Whether you’re new to booking houseboats or rushing to finish planning another vacation, there are some common mistakes that are easy to make and do’s and don’ts that you’ll want to know. Once you’re aware of these, it becomes a lot easier to plan your vacation seamlessly, without issues.
1. Look at the Check-In Time
The usual check-in time for houseboat vacations is noon, and the checkout time is early, at 9:00 a.m. It’s quite possible though that you won’t arrive at your destination until quite late and you could miss a big part of the cruise time. Houseboats typically have a cruise time until sunset, 5:30 or 6:00 p.m., depending on the area and local regulations. That means after that time you must anchor the houseboat near shore. That means you may only be able to do a late check-in after that time. As per Maria Talsey, a writer at Essayroo and UKWritings, “the key is to check with the company and the houseboat crew because their members typically try to keep the timings on track. You should try to the best of your ability to arrive for check-in, and communicate any details to the manager in a timely way.”
2. Negotiating Rates
The majority of guests will usually try to negotiate the houseboat rate that they find or are quoted. However, most houseboats have standard rates so if you look for something at a cheaper rate, it will probably come with worse service because the operators will be trying to balance their costs of maintenance in a smaller budget. Certain things, like the time on the water, the quality of the food, and such may be negatively affected when you’re trying to negotiate a lower rate and you end up booking a houseboat lower than the standard price.
3. Traveling During Holidays
The majority of people book a houseboat during the holiday period or in certain summer months. During these peak times, you should expect price hikes of anywhere from 20 percent to as much as 80 percent for the booking of a houseboat. What’s useful to know, though, is that these houseboats are operational year-round, and you could get much better rates at other times of year. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, instead of trying the mistake in point 2 of negotiating the rate, simply look for flexible travel dates at other times of the year.
4. Not Booking Through an Agent
If you contact houseboat owners and operators directly, it’ll be harder to know what the quality of the boat or service is. That’s because these direct owners and operators aren’t very present online so it’s hard to find reviews. You might be able to get a cheaper rate to book directly with them but, as mentioned, the service might be impacted. That’s why it’s recommended to book a houseboat online though a trusted agency after looking at reviews. Tessa Rogers, travel blogger at Eliteassignmenthelp and Courseworks, explains that “these agencies keep up a high standard because previous reviews matter to them so they won’t compromise quality for price and will verify each boat.”
5. Reserve in Advance
You do want to make your reservation in advance in plenty of time, especially if you aim to travel in the summertime. The specials for summer are usually advertised in the fall of the year before, and end around winter time. You should try as much as you can to book your vacation on the houseboat by the end of the year before to make sure the houseboat you want is free on the dates you want it and you can get the biggest discount possible. For these deals, you may have to provide full payment when booking and they’re usually non-refundable; if that’s not an issue for you it’s probably the best option. Don’t try to wait and hope to get a last-minute discount, because the rates are more likely to go up as the date gets closer instead of down.
Booking a houseboat is an exciting vacation and a great way to travel. However, it’s important to do it right because there are a lot of ways that the costs can go up or you can miss out on certain experiences.
Aimee Laurence, a tutor with Assignment Writing and Essay Writing Service, shares her travel and vacation suggestions. A passionate traveller, she has been to over 60 countries and enjoys sharing her food and sightseeing recommendations with her readers. Aimee also works in HR as a freelancer for Top European writing services.