Monthly Archives: April 2016

Next time – hit me over the head with a bat if I don’t listen to you!

I have a client who rang me with this comment just recently.  Why would he say this?

This client owns his own business, works very long hours and rarely gets the chance to take a holiday.  When they do get the chance to escape for a weekend interstate they stay in five star hotels.  They decided they would take a break and go to Bali for 5 nights.  We looked at lots of resorts and they chose a couple they really liked and I gave them a costing.

They were happy with that, but mentioned to their neighbours that they were going to Bali.

Their neighbours travel six times a year to Bali and said – come with us.  We’ll show you around.  We stay here, and we know all the places to go.  My clients told me about this and gave me the name of the hotel they stay in.  I took one look at the place and all the alarm bells went off.  I suggested that this hotel would not be what they would be happy with and suggested they stay where they originally planned and meet up with their neighbours.  They chose to go with their neighbour’s recommendation.

What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander

The hotel was a very basic 2 star in Tuban.  It was cheap and turned out to be nasty as well.

My clients returned with tales of rooms right at the back of the resort, and with tiles literally falling off the wall in the bathroom.  When the management offered to change rooms for them the neighbour said – no that will be okay!  Other tales of eating cheaply and living off spring rolls and rice everyday just added to an experience they would rather forget.

How you travel is different from everyone else

The problem with being led by others is that you are not the same people and what you require of a holiday is likely to be different from anyone else.  My client wanted massages and great food.  He wanted very good accommodation and lovely surroundings.

His neighbours, because they travel so often, wanted cheap and cheerful so they could return every couple of months.

Trust the person who knows what you want

As a Personal Travelmanager I take the time to get to know who you are, your interests, your travel standard requirements and ensure that your holiday is as you want it to be and not how someone else travels.  No bats required if you heed that advice!

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To reconfirm or not to reconfirm?  That is the question…

 

 

If you ring an airline, chances are while you are waiting on hold for anything up to 45 minutes that one of the hold messages will say “You do not have to reconfirm your flight”.

They may say it, but is that really the case?  Very often yes – but not always, and especially not in the USA.

One of the times to definitely reconfirm your flights is when there is a change of time for instance to daylight savings time or back from that, as that will adjust arrival or departure times by up to an hour.  You do not want to arrive at an airport for an international flight with only an hour to spare to get through all the formalities, so if you are departing around about the changeover time always check there has not been a time change.

The other time to ALWAYS reconfirm your flights is travelling within the United States.

USA airlines routinely overbook their planes and if you have not reconfirmed the flight you are booked on chances are you will be bumped off and offered a later or different flight.  This is NOT useful if you have a connecting flight!  And it is not useful if you have pre-booked a hire car, or if someone is meeting you at the other end to transfer you to your hotel.

A great rule of thumb is to do two things.  One – do your seat allocation before you depart your home city if the airline allows it.  The airline is less likely to bump you off if you have gone to the trouble of getting a seat pre-booked.  Two – as soon as you arrive in your city, reconfirm your onward flight BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE AIRPORT.  That way the airlines knows you want to be on your booked flight and not to be offered $50 to take a later flight.

And while travelling in the USA be warned – most domestic airlines there do not include checked luggage in their fare structure unless it is part of an international ticket.   You can expect to pay $US20-35 per bag for checked luggage.  You can sometimes add luggage online more cheaply than at the airport.  This also explains why on most domestic US flights travellers have so much huge hand luggage – they are taking everything they need in what passes for hand luggage.  It does not leave very much room for anyone else so boarding early is recommended.