Independant travel V’s Organised tours

Which is best independent or organised travel

Guided tours

Ever since the internet graced virtually every home in the developed world, doing your own research and finding inspiration for your own trip has become easier than ever. With a laptop or tablet and a little research you can easily find and plan your next trip of a lifetime.

But travel is not cheap and if you do it yourself, you alone are responsible if things go wrong, there is no-one to turn to for compensation. On the other hand, if things go according to plan you can claim all the glory of putting together an amazing experience for your family.

There are of course advantages to both options, and below we aim to discuss each so you can make an informed decision when planning your next trip

Cost

Independent has to win this one, planning and organising your own trip is by far the cheaper option. When you book with a tour agent you are in effect paying them a margin to plan and organise your trip. When you do it yourself you save on this margin. Another cost benefit of planning yourself is you only need do the bits you want to do, and you will not end up paying do the parts of a tour you are not interested in seeing.

It isn’t as simple as it sounds, when you book with an organised tour, you are paying for their experience and the time and effort they have spent planning the trip perfectly to ensure nothing goes wrong. When you book your own, you have to put the time and effort in to ensure everything goes smoothly. To some people the saving is not worth the effort required or the risk of things going wrong.

Date and time

For tour operators to maximise profits and reduce costs for you, they often have to run very strict schedules, and as such trips may only operate on certain days of the weeks, and will last a pre-defined amount of time. Whist this will work for most families, and the more popular trips will operate more frequently. If you really want to experience somewhere we recommend doing it at your own pace, this allows the flexibility to spend more time where it matters to you, and not be led by the masses.

However if like most hard working families, you only get a set amount of holiday time each year then and rigid schedule may be the better option for you.

Off the track

Getting off the beaten track and experiencing little known spots, is one of the best bits if travelling, but this is really only possible if you are an independent traveller. There is no better feeling than finding a little local restaurant, bar or festival that the guides books don’t mention. It is the closest to being an explorer any of us will ever get, and let’s face it who’s inner child doesn’t dream of being a famous explorer?

This is not without its’s risks wandering off the beaten track can quickly turn into a nightmare, you really need to be an experienced traveller, and wander with caution. A wrong turn in the wrong city can get you into a sticky situation very quickly, a good level of common sense is a must if you travel on your own. If you travel with an organised tour and if your with a family this is the better option, you will never be taken anywhere unsafe, and you always have the huge benefit of a local guide, who is familiar with the local customs and neighbourhoods.

Your very own experience

There is no worse feeling than working all year, saving hard and then heading off on your travels, only to get home full of excitement, only to find all your friends and colleagues have had the exact very same experience as you. even down to the restaurant you ate lunch in.

If you want individual experiences you have to travel individually, there is a huge world out there, go find your own corner. Believe me your friends will be more eager to hear your stories, watch your slides and they will be jealous of your trip. Its a great feeling by the way.

It really is up to you and both options offer advantages over each other, and we personally use a combination of both. It depends on our goals from each individual trip, and what suits that better.