Many people are wary of reserving a holiday months in advance in case something puts their plans on hold. However, one of the few outcomes of the pandemic that has helped the consumer is the newfound flexibility in booking travel. Check out our travel tips for booking your next trip on your schedule.
Check the fine print
Flights, accommodation, holiday packages, and car rentals typically have various payment tiers. The product is inherently the same, but the degree of flexibility is often the main differentiating factor.
Non-refundable travel packages are generally the cheapest option, but they also provide the least flexibility with date changes or cancellations. Be sure to check the fine print before booking any component of your holiday. If you aren’t certain of something, feel free to ask your travel agent or message through the company website. Here are some questions to get you started:
· What is the cancellation policy if I get sick before departure?
· What is the policy if one member of our group gets sick before departure?
· What is the policy if we need to change the return dates?
· If the holiday is canceled, are we issued a full refund or a travel voucher?
· Do we need to take additional cancellation insurance?
Try to avoid large online travel companies such as Booking.com or Expedia and go directly to the travel company. You may have more flexibility regarding payment, pricing, and date changes. These large travel booking agencies are convenient for finding hotels, flights, and car hire, but they do take a hefty commission from companies already struggling to stay afloat. Instead, consider seeing what you want and then asking the company if they will match the price you found online as you would prefer to book directly.
Airlines used to charge a fortune for date changes or cancellations, necessitating a separate travel cancellation insurance policy. However, these days most airlines and airline alliances are more flexible regarding date changes, especially if it means issuing a travel voucher rather than a refund. If you want the most flexibility, then look at round the world airfares offered by Star Alliance.
Most people would happily spend another few days on holiday if their flights were amended to a later date. However, a requirement to be back in the office for Monday morning induces anxiety for many. To get the most out of flexible travel, see if you can bring your laptop and work on the road. If you can stay current on the critical issues, then being away for a few more days won’t threaten your employment.
Anyone who craves travel flexibility will never be content stuck in a resort, no matter how gorgeous the destination. If you enjoy waking in the morning and choosing your path, then look into motorhome holidays or renting a car. Whether you prefer wandering through the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada or gazing upon wildlife in Southern Africa, having your own wheels will ensure you can travel at your own pace.
To get the most travel flexibility for your next adventure, we urge you to remember to first look into the finer points of your reservations. From there, as long as you can work a bit on the road and have your own mode of transportation, then you are well on your way to making fantastic memories.