How to avoid the broken dreams and shattered expectations of last-minute travel planning.
Procrastination. It’s a very human trait that we’ve all experienced at some point in time. After all, why do today – what you can put off until tomorrow?
Well when it comes to travel, putting it off until tomorrow can be devastating to your travel dreams (and your bottom line!)
Our Savvy Travelers, Millionaires and Jetsetters never procrastinate when it comes to their vacations . They know that the best deals and the best accommodations are snapped up quickly. Unfortunately, most novice travelers do tend to procrastinate.
Though there have been many studies done on human procrastination, the results vary widely. Some studies chalk it up to just plain laziness, while others suggest that procrastination is written in our DNA.
According to these studies here are just a few reasons that people may put off booking a vacation :
Poor time management habits (and/or lack of free time):
Time is a precious commodity that most of us don’t have enough of. Unfortunately, most do-it-yourselfers, who don’t have the knowledge and training to coordinate a professionally designed vacation themselves, find it hard to fit in the time required to make travel plans when juggling everything else that takes up their time.
With internet travel sites and thousands more direct supplier resources, at our finger-tips, a wide variety of options is available to every traveler. Without a guide to help navigate these choices, its very easy to get lost and discouraged.
The illusion of perfection:
Many travelers have a perfect image of their vacation . When their personal research fails to turn up options that live up to this image, they tend to lose motivation and quit the process all together.
The process is more difficult than expected:
Many travelers who attempt to coordinate their own vacations find out that the process is more difficult than expected, causing them to lose steam when faced with the challenges of booking the perfect trip.
Hope that waiting can turn up even better deals:
There are the travelers who just believe that they can find a better deal if they simply wait until the last second. In reality, this is a huge gamble that could result in limited selection and higher prices when it comes time to book.
Gabe Saglie, travel author, editor and expert addressed the last group in a recent interview:
“Procrastination is not the best way to find discount travel. Travel agencies are getting more aggressive with sales by posting them on social networking sites and their own websites way in advance, giving their loyal and savvy customers a leg up on purchasing the early sales.”
In addition, many travelers who wait do see that “incredible price” and then rush to the site, only find it was limited inventory that was sold out immediately. Or, is double the advertised price after adding taxes, fees and incidental costs conveniently left out of the advertisement.
The secret of Savvy Travelers, Millionaires and Jetsetters here is: the “early bird” traveler is really the one getting the best deals. The low prices and hot deals may be prevalent for travel six months to a year from now, but waiting for them to get lower in most cases is not the best move. While last minute deals do exist, (and you should take advantage of them when and if you can) there are no guarantees and certainly very limited options when it comes to waiting until the last minute.
Don’t let your vacation plans ride on the hope that a perfect deal might come along. You could easily end up with very limited choices or arriving at the destination or property only to discover that it is far from your original vision of a vacation . Instead, make sure you stay true to your vision and have it locked in at the best time. Its crushing to wait for a last minute deal that may never come and blow-off your travel plans for yet another year.
Particularly, when others are having the time of their lives, while you end up staying at home. This can be the result for procrastinators that wait, only to have the choice of taking a real chance on a second-rate deal, or go broke on escalated last minute pricing on their original choice, that could have been booked on sale when the rates first came out.
Another reason it seems that Savvy Travelers, Millionaires and Jetsetters prefer to trust their planning to the professionals. As soon as they know they’re going to travel, they turn it over to their travel consultant. The expertise of a professional helps them avoid the human trait of procrastinating and missing out on the best possible pricing. They also make sure they get the exact vacation they want, and not just a vacation that seems to be a good deal.
However, if you are a determined do-it-yourselfer, just remember: the key to grabbing the best deals is all in the research. Put aside the time to research and get started as early as possible.
Do-it-yourselfers must develop a thorough plan of action. First, you need to comparison shop between all the travel websites. If you don’t, almost surely you will over pay. You should also re-check pricing all over again when you have checked all the chosen sources, because prices can fluctuate by hundreds of dollars over the course of days (and in some cases, minutes!).
During the process you should also have a solid understanding of what a “good price” is and have some feel for how prices change based on seasons, events and conditions. This can be done by researching price history charts.
Next, it is also important to check fares on travel sites against the actual supplier websites directly. Beware though – if your travel comparisons fluctuate even slightly (for example, by changing the dates you intend to travel, the hotel or resort, the cruise cabin location, or even flight times) there can be radical variations in the results. Of course, all this research should not be even started if you’re not sure of exactly what you want, or what destinations and resorts will meet your specific expectations.
Okay, what’s the bottom line?
The travel marketplace is volatile and its important to know (and book) a good price when you see it. However, clicking the “book it” button without a crystal clear understanding of the destination, resort or cruise you are now paying for can lead to a very bad investment.
This is why, although the Secrets of Savvy Travelers, Millionaires and Jetsetters provides great insight into the proper approach to booking online, you are probably discovering that they lean towards a reputable travel professional to do all their work for them. In doing so, they avoid the humongous pitfalls of procrastination.
By allowing a professional to do what they do best and sort through the wide variety of information and options available, these savvy travelers eliminate the risk of becoming overwhelmed and losing momentum in the planning process.
If you’re serious about taking that dream vacation , don’t wait until the last minute to book it and be sure to either perform extremely thorough research or entrust a professional to do the research for you. You don’t want to end up spending your time at home, wishing you wouldn’t have passed on your ideal vacation , when you really had the chance.
You also don’t want to end up on a trip that fails to meet expectations because it was just the best last minute deal you could find.