Independent Travel: Pros and Cons Compared to Travel Agencies

Independent Travel: Pros and Cons Compared to Travel Agencies

Organizing a trip can be an exciting experience, but choosing how to do it can become a real dilemma. Do you prefer total autonomy or the security offered by a travel agency? In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of organizing trips independently versus relying on travel agencies.
If you’re looking for more tips on organizing your trips, read the other articles on this blog. You’ll find many posts about everything related to organizing trips independently.

Advantages of Independent Travel
Direct Contact with Providers

One of the main advantages of independent travel is direct contact with travel service providers.
This means being able to negotiate directly with hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions, often getting better and more transparent deals.
Direct communication eliminates intermediaries and allows you to know exactly what you are purchasing.

However, during the phases of organizing a trip, the biggest difficulty will be finding the necessary information to choose and contact the final providers to turn to.

Example: once the destination of the trip is chosen, you need to:

– Choose the type of accommodation
– Find and read reviews and, based on those, choose the facility to rely on.

Very often this phase is not at all simple. Reviews are not always reliable and, even in good faith, what one tourist likes may not be as pleasant for another. Sites like Booking.com or Tripadvisor are valuable sources to draw from but not always reliable and satisfactory.

At this point, it will be necessary to find:
– phone number
– email address

It’s not always easy to find this information. It may seem strange, but very often, local operators (including hotels) do not clearly post their contact details. The main reason is the total delegation of customer care to OTAs.

Once the contact information is found, you need to have:
– communication skills (in case the destination does not speak your language)
– negotiation skills and knowledge of possible purchasable options.

So, finding the information necessary to organize trips independently is the main obstacle to overcome.

Economic Savings

Organizing a trip by yourself can be significantly cheaper than using a travel agency. Agencies apply commissions for their services, while by booking directly, you can take advantage of the best rates available online. Moreover, you can choose cheaper accommodation and transport options that fit your budget.

Autonomy and Planning Freedom

Traveling independently gives you complete freedom to organize your itinerary according to your needs and preferences. You can decide when to leave, where to stop, and how long to stay in a place. This level of flexibility is particularly valuable if you want a trip that is personalized and tailored just for you.

independent travel

Disadvantages of Independent Travel
Lack of Assistance

Organizing everything by yourself can be stressful, especially if something goes wrong during the trip. Travel agencies offer customer service that can quickly solve problems and unforeseen events. Without this support, you will be responsible for managing any difficulties yourself.

Insurance and Coverage

Travel agencies often include insurance packages that cover services, cancellations, and other unforeseen events. When traveling independently, you will need to arrange adequate insurance yourself, which can be an additional cost and concern.

Recovery of Expenses in Case of Disruptions

In case of disruptions, such as canceled flights or hotels that do not match the description, travel agencies can assist you in recovering expenses and managing complaints. Organizing the trip by yourself, you will have to deal with these issues directly with the providers, which can take time and energy.

The Importance of Information

Regardless of the method chosen to organize your trip, it is crucial to have all the necessary information before leaving. Planning ahead and knowing the details about accommodations, transport, attractions, and local culture can make the difference between a stressful journey and a pleasant experience. Avoid buying services blindly and make sure you have a well-defined plan.

Discover Triplannerr: Independent Travel with the Community

If you love to travel independently but want the support of a community, Triplannerr is the social network for you. Triplannerr is based on the altruistic sharing of information among travelers. Users can publish detailed “Travel Reports,” sharing experiences, useful contacts, and valuable advice.

The goal of Triplannerr is to democratize travel by making information available to everyone to organize a trip without intermediaries. The Triplannerr community supports each other, enriching the database with real and useful data, easily accessible to anyone who wants to explore the world independently.

Conclusion

Traveling independently offers numerous advantages, such as saving money and the freedom to organize your itinerary, but it also involves the need to find reliable information and manage any problems on your own.

Travel agencies, on the other hand, provide assistance and security but at an additional cost.

The choice depends on your personal preferences and specific needs. Always remember to plan carefully and make use of available resources, such as the Triplannerr community, to make your trip an unforgettable experience.

 

triplannerr

If you’re reading this blog, you’re an adventurous traveler, and I want to invite you to experience something unique. We are forming a Community of Travelers who will exclusively try out the new digital platform we’ve created to organize and plan trips and vacations entirely autonomously, avoiding all forms of intermediation.

“We believe that the free and spontaneous sharing of information is the key to making ‘traveling’ a habit achievable by everyone.”

When you return from a trip, you possess valuable information: Hotels, Restaurants, Tour Guides, the experiences you’ve had! These are pieces of information you will never use again, but they are indispensable for someone who wants to take a journey similar to yours.

If you’ve lived an unforgettable experience, you’ve brought home all the information necessary to replicate it! So, why not share it?

Why not leave other travelers the information you’ve gathered on the spot or during your experience?

This way, others can save time (and money) and live travel experiences based on your stories. We want to create a database of information available to everyone.

Join the project, and you too can find the information needed to plan your next trip with the help of the community!

We are creating a digital platform where you can find (and exchange) all the necessary information to plan and organize trips and vacations completely autonomously!

All this thanks to the “principle of sharing” and the solidarity among travelers who share information collected during their travel experiences.

If you want to participate in the final phase of the development of this new digital platform and become a Beta Tester (for free) by sending feedback, suggestions, and new ideas…

 

10 Reasons to Ditch Travel Agents: Exploring Alternatives for Independent Travel

Ditch Travel Agents?

This blog is dedicated to promoting and spreading the Triplannerr project.

After the pandemic of 2020/21, the tourism industry has once again become one of the most profitable worldwide.

The number of tourists traveling within their own countries or moving to foreign countries is constantly increasing. However, the positive trend does not match the revenue recorded by Tour Operators, Travel Agencies, or Travel Agents.

The explanation is very simple: the majority of tourists and travelers no longer turn to them but organize their trips and vacations independently, avoiding all intermediaries.  

Ditching travel agents is a new trend resulting from the natural evolution of tourists who are now accustomed to using the internet for organizing themselves.

The aim of Travel Maker and the Triplannerr project is to provide all these tourists with a new, innovative, and free tool to organize their trips independently, avoiding all intermediaries and saving on travel costs.

Professionals in the tourism sector (including travel agents) will find in the Triplannerr project a new tool to promote their professionalism and services, renewing a now obsolete work method that is bound to change (and to extinct) due to the new purchasing habits of tourists.

 

Index:

  1. Freedom to Organize Trips on Your Own
  2. Customized Planning with Apps and Online Platforms
  3. Economic Savings with Exclusive Offers and Online Discounts
  4. Unique and Authentic Experiences through Traveler Reviews
  5. Exploring without Constraints, Doing What You Love with Flexible Itineraries
  6. Handling Travel Crises with Flexibility and Online Support
  7. Eliminating Additional Commissions and Saving on Direct Bookings
  8. Authentic Connections with the Traveler Community via Social Networks
  9. Deepening Cultural Knowledge with Online Local Guides
  10. Contributing to a Global Traveler Community and Sharing Experiences

Introduction:

Are you ready to discover why you should say goodbye to traditional travel agents and embrace the freedom to organize your trips? In this article, we will delve into 10 detailed reasons to abandon old practices and explore alternative solutions for traveling independently.

Ditch Travel Agents: Why? 


Reason 1: Freedom to Organize Trips on Your Own

The main advantage of organizing trips on your own is the total freedom to decide where to go, what to do, and how to do it.
 
The key is the use of apps and online platforms that put control in your hands, allowing you to customize your itinerary according to your desires.

This Blog will provide you with dozens of articles explaining (in every detail) how to use apps, websites, and tools easily found online to replace the work that travel agents used to do.

The Triplannerr Project will be the definitive solution that will allow you to organize all your trips entirely independently.

Reason 2: Customized Planning with Apps and Online Platforms

Take advantage of apps and online platforms that offer advanced planning tools.

These tools allow you to find destinations most suited to your interests, create detailed itineraries, and access travel advice directly from the online community.

Reason 3: Economic Savings with Exclusive Offers and Online Discounts

Abandoning traditional travel agents means saying goodbye to extra commissions.

Use specialized websites and apps that offer exclusive deals and discounts on flights, accommodations, and activities. Economic savings are in your hands.

Reason 4: Unique and Authentic Experiences through Traveler Reviews

Rather than relying on brochures and catalogs, search for online reviews written by other travelers.

Unique and authentic experiences emerge from the real stories and opinions of those who have already traveled the path you are about to embark on.

The Triplannerr project is based on altruism and the free and spontaneous sharing of information gathered during travels.

We go beyond reviews and provide everything you need to repeat experiences testified by real people, adapting them to your personal needs.

All this through “Travel Reports” that every user registered with Triplannerr can publish at the end of their travel experience.

Reason 5: Exploring without Constraints, Doing What You Love with Flexible Itineraries

By organizing independently, you enjoy the flexibility to make last-minute changes without having to face complex bureaucratic procedures.

Change your itinerary, discover unexpected places, and tailor your trip to your desires.

Using Triplannerr to organize your trips will allow you to find inspiration from “Travel Reports” published by other travelers.

The internal search engine will enable you to find experiences similar to what you want to live in your destination aligned with your budget within seconds!

Reason 6: Handling Travel Crises with Flexibility and Online Support

In emergency situations, flexibility is crucial. With online solutions, you have immediate access to assistance and resources, addressing travel crises without having to wait for responses or solutions from third parties.

This Blog is constantly updated, and you will find dozens of articles explaining how to handle emergencies, recover the money you spent (in case of disservices or cancellations not dependent on you), or how to relate in the most correct way with the giants of international tourism.

Reason 7: Eliminating Additional Commissions and Saving on Direct Bookings

Direct bookings through official websites of hotels, airlines, and tourist activities eliminate extra commissions charged by travel agents.

Save on costs and get more affordable rates without intermediaries.

One of the most-read articles ever on this Blog is “How NOT to use Booking to save” – an example among many that will help you spend as little as possible while getting the most out of your budget!

how not using booking to save costs


Reason 8: Authentic Connections with the Traveler Community via Social Networks

Join travel-focused social networks and connect with a global community of travelers.

Share experiences, exchange tips, and receive valuable information directly from the source, creating authentic connections with other travel enthusiasts.

Triplannerr is precisely this: a new Social Network where travel (not people) is the center around which everything revolves!

Reason 9: Deepening Cultural Knowledge with Online Local Guides

Take advantage of online local guides, often more authentic and current than traditional ones.

Interact with the local culture through the voices of residents, discovering hidden places and authentic traditions.

You can find a practical example of how to do this by reading the post I dedicated to Google Guide, one of the most interesting and innovative services in the (free) universe of Google.

Reason 10: Contributing to a Global Traveler Community and Sharing Experiences

By actively participating in independent organization, you contribute to creating a global community of travelers. Share your experiences to help other travelers plan their trips independently, creating a lasting bond with the community.

For this reason, I invite you to join the Triplannerr project!

By sharing your travel experiences, you will help other tourists organize their trips independently, and at the same time, you can consult an immense database to organize your travels entirely independently!

Conclusion: Join Us to Revolutionize the Way of Traveling

triplannerr


If you’re reading this blog, you’re an adventurous traveler, and I want to invite you to experience something unique. We are forming a Community of Travelers who will exclusively try out the new digital platform we’ve created to organize and plan trips and vacations entirely autonomously, avoiding all forms of intermediation.

“We believe that the free and spontaneous sharing of information is the key to making ‘traveling’ a habit achievable by everyone.”

When you return from a trip, you possess valuable information: Hotels, Restaurants, Tour Guides, the experiences you’ve had!

These are pieces of information you will never use again, but they are indispensable for someone who wants to take a journey similar to yours.


If you’ve lived an unforgettable experience, you’ve brought home all the information necessary to replicate it!

So, why not share it?


Why not leave other travelers the information you’ve gathered on the spot or during your experience?

This way, others can save time (and money) and live travel experiences based on your stories. We want to create a database of information available to everyone.

Join the project, and you too can find the information needed to plan your next trip with the help of the community! We are creating a digital platform where you can find (and exchange) all the necessary information to plan and organize trips and vacations completely autonomously!

All this thanks to the “principle of sharing” and the solidarity among travelers who share information collected during their travel experiences.

If you want to participate in the final phase of the development of this new digital platform and become a Beta Tester (for free) by sending feedback, suggestions, and new ideas…

 

Finding accommodation with Hotels

Finding accommodation with Hotels is a valid alternative to Booking.com, but few use it consistently and even fewer try to compare prices for the same accommodations on both sites. This is a big mistake!

Hotels.com is part of the partner sites (and owned by) the Expedia.it Group.

You are facing a true giant in the travel sector that owns dozens of websites and has thousands of partnerships with tourist operators worldwide.

Finding accommodation with Hotels.com: Registering on the site.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you are dealing with a digital giant with resources limited only by privacy laws regarding the tracking of data and your actions on its websites.

This awareness should guide your actions aimed at achieving the best results when you intend to purchase a service.

The first measure I recommend you take is to immediately register on the Hotels.com site using the authentication method with Facebook or Google credentials.

Be careful to use the same method of authentication you used to sign up for Expedia! If you use the same account (Facebook or Google) to authenticate to both sites (Expedia and Hotels.com), you can be sure that the algorithm will communicate your presence on both, and your actions on the websites will be related.

Being aware of the algorithm’s monitoring puts you in an advantageous position and will determine your choices when you set out to find accommodation with Hotels.com.

Finding Accommodation with Hotels

Finding accommodation with Hotels.com: Preliminary operations

As soon as you’ve registered on the site, you need to perform some preliminary operations that will communicate to the algorithm that you are a quality user and will start to increase your “rank,” affecting how the site responds to your requests.

  • Subscribe to the Newsletter.
  • Download the Hotels.com App on your smartphone.
  • Sign up for the loyalty program  Hotels.comREWARDS 

This way, you’ll immediately communicate that you intend to return to the site multiple times to purchase accommodations and services.

Finding Accommodation with Hotels

Especially, the Hotels.comREWARDS service is an opportunity to leverage if you are a serial traveler because, by signing up, you can enjoy numerous benefits:

  • By accumulating “Stamps,” you are entitled to a free night in a hotel with an average price compared to those booked.
  • You earn a stamp for each night booked, and upon reaching ten stamps, you can claim your free overnight stay.
  • To accumulate points, you must log in before booking.
  • To accumulate points faster, you can book overnight stays for your friends or relatives.
  • You will receive the “Stamps” in your account within 72 hours of check-in at the booked hotels.
  • If the difference between your “Bonus” overnight stay is more, you’ll pay the difference, but if it’s less, you’ll lose the difference. Therefore, it’s advisable to use the Bonuses to book slightly superior accommodations to the value you’re entitled to, staying in good-quality hotels at a very low price, or, if you’re very skillful, paying a difference of a few euros.
  • You can accumulate “Bonus Nights” and then use them all at once! 100 Stamps correspond to 10 days of free stays!
  • Remember to book your stay paid with “Bonus Nights” through the App because if you don’t, you’ll have to pay a surcharge of €4.00 per night. Booking using the App is all free (apart from differences).
  • Remember that the accumulated “Stamps” are valid for 12 months. So, you must use them within this period.
  • Subscribers to the “Hotels.comREWARDS” program are also entitled to exclusive benefits that increase with the accumulation of “Stamps”:
    • 0-9 Stamps: access to Hotels’ “Secret Prices”
    • 10-29 Stamps: Price Guarantee Plus (if you find a better price compared to what you booked on Hotels, you are entitled to ask to align the price to what you found on other booking sites) and Priority Customer Service
    • And with more than 30 “Stamps,” you are entitled to all the benefits of the Silver level plus: free room upgrade, early check-in, and late check-out in VIP Access facilities. Subject to availability.
Finding Accommodation with Hotels

Finding accommodation with Hotels: features to leverage

If you want to find accommodation with Hotels, I recommend making the most of the potential that the site offers you.

As with all other websites that sell travel services, the smartest trick you can use is to reverse your purchasing process.

You shouldn’t look for accommodation for the travel destination you’ve chosen but, instead, first look for the most affordable accommodation and only after booking at the best rate, organize your trip.

In fact, the phases of searching for accommodation and searching for travel tickets should proceed in unison and conclude only when the combination between the best price for accommodation and the best price for travel tickets is perfect.

In this case, the features to leverage are:

  • “The most visited cities”
  • “The most requested Regions and Countries”

The site proposes a series of “most requested” cities, Regions, and Countries that it declares to be the “most visited” by users. While on one hand, I am inclined to believe this version, on the other, I think that in this list Hotels proposes cities where it “wants” to sell more accommodations or those where promotions are active. The reasons can be many but, perhaps, for a series of circumstances on those days, the hotels in “Rome” are partially empty, and the managers have lowered the prices to encourage bookings. In one version or another and beyond any doubt, in the list of “The most visited cities” or “The most requested Regions and Countries” proposed by Hotels, there are good offers to evaluate.

Finding Accommodation with Hotels

Finding accommodation with Hotels: Last Minute Deals

If the era of “Last Minute” deals, where it was possible to go to the airport (with a swimsuit and coat in your suitcase) and leave for any destination after buying last-minute tickets has ended (due to advanced marketing strategies deployed by airlines), “Last Minute” deals for booking accommodations still work.

In particular, if you want to find accommodation with Hotels, you have access to an entire page dedicated to “Last Minute:

In this case, I suggest using the site by reversing the process: first, find the offer and then organize your trip.

Finding accommodation with Hotels in this case is very simple, and the site is very similar to Booking.com and all the others: you can enter the arrival and departure dates, use filters to display only the results in line with your needs, and book your accommodation.

The strategies I’ve talked about in the post dedicated to Booking are also applicable in this case.

I recommend you follow all the advice I’ve gathered in “How to Choose a Hotel” to be truly sure you don’t make any mistakes.

Finally, I remind you to consult all the sites you know before booking accommodation!

The sector is very competitive, and it’s very easy that, for the same room on the same day, you might find different rates on sites like Airbnb or Momondo.

If you’ve already booked with Hotels, no worries! As I’ve already told you, you can request a price adjustment to the lower price you’ve found!

triplannerr

If you’re reading this blog, you’re an adventurous traveler, and I want to invite you to experience something unique.

We are forming a Community of Travelers who will exclusively try out the new digital platform we’ve created to organize and plan trips and vacations entirely autonomously, avoiding all forms of intermediation.

“We believe that the free and spontaneous sharing of information is the key to making ‘traveling’ a habit achievable by everyone.”

When you return from a trip, you possess valuable information: Hotels, Restaurants, Tour Guides, the experiences you’ve had!

These are pieces of information you will never use again, but they are indispensable for someone who wants to take a journey similar to yours.

If you’ve lived an unforgettable experience, you’ve brought home all the information necessary to replicate it! So, why not share it?

Why not leave other travelers the information you’ve gathered on the spot or during your experience?

This way, others can save time (and money) and live travel experiences based on your stories. We want to create a database of information available to everyone.

Join the project, and you too can find the information needed to plan your next trip with the help of the community!

We are creating a digital platform where you can find (and exchange) all the necessary information to plan and organize trips and vacations completely autonomously!

All this thanks to the “principle of sharing” and the solidarity among travelers who share information collected during their travel experiences.

If you want to participate in the final phase of the development of this new digital platform and become a Beta Tester (for free) by sending feedback, suggestions, and new ideas…