Pricing Indep. vs Package

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Nov 7th, 2003, 10:05 AM
  #1
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Pricing Indep. vs Package

Hi! I've read a lot about independent traveling vs. package tours here...my question is- if I tried to put together a guided tour myself (by hiring a driver, buying my own flights, arranging my own cruise), about how much would the price difference be? i'm curious if anyone has compared that. Of course I understand it depends on what hotels I'm staying at, etc, but if they were of comparable quality, how much of a premium am I paying to get a packaged deal, if any at all? Thanks!
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Nov 7th, 2003, 10:06 AM
  #2
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Sorry, I'm specifically asking about Egypt. thanks!
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Nov 7th, 2003, 11:25 AM
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Not knowing what packaged (group) tours you've looked at and how much they cost, you'd have to compare what you've seen with what you would like to do. You can use the packaged tours as a guideline.

Create your itinerary - days, city, sites, cruise, etc. - that you would like. Contact an Egyptian tour operator (a few have been listed on this board) and have them price it for you. Then compare.

Many independent trips booked thru tour operators in the US are generally the same as a packaged group tour, but you don't travel with a group.

If you are using the standard 9-10 day Egyptian itinerary, you will probably save some money especially using an Egyptian tour operator and, of course, depending on hotels selected; but do not forget the transfers to/fr airports, be sure you have them include vehicle,driver & guide for your sites, entrance fees, if any, especially in Cairo. And let them do your in-country air, as they'll get better prices and get you checked in quicker. Those with an Egyptian rep at the airports were checked in faster than those travelling completely independently.

When on a Nile cruise, the fee for that includes an English speaking guide that takes the English speaking guests to the sites (entrance fees are included) and usually not many in the group.

Once all this info in hand you can compare.

 
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Nov 7th, 2003, 12:56 PM
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When we went, the price for the EgyptAir flight JFK to Cairo bought independently would have likely made an independently arranged tour more expensive than the comparable group tour we bought. Not sure how Globus could price the tour as it was considering the expense of airfare at the time.

Egypt is the only place we have ever used a group tour to travel to - I enjoy the adventure of researching and putting together a vacation myself - plus the different style of traveling on our own is more to our liking. However, we chose to do the group thing for Egypt because of the difficulty deciphering and navigating the language and culture. Things in Egypt run on "Egypt time" and it would be easy to end up in some creative scam (we took a cab on our own in Cairo and even something as simple as that was an adventure). Merely asking someone for directions on the street can send you off on a fascinating journey - but not often to where you had wanted to go int he first place.

So I suggest that there are things to consider beyond price (as there always are), but in Egypt some of these factors might be more pronounced than in other places.
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