By Lillian Gaitho
Mass marketing is nothing new in the travel industry, and travel agents are known to design and sell “packages” heavily dependent on group rates, unfortunately taking up bare minimal in terms of individual preferences. More than not, this will lead to differences arising in the course of the itinerary for the unmet personal expectations. Cases of travelers breaking apart to form agreeable factions and groupings based on common needs is not unheard of. To avoid this hassle, travel experts at Jumia Travel encourage any excursionist and tripper looking for a personalized experience to lay down a detailed guide on their most important intentions and desires by observing the following key points.
Create a checklist
Let’s say you are taking up a rail trip on the Rovos, embarking in Johannesburg and winding up in Dar es Salaam; list down all destinations that you’ll want to explore along the route, activities you want to engage in, your meals, and any other onboard adventures. Again, if you are taking a safari, be very clear on what sightings will make your trip meaningful, what amenities should not miss and the prerequisites for your guard if any. This will help you class your needs between key, important, and inconsequential.
Draft a travel plan
From your budget to the dates and the mode of transport down to the room appeal, hostel menu, and preferred seat number. Countercheck your checklist and keep it in tandem with the duration of your trip, the chosen destination, type of accommodation, the season and culture. For instance, if you are looking for a partysome festive culinary adventure in the Emirates, then the Ramadan period would be the least suited for your travel.
Identify a reliable and knowledgeable travel agent
Where need be, if need be. Key traits include direct and unlimited communication line between you and your chosen agent, as outlined in a previous article. This will wipe out the chances of second referrals and broken communication. Do not tire of digging for information, and engaging your agent in areas that seem grey to you. Never underestimate the value of unbiased online reviews and opinions from previous guests and travelers, and do not be afraid of drawing their (providers/agents) attention to anything you find bothersome. Remember it’s fair trade, and value for money is a great deal.
The devil is in the details…
So, are you hiring a self-drive, or taking on the wheel? If latter, do you want a manual or are you more comfortable in an auto. Is the insurance up to date, and does it cover you and your crew? You may also opt for a bus tour or public transport in both cases, you need to know the fare charges and the routes followed. Such minute, innocent looking things may actually spoil your whole trip. Always go beyond the big picture, and take a third look at the unwritten details.
Consolidate your detailed request, and hand it in
Some customers shy away from stating their needs in the fear of being labelled “demanding”. Well, if it sounds sane to you then go ahead and test the waters. Again, having ran all your ideas and expectations with your agent, it should be easier to go through this step. This is to give you both a clear picture of what is expected by both parties.
Get a summary and itinerary in time
Just to ensure that you do not have to deal with last minute changes. A timely and well summarized copy of your itinerary, detailed services, and the terms and conditions from all your providers is important. This should give you a full picture of what to expect, and rule out any probable circumstances. It’s also important to explore the place of travel insurance, and what it serves. For example, if your flight is cancelled or delayed, how will your travel agent handle it. If there are unexpected weather changes and you can no longer take up the mountain climb, what activities will the operator provide instead?
Numbers and stumblers…
The most basic bit to creating a personalized experience out of your travel, is understanding what you really need to achieve from your journey. This way, you’ll be able to choose on agreeable destinations as well as the right season and fitting provider. Diverse types of travel will call for distinct of arrangement, e.g.; voluntourism may be different from adventurism and so is luxury travel as compared to backpacking on budget.