If you caught the travel bug, there is nothing worse for you than sitting idle at home for a few months. As you are getting ready to call your trusted travel consultant to plan the next adventure, take a mental note of your remaining vacation days and let’s have a closer look at the benefits of an extended trip.
First off, an extended stay can help you save lots of your hard-earned money. Consider this, while a week-long cruise through the Mediterranean might cost you $350 per day, a 16- or even 30-day long cruise costs the same or even less. The huge savings are in flight cost, complimentary amenities, combination discounts, upgrades and more.
A 30-day cruise itinerary usually consists of four separate itineraries that are sailed back to back. Meaning new people come on board every week, while some stay on for the next itinerary to come. By doing so, you can combine the maximum savings and discounts with the highest offered amenities and cover more ground in destinations.
Let me break this down further (using a premium cruise line as an example):
Instead of four separate flights to your vacation destination, you now only need to pay for one. Many cruise lines will offer discounts for combining multiple segments into one trip. You can qualify for possible cabin upgrades or become eligible for extra amenities such as pre-paid gratuities, extra ship board credit, free shore excursions, frees specialty dining or beverage packages. Some luxury cruise lines will even include complimentary pre and/or post nights or your flight.
While the initial cost of the trip maybe higher, breaking it down to the per diem cost tends to stay the same as a seven-day cruise or might even be slightly lower. But money isn’t the only benefit. You actually get to spend more time in the destination and get a more immersive experience.
On a cruise vacation, you often find yourself deciding whether to relax and enjoy the ship, but not wanting to miss out on visiting each and every port of call. Extended itineraries usually offer more sea days and generally promote a much more relaxed approach to sightseeing. It’s your vacation after all.
The best savings and amenities are usually offered on world cruises. These itineraries are between 100-180 days long and circumnavigate the globe. Most cruise lines will happily work with your travel consultant on your behalf, to include even more amenities like pre-paid gratuities, laundry services, shore excursions, cabin upgrades, ship board credit, VIP dinners, private on shore events and more.
But this is not only true for cruises. Private jet adventures follow the same model. You circumnavigate the globe by jet, which combines multiple shorter itineraries into one 25-35 day trip. If you don’t have enough vacation days to spend six months on board a ship, jets are a really good alternative. They run a bit higher in cost, but it’s also a much more intimate experience with only about 60 guests rather than a few hundred on a cruise.
Many hotels will offer extended stay pricing. This allows you to enjoy all the amenities of the hotel while discovering the destination at your own pace.
If you are planning an extended stay trip, make sure to ask your travel consultant for extended stay travel insurance policy options.
Not sure if an extended trip is for you? Start off slowly by traveling for two weeks instead of one and see how it goes. Slowly increase your travel days until you reach a nice comfortable level. Keep in mind that many travel companies give past guest discounts. So, booking within the same travel corporation can be beneficial as you’re testing the waters on frequency and length of travel. Your travel consultant can help advise you of special discounts, past guest rates and is your advocate for cabin/room upgrades and extra amenities.
Talk to your trusted travel consultant today and see how an extended stay can benefit you. And save the date for our 4th Annual Northern Arizona Travel Expo, Oct. 18, 2017, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Flagstaff. QCBN
By Daniela Harrison
Daniela Harrison is a Travel Consultant for Avenues of the World Travel in Flagstaff. For questions, or to make reservations, she can be reached at:
Daniela@avenuesoftheworld.com or 928-556-0853.