Splurge vs Save-Invest Wisely In Travel

It’s easy to get carried away when planning your vacation, from luxurious resorts and five-star restaurants to once-in-a-lifetime tours in places you’ve only dreamed of. If you’ve ever wondered where you should splurge and where you should save, this is for you. Invest wisely in travel when planning your next big adventure.

invest wisely in travel

Upgrading to Business / First Class

Maybe you’ve always wanted to be on the other side of the curtain aboard your plane, and you think now is your chance. While it is tempting, paying thousands more for a business class seat can drastically eat into your overall travel budget. An option that straddles the line between splurging and saving (although leans heavily towards a splurge) is checking last minute at the gate if there are any seats available in business class at the time of departure. If there are empty seats, some airlines will sell them off for less than what they sell them for online – although it can still end up being a hefty sum. Instead of stretching your budget to reserve business class, consider asking your travel advisor to book you bulkhead seats with extra legroom, or in the premium economy section.

Verdict: Save

Direct Flights

Unless you enjoy layovers and transfers and sitting on tarmacs for any length of time, splurge for the direct flights. A splurge can almost always be seen as worth it if it significantly reduces your hassle while traveling, or if it gives you back your time.

Verdict: Splurge

Travel Insurance

Since COVID19, we’ve all heard horror stories of non-refundable trips gone wrong. Never before has travel insurance been so important, with rules and regulations changing rapidly from country to country.

Verdict: Splurge

High-End (read: overpriced) Souvenirs

It can be tempting to want to pick up beautiful ceramics, local pieces of art, or even tasty treats from your favorite destinations. But think again. The run-of-the-mill tourist shops that feature these goods get them in bulk from a fraction of what they’re selling them to you for, without any real story behind them. Visit a local market for artisan-made goods, and snag local delicacies at-where else? The local grocery store! While the treats won’t be as delicately packaged, they’ll be extra authentic, after all – they’re what the locals eat!

Verdict: Save

Hotel

This is a tough one to call, and ultimately really comes down to your travel style. For some, a vacation includes 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and prompt room service, while others simply want a place to rest their head after a day of explorations and adventure. Ultimately what matters most is location, location, location. Wherever you choose, make sure it’s accessible to attractions you’d like to visit and activities you’d like to partake in.

Verdict: It’s a Tie

Bucket-List Experiences

I’m talking about the stuff travel dreams are made of. A hot air balloon ride at sunset in Cappadocia, a private driver on the Amalfi Coast, and a private safari experience in Kenya. Whatever is on your dream list, if your budget can allow it – definitely make it happen. Life is short, you’ll never regret a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

Verdict: Splurge.

Whether you’re splurging or saving, I’d love to help make your travel dreams come true, and help you invest wisely in travel! Get in touch with me here.

Top Mistakes Travelers Make (and What to Do Instead!)

Even the most seasoned travelers (myself included) have fallen prey to travel blunders over the years. From dining at bland tourist traps to getting lost, to even tipping 50 dollars instead of 50 pesos (yes, that really happened) – mistakes are bound to happen.  Let’s count down a few of the most common (and easily fixed) top mistakes travelers make.

top mistakes travelers make

Saving Money at the Expense of Time

Don’t book a flight with three stopovers just to save $200, when it will eat into 36 hours of your journey. I always look for the most direct route for my travelers, with the least amount of stopovers, and the shortest amount of total travel time.

Think you want to take the local transit instead? Be certain you’re well versed with the directions, the stops, and the duration of your travel – it’s often far longer (and more complicated) navigating public transit in foreign countries, especially if you don’t speak the language. I make sure that you will have someone waiting for you at the airport, to whisk you off to your resort or hotel.

Having an Overly Ambitious Itinerary

I get it, if you’ve never been to Europe it may be tempting to want to hop on the Eurail and see 18 countries in 14 days, but I strongly discourage it. Not only is it exhausting, but you also don’t get the true sense of a destination without immersing yourself in it, and this takes time. Paris is so much more than the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysee, and New York much more than just the island of Manhattan. Spend some time really getting to know a particular country, city, or region, and you’ll come away richer for it. I will help you plan your custom itinerary, so you can make the most of your visit and the time that you have available.

top mistakes travelers make

Never Leaving the Tourist Areas

Of course, when you travel to Rome you want to see the Colosseum or take a walk through Times Square when visiting Manhattan. But that doesn’t mean you need to stick to the major attractions only. The areas closest to world-famous attractions often have overpriced restaurants catering to tourists and don’t showcase local culture the same way other neighborhoods do. By all means, take in all the attractions, but take some time to explore further afield and visit some neighborhoods that are filled with restaurants, shops, and markets that locals use regularly. Together we can add some special adventures to your trip. For example, an authentic cooking class.

Never Leaving Your Comfort Zone

Great things happen outside your comfort zone, and this applies to travel especially. Sit at an old bar alone in a small town, and chat with the locals. You’ll learn far more about local life and culture than you could ever read in a travel guide. Hop on that zipline above a canopy of trees, even if you’re scared of heights. Pushing yourself out of what you would do in your day-to-day life is part of what makes travel so memorable. It gives you the stories that you’ll share for years after you get back home.

Software Slipups

If you snap away on your iPhone everywhere you go, make sure you have the photos being backed up. The cloud or Google photos are a great place to store your favorite travel images. The last thing you want is to lose all of your travel memories if your phone gets lost or stolen.

Stay connected. Consider getting a decent travel plan that gives you some data. So you can check emails, text friends or family, or even go on social media while you are away. The last thing you want is to return home to a hefty phone bill.

top mistakes travelers make

Money Trouble

This is one of the biggest mistakes that travelers make. Be sure to inform your credit card company of any major impending travel you have. You don’t want your account flagged and frozen for possible fraud charges. While you’ve got them on the phone, find out what the foreign currency transaction fees are on purchases abroad. Some major credit cards offer no foreign transaction fees; I can provide you with a list of the cards that I recommend when traveling.

Want to avoid these top mistakes that travelers make? I can help, let’s talk!

How to Work with a Travel Advisor – A First Timer’s Guide

You’ve found the perfect travel advisor, and now’s the time to put them to work on your dream trip! If you’re new to working with a travel advisor, here are a few things that you can do to help make the process run smoothly.

Having been described as the travel industry’s ‘matchmakers’, a great client-travel advisor relationship is worth its weight in gold. From personalized attention everywhere you go. Perks and upgrades that only come with being the client of an esteemed advisor. The benefits of using a travel advisor are significant, but how do you go about building that valued relationship?

how to work with a travel advisor

Be Honest About Budget

Of course, you want your dream trip, with all of the bells and whistles. However, it does both you and your travel advisor an enormous disservice to not be upfront about your actual budget.

Going one step further, once you establish your budget, identify what’s high on your priority list. Perhaps you aren’t as focused on your accommodations. You would prefer to have mind-blowing travel experiences in every destination you’re visiting. This helps your travel advisor not only build your dream trip but decide how and where to allocate your budget.

Trust Their Expertise

A travel advisor’s job is just that – travel. While the photos on a hotel website may have you ready to book, your advisor may know that it’s on a congested motorway or next to noisy construction. Trust them.

Great travel advisors go out of their way to familiarize themselves with destinations. Know the properties, and various tourism suppliers the world over. It’s our job to get to know you and match you with suitable experiences that just fit.

Collaborate

As a travel advisor, I am here to save you time. If you have a dream destination, experience, or property in mind – tell me! A great trip is a collaboration between enthusiastic clients and a knowledgeable travel advisor.

In the vein of saving time and collaborating, don’t be afraid to ask that I look into a particular property. Research specific activities for your family, or even work on restaurant reservations. At the end of the day, I am working for you!

Accept Advocacy

For those of us with can-do self-sufficient attitudes, this can often be a hard pill to swallow. As your travel advisor, I am your advocate, especially when you’re traveling on the journey that I built for you.

If something goes wrong, accept help and grant me the opportunity to fix it. This may mean biting your tongue at the hotel manager if something goes wrong, and waiting on your trusted travel advisor to work some magic. It will be worth it in the end. Try to remember, travel advisors have valued relationships with hotels and tourism suppliers.

Build Your Relationship

Let your travel advisor get to know you. The more that you and your advisor connect on a personal level the better your trip can be tailored precisely to you.

Unique, personalized trips are where travel advisors shine. By opening yourself up and sharing parts of you (and your family) with your travel advisor, you’re only improving the chances for a beautiful, custom-made journey. Remember, the best relationships only get better with age. A long-term travel advisor is someone you will want in your corner for years to come.

Are you ready to start working with a travel advisor to plan your dream trip?

Contact me today to get started