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What is trip stacking and how can it make you money?

My daughter’s new, never worn snow boots will be too small by the time she needs them. She’s a quick grower (particularly in the foot department) so we left off getting her snow gear until we’d booked our trip. But we live in Sydney and have been in lockdown for one shoe size. 


There’s always September, we said in the first month of lockdown. But September’s creeping closer just as COVID-19 cases grow higher. 


And that’s when I heard about trip stacking. But before I knew about it, I spent most of the time visiting local places to alleviate the empty feeling caused by being unable to travel far and wide. If you’re planning to visit the city, here are the places I can recommend that you check out first.

What Are The Places You Can Visit In Sydney?

While foreigners would think of the Outback first when visiting Australia, they shouldn’t waste their trip without going through Sydney. Comparably, Sydney isn’t one of the biggest and densest cities in the world, but it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do or take photos that you can post on your social media here. 

Of course, your first stop should be the world-famous Opera House. You can either go there on a bus tour or commute, adventurer-style. Depending on when you get there, you can go to the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the beautiful sunset or sightsee around the harbour and have lunch in the Royal Botanic Garden.

If you have kids with you or can’t visit the Outback and want to see some of the unique species in the continent, you can opt to visit the Taronga Zoo, Wild Life Sydney Zoo, or Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

On the other hand, if you have friends with you, consider going to Bondi or Manly Beach. There, you can swim and surf. And if you don’t know how to surf, the locals got you covered: they offer quick surfing lessons, which can help you stand on your two feet above the ocean.

But before you even plan to visit Sydney, learn about trip stacking—cause, you know, pandemic and travel restriction stuff.


What Is Trip Stacking and How Does It Work?


Trip stacking involves booking multiple trips to get a chance to travel even if borders close or new travel policies take effect. This strategy is smart, especially in fluctuating pandemic-related travel restrictions. In short, you have plan A and plan B, which prevent spoiling your vacation mood.


Joshua Bush, chief executive of Avenue Two Travel in Bryn Mawr, outside Philadelphia, invented the technique when he grew tired of constantly cancelling bookings for his clients, Forbes reported. 



Instead of booking, cancelling, rebooking, and cancelling the same trips for clients over and over again, he now leverages flexible cancellation policies to book two different trips for the same client over the same dates, a first and second choice.


Then, if the first option flops, his clients can still getaway on the second option. 


It turns out to be a lucrative move for travel agents too, as according to Bush, clients end up buying more and travelling more because they will usually rebook the trip that was cancelled, and stack it against a new second choice on new dates for a new vacation. 


While Bush might not have been staring down a seemingly endless lockdown, we all know that we won’t be in lockdown forever so we’re going to add a trip to snowfields to our stack. Even if it means we’ll be there in summer. 


Trip stacking has become popular domestically as well, especially as many Australians have had to cancel or postpone their travel plans over the last two years. Peter Newman, head of the motorhome rental division at Camper Champ says that many Aussies have been booking campervan trips within their home state as a backup in case their interstate holiday plans are jeopardised. The campervan rental industry has seen a huge surge in interest since the start of the pandemic. At the same time, cancellations have been a plague for many smaller operators.


Trip stacking also has a fair share of downsides. Double-booking causes the expenses for flights and hotels to be expensive if many people do it because of the perceived demand. In addition, last-minute cancelations also mean a loss of revenue for hotels and airlines on bookings. So, it’s essential to know the best time to stack trips to avoid these adjacent problems.


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Published: 16 August 2021

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