Four Last-Minute Considerations Before Booking a Vacation
Booking a vacation is a lot like a play or a musical you did back in high school. Something is probably going to go wrong despite weeks or months of preparation, but it is so much fun you will scarcely notice.
However, there are several large mishaps with vacation booking that can turn your relaxing getaway into a house of horrors. Here are four last-minute considerations to check over before finalizing your vacation plans.
Are you sure your headcount is correct? Nothing brings would-be travel companions out of the woodwork like announcing that you’ve finalized your vacation package. Suddenly, your mom, your sisters, your cousins, and your BFF are all calling you and wanting to join you.
Whether this is endearing, annoying, or terrifying is entirely up to you. Announce your vacation plans several weeks before finalizing them. That way, anyone wishing to join you can get all the pertinent details and do so. This is especially important for cruises, tours, and other space-limited vacations.
Are you positive you have the proper documents? It doesn’t matter if the cruise is next year, you need to have a passport in your hand right now for everyone in your party. Sure, it supposedly only takes a few months to get one.
However, in any situation in which the government is involved, things can and will take longer than expected. If you have any kids under the age of five, expect their passports to take twice as long as yours. Why this is, no one knows. Just have your documents in place before you book to leave the country, otherwise you could lose out on the entire sum when the passports don’t arrive on time.
What horrifying expense are you overlooking? Just before you write out a check for several thousand dollars for the vacation, take a good, long look around your home and vehicle. The laws of vacationing will demand that the hot water heater, roof, or vehicle transmission will go as soon as you are no longer sitting on a bank balance with a comma in it.
Perhaps all three will happen simultaneously! If you don’t have a healthy emergency fund, proceed carefully and expect something expensive to break down or need costly repairs.
Are you sure that you’ve found the absolute lowest price? Don’t be hoodwinked when a travel agent tells you about their ‘special agreements’ with hotels, resorts, or cruise lines. Call the destinations directly and inquire. You may be shocked to find that their ‘special agreement’ price is mysteriously hundreds of dollars more than what you can book on the phone, yourself, with a credit card.
Don’t stop with accommodations! Call the airline, the airport limousine or taxi service, call the local points of interest for admission prices. You may be able to haggle a much better deal as an individual rather than mutely paying retail on a package.
A vacation is supposed to be a relaxing time spent with your loved ones. By following these four tips, you can avoid the very real possibility of it turning into your worst nightmare.
Mike Fisher is an insurance agent at a Canadian insurance company, as well as a father of 3 kids who are currently on their summer vacation. You can get quotes for all types of insurance at Kanetix – the insurance comparison service.