4 Benefits of Travel

4 Benefits of Travel

4 Reasons Why You Should Travel

There are many excuses why you may not travel. It could be work commitments, financial pressure, or a fear of new and different experiences. This, my friends, is what I call the excuse bug. Despite the fact that these very excuses were most likely used by the baby boomers themselves, it is now one of their biggest regrets. From a survey of 2,000 baby boomers, “one in five boomers [said] that one of their biggest regrets is not traveling enough….” Among other major regrets one might have at the end of his or her life, not traveling enough is a regret that can easily be remedied. Here are four reasons why you should travel and avoid the regret altogether:

1. A Boost of Happiness: We can all get caught up in crossing items off our checklist, and that may leave little room for fun and relaxation. Vacation is a time where you finally get the chance to relax, enjoy family time, and do what you WANT to do, not what you NEED to do.

2. Stress Reducer: While not all vacations are stress free, travel can be a source of liberation if it is well-planned. Having a travel agent work the schedule and details of your trip gives you a greater chance of a stress free vacation. Then, for at least a little while, you can forget all about the stresses and problems that are happening at home. Taking a break from the “have to do’s” will help us gain a better perspective of what we can accomplish. Not only will we be able to perform better, but we can handle future stress with greater capability.

3. Increase in Energy: Think of your body as a vehicle that needs fuel. Once it runs out, you need to fill it up. While your body needs food and water to keep it fueled, positive travel gives you the strength to tackle the tasks of adulthood.

4. Enhance Meaning in your life: Travel is educational. It is also life impacting and eye opening. We come to see purpose and meaning by immersing ourselves with other cultures, gaining gratitude for our own homes. New experiences give us new ideas, altering our perspective on not only how we see the world, but how we see ourselves and those around us. There is also ample opportunity to create new friendships and strengthen relationships already formed.

Life will always be busy, so get rid of the excuse bug and get out there! Give yourself the boost of happiness, the stress reducer, the increase in energy, and the enhanced meaning in your life that you deserve.

How has travel benefited you?

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The Shocking News About Travel Agents

An independent study conducted by TNS Global and funded by Carnival Corporation has revealed some amazingly shocking news about travel agents. It found that travel agents not only provide personal service- which is lacking with online bookings – but that trips booked through travel agents are less expensive than trips booked online. Here is a look at what the study found:

  • Avoid costly mistakes: More than likely, you don’t book a trip yourself just about every day of the week, but travel agents do. Travel agents are familiar with how the travel industry works and know what holes to avoid. Their personal experience allows them to be aware of scams and recognize where to find the good deals. You can’t believe everything you read or see on the internet, so trust a travel agent to be able to save you money and avoid making costly mistakes.
  • Save time and money: If you have ever tried to book an extensive trip online, be prepared to have a lot of tabs and windows open in your research process. It’s a pain! Travel agents are all about saving you time and money. From the study, “Consumers report that travel agents save them an average $452 per trip, and four hours in travel planning.” While you and travel agents have access to the same internet websites, travel agents can get access to exclusive pricing and package deals that you may not find or obtain on your own.
  • Reduced stress: Vacations should be stress free, right? Then why shouldn’t planning a trip be less stressful? Instead of worrying about transfers between the airport and your hotel or making sure the location of your hotel is close to your desired attractions, etc., you could be focusing on making memories. Travel agents take care of all the details for you so you can enjoy every bit of your holiday.
  • A better travel experience: “Consumers told TNS Global that if you want a better travel experience, use an agent, said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby.”
  • Travel agents are some of the first to know about a new tour or discount in vacation packages. They are skilled at finding and obtaining the best shore excursions, tours, and accommodations at the right price in order for you to have a relaxing vacation. Agents know what activities you won’t want to miss.
  • Travel security: Travel agents can provide resources you may not even think about. They can help you prepare for potential hazards or assist you in case of lost luggage or a medical emergency. Whether they make rearrangements themselves or put you in touch with the right people, agents will work hard to make you happy.

You will never regret booking with a travel agent, especially with the amount of money, time, and stress they will save you.

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Why Today We Are In the Golden Age of Flying

Many harken back to the period of about 1945 to 1975 as the “Golden Age of Flying.” I say, “au contraire” – today (right now) things are much better for fliers. Here are ten reasons why:

1. It’s way faster. In the 1940s, an average intercontinental flight had at least a 12 layovers in airpots that offered little more than a snack bar. Now, you can fly from Los Angeles all the way to Sydney, Australia non stop.

2. You won’t smell like an ashtray when you land. Airplane cabins used to be smokier than the air in a casino until lighting up on planes was finally banned in 1980.

3. Flying is actually cheaper. According to the Department of Transportation airfares are about as low as they’ve ever been (excluding 2009) when adjusted for inflation. Airlines for America reports the inflation-adjusted fares fell from about $442 in 1979 (which is when airlines deregulated) to about $275 in 2014 — a nearly 38% drop.

4. You can find airfares on your own. It takes less than a minute to check the costs of dozens of airlines for any given city pair and dates. You can go to kayak.com on your computer and check every airline but Southwest. So, by checking two websites (southwest.com and kayak.com) you’ll find the cost for every airline in the world. Imagine trying to book a flight even just 20 years ago when there was no internet — you had to call the airline or physically visit its office. And comparison shopping could only be done by a travel agent, who would have to look through each airline’s printed schedule. A travel agent is still your best bet for complicated international travel.

5. Today’s airports are far more enjoyable places to spend layovers. Many airports now have shopping malls. Or, with your computer you can visit facebook, play games or watch movies.

6. You can travel in comfortable clothes. Many people lament the loss of being required to dress up (like you were going to church) but I, for one, can’t imagine wearing a suit and tie on a transcontinental flight. If you aren’t old enough to remember, there was a time when you had to fly in formal attire, but you can now wear pretty much whatever you want on a plane.

7. You are far less likely to lose your luggage. Thanks to improved technology, the number of mishandled bags fell 61%, from 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007 to 7.3 bags per thousand passengers in 2014 according to the International Air Transport Association. That’s less than a 1% chance you’ll lose your bag. But if you’re paranoid, there are now plenty of gadgets that will help you track your luggage in case the airline does screw up.

8. Luggage has gotten smarter. One of those gadgets helping protect your bag is, your bag itself. There’s been a rise in the production of smart luggage. You can now get a bag that weighs itself, tracks itself and will even charge your cell phone.

9. You don’t even need to check a bag. Lot’s of people now fly with only a carry-on. And, you can also just wear a jacket that is a bag. Travel jackets have in excess of 30 pockets. The only problem is finding the right pocket where you’ve put something. Or use an app, like DUFL, that will deliver your pressed clothes to your hotel before you even arrive.

10. There are lots of ways to entertain yourself on a plane. Fliers in the 1950s were stuck with almost no way to keep busy. Not long ago airlines showed only one movie. Now, if you’re flying international, you have dozens to choose from. And, yes, there’s Wi-Fi. Nearly all airlines now provide some form of in-flight internet. Some airlines are even starting to provide fliers with free Wi-Fi.

Added bonuses you can get: Boarding passes sent to your phone, luggage tags you can print at home and security lines bypasses by signing up for memberships with Global Entry and/or TSA PreCheck.

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No Risk Cruise Booking

A common facet of the travel industry involves reserving an airplane ticket, a hotel, a rental car without it costing you anything if you cancel. Here are some typical practices:

(a) For decades airline companies have had “refundable fares.” But those fares are commonly twice or three times as much as the lowest published airfares that are non-refundable.

(b) Hotels and resorts typically offer two prices for a room – a prepaid charge where you lose your money if you cancel, and a considerably higher cost where you can cancel up to one or two days before your booking date without paying anything.

(c) Car rentals require no money in advance. And if you don’t show up to get the car at the appointed time, it costs you nothing.

(d) Cruises are a bit tricky. Some lines allow you to reserve a stateroom with a deposit which is completely refundable if you cancel up to 75-days before the sailing date. Others require deposits which you forfeit if you cancel. And some will let you book with a refundable deposit except when they are having a special sale, in which case the deposit is not refundable.

Picture of Cruise Ship

NO REFUND: It’s interesting that Cruise Critic, an online travel site, recently gave the award for “Best Value-for-Money” for the second year in a row to Carnival Cruise Line. If you are booking one of Carnival’s lower priced staterooms, they won’t let you reserve your cruise with a refundable deposit. However, they offer higher rates in all types of cabins that will have a refundable deposit. In other words, a refundable deposit will cost you! Hmmmm. Shouldn’t that be part of a “value-for-money” equation?

Other lines will refund your deposit up to 75-days before your sailing unless your reservation was made in conjunction with a special promotion involving highly discounted fares.

DEPOSITS VARY: Most of the cruise lines ask for a $250 per passenger deposit in order to reserve a stateroom. Princess Cruises requires a 20-percent deposit. Usually, the full cost of the cruise is due at the same time the deposit becomes non-refundable. Also, sometimes cruise lines have a sale offering a half price deposit – some are refundable, some not. Of course, a good travel agent knows all of the variables – amount of deposit, is it refundable, etc. – and will call you before full payment must be paid.

USE A TRAVEL AGENT: A real, live, experienced travel agent you can talk to will know all of the details involving required deposits. Emphasis here is on “real” and “live” and “experienced” as oposed to websites or big-box stores selling cruises. Travel quite often involves the unexpected, and you need to have an actual person you can reach in case of problems. And it goes without saying, that person should know the ins and outs of travel and be experienced in resolving travel problems. Besides, it won’t cost you anything – the cruise line will pay the agent’s commission.

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FLIGHT DELAYS DUE TO WEATHER

Flight delays and cancellations can happen at any time of the year, but in winter, they are sometimes monumental.  And it may be sunny where you are; however, bad weather somewhere else could lead to a delay or cancellation at your airport.  Your plane, the crew scheduled to be on it, or an airport where you are scheduled to land could be storm shrouded. Or your aircraft or crew could have been delayed by poor weather in between other airports. Or there could be a line of thunderstorms blocking flight paths.

What is the airline’s responsibility?

An airline must put a passenger on the next flight that has an open seat.  That is really their only obligation, outside of a possible refund.  These days, most flights are booked to full or nearly full capacity.  And during holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, of course, the “next available flight” could be days away, depending on the scope of the disruption.

Does the airline owe you a refund?

If your flight is canceled and you decide not to try and find a seat on another flight, you are entitled to a refund for the unused portion of your itinerary.  If you continue with your travel, you are not entitled to a refund, regardless of a delay or cancellation.  The airline is also not obligated to provide you with compensation for food or lodging because of a delay or cancellation.

If a delay is the airline’s fault – for example, a mechanical delay – you might be offered some sort of compensation, but the carrier is not legally bound to do so.

If the cancellation is weather-related, you are unlikely to receive any compensation.  And remember, weather problems can be far broader than what you see in your local area.

What do you do?

#1- Be proactive, purchase travel insurance.  Basic Travel insurance costs $30 to $40 per person, but if your flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather the airline is not responsible for additional hotel costs or other expenses that may be associated with delays. Travel insurance can not only help by paying for a hotel room, but also may help get you on a different airline that may have availability.  Columbus Travel (800-373-3328) can help you get the right coverage, even if you purchased your airline ticket on the internet or by calling the airline.

#2- Register for flight alerts.  The earlier you know there’s a problem, the more time you have to find other alternatives.  This is a service that all airlines offer, and they will notify you as far in advance as possible that you may need to change flights.  By using these services you will have better choices of alternate flights.

#3- Stay calm.  Airlines do their best to reaccommodate each passenger delayed due to weather.  Tell yourself to “chill” when dealing with the airline representatives.  The weather is not their fault and yelling and being demanding won’t get you anywhere.  Treat them with respect and you will be treated with respect and find them more willing to help you.

#4- Be ready to change plans ahead of time.  Pay attention to the weather, and if you discover conditions are going to be bad, check your airline’s website to see if they have enacted a flexible rebooking policy.  Many airlines do so in poor weather.  Waivers allow fliers ticketed to certain airports to make a change to their itineraries with no penalty.  Also, if you can fly a day or two earlier or later, it may be worth changing your ticket to move your travel away from the time of the storm.  Or, if you want to postpone your trip altogether, the airlines sometimes waive the change fee and give you the option of using the value of your ticket toward a future flight.

#5- Consider alternate airports.  If you and a storm are both headed for Boston, will the storm also hit Providence and/or Manchester?   If JFK in New York is fogged in, how about LaGuardia, Newark, Hartford or even Philadelphia?  If you can’t get into San Francisco, what about Oakland or San Jose?

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ALASKA IS HOT
One of the hotest selling vacations right now is an Alaska cruise.  The season is short – last week of April through September – and so, in spite of the fact that almost every cruise line sails Alaska, choice cabins are going fast.  Amazingly, prices today are lower than they have ever been.
Note:  You will find the lowest prices before June and after August.
 
Here are the three primary types of Alaska cruises: .
#1, Round trip Seattle, often referred to as an “inside passage” cruise, starts and ends in Seattle, lasts seven days, sometimes includes a stop in Victoria, Canada (home of the world famous Butchart Gardens), and usually includes ports of call in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, and also sails by either Glacier Bay and/or Hubbard Glacier.  Round trip airfares to Seattle are usually considerably lower than those to Vancouver, B.C., where you would either start or end most other Alaska cruises.  On the other hand, Vancouver is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cities in North America.
#2, Northbound or Southbound cruises are also for seven days, and start in either Whittier or Seward and end in Vancouver, B.C., or go Vancouver to Seward or Whitier.  These cruises are almost always the least expensive; however, you would have a more expensive airfare involving flights to or from Anchorage (plus shuttle to or from Seward or Whittier) as well as to or from Vancouver (or Seattle with shuttle to or from B.C.).  In this type of cruise the itinerary would perhaps include College Fjord instead of Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier, but other ports of call would be the same as those on a round trip Seattle cruise.  Flight and shuttle expenses would probably be at least as much if not more than the differrence in the cruise cost.
#3, A Cruise Tour, includes a seven day north-south or south-north cruise plus a two to five day land tour which would take you through Denali National Park and Mount McKinley, as well as perhaps Fairbanks and/or Keenai.  The tour portion of this vacation would come before a north to south cruise or after a south to north one.  Touring would involve a combination of motor coaches and trains with domed cars so you would be able to capture the complete majesty of magnificent Alaska  You would again need what is called an “open jaw” airfare, where you fly into one city and out of another – Vancouver, B.C. and either Fairbanks or Anchorage.
For an Alaska cruise you will want to pay a little extra for a stateroom with either a picture window or a balcony, and these are the cabins that are already filling up.  You can check availability using the cruise search engine on the home page of this website (columbusvacations.com) or by calling one of the cruise specialists at Columbus Travel:  800-373-3328.
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Is Mexico Safe for Travel?

It is an almost daily occurrence in our travel agency to get asked how safe is it to travel to Mexico? The answer is it is safe! If you are traveling to a few of the border towns such as Juarez and Nogales just across the U.S. border there are concerns. We do not recommend vacations to Juarez or Nogales or other border towns in northern Mexico. How about Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and other Mexico resort areas?

I was in Cancun a while ago with a large group. It was the second large group I had had there in just a few weeks.   One evening I tuned in a US cable network that had sensational stories about how unsafe Mexico was. They even brought in an “expert” and asked him if Cancun was safe and he said resoundingly and immediately IT WAS NOT! I wondered if they had ever been to Cancun – in fact to any place in Mexico. I have traveled to Cancun many times without the slightest hint of any safety concern. Major tourist areas such as Cancun and Puerto Vallarta are as safe as most cities in the U.S. I would take my children, parents, friends and anyone else I know to these areas.

Mexico City has received some publicity because there was an incident about two years ago. Interesting to note that the FBI homicide rate for Washington D.C. is four times more deadly than Mexico City. Washington D.C.’s violent crime rate averages 24 per 100,000 vs. only 9 per 100,000 in Mexico City. How do you suppose the U.S. State Department would feel if the Mexican government posted travel warnings for the U.S. capital?

How safe would you feel in Maine? Maine has the lowest violent crime rate in the U.S. at 2 per 100,000. The violent crime rate in the Yucatan (the area in which Cancun other resort areas is located) is exactly the same as Maine.

So why does Mexico seem unsafe? The answer is sensational stories get headlines. There have been some tragic and violent acts in the areas near the U.S. Mexico border and they have garnered the headlines. Do you know how far Cancun is from Juarez?   3,385 miles! Violence does not spill over to cities that far away. Los Angeles to New York is less than that at 2,700 miles. Would you cancel a trip Disneyland if there were a high rate of homicides in New York City?

Want more information?  Go to: howsafeismexico.com for more information.

Of course we advise prudence and wisdom to any destination you travel to. No one can guarantee your safety to any destination. However if you are considering a trip to Mexico (and with trips to Cancun from Salt Lake City starting at $885 including round trip airfare, transfers, 5 nights hotel, all meals, beverages and taxes you should consider it!) do not let undue concerns about violence in Mexico deter you.

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How Hotel Ratings Work!

I find hotel descriptions written by hotels themselves amusing, sometimes bordering hysterical.  How do you know what to expect when you book a hotel.  We often hear hotels advertise “5-star” and “4-star” and so on.  What do these terms mean?  There is no common standard or regulation when it comes to rating a hotel.  Listed below, however, is a general guide to help you.

5-Star: deluxe, luxury hotel with exceptional accommodations, superior service, and a full range of amenities and services.  This is where you want to stay!

4-Star: first class, very good accommodations, good service; generally a place you would be pleased to stay in.

3-Star: superior tourist class with pleasant accommodations, good service with limited amenities and service.

2-Star: tourist class, modest accommodations with some service and amenities. Find out something about the location and neighborhood.

1-Star: basic, simple accommodations with limited services and amenities.  Be cautious.

What about TripAdvisor and other web sites that rate hotels?  There are both professional and guest reviews that can be helpful.  TripAdvisor and other similar online sites invite anyone and everyone to rate a hotel.  These reviews can be helpful, but can also be manipulated by the hotel owner or someone who has a grudge against the hotel.  Professional and guest reviews can be very different.  For example, the Maile Sky Court Hotel in Honolulu is rated 1-1/2 stars by travel professionals, but 3-1/2 stars by TripAdvisor.

One of the best online sites to review featured hotels is our own Columbus Travel web site.  Here’s what to do:

  1. Go to www.columbusvacations.com
  2. Click on “Vacations” near the top middle of the home page
  3. You will see “Search Vacations.”  Enter your departure city, destination, number of nights,  travel dates, and number of travelers.
  4. Now, click on “Search vacations” in the lower right corner
  5. A list of hotels will appear. You can sort them by price, location, name, and location
  6. Notice the star rating under the hotel name. This is a travel professional rating.
  7. Look to the right and you will see on most hotels a TripAdvisor star rating.

Have some fun and spend some time reviewing your hotel choices, especially if you are traveling as a family.  Then, call your Columbus Travel professional and book travel memories.

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Your Travel Professional!

I refuse to give an online website the designation of “travel agency.” A real agency with real live agents not only finds things for you, he/she gives advice, makes comparisons, and can be called for backup when a problem occurs. Nothing on the Internet can do all those things. Don’t get me wrong. I use travel websites a lot. In fact, I usually find what I want on the Internet and then call my real, live, breathing, talking travel agent to discuss what I’ve found. And no, he doesn’t cost me a cent, unless I am asking to simply purchase an airfare. He gets his commissions from the hotels, resorts, cruise lines, car companies – the venders – who provide the travel commodities I am looking for. In most cases of airfare only purchases, I do get them on the internet; but, if it’s a complicated international ticket I’m looking for, I have my travel agent do the work.

GETTING TRAVEL PROBLEMS SOLVED
First and foremost, I want someone with know-how and clout when I have a problem. I’ve arrived at hotels that have told me they didn’t have a record of my reservation. I even tried to check in for a return trip home just a year ago and was told there was “no one by your name with a reservation today on any airplane in our entire system.” In both cases I pulled out my cell phone, called my travel agent, handed the phone to the offending representative of the hotel and airline, who was then aided in finding my hotel booking, and last year, my plane reservation.

If you face a snafu with a cruise booking, it sure would be handy to call your travel agent, who made the booking, and let him deal with the friendly cruise line representative who is trying to check you in.

COMPARISON SHOPPING
Another thing my travel agent does is compare what I have found with what he can find. Comparison-shopping is very important when booking travel. In the case of a cruise, larger travel agencies, like Columbus Travel, do a lot of bookings with a particular cruise line, and are often given reduced prices (even lower than going to the cruise company direct), upgrades, on board credits, and other perks.

Hotels are notorious for having varied prices. I once found a hotel in Prague with four different prices for the same room on as many websites. My travel agent found several more different prices from his sources, then advised me to book through one of the sites I had gone to on my own. The price of the room per night varied by $125.

WATCH OUT WHEN LOOKING AT REVIEWS
With the matter of hotel and resort reviews, I no longer use or recommend Trip Advisor. I personally think the guest reviews are not reliable. They also have been accused of “rigging” the reviews to favor resorts and hotels with whom they have a business arrangement.

I think all reviews based on guests who are alleged to have stayed at the place you are considering are sometimes rigged. Yes, I know you are shocked, but guest reviews are totally untrustworthy. People who are marketing the resort or hotel write many of the reviews. What’s more, guest reviews, even if written by real guests, are colored by the expectations and experiences those individuals have had. Actually, professional reviews are far superior. A better option would be to find someone who can give you a professional judgment about a particular place you are considering, someone who has a basis for his ratings, who has gone through hundreds of onsite inspections of hotels and resorts.

But, where can you find such a person? Well, an experienced travel agent would be a good start. She or he has been on hundreds of “familiarization tours” with lots of other agents in lots of places in the world where all they did was go on site inspections of hotels and/or resorts. And if your agent is from a larger agency with ten or more agents, he or she has lots of other people who are professionals who can offer more information. Also, if you are dealing with someone who has you as a client, they do not want you to have a bad experience.

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES
I have four sites I use and I think you can trust.

  • FOR GENERAL INFO AND REVIEWS

You can’t beat columbusvacations.com, not only for unbiased professional reviews and lots of trustworthy general travel information, but the best cruise search-engine on the planet. And all of this stuff comes free of charge!

  • FOR HOTELS AND RESORTS

A great site for making comparisons of the best deals available can be found at trivago.com.  Even if I find what appears to be a super deal at hotels.com, I check for comparisons at Trivago.

  • FOR AIRFARES

If you want to compare the cost of flying on every airline going to your destination, kayak.com is the place to go.  Just remember, Southwest Airlines doesn’t participate in any other online travel website, so you have to go to southwest.com to see what they have in comparison with what you’ve found at Kayak.  Also, remember that Southwest doesn’t charge for your first bag checked.  And a final reminder:  If you are booking a complicated international flight, you should call a travel agent.  An experienced agent might find you an air routing that Kayak has not been programmed to check.

  • FOR INFO ABOUT THE PLACE YOU ARE GOING

First, ask your travel agent if he/she has been there or has clients who have reported what they found to be “must see” sites.  Then, just “google” or “bing” the convention and/or visitors bureau at the destination.

 

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Don’t be Fooled

One of the things we take most seriously at Columbus Travel is helping people get the very best deal for their money. A challenge we often face is helping clients understand the difference between a great deal for one part of a trip and a great deal for the total cost of a trip.

For example recently we had a client interested in Hawaii.  They had never been there before and wanted to see as much as possible.  We recommended the Norwegian cruise that visits all four islands in a week starting at $999 cruise plus taxes and airfare.  The client said that was way more than he planed to pay and they bought a six night two island package at a 4 star hotel.  What they bought seemed lower in cost but was it really?

Their costs included round trip airfare to Honolulu, three nights hotel in Waikiki, airfare to Maui, a car rental on each island and taxes.  Total cost per person was $1,690. The cruise with airfare was $1,860 per person – about $170 more.

Food in Hawaii is not inexpensive and they were probably going to spend much of the difference in meals alone.  The cruise is two days longer, includes all meals, entertainment aboard ship, transportation between the islands and more.

The clients said they had cruised before and knew that a good cruise deal was $499 and not $999. That is true if sailing out of Miami on a Caribbean cruise.  Due to government regulations and other costs, it is more to cruise Hawaii and other ports.

Other examples we often run into are finding a great deal on a cruise but not looking at the cost of airfare.  Miami is the cheep cruise capitol of the world.  Nothing wrong with that – lots of great deals, but sometimes airfare to Miami is much more expensive than other ports. For example there are Caribbean cruise deals out of Tampa, Port Canaveral (by Orlando), New Orleans and Houston/Galveston.  Airfare to these cities can often be as much as $200 to $300 less than Miami.

Other things to consider are transfer costs.  For example transfers for a cruise out of Southampton are about $150 less than out of Dover.  Transfers for a cruise out of Houston are $60 less than out of Galveston.

Taxes are also important.  It is difficult to figure out how some cruise lines calculate taxes.  One cruise line can charge $80 for taxes and another $130 for the same cruise going to the same ports.  Be certain these are considered.

Point is – look at all of the costs not just the lead in cost.  Nothing wrong with great lead in costs. We try to find them all the time for our clients.  Be certain however to look at the total cost you’ll pay in the end not just the beginning price.

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