Yesterday I had a discussion with a friend of mine about a cheap trip to a thermal destination. He is searching for something exclusive where to spend a nice weekend with his girlfriend. What is trying to do is to surprise her. We were chatting, in front of a glass of wine, about luxury. This is what he wants to achieve for his experiences traveling. After some opinion and stories about our trips, he told me: “I found a great offer for a weekend! I will spend €70/person for a night in the hotel, a four courses dinner, the night in the hotel, and breakfast”. So I thought: “travel cheaply to get cheap“.
I am not going to judge his choice, that is fine if he is getting something that he likes. What was my point? In Italy, a four-star hotel can offer you a double room for at least €100. This rate is already low. We can try to consider breakfast included. Then we should add the entrance fee to the Spa, at least €30, without any treatment. What about the dinner? A four-star hotel restaurant for 4 courses and wined don’t ask less than €50. It means to spend, at least, €110 more than what he spent. That’s why I said to him that travel cheaply to get cheap.
Are the offers trustable
My friend found the offer on the internet. I know the website that proposes those packages for a weekend or longer holidays. I am not saying that is not serious, but the super discounted prices are just made to help some structures to get more customers. On one hand, they reduce the price to not keep free the room. On the other hand, they reduce the quality. If you travel cheaply you will get cheap.
They can renounce to a part of their earning, but they can’t go under a certain limit. So there are limits on the offer use. They reserve for you the worst room of the hotel. They will choose a menu for you and you will never have something really delicious, maybe neither something traditional. Travel cheaply to get cheap. This is the philosophy. Consider that the hotel has any way to pay a commission to the seller.
Travel cheaply to get cheap: from the problem to the solution
I am telling you starting from the story of my friend, mixed with my experience because I want to share some tips. Luxury and quality are not always together, but most of the times yes. Why? Because a brand that works in luxury needs to create an image and to define themselves with the services offered. That’s why to give something exclusive is a must. This allows them to ask for more money. If you travel cheaply you will get cheap.
Do you want to spend a good weekend somewhere and your budget is limited? You don’t have to renounce to luxury, but just consider to allocate your resources on the right place. First of all, you should avoid the websites created just to give you huge discounts. They will never think about your expectations and needs. They are interested only to sell. If you read carefully their proposal you will notice that something is missing. Something else is not clear. Other things are not properly well set up.
What to do?
Make a calculation of your budget in order to define exactly how much you can spend. Be flexible as much you can. Then check hotel, restaurant, spa or whatever prices. Check official websites. Consider to not eat in the hotel. Verify directly their offers. Then surf the main hotel search engines to see the prices. Compare the proposals. Be sure about the offer. How? Reading carefully what is included. If something is not clear, you can also send an email to them to ask.
Being in touch with a hotel can be helpful. They know about your interest and they can be available to set a special offer for you. Like a tailor-made rate. Or maybe they can add something as a benefit to the normal rate. Like a transfer or something like that. Many years ago I entered a five-star hotel and I asked the price. It was higher than what I expected and I said it to them. Then I started to go out. They called me back and the manager offered a discount, an interesting one, asking me to remain for at least a couple of nights. I had a very good treatment.
Travel cheaply to get cheap is what happens in reality. They will never give you nothing for free. It’s their job and they have to earn money. That is why if you just look at the price and you want to get the maximum for very cheap prices, you will never find a solution. Don’t accept huge discounts if there is no reason for them. You risk ruining your holiday. Avoid the proposals that are not clear since the beginning. Bad surprises are behind the corner.
For more advice read about my travel planning tips.