No matter what anyone tells you, there is no such thing as a travel package deal. More than likely, 99 times out of 100, if you are purchasing a travel package “deal” instead of independently organizing your own travel, you are getting overpriced and screwed. Quite simply, travel package deals are one of the biggest travel myths imaginable.
Beware the high cost of convenience
When you pay for a travel deal, you are really paying for the convenience of not having to plan every step of your travel adventure. Perhaps you are afraid that organizing your own transportation, accommodation, and activities will be too difficult, and you are more than happy to give your money to an enterprising stranger to arrange it all for you. That would be all well and good if you were only a paying a slightly higher price, but the reality is that this cost of this convenience can be many multiples higher than independently-organized travel. Travel deals exploit some of your biggest weaknesses as a traveler:
- Being a foreigner, you have no idea how cheap meals, transport, and activities actually are in this new country.
- You are frightened or intimidated by the prospect of navigating a new culture and planning your own travel.
- You are more than happy to pay for convenience, thinking that you won’t be overcharged too much.
Busting the package “deal” travel myth
The package tourist industry would have you believe that world travel is a risky, difficult, and expensive endeavor. However, as you can easily see from my story, your biggest risk as a traveler actually comes from the package tourist industry itself. If you fear any difficulties from traveling independently, these can easily be overcome if you take the following steps:
Arm yourself with a good country guidebook
It will tell you everything you need to know about how to organize your own travel experiences in a particular country.
Do thorough research before you depart on your trip
This includes reading your guidebook as well as checking out online travel forums to get more up-to-date travel information.
Build the courage to organize your own travel experiences
Get multiple price quotes before you decide on anyone travel service and learn to bargain like a boss.
Occasionally, you will find some activities that cannot be independently organized. For example, some treks off-the-beaten path or some multi-day rafting trips simply involve too many logistics to handle by yourself. Sometimes, due to government restrictions, you must do a trip through a package tour. For example, if you wish to travel to Antarctica, North Korea, or Tibet, you must do so through a package tour – there is simply no other option. However, if you avoid package tour “deals” whenever possible and learn to independently organize your own activities, you will save an incredible amount of money while traveling.