You’re on vacation, sitting in an oceanfront restaurant watching the sun set over the waves, and enjoying the end of your first day of a week-long visit to paradise. Your waiter walks by, asks if you’d like anything else, and when you say no, he does something unthinkable: He leaves a check on the table!
Your mind race before a single thought begins to take shape: Why are you seeing a check what was supposed to be your “all-inclusive” vacation?
We have this nightmare, too, but thankfully, it’s an easy one to wake up from. If you want to spare yourself from getting caught in this situation on your next trip, then as you prepare, be sure to check what services are or are not included in your journey price.
As you book your vacation and it comes time to pay, contact your travel agency or check their website to see what you’re getting for your dollar.
Does your journey price include meals? Beverages? How many of each? Do you get a transfer from the airport? And what about airfare, is that included? Should I leave a tip for my porter? These are just a few examples of expenses that you may need to pay for out of pocket, putting you at risk of breaking the bank. Save yourself the hassle and the financial burden by finding out ahead of time what you will need to pay for so that this vacation can stay within budget.
At the same time, if you don’t know what services your journey price includes and you merely assume you’re covered, you could get left in the dust. For example, if you plan on taking a guided tour of some historic ruins, you’ll need a way of getting there from your hotel. If you assume that transportation is included in your journey cost when, in fact, it isn’t, then you’ll be left without a ride and miss the tour. Avoid this inconvenience by figuring out what your journey price does or doesn’t include so you can arrange a ride yourself and you don’t get stuck waiting for a driver who isn’t coming.
Beyond simply financial reasons, looking at inclusions and exclusions can tell you which travel package is the best for you. After reading over a few different tour itineraries and price descriptions, you learn that one trip features a trip to a winery or backstage passes to a local festival, which helps you make a decision. Reading the fine print can also help you figure out what to pack; if you read the details for the vacation you just booked and realize that the journey price includes waterskiing lessons, then now you know to bring your bathing suit!
So as you plan for your next vacation, don’t wait until you get handed a bill to think about what your journey price includes and doesn’t include. Be sure to talk to your travel agent and find out exactly what services are covered within the cost of your vacation and what services you’ll need to arrange on your own or for an additional fee.