In the last blog post I said that, in considering the price of a trip, you wanted to know:
- What are you getting for your money?
- How much else will you need to spend (i.e. what is your total cost)?
I covered the first previously. For the second question, how much additional will you end up spending, here are the issues to consider:
• what meals are included? How many meals will you be responsible for and what is the cost of an average restaurant dinner, breakfast etc. Are there options for buying food from a local grocery store or deli, or are you limited to restaurants?
• what activities are included? Is it an all-inclusive package (more expensive, less flexible) or are there lots of optional add-on activities? If the latter, are there other things you can do that are inexpensive or free, or are you going to be twiddling your thumbs if you don't sign up for something? As an example, on our Grand Alaska Road Trip most of the activities are included. But we leave one day at Denali open because there are some expensive things people might choose (flightseeing, rafting, tundra buggies) or lots of free things (hiking, ranger talks, a dogsled demo.
• what gratuities are included? Typically gratuities for your main guides are not included, and suggestions can range from $7/day to 10% of the trip cost. But how about incidental guides - the rafting guides, the guide who takes you glacier walking one day or shows you around a town? Those can add up so know what you should expect to budget for them.
• Are there additional flights? Very few adventure travel companies include flights to the trip starting point in the price of their trips. With small groups and people coming from all over the world, it is just too much of a logistical nightmare. However there may be additional flights during the trip and if they are not included, can you get an estimate of the additional cost.
• what else? If you're not sure what the total price is going to be, a good general question is "What additional costs can I expect to pay?"