Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Self-Guided Trip or an Organized Tour?

Palawan is full stunning and unique tourist attractions such as the (1) Puerto Princesa Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; (2) Honda Bay; (3) the islands of Coron and El Nido and (4) the city itself.

But in discovering the beauty of Palawan, what is the better option – a “self-guided trip” or “an organized tour”?

A self-guided tour gives the traveler more flexibility. Sometimes after a very comfortable sleep in a hotel or resort, travelers would rather stay in bed for a couple of hours than get ready for the guided trip. The schedule of a guided tour can also be very hectic and stressful.  Sometimes it is better to visit those tourist spots at your own pace and time. A tourist would also have better budgetary control on a self-guided visit.

On the other hand, a “guided or organized journey” ensures that everything is on schedule. You are also assured of a place to stay. Time is not wasted in hunting for the best restaurants and places to discover. There is no difficulty in hailing public transportation as the travel agency usually provides a tourist van or bus.  It is also nice to see a welcoming face holding a placard upon arriving at your destination.

Whether it will be a guided tour or not depends on various reasons. A more adventurous traveler would definitely choose a self-guided tour and venture on his own. An organized trip however is more suitable for those who have absolutely no idea about the place and are on a tight schedule.

After comparing prices and checking out different promos and travel packages, one organized tour for couples that is worth considering when traveling to Puerto Princesa, Palawan is A&A Plaza Hotel’s “Lover’s Leisure Honeymoon Package”. At the price of P16,000.00 net, a couple gets to stay for 4 days and 3 nights in a superior or double room with the following inclusions and schedule:


    Three (3) nights room accommodation in a Superior/Double room
    Daily buffet breakfast for 2 persons
    Complementary fruit basket in room
    Welcome drinks
    Roundtrip airport - hotel land transfer
    Lunch on your choice of Restaurant
    Dinner at A&A Chinese Restaurant
    Honda Bay island hopping with lunch
    Underground River Adventure Tour with lunch
    Romantic dinner for two (performer upon request, with additional charge)
    Free use of WIFI Internet
    City Tour (Itinerary subject to change depending on season)
                      Crocodile Farm
                      Butterfly Garden
                      Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
                      Plaza Cuartel
                      Baker's Hill
                      Mitra's Ranch
                      Iwahig Penal Farm
    Services of a licensed tour guide, air-conditioned land transfers, 
entrances fees, boat and shed rentals.


Day 1
    09:00 - 11:00 am - Arrival / Check in
    12:00 - 01:00 pm - Lunch on your choice of Restaurant
    01:00 - 05:00 pm - City Tour
    07:00 - 08:00 pm - Dinner at A&A Chinese Restaurant
* Overnight stay with buffet breakfast
Day 2
    07:00 am - Pick up time - Underground River Adventure Tour with lunch
    07:00 - 08:00 pm - Dinner not included in package
* Overnight stay with buffet breakfast
Day 3
    07:00 am - Pick up time - Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour with lunch
    07:00 - 08:00 pm - Romantic dinner for two
    Overnight stay with buffet breakfast
Day 4
    For guest with morning flight
 08:30 check out / Departure to airport
    For guest with afternoon flight
 08:00 am - 03:30 pm - free time 
03:30 Check out / Departure

I have checked the reviews of this hotel and most guests said that A&A Plaza Hotel is comfortable, clean and has a friendly staff. The hotel’s location is also very near the airport, restaurants and souvenir shops. A couple that tried the said  “Lover’s Leisure Honeymoon Package” commented that it is a very good decision to make as it practically includes all meals and tours.

When I was making a reservation on the phone and inquired about the said package, I really find the front desk staff to be very helpful and friendly and I felt their sincere desire to help and answer my queries.

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