You get what you pay for. This time-old saying couldn’t be truer; you generally expect the level of quality or service that you’ll get will be on par with the amount you’ve shelled out. This is especially true when it comes to travel. While travelling cheap can have its advantages and may sometimes be worth it, grabbing the cheapest travel deal you can find isn’t always the best idea.
Here are 13 reasons not to grab the cheapest travel deal:
1.The cheapest travel deal usually has an unpleasant trade off. This could take the form of a very early/late flight, a dingy hotel in an unsafe area, or multiple flight connections. I managed to find return flights to India for £327 last year, but my flights were at awful times and they weren’t direct, so I was very tired by the time I arrived.
2. While it may be cheap to book dormitory/shared rooms in hostels, and it can often be a great way to meet new people when travelling solo, room-sharing has its inconveniences. You have no privacy, your roommates might be loud or inconsiderate, you won’t have much space and you can’t leave anything of value lying around.
3. The cheapest travel deals may be fraught with unsafe tours or services that are not officially sanctioned by the local tourism office. Even if you have travel insurance, don’t risk going anywhere if you’re uncertain about the transportation or tour company that will bring you there. It pays to research the tour operators listed in the package details before placing any bookings.
4. More often than not, your accommodation won’t be up to scratch; it might not feel like the four-star hotel it was described as, while the cleanliness or customer service may be lacking. This was certainly true when I went to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria in June. We stayed at Hotel Kuban Resort and Aquapark and while the location couldn’t have been better, the food was terrible and the ‘aquapark’ was a glorified swimming pool.However, as I’m sure you’ll agree, our room did have unrivalled views over Sunny Beach.
5. When you travel to a country that lacks safety standards, there are even bigger risks. If you happen to get injured or fall ill, you could end up getting lumped with a huge sum. Don’t go anywhere without ensuring you choose travel insurance that covers medical expenses. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) offer excellent guidance on how to choose the best travel insurance policy for you.
6. If you’ve gone for a particularly cheap deal that includes catering and your accommodation is below a reasonable standard, be wary of what you eat. A few of my friends have got food poisoning after eating a dodgy meal while on holiday, and it’s the last thing you want to deal with when you’re trying to have a good time.
7. When you buy a cheap airline ticket, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to cancel and get a refund, reschedule or transfer the ticket if you decide to change your travel plans.
8. Low-budget airline tickets often impose strict luggage guidelines, and don’t always have much space for additional luggage. If you’re planning on shopping for souvenirs and gifts for your loved ones, you’ll have to pay for excess baggage if you exceed the weight restriction.
9. The airport could be located far away from your destination. Sometimes budget airlines land in secondary airports that are further from your destination; this commonly occurs in European countries. Before placing any bookings, always check the distance from the airport to your destination and find out how long it will take and how much it will cost.
10. Extremely cheap travel deals may include accommodation in a hostel that doesn’t have strict rules and guidelines, and there is always a chance that your security could be compromised. While there are lots of amazing hostels that offer top service, always check the reviews of the accommodation provided as part of your travel deal. I stayed at Hostel Strand Continental in London recently and while the room was comfortable and the location was fantastic, I didn’t enjoy lugging a heavy suitcase up and down four flights of stairs because there wasn’t a lift in the building; if I’d read the reviews in advance, I could’ve opted to stay elsewhere.
11. There may be hidden fees, taxes, insurance costs and other expenses that could increase the cost of the package.
12. Some low-fare airline deals require two-way tickets, and the cost may even be more expensive than getting a regular one-way ticket.
13. The cheapest air travel usually maximises the use of the aircraft, so it may have several trips during the day. The passenger may experience delays because these aircraft are on a strict schedule, with a break of around just 40 minutes between each flight. It could also mean that you’re squashed together like sardines on the plane, like me and my best friend were when we flew to Portugal with Ryanair last year!
Although it can be tempting to snap up the cheapest travel deal, there is often something dubious about buying the most inexpensive travel package. If it seems too good to be true, it often is. That’s not to say that low-budget travelling doesn’t have its advantages, and it’s perfectly possible to travel affordably without compromising your safety, security, and health – just do your research first so you can be confident you’ll have a brilliant time!
Have you ever purchased a cheap travel deal? Did it live up to your expectations?