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You Can Travel Independently!

Package holidays are great if you can get a good price (perhaps as a last minute booking).  But they have their disadvantages:

You might be unable to choose your hotel and, for a last minute booking may not know where you are staying until you arrive;

You are usually herded into hotels packed with other British people and are catered for en masse with British food staples like egg and chips;

You can choose from a limited range of excursions to the surrounding area, and these cost far more than they would if you arranged them yourself;

If you don’t like the hotel then you are stuck with it for the duration.

On the other hand, travelling independently means:

You can choose your transport method, departure and arrival times to suit you (none of this 4am waiting in the airport nonsense);

You can choose your hotel and book as many or as few nights as you want (meaning you can book just one or two nights and decide whether to stay longer or move on depending on whether you like your hotel when you get there);

You can feel free to explore the local area or just enjoy your accommodation.

But travelling independently can seem downright scary.  How on earth do you start and book your own holiday without the aid of a travel agent?  Well, it’s not actually as difficult as you might think.  Here is a brief step-by-step guide to travelling independently.  

1. Choose your dates (arrange time off work).

2. Pick a country and town you would like to visit.

3. Explore the times, dates and costs of flights, trains or coaches to and from your chosen destination*.

4. Book your travel.

5. Find your accommodation by looking online or in guide books designed for independent travellers.  Call or book online.

6. Read up on local attractions and places of interest, and decide whether you ought to book a hire car.

7. Pack!

Booking in this way cuts out the extortionate travel agent costs and will usually work out cheaper.  

*It is well worth investigating the cost of coach travel, since travel to Europe is often much cheaper by bus.  If you choose iDBUS, a bus company that runs from London to Paris, Lille, Lyon, Amsterdam and several other destinations, then you can be assured of a comfortable journey with knowledgeable, bi-lingual staff on board who can help you with any travel connections you might need to make.  The coaches will also drop you in central bus stations, making it much easier for you to reach your hotel.  For instance, with iDBUS London to Paris coach can take you from London Victoria Coach Station to either Paris Bercy (in the centre) or Charles de Gaulle airport.  iDBUS coach trips depart at frequent, regular times and do not need to be booked in advance to take advantage of the cheapest fares.  You can therefore be flexible with booking your return journey if you decide to stay on a bit longer.  That’s the real beauty of travelling independently!
 

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