Part 2: Travel Packages and DYI Travels: Which is better for you?

On the previous blog, I discussed the possible perks and issues that you would possibly experience during a vacation booked through an agency with a tour package. This time around I would like to point what are the possible things you may need to consider if you decide to do your own travel itinerary. This is often called as DYI (do it yourself) type of travelling. It simply means, from booking your airlines and creating your own itinerary during your stay and searching for a place to stay will all be done by you. For most first timers, this is quite scary, especially if you will travel alone. Some would say it’s for not the weak heart. I may beg to differ to that last sentence though. Read through and you may figure out why.

  • Advantages

    Hong Kong Bus
    Hong Kong Bus
    • Some travel packages are fixed with useless tours. Let’s be honest, most of us want to go to places we want. We do not like to be restricted. However, if you want this to happen, you would need to list these places and plan travelling there alone. You can practically do anything and stay as long as you can in these places. You wouldn’t have to think of the time.
    • Meeting up friends can be a big advantage in this. If you have overseas friends as I do, it is your only opportunity to get together and catch up. It would always be a great day spending with those friends you rarely see. In some cases, it’s even nearly impossible to reach see them. If you choose to do your own planning and itinerary, these meetups are guaranteed success.
    • You can save more money by booking on lower cost hotels or use space for rent services such as ABNB. You can get better deals with these. Let’s face it, we went for a vacation not to just stay at your hotel and sleep all day right? Most of us would love to go out and just go back to the hotel to sleep. So logically, all we need is a clean and cosy bed to sleep with. In some cases, especially if you’re the typical on-the-go backpacker, hostels or capsule inns would already suffice. These kinds of hostels tend to be 90% cheaper than booking into a hotel which is offered bundled with travel tour packages. In addition, since you are the one booking for your own airline tickets, you can basically get to book during sales. Very affordable deals can be found almost every month on any airlines. You can get to book ahead of time and get a great deal with it.
    • Speaking of booking early, you can manage to book on dates you really prefer. There are some travel tours that have a fixed date to travel. Sometimes these dates are quite difficult to adjust with so you end up doing tons of adjustments at work or school just to accommodate these dates. So needless to say, you have total control over what dates you can travel. Not to mention, if you book more than 3 months before the date, the cost of the tickets are way cheaper as well than booking near the dates. Now since we are already talking about airlines, another advantage of booking early is you can actually choose your seats early on. If you wish to seat in front, if you get to control your booking dates, you can also have the opportunity to reserve your seats. How convenient isn’t it. At these times, if I am in the mood to really reserve my seat, I use SeatGuru to check the seats in a particular airplane. I would give you an exact idea where these seat numbers are located.
    • When it comes to attractions and places to go, with DIY travel plans, you can also custom that to your liking. As mentioned above, you can practically go anywhere you like. Not to mention, this can also save you money because you can always use public transport. You don’t have to wait for any other tourist in bus service and rush the time. There are a lot of attraction booking sites nowadays such as Klook, which I personally use. It is quite convenient for me since I do not need to go in line to buy tickets when I reach the location. In some cases, they also offer the ride together with the attraction ticket. This helps you budget your pocket money more since you get a fixed idea of what you need to spend.
  • Disadvantages

    Kuala Lumpur Airport

    • When you tend to save a lot, you end up getting only the most of what you spent. You have saved a lot on accommodation and airfare but because of this, you got more money to spend. In this matter, it is inevitable you end up overspending. Either it is intentional or accidental, it is quite a fact that you are overconfident of your budget. Remember that anything that is too much can always be bad.
    • Getting lost is quite an issue when you do your own itinerary. Especially, if your sense of direction can be as bad as mine. In this manner, you might end up spending more in public transports for this. In a worst-case scenario, you get to hail a cab and spend 80%-300% more than you should in just a one-way cab or Uber ride. They are very convenient for people who don’t want to get lost. There is public transport that can be very troublesome to follow. If you are the type of person who is afraid of asking strangers, it will certainly bite you back.
    • Cheaper accommodations can go worse from broken bathrooms to isolated locations. The reason why some of these hotels or hostels are cheap because of their services can suck as well. Luckily I only experienced one but it isn’t as bad as what I have heard. There were cases that these hotels scam people once they are already in the location by charging extra rates. In my personal opinion, it is still safe to book in places that are recommended by friends or have great reviews. They may not be the cheapest, but the average priced hotels can be very decent. I experienced that when I went to Malaysia and Singapore. I got a decent deal with them but the experience I had was more than what I paid for.

I prefer doing DIY only if I know people in the area as well or if being with someone who has been there. I have my own fears but it certainly is a great adventure. I have a very bad sense of directions at times so it’s safe for me to have someone. I find this type of travel more convenient for me since I can properly schedule and plan ahead of time. You can also do that with the travel tour packages but the flexibility of DYI travel is more feasible. The best thing you should do in this kind of option is to have a lot of precautionary measures. You should always have a map or contact person to reach out anytime. Never push your luck with expenses and make sure you always have extra money to spend in case you spent too much on shopping. Also, your health is your responsibility. As I mentioned in my previous blog, there are travel essentials you need to always bring. This is not just to be ready but to also foresee any possible hiccups along the way.

As mentioned in the previous blog, I do not say that this is the best option for you. It really depends on your purpose and preference. What I stated above is based on my own opinion and I do cater to both options depends on the situation. I love sharing my opinion to others with such scenario not because I want them to do these types of travels, but more of I want them to see the choices they have in front of them.

Some people are quite prejudiced when it comes to giving suggestions due to multiple reasons. Some may be due to bad experiences or ulterior motives such as kickbacks on the cost. However, the best person who can say which one is better for you is yourself. I firmly believe that experiencing both areas would give you a better outlook. You can either be on the safe side and chose safer options such as I do or maximize the risks factors. Not everyone is as adventurous perhaps but some prefer the thrill. Whatever works for you it is always best to be careful. Remember, travelling can cost a lot and even if you are quite well off, money is still money. Regardless of how small or how big you spend.

I shall leave the end thoughts to you. I would love to hear your opinion and experiences that you can share. Message me, follow my social media and interact and if you need any advise for your next travels. See you!

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