I decided for the first time in my life to try a travel agent. 4 of us (parents and 2 adult children in the low 20's) are planning a trip to Athens and some islands. I’m the one doing all the planning, as everyone else has work and school, and I’m self employed, so have more flexibility and time (or so they think). I have planned all our previous trips, but as I get older, I am having a rough time with logistics: keeping it all straight in my head. Maybe I’m ADD?! As 4 people traveling together, if something goes wrong, it’s all my responsibility.
I tentatively picked Mykonos and Santorini. No particular reason, just have heard about them, and so many trips seem to go there, I figured there must be a reason. Studied the later briefly in art history. I did just get a book on the Cyclades, though, so will be able to make a more informed choice soon.
So I consulted a travel agent. He has put together a package for us. But it is way, way, too expensive. Not counting airfare, it’s costing $320 per day, per person. This is 2 rooms, with 2 of us in each room. This is just hotels and local transport (ferries, pick up from ferry). I find it hard to believe we need to pay that much. I looked up the hotels, they run $150 to $250 for a double room. Still not $320 per person, per day. That would be over $600 for a shared room. We never stay in such $$ places here. We are not hostel people, but we are not luxury 4 * hotel people either. We are happy with a basic hotel: we will only be there to sleep anyway. I asked, can this price be cut? He got back to me with 1 hotel change and $200 less per person over the whole trip.
I understand that agents need to make money too. But if I am going to second guess all his choices, there’s no point in using one.
So I ask: is this what it will really cost, with hotel and ferry + local transport? If I do this on my own, and get a much cheaper hotel (or even a small apartment, for 4 people: I did that in Rome) is it going to be so far away from the action, that I will regret it? Will we be hunting for a taxi every time we want to go somewhere? We would prefer to be in a city/village, near where activities are, not on a beach. It will be too cold in late May for a beach, and not what we want anyway. Is there such a thing as a 2* hotel (or even 1*, if it’s not a dump) in a prime area? I’m focused, for right now, on Naxos as a hub, with day trips to Santorini and Mykonos, or flying straight to Santorini upon arrival in Greece, and using that as a base.
Sorry for going on so long. My husband asked, “How hard can it be?” But then he says, “I don’t know what to do, you’re the one who always does this. ” I am trying to simplify this, and it does not seem very simple, no matter what I do. Thanks!