Which one should we choose between hiring local tour operators and self-arranging when visiting Vietnam? Let’s look at their advantages and disadvantages and you will have the answer for yourself.
Hiring local tour operators in Vietnam
1. Safety secured
Travel with kids (Source: Google)
When joining a tour, you will only need to provide some of your personal information, hobbies, what type of hotel that you want, and so on. The tour operators in Vietnam will be responsible for taking care of your activities and safety.
They will pick you up at the airport, let you travel by their bus or car, and always pay attention to you. Traffic in Vietnam is not a joke. So for those who travel with the old or children, hiring operators will be extremely safer. Also, all tour operators and travel agencies will buy you travel insurance even if you don’t require them to. This is usually something that you hardly think about when self-arranging.
2. Saving time
A tour guide is someone that Vietnam tour operators will always prepare in advance. He knows most of the things that you don’t know and speaks both languages. So you will not have to waste time reading brochures or introduction about the tourist spot ahead. Moreover, the established operators are experienced in organizing tours.
They understand customers’ needs and can arrange the destinations in a logical order. They will guarantee that every minute of your trip is used wisely and you will feel more satisfied than ever.
3. Having nothing to worry about
Booking a tour with local operators, you will have everything prepared for you. Whether it is a place to sleep, a destination to go, a means of transportation to take or even a visa, a passport, and a meal, the tour operators will have it under control. All you have to do is to pay money and get packed.
This is also quite useful in tourist seasons. You will not have to think too much about hotels’ running out of rooms because they always prioritize tour operators – their long-term partners.
1. Losing freedom
Travel in groups (Source: Google)
Lack of freedom is the most common drawback of hiring tour operators. It is easy to understand because when following a fixed schedule, especially if you take organized group tours, you will have to visit a destination within a certain period of time.
Furthermore, sometimes, several spots that the operators offer are not so interesting to you. But you will still have to accept it due to the set timeline.
2. The risk of hiring low-quality local tour operators
Low-quality tour operators are not only in Vietnam but also in many other countries. There are some risks of hiring them. The most common trick that they often use is taking you to shops and forcing you to buy something. If you don’t do that, they will charge you some extra fees.
So before choosing an operator, remember to read about them or look for some reviews of other travelers. They will give you good insights.
Taking a self-preparing tour in Vietnam
1. Gaining new skills
Get packed (Source: Google)
Unlike hiring local tour operators, you will have to do everything to prepare for your trip. Finding a good restaurant, looking for famous tourist destinations and arranging them, booking hotels on your own, and preparing necessary personal papers are some examples.
Although they sound exhausted, they are the most vital skills that many people lack. And if you can do all of them by yourself or with just a little help, you are getting closer to being a professional traveler. Only self-arranging tours can give you this.
2. Cheap if you have a reasonable schedule
Comparing to hiring Vietnam tour operators, self-preparing tours are more low-priced in some aspects. In most cases, the costs of customer care and support are all covered in the package offered by operators. This does not count the high costs, such as for plane tickets and hotel rooms that they charge their tourists.
If you go on a self-arranging tour, you will not have to pay for those. As a result, you will save much more money. In case you have a logical arrangement, the expense will be even less.
3. Setting up a plan up to your needs
When you travel by yourself, you can go anywhere you want and as long as you like. No one will rush you or take you to another place before you finish your activities. And if you want to visit some spot that is not so familiar for tourists, nobody can prevent you. In short, you are completely free to set up your plan based on your needs and wants.
1. Language barrier
Common phrases in Vietnamese (Source: Google)
Vietnamese is not an easy language to learn. And various local citizens, particularly those who live in the countryside or mountainous areas in Vietnam, do not speak English. Thus, the language barrier will be a serious problem when you want to discover about Vietnam culture or simply want to ask directions.
Several solutions for this is to use Google Translate Application or find some book that teaches you Vietnamese daily conversations.
2. Getting uncomfortable in tourist seasons
Tourist seasons in Vietnam can be relatively unpleasant for foreign travelers who are not familiar with crowded places. Not only do hotels are out of rooms but destinations can also be packed with people. The public beaches, the museums, or even the streets are at times overwhelmed.
And once in a while, you would wish that you had hired local operator tours because they would help you avoid that situation or get you prioritized.
Which one should you choose?
The answer to this question depends on your needs and budget. You should book tours from operators in case you have a large budget, don’t have time to search for information or arrange spots to visit, and travel with old folks or children.
On the contrary, you ought to take self-arranging tours if you have a low budget, don’t want to be bound with a timeline, and would like to keep Vietnam in mind for a longer term. Young backpackers who are eager to learn often choose this way.