It was a decade ago that I decided to form my business - Ease-Up! Travel Services. Over the years, I've worked with a number of clients helping them plan vacations of all types. All-inclusive resorts, cruises, Disney, and exotic locations like Egypt, Japan, and Australia are just a few of the trips planned. Whether it has been multi-generational groups, friends traveling together, or just couples, my goal has been to make planning, booking, and realizing these trips as easy as possible for my clients. In fact, my goal has been to make the trips as hassle-free as possible so folks can relax and know that I've got their back.
And my efforts show when satisfied clients book repeat trips and even refer their friends and family to me.
I make no bones about the fact that travel I arrange may not be the cheapest way to go. One life lesson I learned early is that you do get what you pay for. Value is often confused with price. A perfect example can be found when shop for a vacation. Many people look at vacation rental homes or condos as a great way to save money. Is it a good value, though? When one considers that you'll need to make a grocery run to stock the kitchen so you have food and drink, that value starts to look not so great. You may need to rent a car to accomplish this, rely on ride-share or taxis, or walk to a nearby grocery. Is this an ideal start to your vacation? I shop for groceries every week, so I'm not thrilled to do the same on vacation.
For many of my clients, they want to elevate their experience. Is having to worry about making a grocery run, cooking breakfast and cleaning up afterwards, and walking to the closest bar to get a drink an ideal vacation? Even better, room service bringing your meal to you is the ultimate way to relax. For those who think the same, they want to travel better than they live at home. I understand. That's why value - bang for buck - can be a subjective yet important consideration.
Yes, it may be more expensive to fly early in the morning to arrive with plenty of daylight left in the day. Returning home with a very late flight may also cost more. But is it worth it to you to arrive in destination at 10pm or have to wake well before dawn to check out of the resort and fly home? Yes, the flight may be cheaper, but you lose so much 'beach time' that is that a good value for your money? You're making the trip either way, but that cheaper flight may not be your best overall value for your money.
One client was planning a honeymoon to Hawai'i. The package I presented was not 'cheap', and she questioned my choice of flights. To help her understand the value of the flight schedule I chose, I priced it again with flights that were roughly $300 less for the two of them. However, those flights had an overnight layover in Los Angeles. With that schedule, she and her groom would have to either sleep in the airport OR stay in a nearby hotel. The latter option would have required them to spend another $200-$300, and they'd have to claim their luggage, return back to the airport barely 6 hours after they landed, and go back through Security. Was it worth it to delay the arrival in Hawai'i, spend the amount saved on a hotel, and have that extra hassle? She quickly realized that spending an extra $300 for more ideal flight times was the better value.
To travel better is a goal that many people have without realizing it. The experiences are what you make of them. Don't sell yourself short, identify and spend what you can reasonably afford, and in most every instance, you'll get an amazing value for your hard-earned money!