Advice on Budget Reduction
Choose the best seasonTraditionally, the best tourist season in Central Asia is dependant on weather conditions. The most favorable weather in the region is observed in spring and autumn, namely, from mid March till end of May, and from mid August till mid November (see this on a diagram Uzbekistan Travel Seasons). It these periods, the weather is soft and sweet, not too hot and too cold. Plus, this is the time when fruit and vegetables emerge in the bazaars (the agricultural season), which can be an important advantage and surplus to your tour menus.
These two seasons, however, are considered as HIGH tourist seasons, which would mean higher hotel rates, too crowded monuments and museums, more busy (and therefore more expensive) tour guides and tourist transport drivers. Choosing a tour during high season may also result in more expensive airfare, both local and international.
If you feel fine about surviving 40 degrees Celsium heat, you may think of coming in the summer - June, July and half of August. Of course, all hotels and tourist vehicles are air conditioned, still visiting attractions, bazaars and cafes may be a challenge. This season offers good discounts as well.
Coming in winter months can also be a good idea, for example, if you are interested in winter sports, such as skiing. Several mountain resorts near Tashkent (Chimgan, Beldersay) present great opportunities for winter activities.
Find best air fareMany visitors to Uzbekistan use the next-door travel agent to get air tickets into the region. This can be a good idea in some cases, in other cases they are usually overpriced. We would recommend to contact Aba Sayyoh well in advance and request a quote for airline tickets. If the quote is not as attractive as your own agent's one, you can safely proceed on your own.
This is particularly true for Uzbekistan Airways, which has their offices in a limited number of regions and agent commissions may be increasing the cost significantly.
Find a reliable travel agentUzbekistan is a country of extremely high competition in the incoming travel market. In general, nearly all local travel agents offer a decent service. Usually, all such agents would have a license from the local ministry of tourism (UzbekTourism), and they would be present in the local market for quite a long time.
There may be, however, newly established companies where staff lacks required competence and skills. Such travel companies tend to offer lower prices and usually they make big promises. To avoid disappointment (one of the sad things that may happen to a tourist!!!) and poor quality of service, we recommend to read carefully about the local tour operator/travel agent you have in mind, reviews/opinions of other travellers and overall rating available.
Become aware of local lifeWe strongly recommend to read the appropriate parts of our website (see Travel Guide for Uzbekistan) in order to have an idea what you may expect to see when in Uzbekistan, what local rules and regulations are, and what attitudes you may receive from local people.
Choose type of tour - with/without guides, etc.It is recommended to take advice of your agent when deciding what kind of the tour you need. There may be several options in terms of budget/quality ratio: