[Wanderlust Tips May 2018] With 20 years of working experience in the tourism industry, Bui Van Chi, The Director of Oriental Sails, will share with Wanderlust Tips readers some matters relating to travel costs and how to plan the most reasonable travel budget.
As far as I know, you have worked in the travel industry for nearly 20 years; therefore you must have travelled to many places. What places do you like the most?
Before becoming the director and founder of Oriental Sails, I had the opportunities to travel to a lot of destinations in my country and abroad. In Vietnam, I have been to all of the famous tourist destinations, while abroad I have visited many countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Spain, and France.Whenever I travel, I feel that each place has its own beauty.
However, I like Ha Long the most. Ha Long is beautiful in a unique way; it brings both a sense of peace and the salty flavour of the sea. It is no surprise that Ha Long cruises have become one of the most important experiences that international visitors should not miss when travelling to Vietnam. Spending a night on a Ha Long Cruise is really a wonderful experience that promises to wake up all your senses. With the aim to share my affection for Ha Long Bay with everyone, I decided to set up Oriental Sails.
Could you tell us more about the Oriental Sails brand?
The Oriental Sails brand features four luxury cruise ships: 3-star Oriental Sails, 4-star Calypso Cruiser and 4-star Starlight Cruise. These cruises have been serving a night package tour for domestic and international tourists. Every year, Oriental Sails serves about 25,000 visitors from all over the world. In addition, Oriental Sails cooperates with more than 1,000 travel agents across the country, and Oriental Sails has become familiar with international partners.
At the end of 2018, Oriental Sails is expected to launch two more 4-star yacht cruises with a capacity of 60 guests each.
Travel cost is something that every visitor is concerned about. Travelling on your own or with the help of a travel agent has its own advantages and disadvantages. Travelling with the assistance of a travel agent, you may be quite passive due to the fixed schedule, but the budget is clear and planned, minimizing the unplanned spending. In contrast, travelling on your own, you will be more active, with more price options available, but the risk of overspending is high when many unexpected circumstances may happen at any time. What do you think about this?
Each form of travel has its own pros and cons. Each person will choose a different form. If you have travelled many times and had experiences, you can go by yourself. Otherwise, booking tours is a good idea as you do not need to worry about schedules, and a tour guide will make the trip more interesting.
In addition, currently, many travel companies offer free and easy tours that include essential services such as flight tickets, hotels, airport transfers, and visitors can do the rest themselves.
Accommodations like resorts and cruises often offer all-inclusive packages that cover all services for guests from bedrooms, utilities, meals, tour guides, and fun activities. These packages have affordable prices and flexible schedules, as well as offer the best services for customers, which also enables visitors to take the initiative in planning the schedule and travel budget.
How has Oriental Sails implemented allinclusive packages?
The service packages at Oriental Sails are allinclusive, offering the most convenience for travellers. To admire Halong Bay in the most impressive way, you should choose the overnight stay experience. It is quite complicated and expensive to book an overnight stay with separate services.
With an all-inclusive package, the services like Ha Noi – Ha Long shuttle bus, sightseeing tickets, meals, tour guide, kayak, and boats are all included. There are other services such as massage and sauna for tourists to choose from. Ha Long’s tourism has four main sightseeing tours, but we always try to change the attractions and renew the schedules so that visitors can feel relaxed and most pleasant, avoiding the overcrowded and commercial attractions. All services on the boat will make visitors enjoy a relaxing experience on a comfortable floating hotel.
In addition, if any groups of guests want to book the whole cruise or organize events, Oriental Sails can also offer the services, create programs and provide on-demand services.
For us, the best way to approach and promote our image is to serve customers with the greatest respect, listen to their feedback, and give customers the best experiences on the cruise.
Can you share some of your own experiences in budgeting a trip, and how to have the best journey full of experiences and save on costs at the same time?
Previously, I often travelled with my friends in small groups without booking any tours. Then, over the past ten years, I have tended to choose tour packages. Many times organizing the trips for myself and friends, as well as booking package tours, I have drawn some experiences as follows:
First of all, find out the information about the destination and main services such as hotels/cruises, popular attractions, and meals to plan your budget.
With relaxing vacations or familiar destinations, you can book the accommodation yourself. There are many sources for you to order these services such as travel agents and reputable online channels. The procedure for booking these services is extremely fast and convenient. At this point, you do not need to book a package tour, just book each prominent service.
With trips including activities and sightseeing, besides overnight service, I recommend booking through a tour company or travel agency to save expenses and avoid wasting your time and effort. These companies often spend a lot of money creating a perfect tour schedule for customers. You can also request them to adjust the schedule to fit your health and finances.
Secondly, booking services 2-3 months in advance, depending on long-term or short-term tours. At that time, the prices of the services are very good, and you can enjoy many incentives.
Thirdly, you should prepare a budget and health insurance to enjoy local specialties or impressive activities at the place you visit. It is recommended to ask receptionists or the locals for good restaurants and prestigious shops.
Thank you for sharing with us interesting stories. We wish you and Oriental Sails success!
Van Ly | Wanderlust Tips