Dreaming about a country, arranging your days off at work, finding the right flight and apartment(s).. It all sounds so good to me! I often call holidays freedom. I love the feeling of being in an airplane, being in a different country, meeting different people and learning from their culture. I have traveled a lot already. Even though I’m still very young, traveling has been my hobby since I was 15 years old. And still, this holiday I made some huge mistakes! Especially when it comes down to… money.
- Single bookings vs holiday package
Usually I buy everything separately; the flight, hotel/apartment, transfers. Just everything. Why? Simply because it enables me to find the cheapest fares and I can select the nearest airport which gives me some extra time on my travel day. Also, when I check places to stay I’m able to find the cutest apartments spread over the country. While staying at an apartment you can do your own grocery shopping (cheap) and go out for dinner whenever you like. It all depends on how much money you’d like to spend. If you like to travel really cheap, there’s always the possibility to stay at a hostel or find places to stay at people’s homes.
This time my boyfriend wanted a relaxing holiday. He asked me not to plan too much this time (I’m someone who loves to plan every day to make sure I can see as much as possible). Because of his wishes, I assumed it was best to choose a nice and central place on the island so we could easily do things every day if we wanted to. If we wanted to do nothing, we could just stay at the hotel and relax.
Not sure how to call it in English, but I bought the flight, transfer and hotel all together. I call it a holiday package. The biggest mistake ever!
#1. The flight departed from Amsterdam. That’s a 2,5 hour trip by train from our place. #2. We needed to wait far too long on the airport in Malta for the transfer to the hotel. Waiting for all the passengers can take some time (By the way: we always travel with only hand luggage so we don’t have to wait for our suitcases).
#3. And then, when finally in the bus, we needed to wait until all passengers got dropped at their hotel. We were the last people in the bus! Don’t get me wrong. I’m a very patient person and I like watching the view from my window, but I could have spent that time so much wiser.
#4. The hotel is nice, clean and there’s a pool. But because of its size, there are many tourists over there. I prefer quite and more private places.
- Breakfast, half board, all inclusive
When booking a holiday package you can choose breakfast, half board or all-inclusive. Breakfast means that you can eat breakfast at the hotel every day, half board means breakfast and dinner, all inclusive means all day long food and drinks. We choose to try half board. Having breakfast and being able to eat at the hotel for just 11 Euros a day, per person. That’s so cheap! But WHYYYY did I book this? We love going out for dinner, eating quality food and choosing the restaurant we think looks the coziest. What was I thinking on the moment I clicked the ‘half board’ box? It’s something I will never do again! We ate in the hotel the first evening and the second morning. So basically I threw away 22 Euros a day plus the money I spend on the breakfast. Not sure how much that was.
Okay, I said mistakes. Maybe you don’t agree because you love the way we traveled. That’s, of course, different for everybody. I like being free and spending my money wisely. I prefer experiences over material stuff. The one thing I’ve learned is that in the future I will never book a trip so impulsively. I could have spent that money on nicer restaurants or another experience.
What are your recent travel mistakes? And what’s your favorite way to travel?
I’d love to read it in a comment below!