Few people say that the most convenient way to travel is to do it via a guided tour or commonly known as a travel package while others, including me, preferred to do it DIY.  But of course, we will never know the difference unless we make an opportunity to try it.

So for this blog post, let me share to you my experience with a land-arranged tour by ACT Travel Services.

Budget

The amount needed for touring three cities is expected to be expensive. Of course, there will also be some factors that may increase or decrease the total cost of your travel expenses hence, you must ask your chosen agency to give you options.

And to give you an idea on how I landed on this preference, here is the list of my considerations:

  • The total amount of the tour package with airfare versus without airfare.
  • Cost, accommodation and itinerary comparisons from 2 to 3 travel agencies.
  • The whole price of the travel package without airfare with hotel breakfast versus without hotel breakfast.
  • For the sake of my peace of mind, I have drafted a DIY itinerary to know how much will be the cost difference, if there is. And yes, it is about PHP 2,000 cheaper plus all the hassle.

In my case, I opted for the following options which led me to a total amount of PHP 26,495.855 per person:

  • I chose to personally process the airfare to avail tickets which are on sale(PHP 5,797 roundtrip fare SG-MNL-MNL-SG).
  • I have chosen an agency which offers the most places to visit and back-and-forth hotel transfers for each itinerary.
  • A land-arranged tour with hotel breakfast since it will be cheaper than dining out(PHP 20,698).

Nevertheless, if you don’t want any hassle and you are not worrying about your budget, you can always choose to include everything in the package.

Itinerary

Day 1: Singapore

  • Singapore Arrival (ETA 09:35 AM); Pick up at the airport and transfer to Fragrance Imperial Hotel.
  • Having free time upon arrival and after hotel check-in, we have explored some of the famous attractions in Singapore’s Gardens By the Bay such as the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest Dome, and OCBC Skyway using the admission ticket which I have purchased beforehand via Klook.

Day 2: Indonesia, Batam

  • 06:00 AM – Pick up from Hotel going to HarbourFront Ferry Terminal(90 Minutes Before departure time: Assemble at Harbourfront Centre)
  • Collect your boarding pass based on confirmation ferry operator and embark on the high-speed air-conditioned ferry to Batam(Taking 08:20 AM Ferry – Batam Time).
  • Upon arrival at Sekupang International Ferry Terminal and after immigration and custom clearance, you will be greeted by PT. Nusajaya Indofast T&T experienced and friendly Local Guide(Red Color Uniform) and escorted to awaiting air-conditioned bus and start the One Day Batam City & Shopping Tour.
  • Visit temples and shops such as Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temple, Polo Outlet, First Factory Outlet, Golden Tourist Shop & Bird Nest Shop and Batik Outlet & Golden Factory Outlet.
  • Lunch will be served at Golden Prawn 933.
  • Watch Indonesia Cultural Dance
  • Bengkong Dry Market Food Stuff Market
  • 70ºF Koffie Factory, where you can learn about coffee and see how it is made.
  • Latex, nature latex experience center, to learn more about how will the quality sleep affect our long term health consequences and the impact of health problems.
  • Batam Center where you can see the “Welcome to Batam” monument and try different local foods at own expense.
  • 06:00 PM: Proceed to International Ferry Terminal.
  • 07:00 PM: Ferry Boarding from Batam Center to Singapore(Route for itinerary & time subject to change and arrangement by the Tour Guide).
  • Estimated arrival is  9-9:30 PM – Pick up HarbourFront Ferry Terminal back to Hotel; after arriving back to Singapore.

Day 3: Malaysia, Johor Bahru

  • 08:00 AM – Pick up from the hotel and transfer to Singapore Flyer.
  • 09:00 AM – Depart for Legoland Theme Park.
  • Spend the entire day at Legoland.
  • 04:30 PM – Transfer from Legoland to Singapore: Check-in at Legoland Malaysia Coach Bay for departure.
  • 05:15 PM – Coach departure.
  • 07:15 PM- 07:30 PM – Pick up from Singapore Flyer to hotel.

Day 4: Singapore

  • 08:00 AM – Morning Halfday city tour.

City Tour Itinerary :

Drive Pass Suntec City & Singapore Flyer, Merlion Park, Thian Hock
Keng Temple (Chinatown), Souvenir shop, Drive pass Little India, Chocolate Gallery and lastly, Gardens by the Bay for 30 mins (Excluding the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest & OCBC Skyway).

  • 11:00 AM -12:00 PM – Send back to the hotel.
  • 03:00 PM – Pick up from Hotel going to Airport for Departure(ETD 06:50 PM).

Travel Package vs. DIY

The overall experience of my availed travel tour package to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia is not bad at all contrary to all of my what-ifs and worries. And since I have experienced both options, here is my comparative view of the two:

DIY Tour

  • You take control of everything.
      1. You can splurge or limit your budget.
      2. You set your own phase and time.
      3. You can decide on the places you want to go to.

Package Tour

  • Convenience
      1. Almost all expenses were already settled.
      2. Schedules were already plotted.
      3. You can explore sites which were listed out for you.

There might be some differences or advantages over each other but everything will vary from your cravings and preferences. Anyway, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you have enjoyed your trip and you have saved memories.

Singapore
Supertree Grove

Singapore
Gardens By the Bay

Singapore
Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Singapore
Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore Flyer, Art Museum

Singapore
Singapore Flyer

Batam, Indonesia
Batam Centere

Batam, Indonesia
Batam Centere

Batam, Indonesia
Batik Outlet

Batam, Indonesia
70º Fahrenheit Coffee Factory

Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Legoland Theme Park

Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Legoland Theme Park

Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Legoland Theme Park

Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Legoland Theme Park

Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Legoland Theme Park

Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Legoland Theme Park

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