Are you planning your trip for next year? Unsure whether to book via a tour operator or book the trip yourself? While a tour operator offers convenience through arranging everything on your behalf. All you need to do is collect your documents and away you go! However, naturally, this comes at a price. Here, I have answered some of your questions to help you weigh up the pros and cons of both.
A tour operator removes the sense of adventure
I previously advised you to get lost in order to discover a new city properly. Essentially, the only way to truly stray off course and discover the secret corners of a place is to travel without having any plans. I personally struggle to see how you would do this when traveling with a tour operator. They will choose your destination, accommodation, and possibly even your activities for your trip. Say goodbye to waking up in the morning and only then deciding where your next destination will be. Booking your trip this way may leave you with set pre-arranged plans.
On the other hand, arranging your own trip provides you with an open door to your travel plans. People you meet along the way may change the course of your trip. This is part of the excitement of traveling. In this manner, you don’t need to feel obliged to stay in the hotel that you have booked for all the days of your trip. Firstly, you have the option to just book the flight and nothing else. I would recommend this for the confident travelers amongst us. Secondly, you can book the flight and accommodation for your first destination, and then plan ahead from there. With an abundance of hotel reservation sites available at our fingertips, do not hesitate to live in the moment.
Which is the cheapest option?
Without a doubt, booking via a tour operator will be more expensive than booking yourself via price comparison sites. Having said that, I do have a cheeky trick to recommend. Use the tour operator for inspiration & information. Research your destination on their website or go into one of their stores and have all of your questions answered. Remember, the information is free! Of course, they will want to close the sale so be prepared for a hard sell. Once you escape, return home, and compare the prices available online and book the components of the trip yourself.
Should I ever book with a tour operator?
Despite booking via a tour operator being more expensive, there are certain occasions for which I would recommend it. Such as when enticing offers are sent your way. A tour operator will have special contracts with hoteliers which allow them to offer a price much lower than on the hotel’s direct site. As a result, occasionally this can be a cheaper option than booking it yourself. Keep an eye out for any special offers for your chosen destination. The best offers can be found outside of the summer months!
Another time when you might use a tour operator is when you are planning a trip to somewhere that is not considered as safe. After all, there is safety in numbers and traveling as part of a group provides you with a more secure option. In addition, this is a great way to meet people! GoAbroad.com highlights numerous companies offering tours, volunteer programs, language exchanges, etc, which may provide you with a happy medium between satisfying your adventurous desire & the security of booking through a tour operator.