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To take a Tour or travel independently

  • matt89

    Joined Travelfish
    18th June, 2009
    Posts: 7

    hey.
    iv had a bit of experience travelling for the last 8 months so im not completely new to it however i was wondering whether it is a good idea to use a company to take me around s.e.a or to travel on my own.
    so far my experiences with tour companies are that they normally rip you off compared to travelling on your own. the price looks like 1200euro for 40 days travel and accom passing thru thailand vietnam laos and cambosia.
    however probably the biggest factor will be is it going to be worth doing a tour as its easy to meet people and also no hassle arranging busses etc.

    basically im thinking can i travel on my own meeting loads of people without too much hassle or should i take the tour?

    by the way im 19male not really to bothered about the safety side more about the experience.
    cheers anyhelp will be great as hoping to leave soon

    #1 Posted: 18/6/2009 - 14:15

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  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1316
    Total reviews: 61

    I'm a greatbeliever in doing yer own thing. Particularly at 19 - tour groups are usually middle aged or if younger - couples.
    I have no problems meeting people on my trips and if I was your age it would be even easier.
    I tend to spend around $us30 a day once on the ground in Thailand. I travel single, stay and eat budget but not dumps, move on often, drink a reasonable amt of booze but don't party hard. Your other countries should be cheaper.

    #2 Posted: 18/6/2009 - 14:36

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6410
    Total reviews: 10

    I would only do a tour if it was with a purpose in which I could only do it in a group to get the most out of it (like battlefield tours in which the tour provides veterans of the battle to help bring it alive).

    I much prefer traveling alone so I can do what I want, when I want.

    #3 Posted: 18/6/2009 - 14:44

  • matt89

    Joined Travelfish
    18th June, 2009
    Posts: 7

    cool thats pretty much what im figuring.
    just from experience tho i much prefer travelling with friends etc rather than being completely on my own. i dont wana be eating on my own too much. plus its hard to have a crazy party on your own. i guess that by travelling on your own your meaning just meeting people along the way

    #4 Posted: 18/6/2009 - 14:54

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6410
    Total reviews: 10

    "i guess that by travelling on your own your meaning just meeting people along the way"

    Or not. I'm not big into travel, but when I do, I bring a few books to read... I am perfectly content to eat on my own and hang out by myself.

    #5 Posted: 18/6/2009 - 23:15

  • Nokka

    Joined Travelfish
    6th April, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 259

    Matt, I think you'll find most Travelfishers are independent travellers and will likely steer you in that direction. Personally, I've never been on a tour, so can't comment. However, I've never travelled alone either and I think that if I had to I may consider one. (I'd hate being on my own for any period of time).

    I have known people do Intrepid tours (take a look at their website) and have heard good reports about them. I don't think they are aimed at middle-aged people and look quite interesting trips. Alternatively, you could do some day trips, or short 2 or 3 day trips, which may be a way to meet up with like-minded people.

    #6 Posted: 18/6/2009 - 23:51

  • MADMAC

    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6410
    Total reviews: 10

    On a side note, when I lived in Germany I always found it funny how Japanese tourists would arrive by the busload (two or three buses), pour out of the bus, cameras at the ready, fan out and start getting pictures. Two hours latter, back on the bus and off to the next photo op. The tours were packaged as something like "See Germany in a week", and they did. Sounded like hell to me...

    And it was ALWAYS Japanese. Never any other nationality. As a Mexican friend of mine once said to me "The reason we have stereotypes about people is because they're true!"

    #7 Posted: 19/6/2009 - 14:33

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
    12th February, 2006
    Location United States
    Posts: 2415
    Total reviews: 47
    Places visited:
    At least 98

    hey matt,

    i've done mostly independent travel as well, although i've travelled with tours in turkey, baja mexico, and australia. the advantage of the tours is easy logistics, as they take care of the transportation and accommodation arrangments and most everything else in-between. you really can relax and have a stress-free (or at least stress-reduced) holiday that way. the additional insights of the guides, and the ability to reach those out-of-the-way places that are difficult to reach or that you might not have otherwise visited are a bonus. i've also had great luck meeting fantastic people on these tours, and they've added positively to the experience. in places like turkey and baja mexico, where distances are great, public transportation not particularly convenient or plentiful, and cool sites well out of the way, a tour was a good choice.

    in places like thailand, however, where public transportation is good and relatively cheap, a tour doesn't necessarily make as much sense. the down side of a tour is that you go where the tour goes, stay where they stay, and eat where they eat. even when you sleep and get up is often determined by the tour. and, if you get a person on the tour who is a real pain ......

    from your description above, it doesn't sound like you'll go wrong either way. perhaps finding out what types of people (age, couples vs. singles, etc) on this tour you are considering will help you decide too. i know that for the most part, once a person has travelled independently, it is hard to go back to the tour bus! cheers!

    #8 Posted: 19/6/2009 - 17:55

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