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Besides Gate 1, any recommendation for an independent package?

Besides Gate 1, any recommendation for an independent package?

Old Oct 29, 18, 11:28 am
  #1  
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Besides Gate 1, any recommendation for an independent package?

I've used Gate 1 for its cheap independent travel packages (air & hotel only). Can anyone recommend a similar company? I'm looking for an affordable air & hotel package that includes Munich, Rome, Paris and maybe one other city for a 2-week trip this summer. I have to arrange a trip for me, my husband and 4 other extended family members and we are all leaving from different airports so coordinating it is kind of a nightmare trying to keep it within everyone's budget. I'm not interested in a guided package tour, which is mostly what I have been finding.
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Old Nov 1, 18, 5:54 pm
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Depending on the airports, look at Groupon and see what they have. They have this for an 8-day Rome, London, Paris, and Gate 1 is usually good about allowing changes/extensions. There's also this one.

I'm using Fleetway Travel for a trip to FCO in November, and their prices are reasonable, but having used Gate 1 as well, Fleetway's communication isn't as prompt.

I've not used Great Value Vacations, but I've seen their name too.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 3:05 pm
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I checked Fleetway Travel but it looks like they do mainly/only Italy. Great Value wasn't a great value. I was just about to book Gate 1 because of their Black Friday discount codes BUT I noticed that all the airline flights were with Delta so I decided to call Delta Vacations before pulling the trigger on Gate 1. Delta Vacations has a much better deal--the price is about the same, but Delta's hotel is much better (would cost an extra +$450 on Gate 1, making Gate 1 a bad choice) AND Delta can do a cheap open jaw so we fly into Paris and out of London, which overall saves us money as we planned on going to London anyway. Gate 1 can't do open jaw. With Delta Vacations I got $1201 per person for economy flight from Nashville to Paris and 2 weeks later London back to Nashville PLUS 4 nights hotel in central Paris. That was $300 cheaper than just airfare alone!

I've used AAVacations a few times in the past with excellent pricing but no deal this time. I've never used Delta Vacations before but I'm very happy with Delta Vacations for this trip!
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Old Nov 24, 18, 12:19 pm
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If you want to use the word 'independent' then you really should not be using the word 'package' at the same time. Either you travel 'independently' or you buy a 'package'. You do in fact want to book a 'package' it seems and not travel independently. If you wanted to travel independently, you would book airfares and you would book hotels, independent of each other.

I only travel independently and would see no difficulty in booking airfares from several airports and then booking hotels at the destinations you wanted to stay in. But the idea of booking packages from different locations, all with one package operator and all within the budget of different people sounds to me like a very unlikely thing to be able to do. You have now given an answer you found for travel from Nashville. What about from the other airports you mentioned in your OP? Are those travelling from those other airports also able to get as good a deal as they might with another package provider? And what about your wish to visit Munich and Rome, are they also part of what you are booking with Delta Vacations?
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Old Dec 10, 18, 9:48 am
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Dulciusexasperis--Actually, the word "independent" and "package" can be used differently. Sometimes a package is just airfare & hotel, or airfare & rental car, which is called "independent" at least at Gate1. Gate 1 calls a "package" as guided tours where every day is set up for you and you go with a group throughout your vacation. The ONLY time I have ever done a package that included airfare and a few nights of hotels is when the price was cheaper than if I would have booked airfare alone. Generally we use miles/points to fly but sometimes a package makes so much sense we use money. Also, in our case for this upcoming trip we are organizing for family members who don't have any miles.

For your next trip, you should look into Delta Vacations, AAVacations, Gate1, etc. Like in our case, Delta Vacations was much cheaper for the airfare alone plus the 4 nights in Paris are free. I mean, the cheapest airfare I could find was $1500 RT from Nashville, so for $1201 we get the airfare and 4 nights in Paris. The rest of our trip is on EasyJet, Luftansa and AirFrance to Munich, Rome and London staying at Airbnbs along the way that I booked without Delta Vacations. All of those other flights within Europe are approximately $60 per person per segment in economy with no checked bag. The trip for 4 of our group is 16 days but my husband and I are staying 4 months in Europe.

There are threads on FlyerTalk regarding using airline vacation packages just to get the cheaper airfare. It doesn't matter what airport you or anyone in your group is flying from, sometimes it's a better deal using one of these packages than just booking airfare alone. It takes a lot of research and if saving money isn't your top priority it's probably not worth the effort for you.

As far as what you seem to be considering independent travel, we do that most of the time. In 2010 we spent 5 months traveling around the world by plane, boat, bus, ferry and train just showing up in towns and wandering around until we found a cheap hostel or guest house. Sometimes we'd arrive by train or ferry and people would great passengers getting off the train or bus to take us to their house to stay in a spare room for $10 per night. Nowadays we usually pre-book our transportation and accommodations before we leave on our trip.
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Old Dec 13, 18, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by dulciusexasperis View Post
If you want to use the word 'independent' then you really should not be using the word 'package' at the same time. Either you travel 'independently' or you buy a 'package'. You do in fact want to book a 'package' it seems and not travel independently. If you wanted to travel independently, you would book airfares and you would book hotels, independent of each other.

I only travel independently and would see no difficulty in booking airfares from several airports and then booking hotels at the destinations you wanted to stay in. But the idea of booking packages from different locations, all with one package operator and all within the budget of different people sounds to me like a very unlikely thing to be able to do. You have now given an answer you found for travel from Nashville. What about from the other airports you mentioned in your OP? Are those travelling from those other airports also able to get as good a deal as they might with another package provider? And what about your wish to visit Munich and Rome, are they also part of what you are booking with Delta Vacations?
I have used both Gate 1 and Fleetway Travel. Both have been independent packages that included only airfare and hotel. Neither included group tours, although Gate 1 offered optional tours. Both offered packages for less than what I could book on my own.
Originally Posted by Bohemiana View Post
Dulciusexasperis--Actually, the word "independent" and "package" can be used differently. Sometimes a package is just airfare & hotel, or airfare & rental car, which is called "independent" at least at Gate1. Gate 1 calls a "package" as guided tours where every day is set up for you and you go with a group throughout your vacation. The ONLY time I have ever done a package that included airfare and a few nights of hotels is when the price was cheaper than if I would have booked airfare alone. Generally we use miles/points to fly but sometimes a package makes so much sense we use money. Also, in our case for this upcoming trip we are organizing for family members who don't have any miles.

For your next trip, you should look into Delta Vacations, AAVacations, Gate1, etc. Like in our case, Delta Vacations was much cheaper for the airfare alone plus the 4 nights in Paris are free. I mean, the cheapest airfare I could find was $1500 RT from Nashville, so for $1201 we get the airfare and 4 nights in Paris. The rest of our trip is on EasyJet, Luftansa and AirFrance to Munich, Rome and London staying at Airbnbs along the way that I booked without Delta Vacations. All of those other flights within Europe are approximately $60 per person per segment in economy with no checked bag. The trip for 4 of our group is 16 days but my husband and I are staying 4 months in Europe.

There are threads on FlyerTalk regarding using airline vacation packages just to get the cheaper airfare. It doesn't matter what airport you or anyone in your group is flying from, sometimes it's a better deal using one of these packages than just booking airfare alone. It takes a lot of research and if saving money isn't your top priority it's probably not worth the effort for you.

As far as what you seem to be considering independent travel, we do that most of the time. In 2010 we spent 5 months traveling around the world by plane, boat, bus, ferry and train just showing up in towns and wandering around until we found a cheap hostel or guest house. Sometimes we'd arrive by train or ferry and people would great passengers getting off the train or bus to take us to their house to stay in a spare room for $10 per night. Nowadays we usually pre-book our transportation and accommodations before we leave on our trip.
I've seen Gate 1 use "group tours" rather than calling those packages. That means you'll be traveling with a group and will have tours included. I've seen them call things independent packages, where you have nothing but airfare and hotel through them.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 12:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Bohemiana View Post
Dulciusexasperis--Actually, the word "independent" and "package" can be used differently. Sometimes a package is just airfare & hotel, or airfare & rental car, which is called "independent" at least at Gate1. Gate 1 calls a "package" as guided tours where every day is set up for you and you go with a group throughout your vacation. The ONLY time I have ever done a package that included airfare and a few nights of hotels is when the price was cheaper than if I would have booked airfare alone. Generally we use miles/points to fly but sometimes a package makes so much sense we use money. Also, in our case for this upcoming trip we are organizing for family members who don't have any miles.

For your next trip, you should look into Delta Vacations, AAVacations, Gate1, etc. Like in our case, Delta Vacations was much cheaper for the airfare alone plus the 4 nights in Paris are free. I mean, the cheapest airfare I could find was $1500 RT from Nashville, so for $1201 we get the airfare and 4 nights in Paris. The rest of our trip is on EasyJet, Luftansa and AirFrance to Munich, Rome and London staying at Airbnbs along the way that I booked without Delta Vacations. All of those other flights within Europe are approximately $60 per person per segment in economy with no checked bag. The trip for 4 of our group is 16 days but my husband and I are staying 4 months in Europe.

There are threads on FlyerTalk regarding using airline vacation packages just to get the cheaper airfare. It doesn't matter what airport you or anyone in your group is flying from, sometimes it's a better deal using one of these packages than just booking airfare alone. It takes a lot of research and if saving money isn't your top priority it's probably not worth the effort for you.

As far as what you seem to be considering independent travel, we do that most of the time. In 2010 we spent 5 months traveling around the world by plane, boat, bus, ferry and train just showing up in towns and wandering around until we found a cheap hostel or guest house. Sometimes we'd arrive by train or ferry and people would great passengers getting off the train or bus to take us to their house to stay in a spare room for $10 per night. Nowadays we usually pre-book our transportation and accommodations before we leave on our trip.
Well I understand what you are saying Bohemiana but come on. Independent means you do it yourself, not 'depend' on anyone else to do it for you.

I have no issue with people booking air & hotel packages, I just don't consider them 'independent' given that you are in fact 'depending' on someone else to do the booking for you. You may be travelling 'independently' but you are not booking 'independently.' So from my perspective, you cannot book an 'independent package'. It is a fixed, pre-determined 'package'. Gate 1 or whoever, can call it whatever they want, maybe it is simply good marketing to let people think they are 'independent' even when they are not.

From my perspective, Gate 1 et al are simply tour companies who put packages together for people. In other words, they put together a 'tour' for you. Nothing wrong with that if you want to go on a 'tour' that they happen to offer but not likely to work if you actually prefer to make your own choices and not buy a 'package tour' someone else has come up with. Whether you are travelling alone or as part of a group is irrelevant.

As for my looking at third party packages for my next trip, I doubt any of them could provide me with what I want. For example, (a typical independent trip I have done) I might like to fly to Zurich, take a train to Interlaken, the lake Brienz ferry to the Grand Hotel Giessbach's private dock and stay X nights. See if any of the third party tour companies you mention can give you a 'package price' for that. They will offer you a TOUR package to Switzerland but you are limited to THEIR choices, not your own 'independent' choices. i had a look at Gate 1 just now and can't find anything even remotely like an offer to let me plan independently and then have them give me a price for it. Even an ordinary travel agent could do that if asked.

Sorry Bohemiana, your 5 months of independent travel were indeed 'independent' but using the words 'independent' and 'package' in the same sentence simply doesn't make any sense to me.

By the way, I am 100% opposed to Airbnb whom I consider to be an unethical company. I will not knowingly do business with a company who acts unethically.
https://bemusedbackpacker.com/2017/1...irresponsible/
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Old Dec 27, 18, 7:54 pm
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Dulciusexasperis--I think we are splitting hairs about wording. You say it's not booking independently but when you go on any website to do a buy tickets for a flight, you are booking through a website which was set up by programmers and with prices carefully determined by airlines. Just for grins, before your next trip call Delta Vacations or AA Vacations etc, or even Gate 1 (Gate 1 is limited because they don't offer open jaw) and see how much it is for round trip air from your home city and a couple nights hotel or a car rental. MAYBE it will be cheaper than booking Delta or AA without the "package". We used Gate 1 once because it was much cheaper to use Gate 1's price for round trip Bangkok-LAX plus 7 nights hotel in Bangkok than just booking airfare online direct from a carrier. We spent a month traveling by train and short hop flights throughout Thailand and Cambodia after our first week in Bangkok. That Thailand trip and what we did for 5 months isn't different than what we are doing this summer. Nobody is showing us around, nobody is with a group, the company has no idea where we are other than spending a couple nights in a hotel they arranged at a discounted price. We do what we want, when we want, where we want. I don't understand what you think the difference is between booking a flight online with an airline and booking a flight online with a flight plus a few nights hotel included when it's cheaper than the flight alone. My goal is to save money so I can travel longer, which is why I posted to begin with.

Here's an example of a Gate 1 "independent" package. It includes flight plus 5 nights in a Munich hotel and a car rental but you don't have to stay in that hotel or rent the car. You can stay up to a month traveling wherever you want to, staying where you want but return to Munich to fly home. Nobody is with you on your trip. (Gate 1 doesn't allow open jaw). Often this kind of independent package is cheaper than airfare direct from the carrier.
https://www.gate1travel.com/europe/g...ebavfds19.aspx

Here's an example of a Gate 1 "escorted travel" that includes flights, hotels, tours, meals and you go with a group together.
https://www.gate1travel.com/europe/g...alpchma19.aspx
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Old Feb 23, 19, 6:20 pm
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FYI--I just helped my friend book a United Vacation Package for July from St. Louis to Madrid RT for $1,060. This rate includes air fare and 1 night hotel in Madrid. She will land in Madrid and immediately take a train to Leon and begin a 2-week walk on the Camino de Santiago (she is doing it without any travel agency assistance for her Camino). When she returns to Madrid after that, she'll stay in the Madrid hotel the night before her flight home. The best flight she could find was about $1,400 RT so she was able to save more than $300 and got a hotel night by using the Vacation Package program.
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