Erm, not exactly. Here are a few things I learned over the years when I’m off and about. Let’s just say, I learned ’em the hard (relatively) way.
1. Travel agents and bookings
They can be a lifesaver or a pain in the neck. I used to get a travel agent when going to a place for the first time. Aside from being convenient, a reputable agency gets discounted rates on airfares and land arrangements. Published rates almost always exclude taxes. Be sure that before finalizing a package, all costs have been factored in. Out of habit though, I resorted to planning trips and getting rates on my own. With the almost monthly airline promos, it’s easy to score cheap tickets. When booking a hotel, try to get a quote directly from the hotel. Check booking engines like Agoda or Hotels.com, before asking the hotel for their best available rate. Do not be afraid to ask for a discount, they may or will not give it. Based on experience, I got at most 20% shaven off the published rate.