Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Travel Agency VS Do it yourself


Travel tours have been popping out like crazy over the internet these past few years with their alluring "for only" plus affordable price phrase; not to mention the numerous inclusions with the package tour. But is it really worth it? Would you rather spend hours researching in Google and populate your internet browsers with unlimited numbers of tabs just so you could read blogs like this that may or may not help you on your next trip? But undeniably, though, the internet does provide almost (if not all) information necessary.


I am not your ultimate backpacker because I still do prefer the comforts of a cool room after a tough trip and enjoy as much food tripping as I can regardless of the price. But I also do consider my budget a top priority. So if a trip can actually cost as low as 1000 PHP, I can still afford to spend a little 500 to another thousand for a little bit of comfort and satisfaction. But that does not mean I depend on travel tours to do the planning for me.

So when do I decide whether or not I would hop on a van that will take me around the city and bring me back to a cozy hotel after a long day. Or should I just battle with most people over public transportation an haggle my way to a hostel?



I ask myself these 3 questions to help me decide:


Do I know how to get around the area, or do I know anyone who does?
Knowing nothing about a particular area is, at first, an exciting thing. All you see are picture perfect images that makes you want to book a ticket as soon as possible. But as the planning progress, you are either shown tremendous amount of information or scarcely none that you could make do with.

Is the information I have gathered in the internet updated?
Would you expect prices and schedules would stay the same as what was stated on a post posted 5 years ago? Even the color of your shirt changes after months of using. You cannot hope for so much with an out-dated post especially if a place has no official website or a facebook account (at least) or even a contact number that couldn't be contacted.

Who and how many people are going along with this trip?
If you ask me, if i'm going to be traveling alone or if I had some money and time to spare, I wouldn't mind getting lost and sleep in a cheap inn just so I could have access to a toilet. But if I am in a 5-or-more-people trip, then I would have to reconsider, because our boats might not float the same way.

If I think the answers to my questions above are favorable, then, I would do the planning of a trip myself, otherwise I would just leave my faith to the most reasonable travel agencies.

But, we all know Travel agencies makes you pay more (if not so much more) than you are supposed to. So when do you know if it's worth spending your extra money? and by extra money I mean it could vary from a few peso to a lot more peso.

Palawan

Package tour 7-8000PHP Per Person Puerto Princessa Palawan Tour (Puerto Princesa City Tour & Underground River + Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour) vs DIY Palawan 7-8000PHP Tour (Underground River& Iwahig Firefly Watching in Puerto Princessa  + El Nido Island Hopping Tour)


Further details
Common Package tours: 
from Php3590 per person on Twin/Double Sharing 2 Nights  Daily Set Breakfast. Half Day Puerto Princesa City Tour, Whole Day Underground River Tour with Lunch
or
from Php4,705 per person on Quad Sharing
Half Day Puerto Princesa City Tour, Whole Day Underground River Tour with Lunch, Half Day Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour with Lunch
AIRFARE NOT INCLUDED.

If you add airfare fee, it would cost you around 3-4,000 at most, two way.
Total of: 7000-8000 PHP.

VS

DIY Palawan tour (including El Nido)

Airfare 2800 (two way, Cebu-Puerto Princessa)
Day 1 (Afternoon arrival) Visited Iwahig Firefly watching
 - >700 Tricycle Fee (good for 3 PAX)
 - >600 Iwahig boat fee (good for 3 pax)
Rode bus to El Nido. overnight ride (400 [below] PAX) 6-7 hrs travel
Day 2 Arrive El Nido, reserve travel tours (1200-1400 + 200 environmental fee)
Check-in resort, after whole day tour (300-600 pax)
Day 3 Depart for Puerto Princessa (400 [below] PAX) 6-7 hrs travel
Check-in resort  (300-600 pax) (coordinated with resort for underground river travel)
Day 4 Underground river (estimated price 1500 (or below) pax, including entrance fees and van transport)
Drop off in the city for souvenir and Visit Baker's Hill. (you can rent another tricycle [700 for 3 pax] for city tour)
Back to Cebu

total of 7000 to 8400 at most (including AIRFARE)

Canyoneering


Package Tours 1000 PAX

Includes:
Canyoneering guide, helmet and life vest, lunch, transportation from Alegria to Canyoneering starting point , entrance fees and exit fees

Exclusions:
Transport from Cebu to Alegria, and vice versa

 VS

DIY Tours

Cebu-Alegria - 137ph ceres non A/C (140 A/C)
River jump off - 40-50ph motorcycle ride
Life jacket - 50ph
Helmet - 100
Matutinao, Badian-Cebu - 132ph ceres aircon
Entrance and Exit - 40ph (Foreigners 80PHP)
Guide Fee -negotiable
Bring your own food


total spent: 900 PHP
So, do the Math =]

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