Seeking the Best Deal
Social media has been a pleasant haven for finding and mingling with new prospects that ultimately become clients. It has also changed the format of taking on a new client as well. Instead of a phone call or web form, we often times receive a private message on FaceBook or direct message on Twitter, etc. Either way, we have not changed the basic questions we need to ask to be able to assist a new client most efficiently. One question that seems daunting to most prospects is when we ask about a vacation budget.
If you have read our FAQ, then you know our spill:
Here is the deal: you should have at least an idea what you are willing to spend for a trip. Especially since we cater to the premium to luxury market, each families ideal budget will be wildly different than the other. In other words, your idea of expensive or inexpensive is relative to only you. A starting budget is highly necessary.
Time Value of Money
When someone ask for “the best deal” or “the cheapest price”, it spells disaster for a travel agent. Why? As we mentioned above, the “best deal” is only relative to you, your vacation goals and desires. It can mean many things and only you can define what the “best deal” actually means to you. It is very subjective. The cheapest price is chasing a dream. Travel prices are very similar to gas prices – they fluctuate constantly. They are a fast moving target. Asking your travel agent for the cheapest price is just asking for a reason to find fault with them. Our goal is to find you the best value and value does not always equate to the “cheapest”.
For some, time is more valuable than money. Why? You can always earn more money, but you can never get a refund on your time. So we place a heavy value on your time (and ours) and work within a predetermined budget range set by you.
Relative Terms in Travel
Getting back to the “best deal”. Your life experiences determine what you consider the best deal (or not). For instance, you may consider a $400,000 home luxurious and those who live in them well-off. However, someone else may consider those homes starter homes they purchase for their children when they first get married and any home over $2million is considered a luxury home. And then there are some who may never consider purchasing a $400,000 home because it’s simply too cheap. For them it is NOT the best deal.
You may never consider shopping at Neiman Marcus due to its perceived high price tag. However, someone else, who only shops from boutiques and custom made clothing, may consider Neiman’s a “steal”. A 4,000 square foot home may seem large to you, but to someone who has lived in a 12,000 square foot home a 4,000 square foot home will never be a deal. It is more of a deal breaker. Hopefully you now understand why it is very important to determine a budget range for your vacation before you contact your travel professional for assistance.
Giving You The Best Options
Getting back to Time Value of Money. As we mentioned, price is a moving target in travel. There will always be a cheaper price out there and a travel professional simply cannot guarantee to find it for you. Why? Remember we told you it changes constantly. It is a moving target. And while that travel professional is out searching for the least expensive price they are not spending time creating the most desirable, memorable and valuable trip one can provide you. Where is the value in that? Will you be happy with that vacation? Probably not. And who will you blame? Oh yes, your travel professional. Why? Because your travel professional did exactly as your asked and focused on price, not value.
Many variables play a role in the price you will ultimately pay for your trip. For instance, you may find flights for less than your travel professionals. However, your travel professional found times more ideal for the trip you are taking. Your flight may arrive late evening and depart early morning severely cutting into your vacation time. For a few bucks more, the travel professional put together a flight plan that gives you optimal time to spend actually on vacation.
You may find a cabin for $18 bucks cheaper on a cruise ship. However, you are now 6 floors away from the rest of your group. If you have ever been on a cruise ship before, you know this a considerable amount of distance between the two. Is the $18 bucks really that big of a deal when it all comes down to it?
The resort you were considering may have the most beautiful pictures online and a groupon deal you cannot resist. However, it is remotely located with rocky beaches and watered down drinks. It this the experience you are seeking? Your travel professional is in business to give you the best experience for the best value. Not the least expensive price. Our focus will be on value and making YOU important… not the money. Let us value YOU. We enjoy it.
A fool knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing. ~ Oscar Wilde