People are creatures of habit. We all have the route to work we prefer. The booking site we prefer. The airfare site we prefer. It’s normal. But to get the best deals you should double check all the things!
Before you book from your favorite travel site, make sure to check the hotel’s own site as well. Occasionally, particularly during the low season, the hotels site will actually have the best deals plus if you book from their site you’re more likely to get an upgrade. This is becoming more and more true since the bigger chains’ relationship with Expedia etc is kind of sour right now and they’re throwing quite a lot of deals on their own sites.
Same goes for flights and we’ve noticed it a few times on Turkish Airlines specifically. The differences aren’t typically huge but they are there. I believe for Qatar we could even choose our seats directly on purchase instead of check-in.
Tours and activities
For tours and activities there’s two things to consider. The cost and the convenience. If you itinerary is super convoluted and lengthy and has all sorts of fun stuff then booking a tour is fine. If you’re taking a tour around the city you can probably organize that yourself. So, if it’s a simple itinerary, take the cost of a daily public transport ticket, tickets to all museums, etc and compare it to the price of the tour. Often it’ll be less, you’ll have a more flexible day, will be able to go at your own pace.
Shopping is one of must do activities in every place you visit but make sure that you aren’t buying things that you can get from Taobao/Aliexpress. It’s sad to see markets at picturesque places selling things sourced from Aliexpress but for 10 times the price.
Drinkable water and plugs
Before landing make sure to check if the tap water in the place is drinkable or not. You don’t want to pay EUR5 for bottled water simply because no-one buys it since the tap water is basically the same thing.
Whenever you’re going to a new place, make sure to check if they have Grab/Uber and if they don’t read up on the most reputable taxi companies so that you know in advance which ones are legit and which ones might be a hassle.