Avoiding the Herd
Summertime is here, and that means there are going to be plenty of travelers. With the opening up of China, international travelers are about to go on "Vacation Revenge," a phenomenon the U.S. experienced in mid-2020 and throughout 2021. The floodgates are about to open. Are you ready?
While this is good for my business, it could make traveling a little more tricky, crowded, and expensive. Over the years, I've learned how to circumnavigate these pitfalls, and I'd like to share these secrets with you. Apply these tips, and you'll save money while getting the most out of your vacation.
Travel During the Shoulder Season
Shoulder Season is in the spring to early summer and late summer into the fall. Why would this be the best time to travel?
I almost always travel during the shoulder season. If you don't want to wait in line or struggle to get the perfect picture, this is the time to travel. A big bonus of traveling during the shoulder season is the natural beauty. In the spring, flowers are out, waterfalls flow, and newborn wildlife is out to play.
In the Fall, leaf peepers come out. Gorgeous colors abound on deciduous trees. Animals are preparing for winter, and a nice cool breeze is in the air. Autumn is one of my favorite photography times.
Prices are Much Lower
You can try to avoid making reservations with an Online Travel Agency. You might think you're getting the best price, but that's not always true. OTA's take a commission from the supplier, which means hotels, tour operators, and guides pay a commission to list on their website.
Calling the supplier directly can save you money and grief. First, they are thrilled you called direct. It means you'll be able to tell them the price you see online and ask if they can beat it. Chances are they can and will. Talk to a manager if possible.
Fewer people means travel providers need to fill their calendars. Generally speaking, prices are naturally lower during this time of year, and they'll be able to bargain. For instance, we offer 10% off all direct bookings in the springtime because we are delighted to see you!
Service is Better
Have you traveled during the summer and stopped to get something to eat, only to find a 45-minute wait? In this day and age, employers are scrambling to hire employees and almost always never have enough. Worse yet, the service is slow, often incorrect, and it takes a lot of time to refill a drink. I'd rather walk in, sit down, and be attended to right away, wouldn't you? - Please be nice, it's not their fault.
Shoulder season is when everyone is getting ready. Cheerfulness is in the air, and workers haven't been burned out. Attitudes seem to be nicer and people will often go out of their way for you during this time.
Start Planning Ahead
If you prefer to avoid crowds, pay less, and enjoy your vacation, you can start planning now. We are receptive! Here in South Dakota, we have wide open spaces and an abundance of wildlife. If Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and the Badlands are on your bucket list, check out our tours. Use the code BLACKHILLS10 for your 10% discount!