Guided Tours vs Independent Travel – Part II

tseyinClick here for Part I

In my previous article, I have discussed on the benefits of guided tours [link to previous post] may be a good option for majority of travellers. This article will discuss the benefits of independent travel. I have been travelling independently since 1997 when my parents first sent me to New Zealand to study and to also learn to be independent. Although I have taken guided tours occasionally, I still prefer to travel independently.

Travel Pace

My partner and I travelled to Tokyo independently recently and were amazed at the pace of guided tours (more like touch and go). Independent travel allows for a slower pace, allowing you to experience the local culture, embarking on new adventures and explore an area more.

Cultural experience

I will always walk down the main streets in the city to experience the day-to-day living of a city. On my last trip to Tokyo, we stayed in Shinjuku (a major commercial and administrative centre in Tokyo and the Shinjuku train station is the busiest in the world) to experience the hussle-and-bussle and heartbeat of central Tokyo. Walking down the massive train station is truly an experience! Shinjuku Station was used by 3.64 million people per day and it comprises of 36 platforms with more than 200 exits!

Travel Flexibility

Although guided tour suits majority of travellers, there is a limit to where you can go and how long you can stay in each tourist attraction. Travelling independently means you can explore the area at your own leisure.

Travel Cost

Your travel cost depends on your travel goals. Although sometimes guided tours are more expensive because you are paying for tour operators to do the planning, travelling in a small group might work out to be a cheaper option. Always compare the cost of travelling independently and guided tours and work out the best travel options.

About Tse Yin

Graphic designer and photographer based in Perth, Western Australia, you can see more of Tse Yin's work at her web site

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