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  • Carol McKee

Is This Really a Good Deal?


Rock bottom airfare. The promise of future travel credits. The ability to cancel up to 48 hours ahead. Should you pull the trigger or wait?  The answer to that question has everything to do with your tolerance for risk. Some of us are willing to roll the dice on things and some of us don't like taking chances with our money. When Steve and I travel to Las Vegas we show our risk tolerance in a way that makes it plain who we are. While he heads right to the casino as soon as we check in, I make sure to pack a good book and spend my money in the spa for a treatment or two. For me if I loose $10 in a slot machine I feel like it's a lot. For Steve it is clear that his idea of a loss he's willing to take in order to make a big gain (maybe) is much much higher. Obviously we have very different ideas about what is an acceptable risk. Almost everyone assumes that when the travel industry comes back there will be great "deals" to be had. And in some sectors like the airline industry that is true.. for now. But other parts of the travel world are looking at cutting capacity to keep people safe when they reopen. That means that prices may actually go up to accommodate less people and still make their bottom line work. So don't be surprised by rising prices instead of lower ones when you do go to book. Some companies are opening up booking now with low prices and the caveat that they may not really be able to deliver what they are selling when they say they will. An example of this is a recent move by Carnival cruise lines. Rock bottom fares helped bookings skyrocket this month but while they say they "want" to start sailing again in August there is no guarantee they will be able to do so. So many factors that they don't control will have an influence on if and when they can sail again. So this is a buyer beware type of thing - it's important for you to know if the deal you are considering is completely non-refundable. Instead you may be offered a future travel credit if the trip can not be taken. So in essence you may be lending the company money in exchange for getting a "deal". If you have a high risk tolerance that might be okay - but if you don't you should be aware of the fine print before you pull the trigger. The truth is that right now pretty much no one has a crystal ball about what will happen. So before you book what looks like a deal be sure you understand the risks and your own tolerance for that both financially and how it will impact you emotionally if you plan something that does not happen. If you are okay with both then by all means go forth and book it. If not then consider what alternative you have closer to home. Domestic road trips in the region you live may be the safest bet right now.

Drop me a line with your travel dreams

When we can travel again I have a long list of where I want to go. Where would you go? Drop me a note and I will feature your travel dream in a future newsletter - carol.mckee@mckeetravel.com

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