What inspired this write up is a recent case of mistaken identity. A group of professionals hailing from Rajasthan were looking for long term stay options in the verdant mountains of Himachal Pradesh. Excited and rightfully so ,this group of professionals had found the perfect perching spot within their budget of INR 8000 for a month! On reaching the space everything looked hunky dory until they found their excitement dwindling down as they spent the day at the property. After an annoying 48 hours trying to adjust to the space and neighbourhood , they decided to call it quits and had to forfeit the sum of money paid for a month for 2 such accommodations. So what went wrong ? Lets take a look !
Sourcing the Property: A game of mistaken musical chairs !
After the dust settled , Ecohunters received a call from these folks , angry but determined to make their staycation go right. Since they had burned their fingers and pockets too, they were being extremely cautious ( to the point of being annoying ) which prompted us to inquire the reason for such an interaction. And thats how this story came to life! Turns out they sourced this property through a reference they found on a major social media platform. This reference was an individual operating as a freelancer whose first interest was to - get the money in ! With this mindset , a friends empty home was sourced , cleaned overnight and it seemed like a win win situation.Though it was a fair trial on the freelancers part , the guests were the victims.
Make sure you source the property from the right people , some one who knows the area and is able to match your expectations to the property and relate to the practical challenges that come with living long term. This is where platforms like ecohunters.in come in. What we do differently is put "YOU" first and everything else comes next.
Urban Traveller Expectation's Vs Local Culture :
An important aspect which is ignored whilst shortlisting the staycation. For example :In this case the group had trouble moving around the property freely ( clothes of their choice) as the members of the house din't find it an appropriate " influence " to the culture of their home. Well off-course none can be blamed , except the group itself. The members of the house are right in their natural habitat. There are many such "seemingly" small knick knacks which can make everyday as unpleasant as living with a toxic partner / spouse . Hence it is important to know the where, when, how of the place , surroundings and neighbourhood.
Know the local landscape. Speak to the owner of the place just like when renting out a place , even this isn't a fool proof solution as verbal contracts don't hold much sway , they will always will be differences. These owners and platforms like ecohunters.in are bound by a contract to deliver the services as is. One of the pre - requisites of our travel platform is knowing the owner personally , if his/her temperament doesn't suit ours, we do not list the property or share references , no matter how beautiful or comfortable the property is and this is one of the reason why we succeed in providing glitch free experiences.
Money Vs Experience: Money always came first!
Agreed , money is a important factor but in this format of staycation or vacation, experience takes precedence. Personally experience always took precedence. For the lure of spending a few hundred rupees less most folks miss out on the loss of opportunity and gaining the complete experience.
Always put experience first. It doesn't matter if you are spending a few hundred rupees extra for the quality . For example this group is is now settled in a environment of their choice and have extended their stay from one month to two months. They are paying the extra money but they realise their living conditions are of their choice and fit into their idea of a staycation. IN the long run one will realise they have actually saved up on unseen costs and off course the inconvenience
Half Baked Advise vs The Right Advise
All of us have this one person or persons who feel they know it all. For example , remember folks who are lost and ask for direction to a area or a house and 8 times out of 10 they end-up in the wrong direction , because, they either don't ask the right people ( sourcing) and also as people who wouldn't know the address , still go ahead and try to impress a total stranger with their half baked knowledge. ( always wondered why!)
If i have to advise someone on a subject i am not well versed in , i will either back off or inform the person soliciting advise to look else where but thats just me, please don't depend on information of - The know it alls- just because they have toured the area for a few days. Theres a reason various travel platforms exist , as like you in your profession , we are good at travel and know our audience , their likes and dislikes for starters !
Enforcing customer requirements VS logging off once the booking is done:
Most folks who book the property through non dependable sources also don't think about the after sale part. Once the money is in for the staycation, their job is done , they won't engage themselves to suggestions or sort out the challenges faced by the guests at the property because for them you are a one time ticket and it doesn't matter once the booking is done.
Sourcing and booking with established platforms like ecohunters.in ensures these aren't challenges but service we are entitled to provide our guests. Our work begins when the booking is done and so we hand hold the guests until they check out of the property or getaway. Why? For us you are a precious resource , a part of a global travel commune and of-course for the love of travel.
Cost of booking through travel platforms vs Self sourcing
It is a common misconception that one ends up paying a higher price when they book through travel platforms. Imagine if this was real , travel platforms wouldn't exist. Taking cue from this misconception many individual customers end up trading for a higher price and lack of service.
So how does this work? As travel platforms go, we are entitled to business or contractual rates which cannot be extended to the customer, as is the nature of the industry. We extend these contractual prices to the individual customer hence passing the benefit of cost and also service. This is a win win situation for the traveller as her/his needs are attended to through the course of their staycation, like they should be and we get to make a proper sale and probably acquire a customer for life.
Heres hoping that this is a value add read and gives you practical pointers the next time you are booking a staycation or a vacation! Before you go do check out our incredible travel deals. Hope to host you soon. As always ,wishing you safe, easy and happy travels !
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