When it comes to value for money, should you organise your own getaway or is a guided tour the way to go?
There’s nothing like counting down to a holiday, but the reality is there’s plenty of planning to be done before you even think about packing. Not only do you want to ensure that your itinerary ticks all the boxes, but you also want to make the most of every dollar.
With so many travel options available these days, does it pay to go it alone or are you better off embarking on a guided tour and letting the experts lead the way? Here Money magazine weighs up the pros and cons of both and explores how to get more from your budget.
FLIGHTS AND ACCOMMODATION
They’re the two fundamentals of any trip: flights to get to your destination and a place to stay when you get to the other side. These days there are plenty of ways to source both, whether it’s using an online booking site, dealing directly with the operator or having a travel agent organize it for you.
If you go the DIY route, be ready to commit plenty of time to shop around if you want to get the best deal and stick to your budget. Booking flights and accommodation at the same time, however, has its perks. “If you can bundle your flight and your hotel together at the same time, I know on Wotif, for example, you can save up to $341,” says Chris Milligan, travel expert at Wotif. “Hotels are definitely willing to offer discounts when things are bundled up and packaged together. This makes it a really cost-effective way of booking your travel.”
On the other hand, when you book a guided tour accommodation is taken care of, as are details such as entrance fees to key attractions, and most meals and transfers. While you can’t choose the hotels, you can opt for a tour package that suits your budget, which will be reflected in the type of accommodation you stay at.
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