Having spent the last year travelling round the world, I know how much time, effort and money goes into seeing the world and having the best experience possible. You can’t always turn up and hope for the best when it’s your only big holiday of the year, your once in a lifetime opportunity to see the place you’ve always dreamed of. You want to maximise but relax, eat the best food but not break the bank, take a well run tour that doesn’t disappoint. How do you manage to get the best experience possible?
Travel agencies take the whole process off your hands, for a price
Travel agencies have existed for many years and have plenty of experience in negotiating with airlines, hotels and tour operators. They can customise your trip to include any of the following:
- All inclusive resorts
- Flights + hotels
- Tours around your destinations
- Private or group based packaged tours
- Tailor made packaged tours
If you get a good deal for your trip, it will be around 20-40% more than if you were to plan the trip by yourself. What you’re paying for is the service, ATOL protections and a guarantee that this company knows what they’re doing and they’ve chosen accommodation and tours that are high quality. They do a great job but it comes at a price.
As an example, a 3 week holiday in Peru visiting the highlights, taking shared transport, staying in 3* accommodation will cost your roughly £2500-£3500 per person. I can do it for £1500 including my fees. How is that possible? Because I help you do it for the same price it would be if you planned it by yourself.
The cheapest way to go on holiday is to do everything by yourself.
The internet provides us with unlimited amounts of resources to plan trips ourselves and some people, like me, love to dive in and spend hours reading and getting inspired by all the possibilities. For others, it’s information overload. Travel blogging is more popular now than ever, there are literally thousands of blogs to read all with different opinions and ideas on how to have the best experience possible. There’s a lot of decisions to make when planning a trip, and frustratingly with all the reviews and information sources available to look through, it’s no wonder on average people spend a whopping 24 hours solid on planning the following:
- Defining your destination, the cities and town to visit there and how long to spend in each one
- Finding out the useful facts before you go (high or low season, weather, price ranges, currency, innoculations)
- Checking the cheapest flights : direct or with a stopover, usually try with different dates to save 20%
- For each place you want to go, you’ll need to
- Find a nice location (convenient, in your price range, safe)
- Find accommodation online
- Book your accommodation according to your dates and preferences
- Checking transportation between places, price range, maybe book depending on how it works in that country.
- Checking if some activities have to be booked in advance (many people realise too late that a part of Machu Picchu is accessible only with a special ticket usually sold out 3 months before)
- Finding reputable agencies in each location to book your tours with to avoid getting ripped off, and to make sure you have your dream experience
As mentioned in this article from Daily Mail, that’s 13 hours researching the accommodation, and 11 hours sorting out all the transport from the flights to car hire or private transfers.
How I’m changing the game
I realised on my round the world trip that there was a gap in the market for someone like me, who loves to talk to people and plan holidays, to help people do it themselves. It’s what I do all the time for friends and family, so why not help others too?
I plan your route and holiday like a travel agent would, but then hand the responsibility back to you and you book everything yourself. I do all the leg work in planning and researching the best deals and experiences I think you’ll like, based on our initial conversation, and give you the tools to go and book it yourself. All you give me is a one off consultancy fee for my research and planning time, everything else is paid directly to the suppliers, as it would be if you’d planned the trip independently.
It’s time for a change in the travel industry, and I think this could be it.