I recently took a personalized holiday package from Yatra. I traveled with my family and here is why you must not take the Yatra packages.
1. No local knowledge
Being experts in booking travels for over years, I expected Yatra to give me good advice on travel destinations. I asked for weather in my destination, tourist crowd, etc… The adviser told me the weather is very pleasant in my destination, but it was super hot. The adviser told that during this time of the year, very less people travel to that place and hence less crowd. I was duped, as it was heavily crowded. Half my vacation went on waiting in huge lines. They have absolutely zero local knowledge. He advised me to travel on a date, when the entire city is shutdown for a religious procession. I must have done some research on my own, before blindly accepting the advice from a so called “travel booking expert”.
2. Unreliable deals and fine prints
I specifically asked for 1 day sightseeing in a city. In the itinerary it was mentioned as “Driver will drop me in airport” on that date. I assumed that the driver will drop me at airport after sightseeing as we had 5 hours time to kill before the flight. When I asked, they blindly refused sighting that this was never discussed. So make sure your calls are recorded.
3. Unreliable driver for local transport
The driver we got was always keen on pushing his own agenda. He forced us to take a guide, from whom he took commission. He forced us to go to a shopping place, where he would get commission. He refused to take us to a local market, where we can shop freely. He gave false information about places being closed if he had no profit in taking us to it.
4. LTA cannot be claimed
The invoice which is generated by Yatra, would have only the total cost for travel and accommodation. This invoice is not accepted for LTA claim. LTA claim will be covered only for travel expenses and without the details on split, the invoice is useless.
5. Choice of accommodation
Yatra has tie-ups with a few hotels and the choice that was recommended to us initially was very shady. I looked up on TripAdvisor and refused those hotels. Then the adviser changed to some other accommodation, which were not bad.
So here is how you can make your vacation a pleasure.
- Plan in advance. Do your own research and never rely on travel bookies.
- Do your own travel bookings. They would cost much cheaper and it would be more in your control. You can change flights or you can add services. There is nothing Yatra is doing special here. Any airline limitation, is common for Yatra or yourself. Don’t expect any special treatment, as you have booked from Yatra.
- Arrange for your own local transport. There are many online services or tourist vehicles that can be rented. Check it out and book for yourself. Book the transport in parts. For instance, intercity you can book one cab and between cities, you can book another.
- Do a thorough research on accommodation. Check out photos, reviews and social media updates for insights on accommodation before booking it. You can book them via services like goibibo.
Holiday booking is not rocket science. Yatra is not going to walk the extra mile to make it a pleasurable experience. So why go with them? Book everything on your own and you will have a sense of accomplishment and you will have none to blame, except yourself, if anything goes wrong. Take charge and have a happy holiday!