Live, Breathe, Enjoy
Imagine showing up at the hotel for your holiday and you have forgotten your toothbrush? It is not as bad as leaving your camera or smart phone behind, yes folks the culture of holidays and travelling has definitely changed.
December is the best time to take time off for various reasons. In most cases, the businesses especially manufacturing and production plants shut down or work at minimal capacity so almost all staff has to take leave. The plus in this is that you come completely refreshed for a raring New Year. The minus is that taking a holiday in a slow month does not feel like much of a rest, it is when things are tight schedule that you feel the real difference.
Then comes the dilemma of where to go, how much will it cost, who is going and so on? Kenyans are thankfully giving domestic tourism a bigger shot. This is happening due to both sides making the effort, hotel prices and the saving plans, rising incomes for the middle class and the desire to have time out. There are also some who travel back home to their roots, like India or the UK mostly. Christmas in Europe is beautiful and the entire spirit is just so much fun and romantic. Both the family and couples enjoy saying hello to the New Year. Africa still attracts tourists mostly in South Africa and Kenya is beginning to catch up. Kenya still needs so many more interesting attractions, higher security measures and freedom of movement.
The first place a discussion about a year-end holiday usually starts at home. This could be because of a destination wedding, for example weddings in Kenya attract a huge number of relatives and friends from abroad, especially the UK. Thus the entire planning usually falls on the Head of the Family or nowadays the new generation adults. This is where the old age Travel Agent is a complete must. Your trusted travel agent can make miracles happen. Yes, all the way from discounts, bookings, destination ideas, safaris and so much more. They are most useful in large bookings at least best when it is over 5 people. This gives you the chance to get group discounts from flights, accommodation, airport transfers and especially if you have specific requests such as vegetarian food they can be taken care of in detail. Things will fall apart, if your travel agent makes false promises, then you are in a lot of trouble and up for a disaster holiday.
The second place a discussion about a year-end holiday usually starts at the office or amongst a group of friends. Here, the travel plans are made online and to a large extent the bookings and payment commitments are done online too. These travellers are interested in being together and getting away so specific requirements may not be so important. There is a slight shift however, where “branding” is taking over. Just like the type of handbag designer wear you have, people are beginning to rely on two things: brand and/or reliability. The upper class group of friends or corporate level definitely goes for the brand and adds the points with specific requirements through loyalty cards especially because of frequent travelling. The regular office goers, or young group of friends, prefer reliability because at least most of the basic requirements are fulfilled, such as swimming pool, gym, spa and so on. For them Trip Advisor is very important, because reviews can make or break a deal and also word of mouth, checking out where their friends or relatives went and want to copy them.
There is a new type of traveller though. He or she is the “Instagram” Traveller. Someone who just gets up and goes wherever they want. They have an American, British or European passport so visa issues are minimal and a few Dollars to go with they can take the tube, bus or even a long car ride to get to their destination. They rely heavily also on TripAdvisor or when they arrive in town they trust their instincts. Kenyans have not reached this level but we are getting the chance to host such travellers.
Either way a holiday should have a clear goal otherwise it is a waste of time and money. So make it count wherever and whenever.