With the ever-evolving algorithms of Facebook’s targeted advertisements, its inevitable that if you’re a travel addict like me, at some stage you’ll be ‘targeted’ with sponsored brand endorsements. The ones I find particularly hard to pass up are Jetstar and AirAsia’s (so cheap it hurts) sales offering return flights to exotic locations for less than a weeks rent.
Whenever I see these particular ads pop up on my news feed, I know its dangerous, but I just cant help but clicking on the link for a sneaky peak at the offer. The problem however, is that my innocent curiosity to view the deal usually results in guilty purchasing.
Last year I phoned my mum on a casual Tuesday night after scouring the deals section of AirAsia, convinced her we needed to go on a trip to Vietnam, and booked it then and there because the offer was to good to resist.
I don’t know how this inevitable process started, but for me, its a dangerous progression that usually results in a spontaneously booked holiday. Of course, this is not always a bad thing, but its not always reasonable to buy something just because its a bargain! I feel that when these cheeky airlines tempt me with amazing offers to faraway places, it’s like dangling a carrot in front of a starving donkey, who that will inevitably take a bite. (Weird analogy, I know). So if you can relate at all to my problem of succumbing to excruciatingly great sales, perhaps consider a few things before typing in those credit card numbers.
- Can you ACTUALLY afford it?
The flights may be cheap, but what are the costs of being in the country? Living costs? Accommodation? Travel? Food? Activities? After considering these things, if you’re still convinced you can afford it, proceed to checkout!
- Do you have any annual leave accrued?
It’s all very well to book a holiday, but there’s no point if you legally aren’t entitled to any days off work, or have already used your time off on another holiday earlier in the year. Definitely an important consideration before booking.
- Are you allowed the time of work?
If you answered yes to the above and have annual leave accrued, it doesn’t necesarrily mean your employer will allow you to travel on the particular dates you have in mind. It’s a good idea to check with the boss first before committing to the cost of the flights. Yes, they may look cheap now, but if you continue and book before first checking its actually ok go, the trip may suddenly become a lot more expensive when you need to amend the dates! (and often these cheap ‘sale’ flights aren’t refundable.)
- Do you actually want to go there, or are you only going because the flights are cheap?
This is very important, as I believe there’s no point going somewhere just because it is cheap to get there. No matter how cheap the flight is, if the location has never been of interest before, there’s probably a reason for that.