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Escorted Vacations for Muggles

This week’s Harry Potter madness has got me thinking: If Harry was a Travelzoo subscriber, would he book an escorted vacation or try his luck with an independent deal?

Think about it: when does everyone’s favorite scarred teen get into trouble? 

Easy answer: when he goes off on his own in foreign territory. I’m sure when he was getting bit by the poisonous basilisk sent by “he who shall not be named” in the Chamber of Secrets, he was thinking, “I bet that escorted South Africa vacation would have been a lot safer.”

Well, I may be a Muggle, but I can still see the value of an escorted vacation.

Here are some often overlooked benefits of an escorted trip:

The Most Exotic All-Inclusive Option

Much like a seven-night Mediterranean cruise or an all-inclusive Cancun getaway escorted vacations include almost everything you’ll need. Sure, you might have to pick up a few meals here and there along the way, but otherwise, it’s pretty much covered. No need to deal with dozens of purchases or mess with currency exchanges -- just purchase and go.    

Take this nine-night Peru getaway, for instance. Other than some lunches and dinners, it’s all included, from airfare to hotel to ground transportation to airport transfers to entrance fees. 

Language Barrier

Unless you’re fluent in Thai, it’s going to be tough to see three cities in Thailand in seven nights without getting lost somewhere between Ayutthaya and Kanchanaburi. This holds true for destinations like Turkey, Russia, China and Egypt.

Save Those Vacation Days

I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t need a guide to tell me what to see and where to stay. I wear big boy pants.” Sure, you can go to any country in the world, but are you made of vacation days? Why waste 10 vacation days when you see more in six and save the remaining days for another great escape? It’s a common misconception that escorted vacations wear you out to the point of exhaustion. Almost every vacation package includes plenty of leisure time and down time to relax and enjoy the country. 

Best Value: Every Time

Every week, our Deal Experts compare do-it-yourself pricing to our Top 20 vacation packages. In most cases, the cost of airfare alone is more or the same price of the entire vacation package. Ask yourself: would you rather book one plane ticket or an entire experience?

So this weekend, when you’re glued to the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort, ask yourself: wouldn’t Harry be happier on an escorted trip to Prague?

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Chicago
Friday, July 15, 2011
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Josh Gershenson