Travel Planning

There’s three ways you can plan your travel: DIY, buy a package through an agency or collaborate with a travel advisor to personalise your trip. Here are the pro’s and con’s.

1. DIY Travel Planning – Pros and Cons

Like to make your own travel plans? A lot people today think its actually the only way. But…

woman holding tablet computer
Photo by Roberto Nickson on

When travel involves activities and destinations that are inherently more complex or expensive, you take on risks. A cheap and cheerful Caribbean cruise is one thing, an Amazon river cruise is another and an Antarctic expedition, yet another.

The main disadvantage to DIY travel planning is that you when you book it, you absorb the entire risk of any mistakes or oversights you make.

The reality is, even if you do want to make your own plans, you should book your travel with a travel agent.

2. DIY Costing – Pros and Cons

Almost all packaged vacations are the same price whether you buy from the operator or through a retail travel agency. For these types of trips there’s fairly little cost advantage buying them one way or the other. However,,,

When you buy any package through an agent you will have an experienced intermediary who can advise you with product knowledge and give you a better trip by understanding workings and details which you may not be thinking of. They can also be a huge help to you should your trip go wrong. Think of how pandemics or volcanic eruptions can really mess up your plans and tie up your money.

Ultimately, you buy the package from the operator and the operator is responsible for your experience. The travel advisor is like someone standing at your side to help sort out the many pre-trip details, decisions, your financial obligations and to facilitate communication between you and the operator.

3. Collaborating With An Advisor For A Personalised Trip – Pros and Cons

Why would you not want to collaborate with a travel advisor?

You may have had a negative experience in the past, or you are not comfortable sharing as much personal information as you will need to, or you are worried it will add more cost or too much cost to your trip. Or something else?

Collaborating with an advisor will give you a better trip and the price you pay may be less than if you’d bought it direct. Even for simple trips. Why?

They know the right questions to ask because sometimes the cost efficiencies are not as obvious as using your travel points or getting a good package deal. Most advisors simply have more product knowledge, supplier contacts and logistical training.

For complex trips, it can take a serious amount of time to pull the pieces together and can involve multiple suppliers each with their own deposit and payment requirements, forms of payment, currency, terms and conditions. Then there’s visas and travel insurance. These are all stressors.

How We Work

We work like this.

  1. We can search our huge repository of existing tour and cruise operators to find you a fantastic tour or package vacation. We’ll make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed.
  2. Or if you’d prefer a more personalised experience, we will plan a more tailor made trip for you. Leave it to us give you a fully formed proposal using our supplier network and we’ll find a great program for you without you ever having to lift a finger. Well, maybe just your little finger to click and accept the proposal.
  3. Or, if you like more hands on, collaborate on the fun stuff with us and then we’ll get the logistics, costs, documentation and other details sorted out.
steps in tour planning

Fact is, you’ve probably spent a lot of your life looking after the needs of others: your boss, your clients and customers, your family. Now it’s your time. Let someone else take care of everything and you can just relax and enjoy your trip.

We work flexible hours. You can schedule meetings with till 8:00 PM on certain nights. Check out our appointment maker. It all starts with you and all it takes is a quick email or call to get going.

Schedule a Zoom, phone or live meeting with us when it is convenient for you.

Tips to Get You Started

1. Use the Website to Learn About Different Experiences Offered

This website posts tours, vacations and travel articles. Many posts are videos that give you some idea of how a particular tour program or operator works. It highlights some of the bigger tour companies and suppliers we work with and also shows destinations. Take some time to explore and see what appeals to you. It’s a starting point to delve deeper. Try using the Escapes tab in the menu above.

2. What Matters to You?

Start with an email early on. We can set up a time to talk face to face on video or by phone. It’s the best way to provide the personal service that you won’t get from just booking online. If you have any questions at any time of the process, during and after you travel, you can just call, text or email directly.

We’ll provide a complete review of pricing by looking at the full picture, not just the advertised price. We dig deep. We promise best options with trusted and true operators and suggestions to help you make the right choices for what ever comfort level you have in mind.

Furthermore, we can offer you programs that give you choices you would not have had by buying on your own.

3. All Inclusive, All Exclusive, or Something In Between

All inclusive vacations are super convenient and often have really great prices. Like buying clothing off the rack though, they are not always your best fit. The good news is that made to measure travel is not as expensive to upgrade as clothing is. With Flight Centre, we have negotiated rates with many airlines that allow us special pricing when purchasing land or other components. We can construct air itineraries, tours and other holidays that are better suited to the needs of individual travellers at competitive prices.

4. Before You Book Yourself Into A Corner

Check out entry requirements. Visas and Covid. Visit your government travel advisory website to understand the risk levels to travelling in your desired destination. For Canadians, please see This is very important as it will advise you and also provide the risk levels which govern the coverage and possible exclusions with your out of country travel insurance. (Note that there are links on the bottom of their page to New Zealand, Australia, United States and United Kingdom travel advisories as well.)

Read more the government of Canada’s notice on travel insurance.

Register yourself with Canada and let them know when and where you’ll be travelling. Read more on Canadians travelling abroad.

If you have been doing the travel planning yourself, talk to us before you put down deposit money. If you have made some reservations and you want us to take over for you mid stream, also let us know and we may be able to convert existing bookings.

Life changes and so do plans. Travel suppliers also have to deal with factors like weather, natural and human made disasters, road conditions and equipment repairs which can cause unavoidable changes in their scheduling which may interrupt your plans. With our Allianz comprehensive travel insurance you get more than just out of country medical. Our policies are designed by professionals who also love to travel.

5. You Have A Local Contact At Home and Away

When you book travel with us, you’ll have access by phone, email or text. Your important friends and family will also be able to contact us if need be and we will know where you are and the best way to reach you if need be.

6. Responsible Choices

Visiting destinations and people has effects. You have a choice to be a positive effect or a negative one. We’ve chosen travel providers that have made significant operational commitments to make positive impacts where they operate. They do this by leaving a softer footprint environmentally, by ensuring that the money generated by organizing trips is fairly distributed, to hire local people and train them to take on more responsibilities themselves if they wish to advance in their careers, to make the workplace equitable on race and gender grounds and to operate with high safety and health protocols. Just ask us if you want to delve into this further.

7. Real People Helping Real People

There’s a difference between a personal contact and a contact centre.

You Can Start Here With an Email

We are members of Independent by Flight Centre

* No service fees when booking trips with us that include at least 4 nights accommodation, land transfers and insurance.

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