Your Say: Free and Easy or Package Tour – What is Your Preference?

Hello peeps! Sorry for my blogging hiatus. A ridiculously horrible server outage ran rampant over my blog three weeks ago, causing it to be down for several days. 😦 I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it but I almost had a heart-attack because of it.

According to my hosting company, their server crashed, they tried their best to recover the latest data but failed. Not sure if it’s considered lucky or unlucky, I did a full blog back-up after posting my last post just a day before the crash. So, I was hopeful that I can save my own blog.

But unfortunately, my full back-up file has a missing “database file” (what the heck is that?!). Hence, they were unable to use my back-up copy. I had to wait for another few days for them to restore their last back-up copy. Alas, they did! 😃 They managed to restore my blog with their last available back-up dated 17 Sep 2018. It’s not too bad considering that only 3 posts were missing.

I retrieved the missing posts from Google cache and finally everything is back on track. So, it’s time for my re-appearance! Today, I’m going to start a new discussion post to talk about our favourite choice for travel. This new segment called “Your Say” will feature some interesting discussions pertaining to travel and I sincerely hope that you can participate by sharing your views in the comment section. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Do You Prefer Free and Easy or Package Tour?

When it comes to travelling, the decision between Free and Easy or Package Tour is often a pain. Recently, I had the opportunity to discuss on this topic with my friends over lunch. I was surprised that one of them had never travelled on a package tour before. As for me, I’ve travelled both free and easy as well as package tour. My preference is always free and easy although V prefers the latter. 😆

Well, the thing about package tour is that you are mostly a passive passenger, and your tour guide plans everything for you. You get shepherded around, and you don’t need to do any homework before your trip, except trivial things like checking the power plug configuration and weather forecast. Sometimes, your tour guide may even prepare this information for you. In short, just follow and enjoy your trip.

On the other hand, you are an active tourist when you travel on free-and-easy mode – having to plan everything, make decisions, and do things on your own. You plan your own itinerary, you figure out how to move around, what to eat, you get to change the plan anytime, and there’s no need to explain to anyone. In short, just travel whenever and wherever you want.

Free and easy Brisbane
Free-and-easy to Gold Coast in 2013

I prefer the free-and-easy mode mainly because:

  1. I get to choose what I want to do, see, eat, and stay.
  2. I don’t have time restrictions.
  3. I get to explore, learn and experience more in-depth.
  4. I don’t need to wait for others.
  5. I don’t need to rush.

Personally, I feel that the most important benefits of free-and-easy are the choice and flexibility. But the downside is that, sometimes, it may take you more time to plan or even cost you more money. Of course, you might risk getting lost, facing language difficulties or even stranded. That is the price we’ve to pay for choice and flexibility.

I might sound silly here 😉 but one of the things I like about free-and-easy is the “homework part”. It’s actually very fun to research on our country of destination before getting there. From the research, we get to know more about the place, and that in turn helps us to appreciate the place better when we’re there. I know for some people (including myself!) that homework is already part of their vacation. Are you one too? LOL.

Thanks to all the travel bloggers out there, it’s actually not difficult to do the homework. If blogs and Trip Advisor are insufficient for you, simply log-in to YouTube and there are so many videos for you to see. When you do your research, you become more observant of the roads and surroundings. Therefore, you’ll end up remembering the place better. Believe me, what you’ve learnt from your research is priceless and will certainly help you in your future travels.

To be honest, I’m particular about the hotel I stay (don’t mind paying a little more). A great hotel plays a major part in the overall enjoyment of a vacation. When you sleep well, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and you’ll start your trip well. This is another reason why I prefer a free-and-easy vacation. Nonetheless, many travel agencies now offer deluxe tours with accommodation in hotels 4 star and above. You just need to make sure before signing up a tour.

Free and easy to Taiwan in 2015

Another factor to consider – COST! I must admit that sometimes free-and-easy could come up costlier. Tour agencies get discounted airfares and hotel rates because they buy in bulks. This is not always true because if you monitor the airfares closely, you can still get good deals from airlines who are constantly throwing promo fares (and earn mileage too!). The same goes to hotels, especially if you prefer staying in hotel chains to gain loyalty points.

Some people may fear traveling to foreign country on their own because things are different – especially when there’s a language barrier. How to travel from one place to another? I think sometimes the fears are unfounded. You can book private transfer services, airport pick-up and bus services to various tourist spots on online travel booking sites such as Klook. You can also book local tours that will pick you from your hotel. How convenient is that!

Don’t get me wrong! While I prefer free-and-easy, travelling on a package tour can be fun too. The best part is when you get to travel with many people in a group. You make new friends during the trip and it’s very memorable. I’ve been on four package tours so far and I enjoyed all of them. I recalled in our 2016 Korea tour, there was a family with 2 young children around the same age as Edison. He had so much fun with them throughout the trip.

Package Tour to Korea 2016

Whether you travel on free-and-easy or package tour, both have their perks and disadvantages. 😀 If you want to conquer all the tourist attractions in one trip, package tours provide a complete tour, and some may even cover hands-on experiences. An added advantage is that you (almost) never have to worry about your next meal.

If you dislike being tied to a tour guide’s time schedule and prefer to take your time whenever you go, then free-and-easy is more suitable for you. I belong to this category where I like “own time own target” (don’t mind the extra homework), hence I will always prefer free-and-easy.

What kind of tourist are you? I’d like to hear from you too! Come and share yours in the comment section below. 😃

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June

I have two young kids in tow, thus I always go free and easy. They are slow eaters, I’ve always worried about having to rush their meals when taking package tour. Also because I prefer a slower pace vacation because my kids are still young.

Angie

I agree with you on being the passive and active part.. personally, I always travel on packaged tour cos it’s stress-free… whether I’m travelling with my kids or elderly, I know I’m in good hands of the tour guides… holiday is for relaxing, that’s why…