Ever hear the phase: you can “do it on your own”? What exactly does that mean?
Do it on your own
Think through all the details that make up a complete trip:
- Transfers (transit from airport to hotel or cruise ship or place to place)
- Beverages – water, soft drinks, beer, wine, alchohol
- Exercise or work out locations
- Baggage handling (from your room to your transport for example)
If not on your own, then by who?
When we book people on say a river cruise, many of the above elements are included by the river cruise supplier. For example, with AmaWaterways, if you opt for their airfare and land extensions, most things are included. That is, it’s by your travel supplier. But let’s say you are on an Oceania cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona. Well certainly during the cruise you’ll be taken care of. But if you want to stay a few extra days in Barcelona but don’t want the Oceania package, you’ll have to do it “on your own”.
Well sometimes that is. Sometimes you can say to your travel agent, find me a great hotel, some great excursions, maybe a food tasting or two, arrange for transfers to the airport . This is “on your own” but you have assistance. The experience won’t be the same as having a single point of contact available for every phase of your vacation.
To really be on your own, you would book each of these different things your self.
Pros and Cons of being on your own
The benefit of being on your own of course is that you have total control of exactly what, where, when and how much to spend.
The downside is that you’ve got to do all the research and work to book it. Do you know which hotel or excursion is best? Do you know how to speak the language? Do you have access to special promotions that might offer more for less money? If something happens to you, do you know what to do and who to call?
Most people go to a particular location once maybe twice in their life. As travel agents we send people to the same places dozens of times a year. That means we have experience with who provides great service or not. What’s the best location for hotels. What insurance you need. How to handle emergencies like a missed connection or a driver that fails to show up at the prescribed time.
For some people, being on your own is great. And some of our clients like to be on their own for part of the trip. But most of our client like having an easy vacation where everything has been thought out ahead of time. And don’t confuse that with lack of freedom during the vacation. You can still plan lots of free time – you’ll just know that you’ll always have a great experience waiting for you when you get back.
Interested in learning more about what a travel agent can provide? Check out these links: