Some friends and I were discussing how everyone waits until the last minute to make decisions. Mothers of brides were vexed that guests weren’t RSVP’ing to the invitations so they were forced to reach out to each and every individual invited to ask “Are ya coming or not?” Quite the time-consuming task when your guest invitation list is above 50.
Event planning is a headache as folks are waiting until the deadline or beyond to make their reservations known. The preparers that set the plates and order the chicken are about ready to choke people. “Tell us! Count you or not?”
We live in times of the fastest communication ever, we stay in touch in a variety of ways, we know where our friends are by their status updates but we just can’t seem to make a commitment. We can’t decide. But when we decide, we want it to be available. So there’s that.
This crazy world of ‘so much’, ‘so quick’, ‘so often’ has resulted in a society of people that are just so-so about deciding what they are going to do. This attitude certainly works its way into the travel business. Our email boxes are brimming with ‘last minute cruises!’ ‘Get it while it lasts airfares!’ and all sorts of promotional color that make us blue in the face to get to the small black and white print at the bottom. You know the print, the one that says “Only applies to suites and above.” or “Must travel between September and October.” Sigh.
While those companies that tempt us with travel sing to us like a siren’s song, we feel like booking in advance or paying full price is something only dummies do. We listen in to conversations as our hair is being cut where the blonde says she found a cheaper price on this website and then the brunette says she picked up a dropped price. Hey, I love a deal, too! There is usually a little bit more to the whole scenario.
The reality is cruise lines, airlines, hotels, charter motor coaches are asking us to RSVP sooner and not later. In fact, if you need to cancel your plans, you’ll likely find that deposits are often nonrefundable. This pushes travelers to wait until they are sure that they are sure before slapping down the cash. It’s the age old model of supply and demand. When there is day old fish to sell (unsold cabins or seats) it gets cheaper the longer it lays around. The problem is knowing what is going to sell like hotcakes and what will be old fish. It’s a bit of a gamble.
Your Fearless Leader has snagged some cruise cabins for a January 2020. Believe it or not, it’s kinda a last minute deal, meaning we don’t have a lot of time to ponder. But when it’s January and the cold is settled in, and then it seems like a good idea to take a Caribbean cruise, it will be a higher price because, well, because you waited.
How about just making the commitment? Let’s cruise in January. Let’s just RSVP and say “count me in” and then tell those others in the salon chair, if they hurry, they might get in on it too.
Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.