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Sometimes I’m puzzled by the choices my clients make. It’s not the choice of destination or hotel that puzzles me, but the willingness to accept a huge inconvenience or inferior experience to save a few bucks. I certainly understand the need to stick to a budget when booking a vacation, but doesn’t your time have value?  Why would you want to cut corners on your dream vacation? I’m not suggesting you drain your bank account, but sometimes a small add-on makes the difference between an OK vacation and one that makes you say WOW! 

Here are a few reasonably priced upgrades that will make a significant impact on the quality of your trip.

Private Airport Transfers

Yes, I know there are plenty of taxis at the airport and Uber or Lyft drivers are available at your fingertips. But there is nothing better after a long overnight flight than passing through customs and seeing a driver standing there with a sign bearing your last name and a smile. You’ll be on the road in a nice, clean car with a cold bottle of water in the same time it takes to wait in the taxi line or for a driver at the Uber pick-up area.

Private sightseeing tours

Instead of waiting for hours in line or being herded around like sheep in a group of 40 people, why not upgrade to a private tour guide? The cost is reasonable, and the value you receive is priceless. You’ll get in quicker, see sights away from the prime tourist’s spots, and learn more about the place you’re visiting.

Upgrade Your Flight to Premium Economy 

Is Business or First Class still a little bit out of your financial comfort zone? Why not consider upgrading to Premium Economy on your flights? The cost is often reasonable, and those few inches of extra room and added amenities make the difference between a comfortable journey and a cramped nightmare.

Airport Lounges

Do you have a long layover along your travel route? Consider purchasing a day-pass for your airline’s Airport Club Lounge. It’s a civilized way to spend a few hours, and many lounges include complimentary Wifi, snacks, beverages (sometimes alcoholic as well) and comfortable seats in a quieter location. Check to see if your Frequent flier program or Credit Card company offers you any discounts or perks for admission.

Travel Insurance

Bottom line, Travel Insurance is a lifesaver. Even if you swear that you are going on your vacation no matter what, you can’t predict weather, illness, injury, cancellations or any of those other nasty surprises that can come up when life happens. It should be budgeted into the cost of every vacation.

Upgrade That View

Sure, I know you’re not planning to spend a lot of time in your room or cabin on a cruise ship. But I do know that one of the most common complaints from vacationers is about the view.  You might think it’s no big deal, but imagine having your morning coffee overlooking the ocean…or a parking lot.  Consider it a gift to yourself.

Pre-Cruise Extensions

Cruises usually start boarding around noon on embarkation day and require you be onboard at least 2 hours before the ship departs. That leaves a short window of time to arrive, get checked in, and get on the boat. I always recommend that my clients arrive at the port city the night before departure to eliminate stress from all of the “what ifs” of delayed or canceled flights, major traffic jams on the interstate, etc. Most cruises leave from fascinating cities, so why not arrive a day or two early and explore?