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Are travel packages a good deal?

June 1st, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Are travel packages a good deal?

JetsetterShow.comNo one who has traveled in the past decade could miss the rise of travel aggregate websites like Orbitz, Priceline, Hotwire, Travelocity, and about a million others. If you’re interested in a travel package to a particular spot on this globe, there’s a good chance a website has already sprung up that specializes in it.

But are the packages they offer a good deal?

Like the Romans said, “Caveat emptor” which translates to “Let the buyer beware.” Having said that, yes, you can find some incredible travel deals by doing the proper research. And don’t stop at the obvious. These days, individual airlines offer travel packages that bundle hotel and car reservations in with air fare also.

We’ve done enough travel around the country and world to realize that significant savings can be had, just don’t automatically assume that everything they call a “travel package” equates to a “good deal.” Get out your calculator and break it all down. Throwing a bunch of stuff together is sometimes done to obscure the fact that, taken individually, it’s not THAT great a deal – except sometimes it is.

How can these websites offer such great travel pricing options (when they do)? It’s the law of supply and demand at work. Tourist driven businesses like hotels, car rental companies, and airlines calculate their profit margin to the penny. Over the years, they’ve figured out that, for many reasons, it’s better to have a full house, plane, etc, than an empty one, even if that means discounting rates to keep people coming in. While a hotel might offer you a great deal on the nightly rate, they bank on the fact that, while you’re there, you’ll spend money at their on-site restaurant, gift shop, order room service, use the valet, etc. Plus they’re hoping you’ll have such a great time you’ll tell all your friends.

That’s why travel packages can sometimes be a great deal.

The Jetsetter Team

Flickr / adria.richards