You always want to make the best out of your traveling experiences. You want to take as much in, do as much as possible, but also remain in the individual moment. This can be quite difficult to plan for and may take some outside help. So should you go through a travel company or just plan it yourself? Well here is what you need to know when considering a travel company or independent research when looking to travel the world.
So when I say companies, this ranges from travel agents or travel companies that will plan your adventures for you. You can find companies that will do as little or as much as you want them to do. They can plan for short trips or yearlong ones. It’s all about what you make of it. So here are the pros and cons when looking to work with a company.
Travel companies can do so much greatness for you! It is quite literally their job to make sure you have the time of your life wherever you go. They will save you time spent slaving over your computer looking for the best deals. Typically, most travel agents will take your budget and just work around that so you never have to worry about finding the best deal. They also may already have the connections to places that have great deals – connections you would have never known about. Because businesses in the travel industry want to publicize their business, they would most likely reach out to a travel agent to promote them and provide amazing deals. You reap all the benefits!
Travel companies can also be great for if you have things go wrong. They can look to rebook your travel arrangements and ensure that you still make it to your destination. The same can occur if your accommodations are insufficient or you need transportation (USA Today).
We are actually working with a travel company, BUNAC, who is helping us with insurance, the Irish working holiday visa paperwork, and so much more. They are providing little things that we would have never thought of and we are forever grateful. Look for a future article to come about how amazing BUNAC is!
While they can do so many great things for you, there are some negatives that come with it. Some travel agencies have a high fee. A fee that you could have put towards your adventure if you had just planned it yourself. You also want to make sure that you choose a reliable agency/company because after receiving your money, some may leave you high and dry. Many travel agents are also working on a commission so this means that the more you spend, the more they make (The Traveller World Guide). This could also just be seen as a job for the company and they don’t have your wanderlust soul in mind.
When I say individual research, I am referring to you booking your trip and being in charge of your adventure. This has many promising aspects and some negatives.
You may not like the idea of being limited to having a return date in mind. You may want to keep traveling without having a set date of when your adventure ends. With you being in charge of your travel, you never have to give yourself a cutoff point if you want to keep going. Also with you being in charge, you will trust that the decisions made were with your best interest at heart. If there’s anyone you want to yell at for having a crappy time, it’s all you which could then turn it into a memorable experience. You would also learn so much by researching every little detail yourself. I tend to get crazy excited when I’m researching a trip and making the plans because it begins to feel more real for me versus passing off the task to a stranger.
Both the Wayfaring Photographer and I have had to plan trips for groups of people and I can say that we both loved it (WP loving it way more than me). Being able to see the behind-the-scenes and creating a trip that is everything we want it to be is exciting for us.
Creating an adventure can take quite a bit of time. While it is, of course, fun time, it does still take a chunk out of your life. When we first decided on moving to Ireland, I found myself looking at travel/Ireland/moving stuff for 5 hours! I’m not even leaving for another 8 months and I was already committing so much time. But that’s what happens when you get so flippen excited.
You could also be missing out on some great discounts you have no idea about. Or get stuck only planning on going to tourist spots. That’s the one thing that does suck the most is that the web promotes places that will be so infested with tourists that you won’t get to experience the true culture. And of course they play off “12 hidden gems you must see” but then EVERYONE has to see those hidden gems and they’re not so special anymore. Just some things to think about when booking a trip independently.
Having seen both the pros and cons of using travel companies or researching independently, you can see that both are promising decisions. The final decisions are ultimately up to you. Do you choose to have the situation planned by a professional or take charge of your own adventure?
-The Wandering Sunflower
Which method do you choose when planning to travel? Add it below in the comments section!