Why do I need to ask for a budget?

That’s a good question

Well firstly it’s about managing your expectations. Almost everyone has a limit and an idea of what they have set aside for a holiday

I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of people who have ever said in my entire 40 year career that money is no object just give me the best and truly mean it. On the other hand if I had a pound for every person expecting a 5-star de luxe in The Caribbean for the cost if a 2-star in Greece I would probably be a millionaire by now.

It is also about saving your time as well as mine. If someone gives me a brief like somewhere hot any time between July and September, to be honest I have no idea where to start. By telling me that you have £500 to spend that limits what I can offer you. On the other hand if you have £2000 to spend That would be for a more discerning client so I wouldn’t offer a basic apartment in Turkey because I would know immediately that you are looking for a better quality hotel so again that limits the choices.

If you only have £500 to spend and you don’t tell me that, I might offer something that you want but really can’t afford so you would disappointed that I can’t achieve that dream whereas if I know you only have £500 I would look for the best possible choice within budget, however if you are used to luxury hotels I would not want to insult you by offering you a lower standard than are used to. Obviously I know exactly what my regulars like but for new clients I need a bit of a helping hand to steer me in the right direction to find the perfect solution or at least the best possible compromise.

If you were to be specific and say that you wanted 2 weeks in Cyprus all inclusive in August for let’s say £600 I would know straightaway that I couldn’t achieve that since the airfare would already be at least £450 so I might only be able to get self catering for 1 week but I might be able to suggest travelling outside the school holidays, cut down the number of nights or suggest half board. In this case I would probably have to suggest all three. I might also suggest a change of destination. For instance if it was a weekend in New York, I would probably suggest staying in Brooklyn rather than Manhattan and cutting down the number of nights or considering Boston, Washington or Chicago where accommodation is considerably cheaper but the airfare is very similar

I often find that clients expect the same budget year after year but airfares and in particular taxes go up much higher than inflation. The cost of accommodation also goes up and often if a hotel goes through a major refurbishment the new rates will reflect the higher standard of accommodation. Clients who haven’t travelled for a few years don’t realise that prices have increased substantially since they last travelled so again managing expectations is important. For instance often clients don’t realise that the flight tax alone to USA or Caribbean is around £360 per person, that’s just the tax not the airfare so that is a whopping £1440 for a family of four before even considering the rest of the flight cost, transfers and accommodation

In most cases I am able to find something suitable as long as the initial budget is realistic or can be stretched but sometimes it is just not achievable. I will have done my absolute utmost to fulfill your dreams wherever I can so if at the initial stage I do try to determine a budget it is not because I am just thinking about my profit, it is because I want to do the very best I can for you whether that is using easyjet for a short weekend break in a budget hotel or planning the trip of a lifetime with business class seats in a de luxe hotel sipping champagne

You can contact me on 020 3432 4740 or email cathie.odea@travelcounsellors.com to book your next holiday.

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