Vacation Packages… Yay or Nay?
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Vacation Packages… Yay or Nay?

By Caroline Morse, SmarterTravel.com | June 2, 2015

Travel Advice WebsiteThe vacation package you just saw online seems too good to be true and it’s only going to be available for another two days, so you’d better jump on it while you have the chance, right? Not necessarily, chances are if it looks too good to be true than it probably is, use these easy tips to find out!

Do the Math
The first step to determining if you are getting the best vacation package is to compare apples to apples.  Use your travel dates, the airline and hotel(s) being offered in the package and find out how much they would cost if you booked your trip on your own.  When you add those two costs together they should be more expensive than the vacation package.

Place a Value on Everything
A bottle of champagne for free?  Count me in!  Champagne is one of many freebies you might be offered to enhance your vacation package.  But is the champagne’s value really that high?  What if you could book at a different hotel, not offering champagne, for less money and use the money you save for something you would prefer to have?

Read the Fine Print
Many times, there are additional fees not included in the vacation package cost.  Make sure you are checking to see what is actually included and what may be extra.  For example, many hotels charge a resort fee on top of the cost for the room, so you could be adding an additional $20/per day to your total without realizing it.

Do Your Homework
The vacation package may advertise the hotel as luxury.  Use travel resources, such as TripAdvisor (SmarterTravel.com parent company), to confirm this.  There you will find honest reviews of the hotel you will be staying at and it will give you a better idea of what to expect!

Location, Location, Location!
So your vacation package has passed the test thus far, but here is the big one.  Where is your departing flight from?  Majority of these vacation packages have a home base airport, which makes the flights they offer cheaper.  If you live in Ohio but the flight offered with the package is flying out of Miami, you need to factor in the cost of a connecting flight!

The Verdict Is In…

Finding a vacation package that gets you the most bang for your buck can seem like a lot of work but following these simple steps is a surefire way to ensure that you get the best travel deal.  So get out there and start looking, your next adventure is waiting!

Did you find this article helpful? Visit SmarterTravel.com for more information. You might also like:

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9 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Guided Tour
How to Get the Best Deals for Summer Travel

 

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