Major Advantages of going on your own trips – Especially in international tours

Relaxed pace – Work out travel plans at your pace. Most group tours are hectic. They try to stuff in too many cities/countries in too short a time. Its quantity over quality.

Costs – Contrary to belief, individual tours work out cheaper. Our Europe tour was done at a nearly 25% lesser cost of a similar standard group tour and a 40% lesser cost of a customized holiday booked through tour operators. All this without cutting any corners

Money saved is money earned

Stay and interact with locals – Individual travelling gives tourists an opportunity to enjoy the local food and stay in houses rather than hotels. Get to experience their culture, to get a feel of the place, in the real sense. This is a big big plus and is remembered for long….longer than the tourist spot you had been to.
We still remember our stay at a house booked at airbnb.com and the chats with the hosts. Just wonderful.

Can’t get more local than this. Staying at the foothills in a Swiss cottage

Click here on how to select a house at airbnb.com

Eat and buy where the locals do – Guidance from the hotel receptions where we stayed, gave us an opportunity to visit farmer’s market, corner stores, local shops and to get some great local food.
Some suggestions might turn out to be hidden gems like the ‘Le Moulin De La Vierge’ bakery in Paris where we tasted the most amazing bakery products and like this street in Florence where locals gather for dinner.

Privacy – Get all the privacy in the world while traveling alone. In Group’s, you get a feeling of always being crowded.

Purchase only what you want – Some of the tour operators do deceitfully push you into buying stuff by taking you to tour these factories/shops. We had the opportunity to visit some Mom&Pop stores and again got a chance to feel like a local.

Not really……This is a store at a local fair near Lake Tahoe, USA

Flexible Itinerary – You can deviate from your planned itinerary and can stay back at any place if you want it. We had a little health mishap and we were grateful we were able to extend an evening and sweat it out.

In Florence, we loved the lovely little hill-town of Fiesole and decided to revisit it the next day.

Relaxed mornings – Enjoy a long breakfast, after all, it’s the most important meal of the day. Each breakfast lasts for an hour for us in all our tours:).
In one of the Swiss countries, we had a table full of breakfast goodies like Croissants, fresh milk from the owner’s cows, fresh homemade butter, strudels, muesli, gipfeli, cheese, eggs and fresh homemade bread to name a few. We even had cheese and chocolate fondues for a brunch with champagne
In group tours, you need to get up early on a regular basis and hurry up to be on time for your bus.

Group Tours do have their advantages

  • No planning required
  • No hotel booking, train, flight or any bookings required to be done by you
  • You feel less insecure of the travel
  • Have someone carry your luggage. But be aware, not always and not till your hotel room. On international tours, they get your luggage from the vehicle to the hotel lobby or elevators and vice-versa. So, better get this confirmed.
  • You get to eat food that you have regularly have at your home, if that is what you like.

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Pros and Cons
Pre-requisites of going on your own
Where to go? A general guide
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