For most European and American tourists, India is always a budget deal. That probably explains a lot of backpackers and teetotalers in Indian cafes and restaurants. For most foreign tourists, getting a decent deal on Indian holiday packages is nowhere a straight deal. In case you are one, more often than not, you’ll end up getting shortchanged for the high package rates scrupulous tour operators charge. So, how do you escape the ruckus and book a decent package? I cannot say for the entire country but I definitely know a thing or two about getting the maximum bang for your buck when booking Goa Hotel Packages. This article will be your smart guide to avoid getting fleeced by Indian tour operators and deal like a local.
1- Flaunt an Indian connection; If not, fake it
If you have an Indian friend, colleague, kin, teacher, student, plumber etc., let your tour operator know. This would help breed a sense of familiarity, besides serving as an unspoken warning that you know your tour rates. This way, the tour operator will think twice before quoting ridiculous rates for your deal. In case you have no such acquaintance, fake one. Tell your operator, this is your nth trip to India and you have earlier been to ABC city (research a few prominent cities beforehand). New Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Rajasthan and Kerala are popular with international tourists. In India, connections will take you a long way. So invent one if you don’t have any.
2- Quote Competing Quotes; Fake it Again if You Have to
Yes, bargaining is imperative to getting a decent deal with Indian tour operators. Conduct an exhaustive search for major tour operators offering, say, Goa Hotel Packages and cross check package rates along with inclusions and exclusions. Now when you call a tour operator, quote the lesser rates by other vendors. Once again, if you are already calling the lowest bidder, fake quotes. This will help you extract the best and the most out of your deal. Remember, not to go overboard and refer prices that are so low that they either give away your bluff or disengage the operator. Remember you want to close this deal.
3- Start With the Basics and Then Work Your Way Up
Do not ever disclose all your tour plans initially. That will always take your tour costs up. Start with the bare basics of the trip – accommodation, airfare, meal plans etc. Let the vendor take initiative here and offer you add-ons for the trip. For example, when negotiating a Goa tour, call only for hotel and dining reservations. The tour operator will then suggest an additional parasailing tour for the next day. The less elaborate your plans are to the travel agency, the better suggestions you get. Ask for complimentary sightseeing tours, airport transfers and what not.
4- Be Patient
As with most negotiations, patience is the key here. Getting the right hotel deals entails a lot of research. Once you have zeroed in on an operator of your choice, it will still take time grinding the best deal out of him. Never show any urgency when negotiating your tour specifics. If the travel agency wants to get back to you, let them call back. Only when you think the deal is floating away, should you relent.
The four tips above should help you bag a great deal. Stick to them and enjoy a great Indian vacation.