FLEXIBLE TRAVEL PLANS & REWARD PROGRAMS
It is well-understood by hospitality giants and airline industry in India that ‘flexible plans’ is the way forward to ensure that Indians travel safely and enjoy holidays happily. It is imperative now, more than ever, to make a consumer feel totally in control of her/ his own festive plans, be it to order-in or eat-out; try a staycation in his own city or explore a domestic holiday or an international vacation. Vacationers have the power to rev up the travel economy.
Indeed, the consumer and the provider are both trying to be bold in supporting local communities that are connected to travel and tourism. It is an evidently difficult time for both but there is hope and anticipation in the air as the situation is actually improving day-by-day in the year 2020 (thanks to the news of Covid-19 vaccine in sight).
Flexibility of plans is possible as many airlines charge nominal fee or no fee if you wish to change your date of travel. You can also be open to tell that you do not wish to get a travel voucher which is post-dated. Ensure you email your queries apart from calling the customer-care. Document your conversations for quick reference in case a refund needs to be initiated.
Encash your hotel reward points and ask for free top-ups. Many hotels would happily do so as per their customer-friendly policy. If you are only few points short, many hotel chains also allow you to buy the extra points required and you can book the room with your points or even have a meal or indulge your senses in a spa.
Credit card reward points are the easiest currency to buy you some gifts, book train and plane tickets or simply enjoy a golf session in members-only enclosures. Check online on your credit card company’s rewards program about the details of what you can avail during the holiday season, you may be pleasantly surprised.
LEISURE AND FUN: Group of friends jumping in the water from the boat during an excursion
PLAN YOU ‘TRAVEL BUBBLE’ EXCURSION
It’s a good idea to know about the airline routes that are being operated between ’travel bubble’ countries. So, where do you prefer to spend your year-ender sundowners? Is it in Dubai or Maldives or Mauritius or South Africa or have you planned on the USA or Australia? With preset precautionary measures such as RT-PCR Covid-19 test facilities made mandatory, the airline itself is providing outstanding ground transportation connections once you reach the destination. There are fabulous hotels that are tied up with the airline as part of this all-inclusive program. It makes good sense to book in-one-go if a pre-designed package suits your family vacation requirements and you can have some much-deserved peace of mind.
On the domestic front, with an aim to offer safe and attractive options to help travellers plan their much-awaited holiday -MakeMyTrip, India’s leading online travel company has launched Special Bubble Holidays, starting with Goa.
Keeping safety front and centre, Special Bubble Holidays, a new travel concept has been introduced to give a safe and all-inclusive option to travellers to hit the holiday destinations while taking maximum care. Aimed at serving conscious travellers who want safety assured vacation around Christmas Holiday Season, the specially curated package will include prior COVID-testing, sanitized cabs for transfers, charter flights with middle row vacant, MySafety assured luxury stays and more from Delhi to Goa.
VIRTUAL TREATS: STAY TUNED
If you are confined at home and still want to embrace the festive spirit, then fret not! At a small registration free or at no cost, many tourism boards, hotels, celebrity Michelin chefs and event organisers have planned festive season events. You can prebook your slot and tune in at the requested time slot.
FRIENDS LIKE FAMILY: Find reasons to be happy. Travel plans with friends can often be high on energy levels and full of lifetime memories
For example, for a personalised chef session, the menu will be shared earlier with you and the ingredients will be shipped and couriered in a special gift box at your doorstep days before the virtual event. Then on the day of the event, keep the ingredients in front of you and tune in to what the chef tells you to prepare your special gourmet meal. It’s super fun as this session is interactive, possible between any time zone and highly personalised.
(Stay tuned for more updates on ETPanacheTravel pages, where we will soon bring the highlights of virtual events for you to enjoy year-ender festivities from leading countries known for culinary, wine and city-centric delights).
MOBILE WALLETS, ONLINE CHECK-IN & SURPRISE EARLY BIRD GIFTS
In order to minimise transaction in hard cash, ensure you are fully informed about mobile wallets via your mobile phone. Avoid connecting your entire bank account with your mobile wallet, in order to reduce any unnecessary online risks of fraudulent phishing cases.
Net banking is an easy option too. Sometimes, downloading the app brings many early bird surprise gifts. Online contests to win spot prizes are all a virtual reality. Make informed choices and enjoy the digital outreach to the real fun. Newsprint advertisements often carry day surprises of spot bookings.
You may not get the same offer online. So, be aware that you are surrounded with travel goodies to grab. Its festive season and everyone deserves to be travel-happy!