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Independently planned trip vs travel agency

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Paris
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Independently planned trip vs travel agency

Our family of 5 is looking forward to a 10 day trip to Italy in June. This will be our first European vacation! We plan to fly into Rome, spend 4-5 days there, and travel via train to visit Venice and possibly Amalfi. My question is this...is it generally more cost effective to use a travel website such as Europeandestinations.com, or to book flights, hotels, and transportation independently? It's intuitive to think it would be less expensive to plan it myself, but it really looks like the package from the website is less. Anyone have experience with this? Thanks so much - I really value the input I receive!

Saint Marys, Ohio
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1. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

Most on this forum are do-it-yourselfers. I think you can save money and tailor the trip to your liking if you do it yourself. Venice and Amalfi Coast are in opposite directions from Rome. If you're flying into Rome I would then go to the Amalfi Coast, and then head to Venice and fly home from there. Saves backtracking

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

You can book your travel arrangements and accommodationOnline

Check for a multi city air ticket fly into Rome and out of Venice, save backtracking.

Rome airport bus to Rome Termini www.sitbusshuttle.com or train "Leonardo Express"

Trains connecting Rome - Naples or Salerno - Venice www.trenitalia.com Click on the UK flag for current train times, enter 08 as train departure time.

You can book train travel four months in advance, for best value train fares.

Trains from Naples lower basement station to Sorrento and Pompeii Scavi

eavcampania.it/web/content/orario-ferroviario

Amalfi coast buses Sorrento to Amalfi, Amalfi to Ravello and Amalfi to Salerno www.sitasudtrasporti.it Click on Orari for Campania bus times.

Amalfi coast ferries www.alicost.it www.coopsantandrea.com

Venice airport bus www.atvo.it

Accommodation www.venere.com www.bed-and-breakfast-in-italy.com

www.rome.info www.timeout.com/rome

www.sorrentotourism.com www.amalficoastweb.com www.pompeiisites.org

www.venice-tourism.com www.timeout.com/venice

Regional info Lazio, Campania and Veneto www.italia.it/en/home.html

Edited: 21 January 2014, 01:36
Paris
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3. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

Thanks so much! Very helpful info.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

I would book flights through a travel agent just incase things go wrong with flight changes etc and do all the rest yourself, its so much more cheaper and so much more fun. This will be our second trip to italy and we have done it that way both times. If you have any questions just mail me.

Cheers Andrew

Akron, Ohio
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5. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

plan the trip yourself.. it is cheaper.. selecting multiple destinations is more expensive.. I don't have a problem with backtracking though. A family of 5 is very costly for travel so, I would do it myself. I am traveling alone and staying in Rome for 2 months June-August. I booked everything myself. So exciting alittle stressful but, looking forward to the wineries :) Good Luck!

pittsburgh
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6. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

There is no need to go through a travel agent for anything. You can easily book flights, hotels, trains and sites on your own and plan this trip the way you want it.

You might want to consider flying into Venice and out of Rome. That will save you some back tracking. You can find really good flight deals but you'll need to check everyday and jump on something when you see it.

As for hotels, you can use venere.com or hotel.com. Both allow you to choose by location or price so you can get exactly what you want where you want it. Also, the reviews are written by people who have completed a stay so they are pretty accurate.

Donna

North York Moors...
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7. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

We planned our first trip to Italy ourselves,and it was a terrific success! So much so,that we've done it again,and return in 12 weeks time. Good luck,and enjoy the planning,it's great fun :)

Winnipeg, Canada
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8. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

I would book the flight through an agent, because sometimes they get better deals. Also, if anything happens such as a natural disaster then you have an agent to help you rebook. With a family of 5 why not try renting an apartment, then you don't have to eat out all the time.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

it really depends on your thing...

ease, schedule, convenience, less flexibility, cost savings

legwork, leisure, effort, flexibility, cost can go either way, depending on how you do it

i might first decide what's most important in your trip, THEN work costs around THAT

10 days and a med size fam. i might skip venice unless its really important to you and try the tuscan countryside instead along with rome naples/amalfi and maybe ischa or capri

as for travel insurance, yes things can happen but the odds are in your favor. don't anticipate disasters :-)

Edited: 24 January 2014, 11:24
Birmingham, AL
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10. Re: Independently planned trip vs travel agency

If you enjoy investigating the sights that you might want to see and the hotels or apartments you should do it yourself. You learn so much about where you are going and staying when reading plus the "better" deals offered through a travel agent might be at out of the way hotels or apartments. Use Trip Advisor, Slow Travel to investigate apartments and hotels. Don't depend on photos and owners descriptions. For Rome with a family of 5 you should use RomeCabs(romecabs.com) if flying in since they have vans that can carry all of you plus they will meet you at the arrival gate. Not much more expensive than a regular taxi and much cheaper than the Leonardo Express. If arriving by train into Termini station buses are convenient but you need to spend time on the aatc website planning or you can get confused on which bus and which stop to get off of the bus. RomeCabs might pick up at Termini also. Walking everywhere and getting "lost" is part of the visits to Rome that I enjoy. In Venice be sure that you validate your ticket on the small yellow machines that are easy to miss before boarding the train that carries you from the in town station (Mestre) and the main station (Santa Lucia). The train guards work it regularly and the fine is 100 euros for not validating a 1 euro ticket. I learned the hard way. Hope you enjoy the planning as most people on Trip Advisor do.