Staying On Budget Package Vs. Independent Travel

When you have to travel on a budget, one of the biggest questions is whether it is best to plan each part of your trip independently, making separate airfare and hotel reservations, or to opt for a package deal where everything is included for one price.

Unfortunately, there isn’t one east answer to this dilemma, because it depends on where you want to go, and what deals are available at the time. For example, traveling to many to European cities is often less costly to arrange yourself, especially in the off-season, when airlines are running specials on flights to Europe.

On the other hand, if you want to travel to an exotic place, like Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, or Asia, it is often less expensive and easier when arrange by a package company or travel agent. This is due in part to travel agencies having special deals with the national airlines and resorts of these countries, and they are able to provide substantial discounts in exchange for a steady flow of business.

For example, last year I traveled solo to Egypt from New York for a grand total of $1,100, including airfare, an excellent hotel, daily breakfast, airport transfers, and daily sightseeing tours, including guided tours of the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. This is a far better deal than I could have arranged on my own, since airfare alone would have cost over $700. The secret of this great deal was the relationship of the tour operator with Egyptair and the hotel at which we stayed.

There are similarly great deals for many Asian locations, particularly India, China and Taiwan. Make sure to research the availability of these types of package deals when looking to travel abroad on a budget.

Solo travelers often have trouble getting the great deals on travel packages, since the required single increase can often make the deal not worth it. Don’t despair; there are great deals out there if package deals are too expensive or aren’t your thing, and it is often a better option, especially if you are traveling alone.

One important tip is to find out exactly what is and isn’t included in any package deal that you are considering. Most travel packages include optional excursions, which can add considerable expense, and blow your budget. Try to get a detailed daily schedule to make sure you won’t be on your own if you don’t buy into the options. It’s also a good idea to ask for a list of the optional outings available, including descriptions and costs, so that you can compare what the price would be to what you could arrange on your own.

If you are traveling alone, make sure you start planning ahead, especially when it comes to airfare arrangements. The important thing to remember is that there are only a certain number of first come, first serve seats the advertised low fares, and if you wait too long you won’t get the lower rate. It is important to reserve your airfare and your lodging as early as possible to make sure you get the best available prices.

In the end, the decision whether to choose a package deal or independent travel an individual decision based on the traveler’s situation. Make sure to carefully compare package prices with those for independently arranging travel to the same destination. And don’t forget to take your own personal travel style into account. Some people are more cut out for a packaged tour, particularly to an new destination, while others prefer the freedom from itineraries that independent travel offers.

In case you don't know yet, Kenya's leading tour operator African Sermon Safaris offers a unique opportunity to watch cheetahs, lions and large herds of elephants amidst natural beauty of semi-desert Samburu. Visit http://africansermonsafaris.com/category/kenya-safaris/ and find out more about available tours.
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Use Hostel Accommodation If Travelling On A Budget

You might think of hostelling as something that college students do while traveling through Europe for the summer. However, hostelling is not just for the college crowd anymore, and now includes people of all ages and backgrounds. If you are a traveler on a budget, staying at a hostel can be an adventure that will add to your travel experience.

Staying in a hostel will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and many travelers would prefer to spend the money on a traditional hotel. Hostel traveling is best suited to those traveling alone, or to young people traveling in groups. Hostels are not really recommended for families traveling with young children. In fact, many hostels do not accept children under a certain age.

Most hostels are set up like dormitory rooms, with several bunk beds arranged in the room, with anywhere from four to ten bunks per room. Each traveler is assigned a specific bed upon check-in.

Nearly all of the hostels in the United States group their accommodations according to gender, with the female guests in one section of rooms and the male guests in another. In multi-level hostels, males and females are often separated by floor.

It is not uncommon, however for European hostels (and those elsewhere around the world) to allow mixed genders to share a room. Make sure to ask about the policy of the hostel before you check in. I, as a woman traveling solo, have never encountered a problem with these arrangements, and I have stayed in hostels throughout Europe, including Rome, London and Amsterdam. Some visitors might be surprised or offended by these sleeping arrangements.

The bathroom accommodations at hostels differ also, with some rooms containing a shared bathroom and shower, while other hostels will have shower and bathroom facilities located in the hallway. If you would prefer not to share a bathroom with strangers, make sure you ask about the hostel’s policy ahead of time.

More often now, reservations are becoming increasingly vital at hostels, especially during the summer months in popular cities. It is now not at all unusual for hostels in popular tourist cities to be booked solid for months, where once it was common for travelers to be able drop by the hostel and expect to get a bed.

Price is by far the biggest appeal of staying at hostels. The nightly rate for a hostel is usually no higher than $25 or $30 per night, with most costing even less. With the average hotel room costing somewhere around $100 to $150 in many cities, it is easy to see why hostels are becoming such a popular alternative.

Another benefit of staying in a hostel is that the staff is extremely accommodating and knowledgeable about the local area. Unlike many staff members of some luxury hotels, who travel in from the outlying areas and rarely see the city in which they work, hostel staff tend to live in the city, and have an personal knowledge of the local sites, including which attractions are can’t miss and which ones aren’t worth the trip.

Hostels also usually have access to discounts and coupons for local area attractions and restaurants, and they can provide information on the best restaurants and hangouts around.

While not everyone will find a hostel appealing, and the accommodation of a local hostel are simple at best, they can be wonderful options for lodging for the budget minded traveler. After all, the goal of travel is to get out and see the world, and hostel travel lets you save money on lodging so that you can do just that.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off