn’t do your home and now you find that the available accommodations are slim pickings because many of the properties on the island are closed for repairs.  That’s right, even though low season is the time when many travels head to those nice warm destinations, it is also the time when some places take advantage of the decrease in visitors and decide to make renovations.  As such, that grand four star resort that you’ve had your eyes on for a while is not available until for a months.  So, you will need to find accommodations elsewhere.

To avoid this experience (and not that I’ve had it), it is advisable to do a little bit of homework during the planning phase.  This will not only save you the heartache of not staying in that posh resort that you’ve had your heart set on.

  1. Do not make any airline reservations until you know that your desired accommodations are available (unless you are buying a refundable ticket or just have money to burn).
  2. Contact the property where you desire to stay to verify that they will still be accepting reservations at the time of your planned visit.
  3. Visit the official website of the country that you intend to visit to see if any information about property closures is listed.
  4. Contact a local travel agent to find for more information as they are a great resource for information.  Of course you need to make it clear that you are just in the preliminary planning stages.

By all means, you want to do your homework before you make any advanced plans because the vacation you save will be your own.


Doh Stick

“Time is of the essence.”  “The early bird gets the worm.”  “You wait long, you wait wrong.”  “Strike while the iron is hot.” So, what do these catch phrases have in common?  They are all warnings  that you should not delay on the important things in life.  Some people are great with jumping on a great deal and taking advantage of time sensitive options.  Others?  Well, others have a knack for procrastination.  Maybe it is because they think that they have plenty of time to act.  Maybe it is because they promise to do something after they have completed something else.  Or they promise to do something when they get home.  Little do they know, that this delay, even if it is a matter of minutes vice hours or days, can cost them dearly.

Recently I was searching for a ticket to an international destination and found an EXCELLENT airfare of $299 round trip while searching online at work.  Since I didn’t want to leave my shopping footprint at work (even though I was using my own mobile device), I decided to wait until I got home to purchase the ticket.  Well, I didn’t get home until late in the evening and was so tired I immediately went to bed.  The following day was Saturday and I had a lot of errands to run, so I didn’t have a moment to get online and search for the ticket.  So, on Sunday, I got up and decided to purchase the ticket.  Wonk Wonk.  My really great airfare was no longer available. The trip was no $464.  A difference of $165 for waiting long.

That was a sad day when I saw that new fare.  I was really looking forward to going on this trip, especially since it is during my birthday month and it will be pure vibes.  Even though I know I was to blame because I just knew I would be able to get that great airfare later, it still was not a good feeling seeing the price increase by over 50%.  But, I was not deterred.  I had my airfare alert for the destination still set on my trusty email alert and would check all deals coming my way daily.  I would not pass up anything sub $350 again.

In the interim I had three other trips to book and when I saw southwest post a sub $180 deal to another one of my domestic locations for a round trip airfare, I didn’t let any grass grow under my feet.  I pushed the button and quickly purchased my ticket. So, two weeks later, here I am again on the hunt for the airfare for my international trip when I am having a chat with a stranger about my plans.  She is online at the same time and tells me she found a round trip airfare to my destination under $300.  I immediately jumped online to see if I could find it.  What do you know?  Not only did I find the airfare for under $300, it was actually $20 cheaper than the original one I saw.  The ticket was purchased twenty minutes later.  Done deal.

So, what is the moral of the story?  Do your homework to know your baseline airfare for your destination.  When the dates, rates and times line up… don’t walk, run.  Run to your keyboard and book it.  There is no guarantee that you will find the availability for the airfare again, especially if it is for a popular destination or during peak time.