Well, it may sound serious to some of you. A hoax by definition is “a deliberate attempt to dupe, deceive or trick an audience into believing, or accepting, that something is real, when in fact it is not.” Or it should be considered as part of the marketing strategies of travel agencies. It happened to most of the travel packages, including my vacation travel to South Yangtze China. Hoaxes of a packaged travel deal are definitely beneficial to travel agencies, in order to gain competitive advantages by reducing package price. However, they could be to our travelers’ benefits, if they are fully understood by travelers who join the package. That’s why we pay much lesser in our China trip. Hey! What are actually hoaxes found in a packaged travel deal? I listed down the Top 5 hoaxes here. It may benefit you at the end of the day if you realize it in advance:
- Extreme Low Package Price - Before signing up any travel package, I always seek confirmation with the travel agent on any additional charges or hidden cost on the trip. Sometimes, travel package might be unbelievably low priced initially to attract buyers but charges such as fees, taxes, or tips could be excluded and need to be paid on your trip later. If you are aware of these common tricks before signing up, less unexpectedness you would get later;
- Optional Night Excursion – This is another common tricks of a travel package. Travel agencies normally include more itineraries than what the package would include, to attract budget travelers. Some of the itineraries may be published as optional excursion on the trip. You may think not to participate in the excursion but then you will be staying in the hotel for half of your vacation;
- Visiting Factory Outlets - The biggest hoax of all. It is very common that tour groups being brought to local product factories. Before that, a short briefing on how good and famous of the particular product would be given by your tour guide. Once reaching the factory, sales person would further explain and demonstrate the product to you. In most happened occasion, I would not say they are frauds, only that those facts are being exaggerated. Of course, it’s alway great to know more on the products, but the most interesting part follows. Sales persons will then ‘urge’ you to buy. You could opt not to buy anything but they will push you real ‘Hard’. Moreover, time frame allowed in the factory is always plenty, more than enough time for you to be pushed, persuaded and trapped to buy or buy more. It could be the whole morning or afternoon session. Craziest part of all, your lunch or dinner would be inside the same venue so you have nowhere to run! End of the day, whatever you buy, commissions would be shared among the tour guide, tour leader and even the couch driver! This is the trick how travel agencies could make up their losses in extreme low tour package price! In my packaged travel experience to Shanghai and South Yangtze China, we visited a total of 10 local product factories! How much commission have they made?
- Rushing off – On the other hand, very limited or short time is allocated for tour group to spend on site seeing, like museum, garden or buildings. Even if the whole tour group asked if certain product factory visit could be omitted and allow more time on site seeing, the answer given by the tour guide is always “No” with various lame reasons such as “What for wasting your time? Nothing else to see” or “Our couch is waiting and has nowhere to park his vehicle” blah blah blah….
- Last but not least, more tips demanded. – Tour guide will ‘encourage’ the tour group to pay some extra group tips to bell boys of hotels, even though the travel agency had confirmed earlier that all tips had been included. Explanation given is ‘to please and expedite them to carry your luggage to and from your rooms!’ She will emphasize that being a kind human being, you should pay and have to follow majority. SH*T! Until the minute before we boarded for flying home, you would be reminded again to pay some gift money to the tour guide and couch driver! I know tipping is common practice in some countries but we as travelers should be reminded or made known to before booking a travel package!
End of the day, how much more you have spend on these hoaxes on top of your ? Does it sum up to be lower, higher or the same as if you were travel by yourself? I would say the latter will prevail over the others. – Travel Feeder.