Today, there’s an array of upgrades to choose from when traveling, which makes the pre-planning more complicated. We all want to travel in comfort and ease but are these add-ons really worth the extra cost?
In today’s blog post, let’s talk about the 5 things you need to consider before traveling – its benefits, when it’s worth it and when you should skip out on it.
1. Travel Insurance
If you are working with a travel agency, most likely, you will be told that travel insurance is a must without adequately explaining and giving you options and prices. Well, that’s because they earn a commission from plans sold. But before agreeing with anything that your agent says, do your homework first.
Travel insurance typically covers trip cancellations, travel delays, lost or delayed baggage, medical, dental, emergency evacuation, 24-hour assistance and accidental death. Sounds like a wise investment. However, travel insurances don’t come cheap and it’s best to think about it before handing over those extra dollars. This might not be worth the expense in certain cases.
If you think you’re in a higher-risk situation, for example, your health insurance doesn’t cover emergencies outside of your country or you’re taking a cruise vacation in the Caribbean during hurricane season, travel insurance is definitely worthwhile. But not much if it’s not a peak time or hurricane season.
2. Seat Assignment
A seat assignment guarantees that you will be able to sit beside your travel buddy and sit where you want to. For example, if you want the window seat, then you will be ensured that you won’t be plopped in an aisle seat. And that’s it… I don’t really think it’s worth the extra fee. You can even choose your desired seat for free if you check in for your flight very early.
However, there have been complaints about some airlines not seating families together. If you’re a parent, you know how important it is to sit beside your children. Well, thanks to the new FAA Reauthorization act, airlines are now required to assigns seats for children 13 and younger that are adjacent to their parent or guardian. With that said, you don’t really need to pay extra fees just to secure seats beside your kids.
3. Premium-Economy Seat Upgrade
Premium Economy offers extra legroom, priority boarding, some bonus drinks/ food and some additional perks on international airlines. However, not all premium seats are the same. You may consider this if you are going on a long international trip or you have enough frequent flyer miles or credit card reward point to cover the upgrade. If not, I don’t really think it’s worth it.
Are you willing to pay up to $200 for an extra leg room? Reminder, it’s still economy so don’t expect the seats to be really comfortable like that in the business class. Do you really want to pay extra for a “better” airplane meal? Nah. Do you really need to pay extra bucks for priority boarding? You don’t have to. Just go to the airport early if you want to board ahead of the others.
4. Expedited Security
Expedited security is a perk that lets you speed through security and allows you to keep your belongings in your bag, your shoes, belt and light jacket on while going through security. Before paying for this service, consider your travel dates first. Are you traveling during the weekend? Holidays? When it’s off peak season for travel, I think paying for expedited security is more like a rip-off.
5. Private Guide
If you want an in-depth knowledge about the place that you are traveling to, Private Tour Guides can do that for you and can help you utilize your time effectively. They can provide a solid historical perspective and help you learn more about the culture. But if you’re more into sightseeing, taking photos and have all the time in the world, you don’t really need to hire one.
If you can afford to spend a little more, feel free to try out these add-ons. But if you’re a little tight on the budget, you can get away without paying for these.