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  1. Great article Linda, For me independent travel is the way to go too but I agree that it really has to do with ones personality. This summer I took my dad over to Europe for his first time out of the States. Just traveling with him worked out great because he was able to keep up and could deal with the budget style trip that it was. For my Mom on the other hand, who wants to go to Europe this October for the first time, I would suggest a tour of sorts. The hassel would be gone and the resources there for the taking.

  2. I agree, indie travel is the best, most rewarding way to travel. Group travel may be good if you have limited time, but indie travel is best for growing, confidence, and adventure! But, that’s me, and it’s horses for courses. My preference is independent fist and foremost.

  3. I myself started off my own travels by doing a tour. Touring can be a great way to meet people and build really solid relationships in short amounts of time. It was great as a recent school leaver who was a little bit unsure about the wider world outside my small city. However I think if I could go back in time I would have skipped Contiki and got a Eurail Pass!!! My independent travels will always be the ones I treasure the most where I pursuer my own interests and step out of my comfort zone. I also find travelling independently I am much more likely to strike up conversations with locals.

    In terms of cost, having studied tourism and tour packaging I can say for certain that in almost all cases independent travel is substantially much cheaper. For a start packaged prices are at least 30% up on the cost price including the commission paid to travel agents. There is also a 3 to 5% currency buffer on top of this to account for currency fluctuations. There are also often surcharges put on top of this price again. In the end the brochure price can often be hundreds of dollars more than the cost price. INSANE!!!

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