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There are still relatively few people who decide to travel independently, that is, without using an agent to make arrangements. According to various estimates, it is 10-13% of the total volume of travelers. Obviously, independent tourism has spread due to the development of the Internet and electronic technologies, which do not even require your personal presence when buying airline tickets.
Despite the fact that the market for independent travel is growing, hotels and ticket booking systems are generally still much more oriented to and adapted for organized tourism.
The independent tourist is a person who arranges entire trips on his own – booking hotels and flights, buying tickets, arranging transfers, and taking care of medical insurance. Actually, people decide to travel independently not simply from the desire to save money.
Mostly, they prefer to travel to countries that are not popular in the mass tourism market, or to places where package deals just do not exist.
Interest in “indie” travel has increased because many people think it is safer and cheaper. However, that is not always true. The most important thing a tourist who travels on his own should understand is that he alone is responsible for the entire trip.
There are numerous benefits to having a specialized agency organize your travel:
1. Advantageous prices for a mass of beach resorts (e.g., Egypt, Turkey, and Greece): charters fly, and tour operators buy up hotel rooms in bulk at big discounts half a year before the season.
An individual’s round-trip tickets can cost as much as the price of a whole package from a tour operator – including hotel, transfers, and other amenities. With food and entertainment, you can end up paying twice as much, or more, for the same services.
2. There could be the chance of catching cheap “hot” tickets a few days before departure.
3. It is usually cost efficient to buy tickets in advance on regular flights, especially for peak travel times like summer and New Year’s holidays.
4. Health insurance is often included in the tour price.
5. You will spend a minimum of your time planning the trip. Everything will be arranged by your travel agent. It is their job.
6. You will not have to worry about the process of getting visas and all other documents.
7. Any questions while on the trip will be settled by the tour operator or its representative.
8. If you do not speak English – it is not a problem. There will be a guide who speaks your native language. In hotels and restaurants, you will not have to speak bad English.
9. Excursions will take place at an arranged time and at a comfortable pace. During your trip, you will have nothing to worry about.
10. Responsibility for a tour will lie solely on your travel agent. In a case of a force majeure situation, the travel agency will provide hotel rooms at their expense, organize alternative means of transportation, and ensure that other services you need are offered.
Travel agents assume overall responsibility for your comfort and safety on a trip. So, if you don’t want a headache in place of an amazing vacation, it is better to call your travel agent!