Which is cheaper: a tour or travel independently

This page is automatically created by the automated computer text translator, and originally written in Russian (Переведено сервисом «Яндекс.Переводчик»). The original version of this page in Russian is located here. We are apologize for any possible inaccurate and incorrect translation of certain phrases and expressions below.

These battles sometimes erupted on the forums in the Internet between independent travelers and those who rest solely on the vouchers, the question is: what is cheaper, to relax yourself, or to go on the tour. We decided to deal with this issue as objectively as possible, with some simple math. Namely, next, we define the cost of a standard trip to the popular package tour and compare it with the cost of exactly the same self drive.

For the purposes of objectivity will lead to the screenshots with prices from popular sites bookings. Skeptics will immediately notify that all the sources below is a proven site search and bookings with real prices. Ie the price you see in the screenshots, is entirely consistent with what would pay a tourist, without any hidden markups and commissions. If you don't want to read a long and tedious calculation and comparison below you can skip to the results and conclusions.

The comparison

The calculation will take popular among Russians direction is Thailand, because it is one of the most convenient places for independent travelers. Using average price options, i.e., not the cheapest but not too expensive. Dates make a variation in +/- 10 days, depending on the day of your flight price can change dramatically, and we need to find the cheapest flight options to compete with "wholesale" prices of tour operators.

  • Search tour

    Search through a search engine tours Travelata gave us a good middle option of a four-star Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort in Pattaya from 72 148 rubles.

    Go forth, and get the final information about the tour:

    • Period: 01/03/18 – 08/03/18 (7 nights)
    • Breakfast: STANDARD
    • The tour includes: flights, transfers, hotel, Board and insurance.

    The final price was unchanged at 72 148 rubles, all to be honest.

  • On their own

    Find tickets for the next days gave us two tickets worth 40 906 roubles. It is worth noting that the dates for the tour are not the same as exactly date tour failed to find cheap flights. So we took advantage of the opportunities search of tickets Aviasalesto find the best prices. Why are the prices on tickets so changing the date and how to buy the cheapest airline tickets, read here.

    Shuttle serviceis included in the tour cost we could not consider the cost of the trip because of Bangkok airport to Pattaya is easily accessible by local transport and it's cost is not expensive. But since not everywhere there is public transport, for reasons of clarity use search personal Kiwitaxi transfer.

    Note, incidentally, that personal transfer from KiwiTaxi much more comfortable than a group of tour operators, so the price is quite high. One way cost was $ 2821 ruble, and since we still need to go back to the airport, the total cost will amount 5642 ruble.

    Hotel search. To check the rates we use website search and reservations of hotels, Agoda, bypassing the various aggregators and metapoiskoviki, since Agoda is a proven system that traditionally produces the best prices for accommodation in hotels in Asia and around the world.

    But here we get a real "surprise" for those who believe that travelling alone is always cheaper. The price for 7 nights at the Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort 529,19 out of 30 rubles, and in the end the cost of independent travel becomes higher tour! Check prices booking.com, hotellook.ru and other popular hotel booking systems gives prices only higher.

    Insurance. Although it is clear that the total value of the self-organized trip is more expensive, do the calculation below to estimate the magnitude of next. Searching insurance via a search engine travel insurance Cherehapa, which compares and displays prices from multiple companies. In the end we get the cheapest option - 1382 ruble for two.


So, unfortunately for independent travelers, including we (the authors), package tour for two to Thailand at the Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort for 7 days in March 2018 at a cost cheaper than self drive in it.

  • The cost of a packaged tour - 72 148 rubles
  • The cost of independent travel - 78 469 rubles, the sum of:
    • Tickets - 40 906 roubles
    • Transfer – 5 642 ruble
    • Hotel accommodation - 30 of 529 rubles
    • Insurance - 1 382 ruble

You can save, if we abandon personal Shuttle and reached by local transport or taxi, but in this case, a package worth at least a little, but cheaper.

However, it is not necessary to rejoice to fans of package tours and independent travelers grieve. The truth, as always, is somewhere nearby, because for comparison, we took a popular destination for a short period. But it is necessary to increase the duration of the trip, to ask a more difficult route (with visits to several cities and landmarks), or to make a comparison for non-mass tourism destinations, as the situation is changing drastically, and independent travel is becoming much more profitable. Even if you take the original price 148 72 rubles a packaged tour, for the money experienced independent tourist will be able to see a lot more and rest longer, we should learn to save. And how to do it, you can find on the pages of our website, for example, useful articles about frugal travel.

Comments / recent posts on the topic on the forum
nausla January 16, 2019
What bothered? ...
Vitalisation 13 March, 2019
What!:? ...
admin 13 March, 2019
Book well in advance, obviously. ...
nausla 13 March, 2019
From my sense began to slip away.
I understand I came to the following:
1. Free cancellation is possible until a certain date, there are of course exceptions but I've seen a couple of times in 5 years.
2. Book in advance definitely makes sense, usually for the arrival of all prilichnye options expensive. Of course not happen if the force majeure.
3. If a hundred percent sure on the trip, it is necessary to take cheaper options without the right of refund. By the way I fully agree.
Would add that we should look: the location of hotel services (airport transfer, wifi, room size, air conditioning, etc.)
Also read the testimonials, preferably not on the same oecusse, and not to take less than 8. Of course if you are interested in the quality of rest. ...
Dragon March 14, 2019

And not to forget that the more requirements for housing, the more likely that you will have problems, if you do not book in advance. It's one thing when you are satisfied with the ordinary kopeck piece without reference to a particular place, and another when you need a large comfortable apartment which is not anyhow where, and even in fairly high season.
For example, today I very long searched for housing in nice for six people. Had in the centre, near the sea and with separate beds, not to mention the fact that there are no 2-storey beds... At a sane price of such options, in principle at least, even much in advance... ...
Bulk March 14, 2019
very strange advice, given the fact that different resources weight reviews various and various system evaluations. for example, 8-9 hotels.com - about 7 in town. and how you can book your accommodation by rating not lower than 8, for example, on airbnb or tripadvisor, where the maximum rating is 5? and why not book accommodation with rating of 7 on the booking, if there is even a 6.5 is quite acceptable? why such love for the number 8? ...
nausla March 14, 2019

For example, that would not get Sari in which the dog is ashamed to settle. Watching left-wing photos from the hotelier.
And about the rating, Yes, it was necessary to allcnt that on a scale of booking.
About the airbnb lottery here? A secret for you - the frequent violation of the agreements vladeltsami housing? But you are here mainly on referral links live.
tripadvisor is generally a very strange resource that makes sense only as a platform for reading the reviews. Personally several times encountered that the high rating this resource is in fact fake.
But the removal of negative posts, not helping, posting incorrect information is typical for the booking. He is no better than the rest.
Accordingly, the lower the rating (and the more reviews the evaluation will be objective) the greater the likelihood of running into adventures.
And it is strange to read that 6.5 is too. Without evaluation, too, is generally acceptable and the game "Russian roulette" is not always ends sadly. ...
Bulk March 14, 2019
more than 10 years booking hotels in booking, except for a couple times never booked with rating 8 and above, while in the barns did not live ...
nausla March 14, 2019
Lucky you!
I use it for more than 20 and had the good fortune to encounter negativity from this resource repeatedly.
So don't flatter yourself.
And Sarai lived because he had enough money to send out the scams and take a more expensive room, quickly and, unfortunately, without the help of a booking in another hotel. Usually this feat cost me 2-3 prices. ...
Strannica 11 June, 2019
I always pre-book, seek not my thing. Moreover, always fly from the tour operator specific, but with him then and require good living space))) ...