It shouldn’t be hard, it’s just a deal.

 

 

Value for money spent, that is all any of us can ask for when making a purchase. No one wants to overpay and no one wants to buy something they feel isn’t worth the money they put out. It doesn’t matter if it is $50 or $50,000, because it is all relative at the end of the day.

The Internet has revolutionized our ability to grab information at lightning speed on almost any topic, item or service you will ever need to purchase. There is so much damn information you can easily overdose on research. Hours and hours and hours are spent reading, comparing and using sites that read and compare for you.

This is particularly true when it comes to travel. We have information that stems from global sources and work their way up through a complex maze of distribution channels, twisting and turning and contorting all over the Internet. We have smart companies that can take away leg work and put a few hundred deals clicks away from you, but after it is all said and done, are you getting the best deal for the money you are spending? The answer might be more complicated than you think. Ever wonder why you have the ability to search multiple sites when visiting some Internet Travel giants searching for something as simple as airfare? It is because your clicks are more profitable than them selling you that ticket. They hope you want to search all over the place because if you buy from them, they don’t make much of a return. Is it possible to really get a good deal using these sites? I often wonder about people’s physiological purchase process, and if they buy more out of research fatigue than out of pure hard facts. Maybe it is the pretty pictures that motivate them, or better yet, the thousands of reviews telling you what you should do. They are all objective, right? Here are my handy reminders for you if you really want to get a deal on travel:

1. Have an idea of what you want to do: Yep, don’t go at it with a wide-eyed, the world is yours within a few clicks, attitude.
2. Have an idea of what you want to spend: You can buy anything you want with enough money just make sure you are getting value for whatever money you’re spending.
3. Don’t be a jerk: You can’t stay at Ritz Carlton for the same price as Motel 6. If you want to go about this task, stay home.
4. Be an individual: Know your own passions and preferences, don’t listen to others who you don’t even know. Buying something by following the group or being social as others have, is often the source of problems in the experience, Take it from me, I know these things.
5. Compare the price: There is often no difference in the service level received from one travel provider to the next so get the best deal you can.
6. Have some fun: Planning travel isn’t like cleaning out the garage, it should be a fun experience so lighten up.
7. Try new places to purchase: Some sites are good, some not so good, but there are lots of second and third tier websites that are offering amazingly good deals and are well worth your, non-brand name worship.

So there you have it, my 7 commandments for being a smart travel purchaser. It isn’t hard, it is mostly common sense and individual fortitude. Remember, just because others do it doesn’t mean it is good or right for you. So many articles have been written about how “objective” reviews, aren’t entirely objective. We should all know by now that daily deal type sites aren’t in the travel business and are just using their email lists to spam you into submission. “Oh, 200 others are buying this”, yeah right. If they were jumping off a bridge would you follow them? (Thanks Mom) So work with professionals, large and small, select you destinations and products and then compare like hell.

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