Forced to wake up at 6, eat same breakfast everyday, running on tight schedule, going on a big bus to see a over-populated tourist spots for 20 mins before go to some factory / products presentation for 2 hours and being forced to buy something.
That was a common experience that happened when we join a package tour, and it happens to me, once, don’t want to join that kind of thing anymore. And i swear to god, that not the way i want to spend my holiday..
Seeing Eiffel tower for few minutes while the tour guide talks about the history, paying musee du louvre admission ticket just to rush to see Monalisa and go out. I just don’t think that’s a great way to “experience” Paris, it just too short, too brief, borrowing my architecure philosophy lecturer words during uni : it just petting, not even a penetration, it’s not a real thing (;
I wrote this not to tell what’s right or wrong, what’s better or worse, it really depends on people expectation on “experience” things. Some people looking for quantity, others looking for quality, some tours covers the whole america for 21 days, some people can’t even finished new york in 6 months.
What i try to show here, there’s other way to travel and enjoy your stay overseas beside joining a tour.
To experience how’s the public transport works, to lost in their back alleys, to do the things in their way, to see a place from a local resident point of view, not only from a tourist point of view.
Of course there’s always advantage on joining tour package, there’s also minus point on plan your own trip.
Advantage on joining a package tour :
- All arranged, you don’t need to plan & think a lot, just bring cash to spend on shopping and it’s all settled.- You’ll never be lost, you don’t need to worry if the local subway are more complicated than bob marley’s dreadlock, your loyal big tourist bus will always be there for you.
- Very time efficient, you can see more places in a day than you ever imagined. A good way to cover “all must see” spots in a quick way.
- You’ll never be lonely, because at least two dozens of people that speaks same language with you are there with you. And it means, you also chance to do some networking, or looking for some hot-chicks that will stay at the same hotel with you (;
- Thanks to your friendly tour guide, you can visit a country, going around it, without even need to try to understand any local language, avoiding all awkward moments when you need to use sign language to order a food or buying something, especially in those countries that used scribble and symbol on their language (;
- The cost for travel is more or less fixed ( not include shopping ) the only extra costs involve is the tips for our friendly tour guide ( which not compulsary but is an industry standard ) or some additional tour inside tour ( sometimes when they said visit to eiffel tower, it means your bus will stop below and you can see it, but not include admission to climb up )
- It might be cheaper, because there’s always a group discount for flight / hotels / transportation / food / admission
- It will make you spend your time efficiently, no more “omg i’m so tired & i want to rest today” or “i want to wake up at noon” syndrome. (;
Who will i recommend to join package tour?
- people who didn’t have time to plan or too lazy to plan them self.
- people who want everything to works according the plan.
- people who can only feel safe if they walk in a pack.
- people who want a relax holiday that didn’t involve a lot of walking.
- big group family trip that include some fussy grandparents that will blame you as the eldest grandchildren who failed to navigate yourself until you lost.
- i will also recommend tour package if you want to go to some 3rd world country with super messy or maybe don’t have any proper public transportation system.
Advantage on plan your own trip :
- Flexibility! you can plan your own timing & pace, choose the place to visit, choose your own food, wake up as you like, choose your own travel-mate and set your on target! you can skip the boring place and spend whole day in your favourite place, you can even re-visit the place! You can change your plan last minute based on your mood, you can stop if you suddenly found an interesting event.
- Planning stage is fun! i always feel doing all the preparation and sets an itinerary is one of the most fun part. Online during office hour to read hotel review, comparing the price on different airlines and accomodation, googling to learn the transportation system, finding some travel report on a strangers blog, free reading lonely planet at bookstore, or even visit a travel agent to copy their itinerary! It’s all fun! (:
- You can try to live a life of a local there, taking their public transport, eating in their canteen, having picnic in a neighbourhood garden, or even visiting their public library ( for a free wifi hehe ) I think there’s a lot of different experience that you can have when you doing that.
- You can just don’t care and just get lost in that city, from my experience, being lost is the most interesting part, i always ended up finding some hidden gems & charming place accidentally when i was lost.
- It can be bloody cheap, far more cheaper than the package tour. You can fly some super budget airlines during promotion and sleep at the hostel with 6 bunk-bed a room, eat DIY sandwich from the local supermarket.
- You can spend more time on your interest and go to a specific place that won’t be visited by normal package tour. You can go drunk and club-hopping until morning, join a random local snooker competition, spending the whole day taking photo of people in a random street, relaxing for the whole afternoon on a garden while writing poems, or maybe just sitting on a cafe drinking your coffee while people watching. Anything! the possibility is limitless, and like i said before flexibility!!
- It teach you to be responsible of yourself, manage your own itinerary and expenses, testing your decision making ability ( and luck ) also train your basic survival skills ( yeah right! )
Who will i recommend to do this?
- Anyone who have enough knowledge to book your flight – accomodation online ( or offline ), have enough time to prepare your own itinerary and do some “googlling” ( please don’t go blindly ) and want to take some risks (:
Sorry to write it in such a long way… it’s actually quite simple right?
happy travelling people (;