Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vacation Time!!

We were not planning to go away during this June vacation. This was partly due to the H1N1 virus going around as well as the bad economic times. All the forms from school for our travel plans were returned with a NIL written across.

Suddenly 2 days ago, hubby decided that maybe we should go somewhere. I think Little D's: "I would like to go on a plane again!" had something to do with it. So we started looking around. There were a few promotions that looked attractive: Chiang Mai, Phuket, Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu. Some can be had for under $400 for a 3 day/2 night trip staying at fairly decent hotels.

Oldest suggested Penang again, as the children had an enjoyable the last time we were there 2 years ago. Phuket, we have been many times so we vetoed it eventually. We thought we should be going to a place where we have never been to.

So the process started. For all those promotions offered, we were not able to get flights for the days we wanted!! (We have personal travel blackout periods due to hubbys schedule).So we decided to call the travel agent to assist in making bookings, thinking that they usually have the "connections" to get desired flights, and better hotel deals. The travel consultant quoted us the price of $465 an air ticket which we thought was pretty expensive. But after we asked her if she was sure, she came back to say she could get us tickets at $257 a person!! Still not happy with her response, I decided to go on the internet, and ended up getting our air tickets at $227 per person, and I save the $40/person transaction fee which the tavel agent would have charged on top of that. Talk about service!!

Well, we also asked her to check out the rates at a few hotels for us and she came back with the rate of RM750 a room night for one particular hotel! My initial reaction was ~ there goes our vacation! With 3 children, we need to book two rooms, and, we cant afford to be spending that much! The rates she quoted were more than the promotion rates published on the hotel websites of RM600. And the websites had indicated that there were still rooms available. And all along I thought travel agents get better rates?

So we thought booking on the web would be better, as there were other freebies thrown in as well, which were not included in the travel agents offer. As we had special room requests, we decided to call the hotels worldwide reservation line and made some enquiries. Guess what? We managed to get rooms at rates way BELOW the RM600 a night rate!! What a deal!!

So we would be going on vacation afterall!! It looks like nowadays, its better to D-I-Y, coz these travel agents give practically no service, and on top of that, they want to charge you for it!


iml said...

Going to Penang? When? Hmm.. I might just take a short break with the girls too.

Stardust said...

Hey, that's some knotty process but I'm glad that you've settled for a great deal. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! WEEEE!!!!

Sniff... I want to go on vacation too leh. But Bear won't let me. Swine flu is still spreading quickly here :/

iml said...

Good choice. Closer to nature. ENJOY!!!

bp said...

Glad your DIY efforts paid off so nicely, have a great mid-year break! Happy hols!

JoMel said...

So where are you heading to? You know, I can never plan early when it comes to trips during the school holidays.. it's almost always impromptu too! Well, it's all because of the husband, cos' we have to follow his work schedule and sometimes he won't know if he is able to take off until the last minute. How nice if we could book way early and get better deals of hotels and such eh?

No matter. You have fun with your family. Lots and lots of it. :)

stay-at-home mum said...

Thot you just came back from vacation. Heard that the swine flu spread is quite bad in Japan, but dont worry. You will get to go to - soon, I hope!

stay-at-home mum said...

Thanks iml & bp!

Jomel - Same for me. I booked on tuesday and I am flying on tuesday next week. I am going to Yan's hometown!!

just me said...

SAHM, have an enjoyable time!

JoMel said...

Oh nice!! Be sure to eat lots of kampua mee! *drools* :)