Hi, I am a first time travelor on a tight budget and I am researching the best means of taveling on a small budget. I was considering doing one of those travel package deals...through gate1travel ---> They have some pretty cheap packages that include airfare and hotel...but of course the downside being the limit on days within a particular country and the tour offered, I heard, are not that great.
Has anyone out there used gate1travel, trafalgar, iexplore...or any of these types of tours....if so...can you please tell me what you thought of it? Is it worth the price? How was the experience? Would you recommend it? Do you have any words of advise?
Thank You so much
There is significant difference between "packages" that are airfare and several nights hotel, and those that also are (or include) group tours. I suspect you are asking about the latter.
- Many group tours are usually more expensive than travelling independently - either solo or with a friend or two. Sometimes, however, you can find group tours that are reasonably priced.
- Set itinerarys on groups tours can REALLY be frustrating when you visit a locale that you'd like to stay at a while longer.
- I have been on several group tours, and have only truly enjoyed one. The one I enjoyed had some exceptional people, from many different cultures, that I stay in contact with to this day.
- Conversely, my last tour had some people that I didn't particularly like (including the tour leader), but I was economically stuck with them for the duration. That was a BAD experience.
So you're rolling the dice with package tours. I don't like to gamble with my trip much, so I now only travel independently. When I meet people along the way, and we get along, we'll travel together for a while, go hiking, white water rafting, caving, or whatever.
Just my humble opinion based on my experience. Hope it helps
I have booked to go on a group tour in vietnam. (Dec 28th)
It is with Imaginative Traveller ( http://www.imaginative-traveller.com/ )
It is costing me about £425 for 2 weeks, which works out about £30 per day. It does seem quite a lot but It will be first country that i will be travelling by my self and therefore will give me peace of mind and allow me to meet people fairly early. I am travelling solo and it is also my first time.
Before i booked it i was in two minds because of the price, but i am glad now as i dont have to worry about accomadation or transport in a strange country.
Just put in on a credit card and forget about it until you get back.
I've only ever taken a package deal to the Caribbean (without country hopping), but I'd venture to say it all depends on what you're looking for.
If you feel unsure or uncomfortabe about travelling on your own, a package deal will give you some peace of mind about getting from A to B, having your questions answered, knowing you'll see exactly what's on your itinerary, and feeling "safe" because you're in qualified hands.
However, it also means you're at the mercy of an itinerary, stuck with the same people for the entire trip, and rush-rush-rushing from one place to another. Plus you'll be taking a pretty cookie-cutter vacation - a tried and tested route that won't be off the beaten path.
Either way, you'll still be travelling and seeing the sights and learning about a new place. Go with what feels best for you - there is no right or wrong, there's only what you take out of it!
Thank you everyone for your advise, I really appreciate it.
I was also wondering....on the packages that do have tours...can you choose to skip the tours and explore on your own or are you pretty much stuck with the itinerary? I assume, it probably depends on the package and company but I hope that most do offer these freedoms to the traveller.