If done in earnest, searching for a tour operator or an agency to handle the all-important services required upon arrival in country can be an arduous task. Given the wealth of opportunities on-line from the very large, well-established firms to the cyclo driver offering guide service in a Third World country, one has an abundance of choices. Some of those choices can be found at seemingly very inexpensive prices.
The more important aspect of the challenge is where do you place your trust. Will your driver and guide be there to greet you upon arrival? What type and condition of vehicle, taking you to which accommodation and will it happen on time, as promised, throughout the itinerary? If something does go awry, 600 miles north of the thatched-roof kiosk used for their one office in the country, who do you call? Will their response be timely and effective? Or, do they fail in their efforts to assist, requiring an additional expenditure of funds while having the pleasure of the long awaited holiday begin to unravel and seem more like a nightmare.
When choosing a ground operator, make clear comparisons of what services are being offered. Do they name the accommodation? Do they include a private driver and guide or are you grouped together with other “free and independent” travelers on local transportation? Are all of the activities within the itinerary inclusive or will there be options and what is offered if you do not choose the option for the day? One need not accommodate themselves in a 5-Star luxury hotel while traveling, albeit it is worth considering, however, neither should one spend their day awaiting the arrival of a guide and transport.
One thing is certain. If you can possibly consider traveling with a private driver and guide, do so! You shall then have utmost control. Reach the Taj Mahal and stay 30 minutes or 3 hours; the choice is entirely up to you. Return earlier from tour to enjoy the amenities at your hotel or continue on and explore more of the sights within the itinerary. Choose to visit many shops or none at all.
Price compare the luxury of having a private driver and guide arranged with a reputable service provider and you would find that the return on investment would net out to be an unexpected bargain. Should the memories be grand, as well they should be, they would be rekindled and enjoyed over a lifetime. Choose peace of mind, choose well, and choose First Cabin.