WORKING OUT COSTS
A few tourists are not concerned with costs, not because they are particularly wealthy (for the wealthy also want their money’s worth), but more likely because they have enough travel experience to be able to estimate around how much their trip will cost, or they are willing to pay well for the anticipated experience. Even these clients will want to know that they are getting their money’s worth, and will judge your services partly on that basis. For most clients, however, money imposes limitations on what can be included.
With the internet, it is possible to find out the cost of most services, including accommodation, travel services, and food, and many sources of that information allow the visitor to find out the costs in the currency of their choice. In Europe, costing is simplified by the prevalence of the Euro, a common currency. Costs are often also given in American dollars or in national currencies such as Australian dollars, English pounds, and Chinese yen.
Therefore, the clients themselves can do much preliminary costing. Keep in mind though, that many clients prefer to leave the work of costing (which can be very time consuming and may require extensive internet use) to a travel agent or other tourism provider.
Some of the items that must be included in costing are:
- Transportation (to and from the region/s or country/countries)
- Transportation within the region or country (between cities or destinations, there and back)
- Accommodation (usually required every night, though they may change daily or every several days)
- Food (usually main meals) and wines or beverages (if these are a main factor)
- Entry fees for attractions and sites
- Fees and taxes (which can vary from country to country and may cover such things as airport taxes, visa and passport fees).
- Other costs that might be considered are:
- Planned spending on gifts, souvenirs (or items that the destination is known for, such leather goods from Spain or jewelry form Bahrain)
- (To some travelers’ dismay) Baksheesh: informal bribes or tips that may need to be paid in some countries on top of legitimate costs)
- Tips (which are expected in some countries by waiters, busboys, room service staff, taxi drivers, and so on. When deciding whether or not to tip, consider that in some countries, these tips make up the major part of the person’s salary)
- Miscellaneous: which can cover first aid supplies, between-meal snacks, visits to pubs or taverns, phone calls, and Internet use.