When you travel, how you usually plan? What are your preparations? Who do you contact to? Do you prefer to book by the agency or do it on your own?
So what do I mean by traveling by agency? It is booking your whole trip through an agency. Mostly, they will book for your plane tickets, transportation in going around and hotel accommodation. They will also prepare your itinerary and book for tours. Usually, it will only include city tour. Meals are usually not included.
How about the DIY or Do it Your Own? It is you planning the whole trip. You will book for your tickets, hotel accommodations, tours and prepare the itinerary. You plan for your budget, too.
In my case, I tried both. But all my international trips were do it your own, we planned and booked everything. However, I tried booking by an agency when we traveled here in the country, I guess once or twice. They picked us up from the airport, sent to our hotel, toured around, then sent back to the airport.
But which is which? What you should choose? What is the difference?
Choosing how to travel is easy. But, it will always depend on you. What is comfortable for you. What do you prefer. It is up to you.
I will try to list down some pros and cons.
TRAVEL BY AGENCY
When traveling with agency, everything is being planned and settled by the agent. Of course, you are paying for that.
- Hassle-free and convenient
- Since the agency will do everything for you, then all you have to prepare is the stuff that you will be bringing during your trip.
- During the trip, they will coordinate everything for you. All you have to do is enjoy and follow their guidelines & instructions.
- You don’t have to fall in a long line. They will provide you the tickets.
- You don’t have to wait for the bus or train or any public vehicles just to get to your destination. They will provide you a vehicle (usually a tourist bus).
- You don’t need to worry where to eat coz they will bring you there.
- More informed
- You will be advised on the do’s and don’ts.
- You will know about the rules of the places you will be visiting.
- You will be informed on the story and whatever information related to the place you will go which includes history.
- Zero to less possibility of getting lost
- You have less chance of getting lost since there is a guide accompanying you the whole time.
- They will take you and accompany you wherever you will go. Besides, they will not leave the place if you are not complete.
- Hassle-free and convenient
- It is more expensive to hire an agency than doing everything on your own. Of course, you are paying for their services and efforts.
- Not so flexible
- Because everything is planned and booked by them, you have to follow the itinerary that they made for you. Though, sometimes you can tell them on what you want so that they can adjust. But, there will be rate difference.
- Also, travel time is limited. Mostly, it will fall on weekdays. You will be lucky if you can get a not-so expensive tour package that falls on a weekend.
- Be time conscious
- Since they arranged it for you and they will follow an itinerary, you have to be time conscious. They will really follow the time as schedule so that they can accommodate the itinerary.
- And if you are a joiner, there will be many of you in the trip. You have to cooperate with them. You need to be patient and understanding.
And remember, you have to make sure that you are dealing with a legit travel agency since you are paying a large amount of money especially most of the time, they required a down payment. Actually, I did try to book an international trip through an agency. Supposedly for October 2018, and we were able to pay the down payment of Php 1,000 each. However, when I contacted them to ask something, they did not respond. And when I checked online for reviews, I did read bad and negative feedback. That’s why, right there and then, I sent them an email that we are cancelling the reservation. I don’t care spending the Php 1,000 to nothing than spending more and being scammed. You know what I mean, right?
So, it’s your money. Thus, make sure that you entrust it to trustworthy people. You did not pick up anywhere and so, it is okay to throw it. But, you worked hard to earn that. It’s your call who to trust. So, do research before you regret.
TRAVEL BY DIY
- You have the freedom to choose what you want and where to go. You can really plan according to what you desire. Also, if things will fall not according to your plan, it will be okay since you can easily adjust.
- Cheaper and can be on your budget
- It is cheaper to travel based on your own itinerary because you can also budget wisely.
- You don’t have to pay for the services thus, it will lessen your expenses.
- You have all the time for yourself.
- You do not have to follow schedule if you want. You can go whenever and wherever you want. You do not have to worry if you will wake up late.
- You have the chance to meet and make new friends.
- Since you are traveling on your own and mostly commuting, you have the tendency to meet more people. In this way, you can make new friends too.
- More effort
- It will need more effort from you to do all the planning, researching and booking. You need to read and ask about the place you are going to so that you can have an idea on how the trip will go.
- More hassle
- It is more hassle because you need to do it your on own on how to get to the destination you want.
- You have to ask if possible the ways on getting somewhere.
- Possibility of getting lost
- Since you will be commuting if possible, there are chances that you will be lost. Practice your ability to talk to strangers and ask. Fight that shyness away.
- More effort
Whichever you prefer will matter. You have to set your expectations. You need to anticipate what could possibly go wrong or what might happen.
In traveling through an agency, as I mentioned, you have to make sure that you are dealing with a legit agency. You worked hard for your money and thus, you should make sure that you are spending it appropriately and wisely. Plus, it’s your trip that you paid for so make sure also that you will be enjoying.
While in traveling by DIY, it is a lot of work but if you really love to do it, you will surely enjoy. All my international trips were DIY including my solo trip in Taiwan though there are tours that I bought via agency like Klook Travel. But, I planned and booked everything. I read blogs and researched as much as that I can to make sure I am gonna do right. And yeah! I did enjoy all my trips. Every trip will end with a lesson that I can learn and apply on my next and future trips.
And honestly, I am enjoying it. Will be travelling solo again few months from now.
Hoping that you will have a fun and good time on your trips too. Either you are availing a package by an agency or doing it on your own, make sure that you have a trip that is one for the book and you will love to cherish for life. 😉