How to travel without a tour operator

How to travel cheaply without travel agencies

Especially for those who want to join the slender ranks of individual tourists, we have prepared a visual step-by-step instruction: how to organize your trip yourself.

Think about where you want to go and why

This is not as simple a question as it seems at first glance. Many well-known resorts are specially "promoted", while in a kilometer from them you can find much more pleasant and little-known places. Perhaps one of the most controversial examples is Pattaya. This Thai resort is popular as a family resort only among the clients of Russian tour operators. In reality, it is the capital of dubious entertainment, and the nature there cannot be compared to the nature of the neighboring islands, which can be reached in a few hours. Be sure to read reviews and discussions of the place on the Internet - for example, in our section "Question - Answer". Keep in mind that there are cases when organizing a trip yourself is completely unprofitable from a financial point of view. This mainly applies to mass beach destinations, where tour operators buy discount tickets and hotel rooms in bulk.

Altezza Travel is based in Tanzania and provides Russian speaking support upon arrival. Individual and group ascents to the highest mountain in Africa - Kilimanjaro volcano (5895 m), as well as safari trips to the best national parks in Tanzania: Tarangire, Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

Think over the logistics and plan the route

Very often, a ticket directly from point A to point B costs five times more than to point B. At the same time, point B can be very close to point B. Of course, sometimes for the sake of price you have to sacrifice convenience, for example , change plane to bus. Let's take as an example the same Thailand, beloved by Russians: the minimum price of air tickets from Bangkok to Koh Samui was about 15,000 RUB. At the same time, getting to Koh Samui by night train + ferry cost approximately from 1000 to 3000 RUB, depending on the class and level of comfort. In Europe, where distances are small by Russian standards and a large concentration of airports, it sometimes makes sense to fly to another country and in half an hour get to the neighboring one by train - say, from Girona, Spain to France. You can compare flight prices using numerous online aggregators such as Skyscanner. Oh yes, travel guides are a very useful thing, buy at least one and read it BEFORE you travel.

Be Safe

When buying insurance yourself, you have the opportunity to choose the options you need, such as baggage insurance or third party liability insurance. Just in case: we strongly recommend taking out insurance. It is now easy to buy a policy online in five minutes, and if something happens, this very small amount of money will save you from big trouble. “If you are going to very distant and exotic places, ask the insurance company which assistance company they work with,” advises Valisiy Busarov, Intouch Insurance Director. - Assistance is an intermediary company, it is she who will resolve emerging issues and communicate with a medical institution if you need help. Assistance works only with certain clinics with which it is associated with an agreement, therefore, it is necessary to clarify in advance whether there are medical institutions in the city with which an agreement has been concluded. As a rule, there are no problems with this, but in places very remote from civilization it is better to be sure that there is such an agreement with the nearest hospital ”.

Book your accommodation online

In addition to searching for tickets, the Internet and mobile applications provide countless possibilities for self-organizing travel. You can book a hotel room on Booking. om or a bed in a hostel at Hostelworld, or you can rent a room or a treehouse from privateers from different countries on Airbnb. Another interesting service is Couchsurfing. It allows you to live absolutely free around the world with volunteers who support the idea of ​​such friendship between peoples. In return, it is suggested that you shelter another member of the community in your home when he travels to your city. True, free accommodation, as a rule, implies the need to communicate with the owner, observe at least minimal social decency and experience all the delights of a neighbor's life.

“On a tour, the operator usually limits the choice to hotels that have good contracts. Online agencies provide a wider range of hotels, as well as alternative accommodation options not available to the tour operator. These are, for example, hostels and apartments - and in combination with flights, they are more attractive in price. In addition, you yourself choose the additional services (transfer, excursions, New Year's dinner at the hotel, etc.) that you need, while the tour operator includes everything in the package, which, of course, affects the price, "commented the commercial director. Messenger Travel "Andrey Osintsev.

And in any incomprehensible situation, we advise you to remember this quote from Mark Twain: “In 20 years, you will be more disappointed with the things that you did not do than those that you did. So get away from the quiet dock. Feel the wind in your sail. Move forward, act, open! "

How to travel without a tour operator

If the phrase “to see Paris and die” is about you, and the prospect of wearing out your favorite pair of shoes in the Louvre corridors is not scary and even inspiring, congratulations: you belong to the category of aesthetes, for whom the best kind of rest is sightseeing ... While insensitive and callous vacationers smoke under the scorching rays of exotic suns, your tender soul soars in the sky-high heights of painting, sculpture and architecture, music and literature, in the vastness of national parks and ancient temple complexes.

For whom

Unlike hobbies such as diving or rock climbing, sightseeing tours do not have a specific army of fans. All of us with one or another periodicity, no, no, and we will go on an excursion, even while relaxing in the beach country itself, thereby either replenishing or decreasing the ranks of fans of the “excursion”. At the same time, there are popular destinations aimed at those who like to see, admire and capture, for example, the capitals of European countries with their abundance of museums and architectural monuments or natural attractions: Turkish Pamukkale, Australian Ayers Rock, Tanzanian Ngorongoro. Non-lovers of beach-sea tararam and heat, romantic-minded couples and those who cannot imagine life without meeting face to face with Dali's canvases, Gaudi's floating buildings or frescoes of the Sistine Chapel also go to "excursion" countries.

North Caucasus - only experienced accompanying guides.

Pros and Cons

The opportunity to join the cultural heritage of mankind and enjoy the contemplation of art objects - these are the main advantages of sightseeing tours. This does not mean that apart from walking to museums, cathedrals and city halls, there will be no time left for anything: the "excursion" can be successfully combined with shopping and beach recreation. Take Italy, for example. Here you can explore the many sights of Rome all day long (and never see even half), and then relax on the nearby Riviera of Lazio: in the bustling Ostia or secluded Anzio. Not to mention the fact that Milan is not only the famous Duomo and Da Vinci's Last Supper, but also one of the best shopping cities in the world. The disadvantages of the "naked" excursion can be attributed only to the "sanchez" on the sights, as a result of which a viscous porridge of facades, paintings, names and dates remains in the head. Here we note that everyone has the right to determine for himself an excursion program of suitable intensity and it is better to avoid such a literal sense of the word "gallop across Europe".

Where to go

Popular excursion destinations are, of course, old Europe with an exceptionally large concentration of monuments of all times and peoples, countries that inherit the great civilizations of the past: Egypt, India, Mexico, Peru, Iran, Greece, Israel, etc. etc., the happy owners of fantastic natural landscapes: Rwanda, Australia, Indonesia, the USA, South Africa, antipode states with an unusual and therefore interesting way of life, such as Japan or the countries of the Arab East, and "native spaces": cities of Russia and the near abroad - what are at least St. Petersburg or Bukhara. Let us also recall that a dosed "excursion" can be obtained on vacation in any country in the world: near the beaches there will probably be some ruins, a couple of museums and several architectural monuments.

Everything about roaming and communication abroad: how to contact relatives from abroad.

Here is a detailed instruction on how to organize a vacation without travel agencies in Russia and abroad. Here are 7 steps to get you closer to independent relaxation (click for explanation) ⇩

Rest on your own or through a travel agency: what is better and cheaper

There is no exact answer to the question of how best and cheaper to have a rest - with a tour operator or yourself. It happens that it is easier to pay a tour operator and lie on the beach without the hassle of choosing a hotel and transfer. Another time, it's better to spend a week planning and customizing your trip in a way that you won't be offered anywhere else. To decide what is right for you, read about the pros and cons of ready-made tours and independent trips:

Through a travel agency or on your own?

The travel agency undertakes to help tourists. The representative of the tour operator solves controversial issues upon check-in at the hotel, offers excursions, escorts to the airport. He usually arrives at the hotel at certain hours.

How does a tour operator differ from a travel agency

A tour operator is a company that makes a tour: comes up with a route, buys air tickets, organizes a transfer, a hotel, insurance and a guide.

Travel agency - a company that sells tours from different tour operators. Whether there will be a difference in price and from whom it is cheaper to buy a ticket depends on the situation: it is better to compare the offers of the travel agency and the tour operator.

If you are inclined to leave without a travel agency, but are worried, take out insurance. It may not be needed, but it will calm your nerves. If you are going to the Schengen area, insurance will be required to obtain a visa. And for inspiration, read this - how to stop being afraid and start traveling without travel agencies.

Decided to go without a tour? Read on to find out how to organize everything without the hassle.

How to choose the right vacation spot

Pour yourself some tea, sit back in a chair, forget about Facebook and think about how you want to spend your vacation. Perhaps you are tired and dream of living in a beautiful house by the sea, not getting out anywhere. Or climb the mountains - after all, you have long wanted to try outdoor activities. Or take a photo against the backdrop of a medieval castle and look at the winery, or dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant overlooking the Champs Elysees. Or visit cities that remember the times before our era. The more precisely you can articulate what your ideal vacation is, the easier it will be to choose a specific place.

Sit over a map for inspiration, read articles on SkyScanner, and check out other websites and blogs about independent travel without travel agencies:

If you are going to go on vacation for the first time abroad and do not yet know where to go, this article is for you.

Read tips on where to go for the first time for a very positive holiday experience. And share your feedback and comments.

First time abroad - less hassle, more fun

It is better to choose a place for your first holiday abroad based on how easy it will be to go on a trip.

You are already flying for the first time, why do you need unnecessary difficulties and obstacles on the way to rest?

[tds_council] Minimize all paperwork. [/ tds_council]

That is, we immediately discard all options where you have to apply for a visa.

Visa abroad

Visa means going to the bank for information, filling out applications and questionnaires, going to a photographer for a photo for a visa, etc.

And finally, not all cities have the visa operators you need. In general, you don't need such difficulties for your first holiday abroad.

List of visa-free countries for Russians (we list only those countries where it is easy to get to and where the tourist infrastructure has already been established):

  • Turkey ;
  • Cyprus (visa required, but issued online);
  • Northern Cyprus (entry only through Turkey);
  • Israel;
  • Montenegro;
  • Thailand;
  • Georgia;
  • Armenia;
  • Azerbaijan;
  • Hong Kong (up to 14 days);
  • Serbia;
  • Belarus;
  • Moldova;
  • Vietnam (up to 15 days);
  • South Korea;
  • Dominican Republic;
  • Cuba;
  • Tunisia;
  • Maldives;
  • Morocco;
  • Hainan (as part of a tour. Ruppa).

I finished setting up my blog, now I'm sitting studying various partnerships in tourism, remote work and other topics that I'm going to write content about on my blog. To be honest, there are just hundreds of affiliate programs in different niches and you can earn hundreds of thousands of rubles on them.

But not all products are good to use and recommend. You can't try all of them, but you can evaluate them by the feedback, the results of other people and start working with them.

Today I have compiled a list of partners on the topics of tourism, travel, rest abroad, etc. I often write about travel and it is foolish not to monetize these articles and not recommend good sites and services that I use to get my commission for advertising.

Best Tourism Affiliates

I found a lot of different travel partners, but these are the ones that are really popular, and you can earn at least something from them by recommending them on the blog, on social networks and other platforms.

  • Ozon Travel
  • Skyscanner
  • OneTwoTrip
  • Aviasales (TravelPayouts)
  • Airbnb
  • Hotellook
  • Cherehapa
  • Policy 812
  • Uber
  • RentalCars
  • Tripinsurance <
  • Offers from CPA networks such as Admitad.

This list will eventually be supplemented in search of the most profitable and high-quality partners.

The companies Aviasales, Airbnb, Hotellook are united by the fact that they work through a single partner system TravelPayouts, dozens of other companies are also connected to it, which can be recommended and receive rewards.

Let's consider the conditions of each in more detail

Aviasales. u is the most popular flight search aggregator. We often use it ourselves.

Works through the Travelpayouts system.

Cookies: 30 days (if the person who clicked on your link visits the site within 30 days and buys a ticket, then you will be credited with a commission).

Commission: 50 - 70% of the profit of the partner service from the sale of the ticket - this is 1.1-1.5% of the total cost of the ticket. If you bought a ticket for 15,000 rubles using your link, then your commission will be 165-231 rubles.

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