Where’s the Value in Upgraded Travel?

Travelling on a shoestring budget can be miserable, let’s admit it. After toiling away all year, you want to whoop it up on holiday, right? It’s great to pull out all the stops and enjoy your time away from the routine. New experiences are part of what travel is all about, but extras will surely cost you money.

Looking closely at the costs of proposed upgrades to your travel plan is essential. Sometimes there’s lots of value in taking your travel to the next level, and sometimes it’s just a squandering of your hard-earned money.

  • Travel Upgrades Extras that Always Add Value

Travel Upgrades: Travel Insurance

Spending on reputable travel insurance and an expert guide can be the cherries on the top of your adventuresome travel.

Everyone knows that life is a rollercoaster of unpredictable ups and downs. You never know when your travel plans might go down the drain along with your pre-paid deposits or other expenditures. So many factors can sabotage your getaway, no matter what type of transportation you’re using. If you’ve booked a flight, there’s always a risk that the airline or even airport may shut down for technical reasons, or due to bad weather, bankruptcy or even terrorism. Your flight may be cancelled or postponed to another time that just doesn’t work for you.

If you are travelling by car, you could be faced with a breakdown or an unhoped-for accident. Even your own situation can change from one day to the next. Perhaps you or a family member will become unwell or an important unexpected event may crop up. Situations can arise which may even force you to cancel your trip altogether. Sadly, there are very few travel agencies that guarantee a full refund. Anyone embarking on a trip will be well aware of the threats of burglary, lost possessions or illness whilst under way.

As for these unanticipated and disappointing situations, a certain financial vulnerability is always lurking right around the corner – so it’s worth spending the money for travel insurance. Always make sure, however, that you choose the type of travel insurance that’s right for you. It’s of utmost importance that you understand the correct explanation for all of the types.

Read: 10 Steps to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Money

Travel Upgrades: Expert Guide

Hiring an expert guide for sightseeing is always worth it. Travelling to a particular place on our big planet is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the average person. Guides can help you learn about a lot about special sites in a certain region within a relatively short period of time. Having guides is highly recommended if you are visiting numerous countries on one holiday. For instance, you might decide to take a fortnight to tour through Europe by  train.

A guide will also save you time by presenting a range of options for activities and sightseeing at the places that interest you the most. You can get acquainted with the basic facts about places before travelling and decide if a certain place is really one that you want to explore further.

Different countries have diverse cultures and beliefs which you will need to respect at all times. Now, you may be wondering how you can hire a highly experienced, knowledgeable and certified guide. If your travel has been booked through an agency, those agents should be your first port of call to identify a guide. Regardless of whether you are travelling independently or with the help of an agency, you can always conduct your own internet search for a guide.

Alternatively, get in touch with top- notch educational institutions, galleries or museums at your destination and ask them to recommend guides. You can also consult websites like TripAdvisor which profile a range of guide services sorted by popularity, rate and personal recommendations.

  • Travel Upgrades Extras that are Never Worth the Expense

Travel Upgrades : Peak-Period & High-Season Travel

There are two major expense factors which you should always try to avoid if you’d like to keep more money in your pocket: peak-period/high-season travel and Wi-Fi access upgrades are not worth wasting your precious money on.

Travelling during peak periods such as school holidays, at Christmastime or even in the season when your destination has the nicest weather will cost you lots more money than if you travel in a non-peak period. The perks will be fewer and you’ll be less likely to have as many personal interactions at your destination. Most travel fares and hotel/resort rates more than double during the popular seasons.

In addition, you will also find that local prices at your destination are higher than during non-peak times. During the high season, fewer benefits will be offered as freebies to supplement your purchased travel package. There may be fewer affordable high-quality facilities and services available. Travelling off-season may get you banquets, wine and other bonus perks at half the price that you would pay in peak season – when you would get the package with no perks at all! In off-season you will experience your destination more intimately and have a better chance to get to know the locals since it will be less crowded.

Travel Upgrades : Wifi

Upgrading to Wi-Fi privileges on the airplane, on a bus or at your hotel in order to satisfy your social addictions is not worth the extra expense. Most people complain that slow Wi-Fi in a hotel room, often purchased at a premium price, really gets on their nerves. If you require an internet connection for professional purposes, it would be advisable to invest in a portable Wi-Fi router instead. Otherwise, start living in the real world and enjoy your trip experience rather than a virtual experience!

  • Travel Upgrades that are Occasionally Worth the Expense

Travel Upgrades : Flight Upgrades 

Flight upgrades and hotel package upgrades are not always necessarily worth the extra money you would spend on them.

Flight upgrades only deliver value when you make long-haul trips. Adding convenience and comfort upgrades to long flights can really create a more luxurious experience. Extra legroom, more spacious seats, express boarding, priority security, priority baggage handling, Wi-Fi and extras from the menu are lovely additions on long journeys, especially when these perks come as a package. Just remember that they only make sense for flights lasting a minimum of six hours. Upgrading to the next class is highly recommended too, but only if you can do so using your reward miles points. Otherwise, a class upgrade will simply eat up too much of your cash!

Travel Upgrades : Hotel Packages

Hotel packages/upgrades should be handled in a similar manner to flight upgrades. They are only worth the investment if you’re staying a certain length of time and can determine in advance just how many of the hotel amenities you expect to use.

Related: How To Save $10,000 A Year By Making Small Changes

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).