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Tour Company vs. Hiring a Car and Driver

Tour Company vs. Hiring a Car and Driver

Old Nov 18th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Tour Company vs. Hiring a Car and Driver

I am in the pre-planning stages of our first trip to India. What do you all think are the advantages/disadvantages of using a tour company over hiring a car and driver? I am very adept at planning trips, but after reading a few trip reports some have hired a tour company and some a car and driver.

Thank you.
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 01:32 PM
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From my perspective, the only major difference is the luxury of having one company take care of you the entire trip (helpful if it's your first time, if you have a complicated itinerary, or simply prefer to manage your trip through one contact).
The first time we went to India, a travel agent was incredibly helpful in guiding us through our extremely complicated and inflexible itinerary. The last time we went, we booked all our hotels and flights ourselves and secured drivers once we arrived in each city. Both worked out extremely well.
Have a great trip!
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 03:17 PM
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I agree with above. ESPECIALLY on your first trip, use a tour company. A good one will book a trip with the hotels you want, won't force you to stay at "their" choices only, and the lodging won't cost any more (and sometimes less) than i you book it yourself.

BUT with a reputable travel company, you have someone to go to if you are not happy with lodging, etc, to help advocate for you.
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Old Nov 20th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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we are a family of 4 who have traveled extensively, and I have always planned my own trip. for xmas in India, i am planning it all through a local (indian) agency, and so far am very happy that i did. trying to arrange all the flights, hotels, drivers, guides, trains on our own, coordinating everything- it would be a nightmare. (now, it still might be a nightmare- we haven't gone yet! but so far i think we have made the right choice.)
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 03:59 AM
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i know that my experience is limited to Sri Lanka, but we used a local agent to book everything including the car and driver for us. we had unlimited scope to pick where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see, but had them on hand for guidance if we needed it.

i would have thought that that sort of service should be available in India too - it sounds like the sort of thing that 4bams is doing. perhaps s/he would give you the name of the agent that are using.
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Annihig, yes, what you are describing for Sri Lanka, is the service a good local Indian tour company /agent provides.

4Bams, i can almost guarantee it will not be a nightmare and you will have a fabulous time . YOu are wise to have chosen the additional help.

It is nice and reassuring on your first time there, or example, getting off a train, and having the agent's representative meet you, carry your bags, and lead you thru the chaos and to your hotel! (I am always amazed and delighted that they know exactly which train coach i am coming from!)

Now i have no problem managing on my own (and i marvel at how the porters swing those bagsto carry on their heads) but the first times, i would have been bewildered and overwhelmed without some local help.
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