So what’s your travelling type? Planning on your own or opting for a packaged tour? What’s the advantage and disadvantage of choosing one over the other? Read on to find out!!
Frankly speaking, both of the travelling types have their own pros and cons and there’s absolutely nothing wrong in choosing one over the other. It all boils down to your mentality and to what extent you are ready to go.
Let’s discuss each one of them in details.
Planning Yourself : The name says it all!! Tourists falling under this category, loves to plan things on their own after thorough research starting from planning their itinerary with minute details of activities involved every day to booking hotels and other logistics. Obviously this sounds like, most budget traveller falls in this category which is true to some extent but not necessarily always. Even mid-end or luxury travellers may belong to this category who likes to have granular control.
Confused? Let me explain!! Unlike packaged tours this category requires you to research on the destination and the places that interests you. Every tourist is different and so is their interest. Someone might be interested in knowing the details and history behind the sculpture and paintings in monuments / museums whereas for others it might be a completely boring thing. Someone might prefer staying at a homestay overlooking the beautiful valley whereas others might prefer to stay in a hotel beside a greenish river enjoying the cold breeze. Even though both of them being a nature lover, their preference and point of view is different. Believe me, this is what keeps the industry running.
But definitely both of travellers would spend some time researching about the places and what the destination has to offer before coming up with their idea of perfect tour plan. And this is where the real pain kicks in. Planning yourself would require you to thoroughly go through the destination and built up an idea before choosing the destinations and night halts according to your preference.
Not necessarily, but depending on your preference, the next step would be to find out hotels and their contact details. A thorough research is required here too. But with the presence of TripAdvisor and other various online portals, this has become very easy nowadays. One can just do a simple Google search and can land up with the reviews from previous visitors which helps a lot in shortlisting process. Finding the contact details too have become easy nowadays. Thanks to the technology again. With things becoming global and in the cloud, digital marketing has become an important aspect nowadays. For some business, it’s more preferable than offline marketing.
And thanks to presence of various Travel Blogs and Travel Forums out there, where one can easily find the contact details of the local drivers if anyone is looking forward to hire exclusive vehicle directly. These Travel Blogs and Travel Forums can also help you getting details of availability of local mode of transport such as Bus / Shared Vehicle if anyone is looking for the same. Thanks to the volunteering members over there who also indulge in helping tourists, planning their tour with their previous experience and expertise without anything in return.
With all the details available just a Google search away, planning a tour on your own has become a lot easy. Definitely it needs some time and patience to find the information scattered through web but that’s what the sweetest part of planning tour on your own. Isn’t it?
- Definitely this helps customizing the tour on your own as per your preference.
- Believe it or not, this keeps the cost low. Not necessarily this would be a budget tour, but would definitely save you from the commission which you’d have payed to tour operators instead.
- You can plan to halt as many days as you want depending on the specific destination which impress you unlike following a fixed itinerary from packaged tours.
- Ofcourse this needs a lot of effort to understand the minute details. Otherwise you might loose out a lot.
- And this comes with a headache of managing and booking things on your own. If you have a poor management skill this would make you learn the hard way!!
- You need to have a clear picture of minute details for day to day activities, payments, bookings and everything involved.
- Finally, if you are up just for a simple holiday for relaxing this might seem like a burden and may lead to ruin your holiday to some extent.
Packaged Tour : People opting for packaged tour, simply doesn’t wants to go through all the hassles and headache of doing things on your own. It’s more or less same like focusing on your own business. Yes, even though it may sound odd, but these category of tourists, simply like to outsource the task to someone who they believe can do the job better as he/she is clearly an expert in this and have been doing this for years. There’s nothing wrong with it.
But this category too is not as simple as it sounds. To me at least!! It also needs some research about the tour operator and past experiences of tourists with them before fixing on one. Thanks to the ever growing number of tour operators out there.
- No headache of planning and managing things on your own. And this, believe me my friend, is the best advantage for this category of travellers.
- Believe it or not, but sometimes, packaged tours costs cheaper. Specially with large groups, per person costs are more cheaper than what it would have been if you have planned it yourself.
- The reason behind the above is, a tour operator doing the same tour again and again strikes a deal with the hotel owners and other logistic partners on a special rate which is not possible otherwise.
- In most of the cases you’d have to stick to the specific itinerary drafted by the tour operator. But then you opted for this, as you believed he/she is a expert in this field right?
- Sometimes with large groups, there can be mismanagement from tour operators and most of the time due to miscommunication. For e.g. every tourists in a group promised to provided with the best View Room at a specific destination leads to chaos.
- After your arrival, if you find the place to be exotic to impress you a lot, no matter what, you have to leave next day as per the plan. And this is the worst part, I believe for packaged tours.
Not satisfied with what has already been covered? Am I missing out something? Definitely..
Hybrid – Plan Yourself, Customize and Outsource : Thanks to more and more tour operators coming in to Business, the competition out there is very tough now. Most tour operator now offers personalized packaged tour with all the customizations. This solves one of the biggest disadvantage of Packaged Tour i.e sticking to specific itinerary.
With this, you can now plan things yourself and reach out to tour operators to outsource the bookings. Or even you can reach him out for personalized packaged tour comprising only your group. So no running for View Room after reaching the destination!! Definitely they being an expert in this field can help you out with customizing the itinerary according to your needs too!!
The one and only disadvantage here is the cost. But this I believe is justified for the expert consultancy that he/she provides and the effort he/she needs to put in for his/her service. At the end of the day, this is the reason you’d have gone for i.e. not to take the headache of planning things on your own and instead enjoy your holiday? Isn’t it?
Let me tell you, sometimes this is not even true!! Yes, with the same formula of providing an X amount of Business each year, the tour operator would strike a deal with hotel owner at much lower price than what you’d be offered if contacted directly. And in that case the tour operator can even offer you a great discount keeping a small cut for himself which would definitely be lower than what’s quoted by the hotel!!
So what type of traveller are you? Let me know in the comments!! Would love to hear your feedback!!