What makes you pull the trigger?

Old Feb 14th, 2007, 10:35 AM
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What makes you pull the trigger?

What usually makes you finally make a decision and book a trip, finally pushes you to one company over another?

I'm very casually preparing an escorted Egypt trip for what will likely be either spring or late 2008, depending on finances. I like to plan early (and often) and obsess, compare, and agonize. Crazy, I know, but I love doing it.

I'm currently looking at STI Travel, Homeric Tours, and Isram, with the option of also going through affordabletours[dot]com.

They all have what I want: Decent reputations, 12/13 days, a longer cruise (6/7 days) on a nice brand (Sonesta), no 1-night stays hopping around, most things included vs optional.

And now I'm just re-reading brochures and emails, and noodling around with itineraries. If an amazing sale comes up it might force me to book, otherwise.... I'm not sure? Maybe I'll flip a coin?

The booking part is almost anticlimatic!

bballinger is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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For me, it all starts with lots and lots of research....the information gathering and then planning and anticipating all the opportunities and options. As you say, this is fun and very exciting.

Then, when choosing which company to book with, it boils down to who offers exactly what I want for my budget and who can deliver that information in the most informative, friendly way.

Maybe you'll "noodle around" long enough that a looming deadline will force you to make a choice. Until then, I'd be inclined to correspond further to get a sense of who is willing to go that extra step in terms of customer service.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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Procrastination will get you nothing. Do it or leave it.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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What always pushes me over with booking a trip is having the contact with the tour copnay be incredibly helpful, friendly and respoding quickly to any information I ask for.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 03:11 PM
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In 2003 I was "this close" to booking a tript to Morocco when the bombing occured in Casablance and I planned a different vacation.else.

About 6 months later my brother and his girlfriend announced that they were going to Morocco for two weeks. I was quite annoyed that he took "my trip."

The idea of traveling to Morocco went to the backburner until I heard that a couple that we are friendly with were planning a trip over Christmas (2006). WHAT!!!! NOW They are going on my dream vacation. NO WAY!!

That was the push I needed. One week later my husband & I were booked for 13 day tour of Morocco. Will be going in April.

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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 12:40 AM
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Trigger: Need to do something different.

Destination: No contest. Years of reading about Africa.

Destinations within destinations: As above.

Style of safari: Good wildlife viewing in remote areas combined with as few people as possible;

Operators: The smaller, the better, provided the above criteria are met. The bigger operators stifle competition, reduce choice and tend to cause prices to sky-rocket. Has anybody noticed this year in markets which are dominated by big outfits?

TA: Specialist who doesn't try to entice you with add-ons and alternatives. General TAs just add confusion to the choice.

Satisfaction level so far: 100%

afrigalah is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 02:43 AM
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First - I can't imagine planning a trip 12 months in advance - the only reason I can think of to do that is needing to save the money first - otherwise - why?

I usually have some idea of where I want to go - but I have a very long wish list and sometimes what gets me going and sends me off on a different tangent is seeing a particularly good flight deal - that gives max value for money and maybe allows a few stopovers on the way.

Next I research transport options and tours like crazy - and if it looks like a good proposition - I book the flight.

And go - and depending on the destination I might have booked a trip or place to stay before I leave - but mostly I just busk it.

Recommended in most instances.

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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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I few days ago i asked for advice at fodors because i had to book my next trip to Botswana.
Even i was not 100% sure of the itinerary and also i had not prepared the trip with in of time ,i received six positive answer from people that visit this country many times so i call my agent to tell them to go ahead and book the trip.
The first reason was ....yes ,i want to go to Botswana,i need to go to Botswana.
I am sure you have done in of search and you have arrived to the companies that deliver what you want so go ahead and pick one,you will not make a mistake.

Fuzzilogic,depend where you want to go 12 month in advance may not be in of.I am going to Botswana in November(shoulder season) and most of the properties i want to visit are full!

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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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I guess for me planning this early is part fun (obsession?) and part practicality - our jobs require long advance notice for vacations and we need to save the money first as we agreed long ago not to use credit for our trips.

NJRiverChick, I know exactly what you mean. This is "my" trip and I'd probably be furious if anyone I knew tried to take it!
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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I agree about the planning, which I enjoy. My 2007 travels are planned, and ticketed, until December, and I'm currently looking at long weekend trips for next February and April 2008 (and considering longer trip in May to Ethiopia). I do not, however, work with agents, unless its a very difficult area, so for me, pulling the trigger means purchasing plane tickets and reserving hotels. Like you, I won't finance a trip, but I will use a credit card, to earn frequent flyer miles, but I pay in full each month.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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I'm also a planner. Looking forward to a trip is half the fun.

In comparing companies, I would check for the maximum size of their groups. Also I would ask each for local references who have taken the same trip. Before calling references make a list of what is important to you in a trip.
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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i have used insight vacations and general tours and have been very pleased. it's not the cheapest way to go, as these are considered 'luxury tours,' but it's not unbelievably expensive and your trip will be really top notch.
why pull the trigger? because if i don't do it now, i may never do it!
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