Who’s Better At Coming up with the Perfect Trip: You or an Agency?

There are three possibilities when it comes to travel planning: (1) do it all yourself, (2) have an agency arrange lodging and transportation and worry about what to do yourself and (3) leave it all to the agency and just show up and follow their lead. Each of these approaches comes with ups and downs and it also depends on the traveler’s personality, available or inexistent planning time and other such circumstances.

As I want to make it easier for you to choose how to have your trip planned, I’ll explore all these possibilities and focus on what’s good and bad about them. Relax, stay tuned and decide after reading this.

Fountain Statue in Trier

I Am the Master of Disaster

DIY trips come with all the freedom you’ve always dreamed of. Everything is exactly how you wanted it and you have control over every detail. You’re also responsible for every detail of your trip. But if you think you know best what you like, if you don’t want a standardized trip and want to just put your inventiveness to work, you should really go for it.

With all readily available online, finding a hotel, discovering all the major attractions and estimating costs and time can be quite easy. You’ll have to keep a close eye on travel blogs, forums and online booking site reviews.

Thumbs up:

* Everything is your choice, from how you get there, to the hotel and what you visit
* You can change everything as you go if you have a better idea
* You will not be forced to travel with people you don’t know and might not share interests with

Thumbs down:

* It takes a very long time to organize everything
* You might not find out about all the cool places to see and fun stuff to do; also might overlook important details and find everything closed (museums and other attractions)
* You might not estimate everything correctly: time, prices, fun factor

Germany car trip

With a Little Help from my Friends…

Partly relying on an agency when planning your trip might spare you quite an effort. You can just email them their request and have everything booked for you, at a certain price. You can have them book your stay, arrange for transportation and go.

Thumbs up:

* Easier to organize and less of a hassle for you
* More time to research what to do on the trip instead of worrying on how to get there
* You still have enough freedom to do what you like and change plans each day

Thumbs down:

* It might not be the best deal you could get. Don’t only think money, also think location and other such details
* As the booking decision is based on just a few objective request, it might not be exactly what you dreamed of
* You’re still left with the largest time consumer and hard part of it all: planning everything you’ll do while you’re there.

Castle Germany

Someone Else Has to Worry about EVERYTHING!

There’s a wide range of ready made vacations you can choose from. Everything is already scheduled – from your meals to your activities, and you’ll also have a couple of hours of time to do things on yourself.

Thumbs up:

* Everything is ready for you, you just need to show up
* Groups get discounts when visiting, so when it comes to expensive museums, you can have a big smile on your face
* They agency know everything tourists like and it will all be there for you. If anything is closed, they have 3 other objectives to replace it

Thumbs down:

*Most of the times, you travel with groups of people who can get on your toes quite often
*Your own plans don’t really matter
*The agency might want you to see so much that everything will be in a hurry, no time to really enjoy.

As you can see, there’s something for everyone of us, from the individual travel that wants to do it all on their own, to the lazier ones of us who just want to enjoy their time off work with no real worries on their minds. You should decide what you want and then mix the ingredients to your spell accordingly. But choose wisely, all trips are meant to be enjoyed.

12 Comment to “Who’s Better At Coming up with the Perfect Trip: You or an Agency?”

  1. Mig says:

    Nice images from Germany here 😛

  2. hehe, I was hoping you’d recognize them 😛

  3. eric says:

    Thanks for writing this post – I’d like to see more people gain confidence to travel independently, and articles like this definitely help.

    erics last blog post..Best foreign experiences that I could have just done at home…but why?

  4. Hi Eric, welcome and thank you for your comment. You are quite right, planning everything on your own, other than sometimes taking you to great places that are not exactly trendy, also helps maintain the before vacation thrill. I think it helps people relax a lot 🙂

  5. Rose says:

    Commenting usually isnt my thing, but ive spent an hour on the site, so thanks for the info

  6. Mikeachim says:

    As a big fan of independent travel, you’ll find me very much on one side of the fence on this one.

    There’s the flip side to doing things wrong (something that is listed in your Thumbs Down points) –

    1) Adventures happen when plans go awry.
    2) The best way to learn something is to do it wrong first.

    Thanks for the fun read. 🙂

    Mikeachims last blog post..Star Trek: Rocking And Sucking

  7. Travel Jobs says:

    Great article. Having someone else plan the trip works great for me… my family seems to spend A LOT of time on a vacation bickering about what we should do next.

  8. Annam says:

    “Do it yourself” is kind of hard but it is interesting.
    I hate the time neat of travel under control of a tourist guide.

  9. I say a combination of both would be best.

    Since I don’t know the place it’s better that I communicate with a travel agency and hire a guide.

    But I would should be in control about how much time I spend in a place because I don’t want to feel hurried up and not enjoy where I am going to.

    Oh, and do you know that Google Earth Free Version can help you organize your trip?

    What you can do is check out the place you are going to visit in Google earth beforehand and then you can plan your trip from there.

  10. jim montek says:

    very informative article. My personal experience suggests travel agencies are not trustworthy at all. It is better to plan your trip on your own and don’t get dependent on others. generally we ignore these little things while travel planning but you have very beautifully mentioned all the stuff.

  11. The company I work for are tour operators in Kenya, East Africa. We know that some people like to get involved with the organising of their holidays more than others, so we have the option to either choose a pre-made itinerary package, or to work with us to create their own itinerary and we handle all the complicated bits such as accommodation, transfers, travel and the actual safari.

  12. That’s actually a great solution! That is why I allowed this comment 🙂 Please use a name next time you comment, not keywords only. Try Name @ Kenya safaris next time or your comments will be deleted.

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