What’s it worth to you?

I just returned from a five-day conference in Fort Lauderdale, and the hotel arrangements got me thinking about the price (and more importantly the value) of convenience. 

I stayed at the designated conference hotel, directly across the street from the Convention Center, a short walk from all the meetings and events. Some colleagues chose to stay down the street, a good 10-15 minute walk each way. They saved about $30 – $40 a night (which does add up), but they had to plan their day around that walk  —  no running back to the room for a sweater if the meeting room is too cold, or dropping off a heavy bag of brochures/handouts before moving on to the next activity, and if they stuck around to have dinner/drinks with colleagues at the end of the day, they had to walk back alone in the dark afterwards. To me, the convenience of being right on-site more than outweighed the extra cost.

And convenience is even more important when we’re talking about a vacation!  When you’re making a “once in a lifetime” trip to Paris, London or Rome, how important is it to you to be right in the middle of the city, within walking distance of the sights and attractions? If you save $50 – $100 a night by staying on the outskirts, will that make up for having to spend precious vacation time (and money) on public transportation every day? What will you remember in the end – the price of the hotel room or the experience of strolling out your door to watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace?

It’s something to think about. And it’s definitely something that a good travel advisor should talk to you about when you’re planning your next trip!

Time and Money

What’s your time worth?

I had a potential client tell me the other day that she had spent “hours” scouring the internet to find a quote that was $10 cheaper than the one I had given her for her vacation.  Let’s assume she spent three hours — that would mean her time was worth about $3.50 per hour? Even if she only spent two hours, that’s $5.00 per hour, which is still below minimum wage. Even my 13-year-old daughter makes $10 per hour to babysit!

It’s an extreme example, I know, but it illustrates a mindset that baffles me. Why would a busy professional spend hours on the internet trying to save a few dollars on a vacation? Wouldn’t that time be better spent on work, or family, or just about anything else besides sitting at a computer stressing out about something that’s supposed to be relaxing? Not to mention the fact that if they go ahead and book with the rock-bottom vendor they found online, what kind of service are they going to get? 

Most of us only take about two weeks of vacation a year, and we dream about it (and save up for it) for weeks and months before hand. My clients know that, by putting the planning process in my hands, they’ll be getting a great vacation (tailored specifically to their needs and desires) at a great price, and they won’t have to spend hours on the internet worrying about it!

You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)