After 19 years in the travel business, we've seen lots of mistakes our clients and friends make when booking travel. Here's the top three:
Mismanage travel insurance
I use the word "mismange" since there's several things people get wrong wtih travel insurance. Here's some examples:
Have no travel insurance (and hope for the best)
Assume their credit card has sufficient coverage for their needs
Use an insurance company that will fight them for reimbursement
Mix up primary with secondary coverage
Get inadequate coverage
Don't cover the entire trip
Spend too much for travel protection
Mix up travel protection with travel insurance
Don't understand the impact of an existing condition
Mix up Cost with Value
Everyone wants a good deal and no one wants to feel ripped off. We get it. But sometimes there's a direct correlation between cost and quality. Moreover, most times higher cost travel option includes items that are not included in the lower cost option - and they have true value to the customer.
We've seen people say a river cruise is too expensive, yet spend twice as much on an ocean cruise by the time they pay for excursions, wine, upgraded food options.
On land tours, it's easy to cut costs by offering lower quality hotels in out of the way locations. The value is in transportation time and convenience as well as in sleep quality and amenities. It's also easy to lower the cost of the tour by only offering a base tour each day and then offering added tours (for additional money) to fill out the rest of the day.
Everyone has a different value proposition. Some people don't care about cabin category while the in cabin experience is very important to others.
The wrong fit is probably the biggest faux pas a traveler can make. Here's some examples:
What you expect:
Examples of mistakes if you choose the wrong vacation or supplier option
An all inclusive experience
You need to pay extra for certain restaurants, activities, top shelf liquor or excursions
A kid friendly vacation
A luxury river cruise with no kid activities or even other kids on board
An active adventure oriented vacation
You find yourself with a bunch of elderly people who's idea of active is watching the ocean
A refined cruise experience
Watching drunken passengers compete for the belly flop contest.
Great scuba or snorkeling
The reef died 5 years ago
There's many more examples, of course. The best way to avoid these mistakes? Talk with a excellent travel agent. They will guide you to the right fit by asking appropriate questions. The good agents are not biased - they want what's best for you. Repeat business only happens with happy customers. So make sure you are measured properly so that your vacation has the best fit for you.