The Dark Truth of Travel Costs

Planning a trip has never been more accessible or complicated. Today we’re discussing the dark truth of the cost of travel. Be sure to subscribe to Modrow travels and ring the bell to be notified about our latest posts. For this list, we’re looking at how the travel industry has changed specifically when it comes to booking airfare, hotels and rentals. The Internet is often described as being the great equalizer across various aspects of life with regards to travel. Specifically, it has seemingly given independent and industrious travelers the tools to plan this sort of trip that once necessitated a travel agent. Nowadays, everything you could ever want to book is just a few clicks away. But while the Internet has granted individuals greater power. So too has it enabled businesses to find new ways to maximize their profits. So come along as we pull back the curtain and take a closer look at the complex and far reaching facets of the travel industry.

The pricing model is more sophisticated than ever. Once Upon a time booking a hotel or airline involved contacting either a travel agent or the business directly. As for pricing, that was determined by a few simple factors like weather, time of year and the availability of rooms or seats. If there was a big event occurring in a certain destination. Like a conference or the Olympics, higher demand might result in higher prices, but for the most part, prices were relatively consistent and predictable when you got in touch with your travel agent, the price they quoted you had a shelf life. There was no risk of closing a tab and pulling up the same flight or hotel room an hour later to discover that the price had risen by $100. The reality of the modern online booking industry is such that the price of a given flight can change over a dozen times in any given day, and they often do. It’s called hyper dynamic pricing and not only does it mean that every price is subject to change without notice, but it’s also all but guaranteed to do so. According to Hopera Travel Booking app and as reported by the New York Times, the price for a flight between 2 popular destinations like London and New York may change as often as 70 times over the course of a 48 hour period. There are factors that play that you can’t even imagine as we were saying the factors that drive pricing used to be rather predictable.

the dark truth of travel costs

Seasonal pricing was something to consider, as were holidays and weekends, but now driven by the advanced algorithms employed by major travel and hospitality companies, prices change in response to hundreds of factors occurring in real time around the globe is a particular destination trending on social media? If so, is it because of an influencer or because of natural disaster? The first is likely to drive prices up the ladder, down to entice visitors. Did a major act like My Chemical Romance just announced a reunion tour? If so, hotel prices around the venues in the cities they’re playing could be affected on and around the concert date. Pricing changes throughout the day in response to web traffic. The level of interest, the availability of seats and or rooms, and the prices of major competitors. There’s also an element of profiling at play. Depending on your search history, or even if you’re using a Mac rather than a PC and a given site may recommend more expensive options much like it would for someone their system has identified as a frequent business traveler. As with so many industries, AI is the future make way for our machine overlords. While we can’t say with any certainty that artificial intelligence will enslave humanity, as so many sci-fi properties have predicted, what we do know is that AI is poised to radically change the world from self-driving trucks in customer service to manufacturing and healthcare.

Artificial intelligence is shaking up the status quo for consumers. In this case, travelers AI could prove beneficial and that it can provide more relevant travel recommendations. Based on your interests and past travels, especially when compared to the history of like minded travelers using a given service. The thing is, the business and services you’re flying and staying with as well as the third party companies through which you’re booking stand to gain far more from the implementation of AI software and systems businesses large and small are turning to AI powered pricing management systems to dictate where the price should start and how it changes overtime in response to a wide variety of factors. These programs can also make more specific recommendations, like when to announce special offers and to which demographics in order to capitalize on the habits of different types of travelers. And as pricing becomes an increasingly complex ecosystem while it becomes something of an arms race, those with the best tech make the most profit, and so seemingly every company is getting on board. Individuals don’t stand a chance going up against these highly efficient machines in a fast evolving industry, while an individual sitting at their laptop. Trying to find the best prices for a flight or hotel room has the odds stacked against them under the logic of the whole. The Internet is the great equalizer argument. It should be as simple as going to a few meta search engines and booking the cheapest flight. But as previously mentioned, flight prices change frequently and sometimes drastically. The cheapest flight available is only the cheapest flight at the time of your search.

30 minutes later the exact same seat could rise or drop by $50 or another airlines. Prices could drop to become the cheapest available. Because the game has gotten so complicated, large international businesses, IE. Those that are frequently flying employees across the globe have gone so far as to establish their own dedicated departments or hire outside companies to help them find the lowest prices. Using programs designed as a specific response to hyper dynamic pricing.

So where does this leave the average individual consumer woefully ill equipped to find themselves the best deal? There are strategies that you can employ to help keep costs down and maximize your chances of scoring a deal. But it’s a lot of work. Bargain hunters can’t afford to book anything nonrefundable when you’re looking to book a hotel room on a major website, the cheapest room available is often listed as non refundable, though that extra $40 of savings may seem tempting. The simple fact of the matter is that you should not under any circumstances book it unless you are completely satisfied with the price because that very same hotel room could drop by $50 a night. And unless the website has an explicit price drop guarantee, there’s nothing you can do about it. If you’re the sort of person who loves a deal and will be driven mad knowing that you missed out on one. You need to keep your booking flexible and check back in regularly. Check different websites including the one you booked on. If you can find a better deal and your existing booking is cancellable, try to get the company to match the price you found. If their price drops, cancel, and rebook monitoring the price of existing bookings is the only way to ensure that you get the best deal and it’s a big part of what larger companies are doing to keep their own travel costs, down agencies, apps and paid services have an advantage. If this all sounds like too much work. You can always hire A company to do the legwork for you for a modest fee.

They’ll monitor your bookings and automatically go through the motions on your behalf when a price drops, people tend to be resistant to ostensibly paying more for convenience, but even with a service fee it often winds up being cheaper to go with a booking service. As a traveler, you can seek out the very best prices available, or you can be committed to the DIY approach, but in this modern age it’s very hard to do both. You can still find great deals and pay. Less than most, while going at it Rouge, but travel agencies and other such travel focused businesses are always going to have a leg up. In the case of flight and hotel booking companies, their algorithms are essentially predicting the best deals even before they’re released. As for travel agents, though, the Internet has hurt brick and mortar businesses. They maintain a competitive edge because of their relationship they have with airlines, hotels and consolidators. Often they can get cheaper prices than advertised savings that they pass along to customers who also profit. While the Internet makes booking flights easier than ever, those committed to finding the best deal for themselves are usually in for a frustrating experience. You’re going up against businesses with far greater resources at their disposal.

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