First, you need to decide what the best deal means to you. To some it’s simply the cheapest. But the cheapest isn’t necessarily the best, especially if it doesn’t get you the right boat in the right place. There’s also a tendency to focus on the price of the flights, transfers and boat, forgetting the cost of getting to the airport and the impact of departing or returning at an unsocial hour.
A key consideration is flexibility. If you are set on a particular destination, or a particular yacht you may pay a bit more, but if that’s what you want, then you should pay it. The extra cost may not be much more than a holiday that doesn’t really fit your requirements. Conversely, if your real requirements are to say sail somewhere (anywhere) calm in easy conditions, there may be many choices which would suit, so leave it to whoever you’re booking with.
Sadly one matter that’s very hard to gauge is the quality you are buying. Sure, you can tell in advance whether the airline will offer you a meal, or if you will be allocated seats or face a scrum to try to get the family sat together. But it’s much harder to tell how good your yacht will be.
This is where a good agent can help. You won’t get any guarantees (all yachts break down from time to time) but it should improve the odds.
Whether you’re booking direct or using an agent or tour operator, the clearer you can be about what you want (and what you don’t care about) the better chance you have of getting the right deal. Most people you book with will be happy to spend some time chatting through the options but time is money, and they don’t know if they’ll see any from you until you book!
Be reasonable about what you want. We would all like our dream holiday for half the going rate and once in a while it does happen. But put yourself in the position of a salesperson with a pile of enquiries to deal with. If one can be dealt with in a few minutes and the other is going to mean calling around all and sundry then making a miniscule profit (if it can de done at all), which one might keep getting put back to the bottom of the pile?!
So take time to read around this site and see if you can narrow down what you want, what’s important to you and what’s not. If you want to email or phone me, I’ll be as interested to know what you’re flexible about, be it the date, the location, the holiday type or the yacht, as what’s critical – it helps find you the best deal.