How to safely buy a tour in 2022
Well, it’s time, friends! Covid and the closure of air traffic do not allow normal travel. The situation in the world is tense, countries are just beginning to open their borders. The question arises: how to plan a vacation in such a difficult period? Here are my tips:
✔️ See the list of open countries. There are opportunities for recreation! For example, in 2021 we have already had time to rest in Greece, Hungary, Turkey and Georgia, even despite the flight bans.
✔️ Check the current entry rules for the desired country.
✔️ Buy TCD insurance if you go on vacation on your own or do not trust the standard policy from the tour operator too much. It is convenient and profitable to buy insurance on Cherehapa.ru or get it for free with an All Airlines card, like we do.
✔️ Buy cancellation insurance if you are worried that your trip may be canceled due to illness, a positive covid test, or for any other reason. It is bought in addition to the ticket and costs 4-5% of the cost of the tour. I think this is a fair price for peace of mind. On the Travelata service, where I most often take tours, it is possible to buy such insurance (see details).
Read below for my tips on buying cheap tours.
Where are the tours sold?
Now we can buy a ticket to more than two dozen countries, but for many destinations there are two problems: high prices and flights with transfers.
The most affordable countries where tours with direct flights are sold are: Abkhazia, Turkey, UAE, Egypt, Oman. The prices have gone up, but overall they are quite reasonable. It is also easy to fly to Sochi on the tour.
Tours with flights on regular flights and transfers are sold to Georgia, Jordan, Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Tanzania, Mauritius, Bahrain, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Maldives and Seychelles. Such tours are not cheap due to high airfare. Transfers are carried out at the airports of Belarus, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, Serbia, Turkey. There are trips to Italy and Montenegro on sale, but they are especially expensive.
See where you can now inexpensively relax.
1. Buy tours online
Travel agencies on the street sell tours for more than online tour search engines. The last time I bought a ticket at the office of a travel agency was back in 2012. Then convenient and reliable online tour search services appeared, and now I use only them. I no longer go to the offices of greedy travel agencies – it is more convenient and more profitable to buy tickets on the Internet.
Why are travel agencies more expensive? The reason is the human factor – cunning managers in travel agencies in every possible way promote the client to buy a more expensive tour package. They fundamentally do not want to sell tours for 5, 10, 20 thousand – a percentage of such transactions is not enough for them, they need more gold!
Where to look for cheap tours online? I use three search engines: Travelata, Onlinetours and Level.Travel. All three are reliable and very comfortable. Choose which one you like best. I especially love Travelata, but this is a matter of taste and habit. I also like the Tez Tour website for a great opportunity to book a hotel at a price from a tour operator – often it turns out cheaper than on Booking.com. Thanks to this option, we recently had a rest in several excellent five-star hotels in Turkey, paying one and a half to two times less.
Install the mobile app. Travelata has an excellent application: download it for Android or IOS and use the current promotional code AF600MOBmake-trip when buying a tour.
How do tour search engines work? They compare prices among 130 popular tour operators and find the cheapest tours. Finding and booking a tour on your own is easy. You see the full information on the tour: hotel, flight, meals, reviews of tourists and so on. You choose the tour you like. Got questions? Ask them to the consultant in a chat or by phone. Secure online payment by credit card. The tour can also be purchased in installments.
Offices and consultants. All three search engines have offices in major cities. There is also a hotline support service. So it’s easy to interact with them.
Advantages of buying tours online:
- Big choice. Compare prices from all tour operators to find the cheapest tour. Compared = Saved!
- Convenient and fast. No need to go to travel agency offices, waste time on the road, waiting and communication. You can find and book a tour in 15-30 minutes at home or at work. When buying last-minute tours, speed is especially important:
- Safely. Search engines work only with reliable tour operators. Payment is made using a secure protocol. There is a 24/7 support service.
Independence. I recommend looking for and buying tours on your own. It’s more reliable – you know better than any person what exactly you need and at what price. There is no interference from others – there is no possibility to confuse you. In offices, managers are often cunning or simply incompetent.
- Documents immediately. When buying a tour online, all bookings and confirmations will be sent to your mail pretty quickly. In an ordinary agency, employees like to delay issuing documents – we passed, we know.
- Reliably. I trust the large online search engines Onlinetours, Travelata and
- Level.Travel with a large client base and a well-known name. Travel agencies with colorful names like “Cactus”, “Sea of Dreams” or “Marina Travel”, scattered along the streets of Russian cities – no.
- Best price guarantee. This is a trump card with which the services listed above beat any cards of travel agencies at once. The policy of Travelata and
- Level.Travel is as follows: if you bought a tour from them, and then found exactly the same, but cheaper on another site or from a tour operator, then they will refund the difference in the cost of the tour in double size. It is immediately obvious that these guys are confident in themselves and honestly try to offer customers the lowest prices. I have never taken advantage of this opportunity, because I could not find a cheaper tour anywhere.
2. Be flexible with deadlines and dates
Often we have many restrictions: rigidly fixed vacation days, personal affairs and obligations. However, try to achieve as much freedom as possible in choosing dates – this will save you money.
See different departure days. Vacation starts on Monday and you found a tour for that day for 50 thousand? Check departures on Tuesday or Wednesday – suddenly there are tours for 30 thousand. I encounter this on a regular basis.
Change your rest time. Often (not sometimes, but often!) tours for 7 nights are cheaper than tours for 5 nights, tours for 10 nights are cheaper than tours for 8 and so on. This happens because of the flight schedule of charter flights – each airline has its own. Do not limit yourself, check all the options!
3. Be flexible in choosing a resort
If you are monogamous, who prefers to go on vacation to the same place every year, then the question of choosing a direction is not worth it for you. I recommend everyone else to consider different resorts – your chances of buying a cheap tour will increase.
How does direction affect price?
There are traditionally expensive destinations (Cuba, Maldives, Dominican Republic, Seychelles, UAE). There are cheap destinations (Turkey, Greece, Abkhazia, the South of Russia, the Czech Republic).
Seasonality plays an important role: it is cheaper to fly to some resorts in summer, to others in winter, and to others in spring or autumn.
There are also random factors. For example, a tour operator sold few tours in one of the destinations and decided to lower prices – last-minute tours appear.
Do you want to buy the cheapest tour? See as many directions as you can. Compare not only countries, but also individual resorts of the same country.