When it comes to traveling (regardless if it is within your country or outside), do you to a Travel Agency or do you do it yourself? When you say do-it-yourself meaning you wait for the airplane companies to release cheap rates (like piso fare), research on the net (e.g. Trip Advisor) for places to go, food to eat, hotels to stay in and the like. Or are you the type of person who will just depend everything to your Travel Agency like the airfares, the accommodations, the tours, the land transfers, etc.?
I have tried the Travel Agency process. I like it because it was a breeze. All I need to do was pick a date of my departure and arrival, choose the package they have the fits my budget, and wait for the date of my vacation.
When I went to Boracay Island several years ago, it was my first time. Even if some of my friends went there already, I opted to avail a package from a Travel Agency. It cost me P12,000 for a 3 days, 2 nights stay in the island. Fast forward to today, I think P12,000 is quite a lot for one person going to Boracay and to think that package was exclusive of water activities or sports.
My experience was quite fine. I mean all I needed to do was go to the airport on time and they did all the work. When I arrived Kalibo Airport, there was a guy holding a placard where my name was written. I only see this in movies. I rode a bus along with other passengers which I felt that time that they availed the package as well.
When I arrived the port, there was another guy who welcomed me. He took my bags and escorted me to a not-so-luxurious speed boat but it was definitely expensive looking than the other ferry boats that were docked.
When I arrived at the hotel, the staff hung garlands on my head as if I was a foreigner or something. While fixing my stuff, they delivered some refreshments.
The good thing about Travel Agencies is that you do not need to worry anything else. But they can be really pricey.
I went to Boracay second time around and this time it was the DIY process. I got a ticket for less than P2,000 (round trip tickets) The room I stayed in was only P1,800 a night since it was off-peak. I bought land transfers already for P200. I spent around P1,200 more on water activities like snorkeling, island hopping, and parasailing. If I recalled it correctly, I spent around P3,000 for food and “pasalubong” for my entire stay there which was one day longer than the first time I went there.
The total money that I have spent on my second-time trip was only P10,600. But when I used a Travel Agency, it cost me P12,000 and more because food and other activities were not inclusive in that amount.
So if I’m going back to Boracay or any place I want to visit, I will choose the process of either. Why either? because if by that time money is not really an issue and I am more on the comfort of relaxation, I’d go for the Travel Agency. I want the feeling of being picked up, being escorted, and being served while I relax and swim in the beach. But if my budget is tight, I don’t mind going through the do-it-yourself process again.