I initially wanted to write this post to serve as a reminder for future travelers out there. Is it really necessary to avail of a package when traveling? The answer varies, of course.
When we traveled overseas for the first time, my thought was to get one. It was our first time, so naturally we want to feel at ease with the fact that everything will be laid out for us. You know, less preparations. The price seemed a bit higher than usual, with the extra charges topping it up. This is understandable. It was also a good thing that I knew this travel agency’s reputation and that we had a previous experience with them for a local trip.
In the package we availed, we got the following: two-night stay at a four-star hotel, buffet breakfast for two days, half day city tour, seat-in coach to and from the airport, one-way ferry ticket to Macau, and a tour to Macau as well. Not bad, eh? We paid Php7,000 for all these. I purchased the airfare tickets separately because their offer was double the price. I decided to book on my own, and found it’s actually cheaper.
There were many benefits. First, it was such a comfort that someone waited and fetched us at the airport. We rode in a mini-bus with a bunch of others and thoroughly enjoyed the views. We were dropped off at the hotel and were given instructions for next day’s itinerary. We had our freedom to do whichever we want on day 1 and 3, which was really good. The hotel of choice was okay, although it could have been better. I mean, it could have been nearer to the city premises. We could have roamed more, given the time. But nonetheless, it was a great experience.
Downside? I guess, for me, it was the trip to Macau which we didn’t enjoy to the fullest. We only had a half-day. Of course, we were also given the option to extend prior to the trip, but we declined. It’s a small country so we thought half-day would be enough. Didn’t realize it actually offers a lot more and that we should have stayed a bit longer. We were not able to see the fireworks, although the nightlights did suffice somehow. Someday, hopefully, I could come back and relish more. And buy a box of my fave egg tarts! Yum!
Another downside would be the city tour as well. There were several stops that I think were not necessary anymore. It was neither interesting, too. Most of us just went along with the group but weren’t really excited to see what was it about. Later I discovered that the stalls actually had an agreement with the agencies to bring the tourists in. Of course, some of these tourists would purchase their products, plus they would also get some extra for that. Oh well, that’s how business works.
There you go. I hope this would shed some light on your decision whether to get one for your next adventure. I wish you the best of luck!