Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Whose tour is it?

First off, Merry Christmas to All!!!
I'm a strong believer of self-organized trips. I shun packaged tours. And I'm not even talking about photo travel!!
There are many reasons people travel. Some travel to savour different cuisines while others travel to taste different cultures. Some travel to trek the world's mountains while others may just want to walk the cities streets. Yet some others may just want to get a stamp on their passport, to say that they have been there, though I don't think they have "done that".
But for whatever purpose you want to travel, you would want to meet and satisfy that purpose. However, my experience with packaged tours is that they are created to satisfy the travel agency's purpose (ie. to earn money), and not to satisfy yours. And I'm often reminded by people's complaint about being ushered to shops they do not want to go, and being left with too little time at the various scenic destinations. Sure, there are people who love jet-setting to various places just to spend 10 min there so that they can plant their flag of 'I was here'. But for alot of others, the itinerary just doesn't seem to suit them. Yet, they are willing to fork out their hard-earned (generally) money to suffer these injustice, in the name of convenience, fear and laziness.

So, whose tour are you going? If its your own, take charge of it! Why do you have to follow an itinerary fixed by some travel agency? Isn't it your holiday? There is no issue getting an agency to manage/book the trip as long as you customise your own itinerary. It'll cost more but isn't it better that you pay more for a trip you want, than to pay less for a trip you did not want? That's why for me, in order to save costs, I do-it-myself.

Read up in the library. Surf for info online. Ask your friends. Make your next trip your own. And for those who doesn't have time to do all that "research", why not take a trip without an "itinerary"? Just go and explore and immerse yourself locally. You may enjoy your trip more than you expect! :)

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