Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Planning Your Own Holiday

I know I have not been updating my blog for a long time. And most of my friends and readers must have given up checking to see whether I updated. Sorry folks!. As I said earlier, I keep trying to find an excuse for not updating. What's the excuse this time? Some friends also thought I was pretty busy since they also seldom see any updates on Facebook. Well actually I still do spend a lot of time online, as some of you must have noticed me on MSN as usual. So what do I do when I'm online, since I'm not on facebook and not updating my blog? Ahhh... I've been busy finding information and planning for my holiday.
Some people prefer to let the tour agents do the planning...and just sit back and enjoy the tour. Others prefer to plan their own travel. In this post I'll discuss the two options. Is it cheaper to have a DIY holiday? Well it all depends. You might end up paying more than the arranged tour fare or it might come up to a few thousand ringgit less than the tour agents' price. My Hongkong/Macau/China trip was DIY and it was much cheaper than the available tour fares then. And when we compared the itinerary with some friends who also went around the same time, we actually went to more places and spent less. And we didn't really stinge on the hotels! We stayed in nice grand hotels in Macau and Shenzhen. The Hongkong hotel was clean and the location very convenient but the building facade was rather unpleasant. My Australia trip had to be DIY because it was partly to send my daughter there for student exchange as well as help her settle in. The trip wasn't cheap, because we flew SIA. But it was a lot of fun not having to follow a tour agency's itinerary. We booked an apartment in Gold Coast, cooked our own dinners and ahd a splashing time at the theme parks there.
Generally, people go on their own not because it's cheaper but because its more fun. Some people will surely disagree because they find the planning tedious and time consuming. But those who love to plan their own itinerary would agree that part of the fun is in the planning. With all the information you can get in the internet, planning is now very much easier. Almost everything can be booked online. There are hundreds of sites where you can find tips about traveling on your own.
So what do have to do when planning? There a lot of things to check out. Let me list them:
Flight tickets: check for offers, and schedules
Accomodation: check location, price, travelers' reviews
Places to Visit: list out places you want to see and visit, read reviews
Transport: it's very important to understand the transport of the place we are visiting because we're on our own
Tickets: find out about admission tickets
Food: check out where you can get cheap eats and nice food
Budget: do an estimate first for the overall trip
I've done a bit of DIY traveling and also a lot of surfing about traveling. There's so much to share...I'll use the next few posts to share my experience during previous DIY trips.

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