Trick or Treat

01 November 2023

It's that time of year when pumpkins become important, even though we are only just putting the seeds in the ground, and there is no sign of any, unless they are made of plastic, in our world down under. Lots of ghosts and scary creatures roaming the streets looking for lollies. I have never really got onboard with Halloween, but probably grew up in a different time, or place, where the nearest house was a mile away down a metal (Gravel) road.

So it got me thinking about “Tricks” or “Treats” in our industry, relating to Booking online, versus booking with your favoured travel specialist. And specialists we are! The most complex choices are airfares, and cruises. We are told frequently-“Oh I just do that myself because it is easy” especially to Australia-just a hop across the ditch! For our new travel cadets I usually get them to book the Gold is so complicated. Seat and bag versus The Works. Air New Zealand, Jetstar (We don’t book Jetstar) or Qantas. Brisbane or Coolangatta. If Brisbane, there is another airline of Chinese extraction to throw in to the mix. If Brisbane, how do you get to the Gold Coast? Where to stay? Apartment (unserviced) versus hotel. How do you get around? Scheduled transport or rental car. Theme Parks, and other exciting entertainment? I had an enquiry in the winter from someone who had booked her stay at a camping type ground adjacent to the theme parks, in a motel type cabin. I looked at the price she had paid. I did a search and found the same motel for a lot less. Luckily hers was refundable. I still undercut the price with my fee included.

And then there is cruising. Ohhh. Many people see something either online or in the paper-it’s a steal! The price!!! Incredible! It could be in US dollars. It will definitely be in an inside cabin (lowest price). It will definitely have 4000 plus passengers. No Problem! It is still a great price. It’s a problem getting on and off each day-half the day gone. And many of these cruises spend less time in ports. Instead of all day, more like half or three quarters. Theres one Mediterranean Cruiseline where English excursions are a minority. And every announcement is in Italian, French, German, Spanish and English at a push. And the Europeans onboard treat the trip as the holiday. They are not interested in going ashore. But it’s a great price.

So my question to you. Why would you book yourself? Which cruise will you get? Will it be a Trick or a treat?

- Jo

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