Package tour or independent travel? All the pros and cons

The best tour operators in Russia reliability rating for 2021

As long as there is a tourist business, so many disputes continue about how it is more interesting, more convenient and, most importantly, more profitable to travel: by purchasing a package tour, or by organizing your trip on your own. The first part collected the main pros and cons of buying a package tour. In the second, let's take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of independent travel.

So, you are an adult, independent, free person who knows exactly what he wants from this life, who has achieved everything, or at least is halfway there. And you are definitely not one of those who will allow some manager to impose on you the place and time of your vacation! After all, if in the 18th century people managed to ride in cabs and stagecoaches from St. Petersburg to Paris through Nice and Cannes, now, when any ticket can be bought without leaving the couch, and in four hours already drinking coffee in Montmartre, this is not a problem at all. Actually, we will burn about this.

Part Two: Self-Guided Travel

Let's agree right away: if you are a young billionaire helicopter pilot, whose incomprehensible tastes are very unusual, in every European country you have your own home, and at every airport you have a personal business jet - this article is not for you. You are welcome everywhere and you probably do not have any problems with border crossing. So, if you want - read on, you don't want - all the best, but you can share your experience in the comments. travel.

We, mere mortals without red rooms, let's roll up our sleeves, cover ourselves with reference books, and calling on the experience of older and experienced comrades for help, we will try to collect all the positive and negative aspects of independent travel organization, starting in this times with difficulties.

Disadvantages of self-travel organization

Long preparation period and careful planning. Everything that, in the case of a package tour, you shift onto the shoulders of a professional agent, you will have to deal with personally. And it's not just about finding a suitable hotel and contacting it, having received all the necessary documents. If necessary, you personally will have to resolve issues with visas, and this is a difficult and not a quick process, which sometimes ends in nothing.

You will have to clarify and fully prepare the entire package of documents, without which you simply will not be allowed across the border, find out if any medical certificates and procedures are necessary and what are the terms of their validity. Then - carefully perform them all (especially if you are planning a trip to an exotic country).

Do not forget to visit the bank in order to cash out a sufficient amount of money, or get a temporary "one-time" card if you are heading to one of the countries after visiting which the bank card is blocked and reissued automatically for security reasons.

At the same time, you will have to attend to all travel documents. Of course, ideal is when there is a direct flight from point A to point B, and from the airport a hotel transfer will take you directly to the reception, but this is not always the case. And in this case, you will have to carefully study the local bus routes, the rules for calling a taxi and even some local customs (in some places it is not accepted to hitchhike on the road, and in some places it is even prohibited by law). In general, you will have to read and learn a lot.

Personal responsibility for everything. Let's say you carry the Stone of Time on your chest, dress in a scarlet cloak, you can consider all twenty million options for the development of events in the future, and this allows you to avoid problems upon arrival at the resting place. But, most likely, this is not the case, and all sorts of surprises are inevitable during the trip. You must be ready for them, because in the case of an independent trip, it is you and only you who are responsible for yourself. Where are the medical institutions, authorities and law enforcement agencies, is there a diplomatic mission of your country nearby and how to go there - you should know all this so that, as they said at school, "bounces off your teeth." Also, you personally have to solve all the difficulties that may arise with the locals, so, please, find out which language prevails in your location and learn at least basic phrases.

Package tour or independent travel? All the pros and cons

When we go on a trip to Russia or abroad, the hotel becomes our second home for a while. In it, no matter how active we are to explore local attractions, we spend at least half of our entire vacation. And nothing will darken our vacation more than a bad place to stay. The hotel may not only fall short of expectations, but also ruin the entire trip. Of course, experienced travelers all know this, but there are those for whom this is a dark forest. So what are the best hotels to choose?

? How do you choose the hotel that's right for you?

There are millions of hotels in the world. Fortunately, it does not take much time for tourists to find "their only one" today. You just need to filter hotels according to your requirements in one of the hotel's Internet search engines: Booking. om, Hotellook, Agoda. om, Islet, etc. This is a kind of online database of hotels from different parts of the world: you can book a room both in the center of a large metropolis and in a secluded provincial town.

To search for a hotel, enter the dates you need, the name of the city or country, indicate the number of guests. Then you can choose the type of accommodation (hotel, hostel, guesthouse, apartment, villa, etc.), type of food ("All inclusive" - ​​"all inclusive", "Bed and breakfest" - only breakfasts are included, etc.) ...

The rest of the filters are like a buffet: you can choose the services you need, and ignore other offered options. Is Wi-Fi important to you? Free parking is up to date? Looking for accommodation with pets? By sorting hotels and thus significantly narrowing your search, you will be able to find and book your ideal hotel in a short time.

⭐ Which hotels are good? Reading by the stars!

The level of hotel service can be assessed in absentia, based on the "star" classification. This is a kind of 5-point system of recruitment and quality of services: the more “stars” a hotel has, the more prestigious, more comfortable and, accordingly, more expensive it is. However, it is worth noting that the criteria for "star rating" in different countries are very different, moreover, more than 40% of hotels overestimate their "star rating" to attract more guests.

  • Hotels 1 * and 2 * are always a minimum of amenities: the room may not have air conditioning, TV, and the bathroom and toilet may be on the floor. Low-star hotels are most often options for undemanding budget travelers and active travelers who only consider the hotel as a place to stay.
  • Three-star hotels offer an average level of service.
  • Fours often already have their own pools, sports complexes, restaurants and spas.
  • Five-star hotels are a guarantee of a great holiday: friendly staff, perfect cleanliness, excellent food and a wide range of services await you here.

? Find out from the reviews: which hotels are good, and which ones are better not to live?

In many booking systems (Hotellook, Booking.om, Agoda.om, Ostrovok, etc.) and hotel aggregators (RoomGuru.u, etc.) anyone can share their experience of staying in hotels around the world ... Reviews are what allows you to find out all the objective advantages and disadvantages of the hotel even before the trip.

None of the hotel owners next to the beautiful photos on their official website will write that the rooms are cleaned poorly, and the air conditioning does not work. Thanks to the reviews, you know in advance what awaits you. Why wonder which hotels are good and which are not? If the ratings and rating of the hotel are high - book safely, and if the rating is "lame" - weigh the pros and cons and think carefully.

? ‍ ? ‍ ? How to choose a hotel for families with children?

When choosing a hotel for a trip with a baby, you must first make sure that it is in the hotel. they will even let you in! The fact is that some hotels, especially in popular resort areas, set the restriction "Only for adults": pensioners or married couples without children who want peace and privacy most often stay in them.

The first part collected the main pros and cons of buying a package tour. In the second, let's take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of independent travel.

Any person who has started to travel with the funds accumulated in the office will sooner or later face the problem of a dwindling bank account. No matter how you minimize your expenses, but if there is no financial inflow, then a fiasco is inevitable and sooner or later you will have to return to your homeland in order to again get a livelihood and continue traveling. But do you always have to come back? After all, there are methods of earning money along the way. One of them is the organization of author's tours, and Ivan Leshukov today will tell us from his own experience about this method.

What is an author's tour and why there is a demand for them today

An author's tour, or an author's trip, is any form of travel organization without the participation of a large tour operator, but with the help of a person who is more experienced in this matter. It can be a trip to the Caucasus mountains, a trip to another country, rafting in the mountains of Peru, an expedition to Yakutia and even a yacht cruise in the Caribbean. Such an author's trip is a kind of intermediate link between voucher travel and independent travel. They have existed for a long time, but they began to gain popularity only recently, since travel companies are now going bankrupt and are closed, do not inspire confidence, and many are already tired of traveling on vouchers. But not many can decide to be completely independent for the first time, so there is a demand for author's trips and it is growing. In addition, often, author's tours are to such a hard-to-reach region, where it will be more expensive, more difficult and dangerous to travel on your own. Papua, for example, or some regions of Africa, difficult mountain routes.

There are author tours similar to a trip on a voucher, but only with movements, adventures, all sorts of activities. There are also those in which participants are prepared for independent travel: they are taught to look for cheap hotels, public transport, communicate with locals, bargain, etc. The number of people can also be very different, I had from 1 to 9 people, but I personally know a person who leads groups to Indonesia of 12 people, and to Adygea as many as 20 ... I had a "group" of one person three times - in this case, the trip for me turned out to be what is called "zero", or a small minus.

In general, this is a fairly broad concept and you must first decide on the form of your author's trip. Maybe it will be mountain hikes, maybe educational trips for beginners to Thailand, maybe serious expeditions to Papua or Madagascar, maybe some highly specialized trips, for example, birdwatching tours to bird wintering sites in Africa, photo tours to Iceland, etc.

Which country to choose and which route

If you decide to try to make money by conducting author's tours, then you need to decide on a specific location for it. It is best to choose the country that you know best, where you spent the most time, perhaps even learned the language. For me, for example, Indonesia has become such a springboard - a huge country with a sea of ​​opportunities. This is just an unplowed field, not a country! If you know the local language - a huge plus. My knowledge of the Indonesian language helps me a lot, since I often take my tourists to places where no one speaks English at all and does not try to learn.

Burma is a very promising country for author tours. Interest in this country is growing from year to year, opportunities for interesting routes - the sea, there is not much information yet. There are almost no competitors. Lafa! Grab it before you pick it up.

Having decided on the country, you can prepare several routes - simpler, more complicated, of different duration. The most popular duration is 10-14 days. Routes lasting 3 weeks or more are much less common. For example, I once had a tour to Sumatra for a month. But this is an exception. Now, in a crisis, only short-lived and cheap options are available - for a week, for a maximum of 10 days. The route needs to be thoroughly studied: pick up hotels, cafes, transport, excursions, attractions.

There are tours in which tourists are given the opportunity to choose their own hotel, cafe, method of travel. But this form of organization is not suitable for every route and only for a small group. The larger the group, the harder it is to organize and plan everything, so that there is no fermentation and wandering.

How to organize and conduct your trip

The time of small, poorly organized operators of travel services has passed: after the crisis, due to a series of bankruptcies, several dozen large companies remained on the Russian market that managed to stay afloat. Facts such as fierce competition and the presence of large capital in the tourism business have played into the hands of ordinary vacationers. The remaining firms are better organized, reasonably reliable, and offer more attractive services. Among these "titans", a dozen companies stand out: we bring to your attention the top best travel operators in the Russian Federation according to the reliability rating from Travelata and the opinion of vacationers who have already used their services.

TOP-: Major tour operators in Russia, rating of the best and most reliable

Mouzenidis Travel location

Regional operator offering high quality leisure services in Greece. The company is a part of the Mouzenidis Group holding, which is engaged in a purely tourist business: its own hotels near the best beaches, excursions to memorable and historical sites, organization of entertainment events. In addition to mainland Greece, you can arrange tours to Rhodes and Crete. Organizes flights on vacation from both capitals, several regional centers, Kiev and Minsk.

? Availability of representative offices at the place of rest?

? Guaranteed hotel reservations?

? The number of dissatisfied customers (according to reviews):

place "Biblio Globus"

A company with a long experience of work: it has been on the tourist services market for 24 years. In addition to regular tours, it also organizes shopping tours, vacations on a cruise ship and ski resorts. The geography of the routes is very diverse - the countries of America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Most of the customer reviews are the most positive.

? Are there any representative offices at the place of rest?

The quality of the trip and the impressions after it largely depend on the chosen direction. Therefore, you should choose a country for travel that will suit specific tourists, their needs and opportunities. This is the most important point in travel preparation.

Decisive factors for choosing a direction

In order to choose the right country for vacation, you need to divide the trip and everything connected with it into several factors. Each of them will narrow down the range of possible destinations, after which it will be much easier to choose a country for travel.

But before going into all the aspects in detail, you can use one piece of advice from experienced tourists. It consists in writing out all the directions where you want to go for a long time. And after each factor, cross out from the list countries that are not suitable for requests or opportunities. Even if at the end all the places turn out to be unsuitable, this will already help in the further choice.

Type of holiday

First of all, you need to decide what kind of vacation you are planning. There are several popular types of travel.

List of leisure activities:

  • Beach vacation. The most common option in which tourists relax on the seashore, sunbathe, swim and have fun in every possible way. Such rest can be both with various activities and passive. Examples: Turkey, Thailand, Hawaii. Additionally, we recommend that you study the article - where to go for a beach holiday: the best destinations
  • Cultural/sightseeing travel. Many countries have cities with many attractions and entertainment, whether it's a medieval castle in Munich or Disneyland in Paris. This type also includes excursions to natural places, for example, on a safari. Examples: Australia, South Africa, Japan.
  • Leisure activities. An option in which tourists go to another country for an active, and often extreme, vacation. You can conquer mountain peaks, ride big waves, raft down a mountain river and much more. Examples: Iceland, Canada, New Zealand. We recommend that you study the article - 10 best ideas for extreme travel
  • Ski holidays. Despite the fact that ski resorts can be classified as an active type, it is better to single out this type as a separate item. For tourists there are many modern ski resorts with a varied infrastructure, where you can go skiing, walk in the mountains, and ride a sled. Examples: Switzerland, Austria, Canada. Additionally, you can read the article - the best ski resorts in the world
  • Entertaining vacation. You can fly abroad to a concert of your favorite artist, or visit the famous nightclubs, having fun in full. Also, an entertainment trip means visiting music and arts festivals, for example, Coachella.
  • Wellness trip. Several countries and resorts offer treatments and rehabilitation. In health resorts, wellness procedures are combined with relaxation, whether it is an active or passive way of spending time. Examples: Israel, Germany, Czech Republic.
  • Shopping trip. Often, tourists go to another country to buy clothes, gadgets and other things, including cars. Italy, France and the USA are perfect for this.

It is important to understand that most types of recreation do not contradict each other and are easy to combine. For example, beach and cultural holidays. But then you need to fly to a place where there is both. Great examples are Barcelona, ​​Nice.

Having chosen one or several types of rest, it is worth choosing a destination for rest from the countries in which a certain type is best developed, and take into account the following criteria.

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