Family Escapes, and much more...
It was the end of 2021 and two families were on holiday together at the beach. Over a BBQ one night the conversation moved to all the challenges they had faced over the past couple of years while COVID was instigating chaos in their everyday life. As the stories poured out there was a shift in the mood and suddenly a voice chimed into the conversation with “Why don’t we all go to Fiji together next winter”, and just like that – a New Year’s Resolution was made.
In a matter of seconds this family was on the “Travel-Ladder”. For not only did they now think about their pending trip, they spent the remainder of the holiday dreaming about it and talking about it. Therefore, it was not a surprise that when they returned to reality it wasn’t long until they moved into step 4 and that is to “Plan It”. The first step they took was for each individual family to look online and see if they could book the airfares for their family. It was when they took this step that they realised that to book online they had to give 100% commitment, pay upfront, provide all the details (including names/passport details which they did not all have). Upon realising all this, logic prevailed, and a SOS was sent out to me to find out what their options were.
The above scenario is not uncommon at all, nor is it anything new that has been caused by all the chaos that was caused by COVID. Even as a child we would go on holiday with other families. Like many families that decide to do this, this family did not realise that they were in fact eligible to a “Group Booking”. A group booking is classified as 10 people travelling together at one time. As there were going to be 11 people travelling from these two families combined – they ticked that box. As such, they were entitled to the benefits of a group booking which include additional flexibility and not having to pay immediately for your flights.
Is this sounding like something you could benefit from? Then read on and I’ll give you the condensed “Nuts & Bolt’s” about how this all works…
Firstly, after I got the call and found out about this trip I set out and obtained a personalised Group Quote for this family. This was based upon their ideal dates, and a competitive fare was negotiated for them. We were able to secure their seats with the airline but did not have to provide all the names/passport details at that time.
Once these seats were confirmed, the family was then able to move onto their next step, and that was to book their accommodation. That’s right – I was not booking the accommodation for them. From helping this family, I realised the common misconception that “To book with me you have to book 100% of your travel with me”. I am a Travel Professional and as such I realise that there are always going to be situations where you don’t and that is completely fine. For this family, they were going to be staying at a private home that had been recommended to them, and as such I was not able to book it for them. There are other situations when people might be visiting Friends & Family, or have found an alternative directly, or even because they are travelling with the intention of “Not making plans so they have flexibility”. All of these are valid reasons, and I don’t mind. I do however make sure all the ‘planets are in alignment’ with what I am organising, and what a client is doing directly.
As part of the “Alignment”, I did learn of the plan’s that were being investigated for Transfers and Insurance. As a travel professional, I was quickly about to determine that I was able to offer “Substantial Cost Saving’s” regarding both of these components, through once again using my supplier relationships, and “Group” levels. There is a saying that goes “You don’t know what you don’t know”, so if you are travelling don’t assume because you can access it online it is the cheapest option. And remember, cheapest is not always the best (it can end up costing you more in the long run).
We are now in June, and the final touches have been made to this families ‘Winter Escape’. Because of the benefits of the group booking all the passports have arrived in time, and tickets were issued based upon the airfare we secured earlier in the year. We recently had a person added to the group and while we were able to secure the benefits of the group terms & conditions, we were not able to get them the same airfare – and this was substantially higher. Overall, a very positive outcome for this well-deserving family!!
A group comes in many forms. As a typical rule of thumb, it is 10+ people travelling together at the same time. There are no criteria on what the ‘physical make-up’ is of a group, or what their purpose is. It could be a family such as this, it could be a sport group, a family reunion, a wedding, a school group, a work group, a church group, a hen’s party, a social group… the options are endless.
If you are thinking about something that you think might qualify as a group, do get in touch. I am happy to have an obligation free discussion with you to see if you too could benefit from my services. Afterall, I do my “Due-Diligence” when you are “Due2Travel” ensuring that everything is in order when you are “Due2Depart”.