Reviews Travel Tips

Why booking in advance is the way to go


We often receive enquiries from travellers who don’t feel that it’s necessary or cost effective to book their adventure holiday in advance. It’s easy to understand their logic, if you’re a confident person who is happy just to rock up and see what’s available and you’re not too bothered about having organised everything down to a tee before you go, then booking a couple of tours when you arrive would seem like a good idea. 

However, we are all too aware of the problems facing travellers when they try to book on arrival and unfortunately waiting until you’re in Patagonia to book a trip certainly has its downsides. We spoke to an anonymous traveller who tried to organise her trips when she got to Argentina, a decision that resulted in a seemingly never ending list of difficulties. After listening to her experience, it was clear that rather than save time and money, in fact, the whole experience of trying to organise her tours in Argentina had been so frustrating that it actually ruined her holiday;

‘To cut a long story short, I had a pretty bad time overall in Argentina. I wouldn’t recommend anyone go there at all really! I found it very difficult to organise the trips from the UK so (stupidly) left it until I got out there as I  had a week with a friend in Buenos Aires. That week was bad enough in BA. When I got there, it was even more difficult to organise tours. I thought I would meet more people and tour operators but no!’

Although this is just the account of one traveller, and there are no doubt many people that have successfully organised their trips on arrival, it’s true that travllers may experience a bit of culture shock when they get to Patagonia, where for example, you can’t flush toilet paper, the power cuts out a lot, or as I have personally experienced, there may be an unannounced strike in the town where you are staying. Booking with local operators who can organise the bits that can easily go wrong limits the culture shock and maximises your time in Patagonia:

‘I flew to El Calafate and went to see Perito Moreno Glacier and then the next day went on an All Glaciers catamaran tour. This was the the worst day of the holiday – I had no cash on me to buy the ticket to get into the park (despite booking the tour). The reason I had no cash is that Argentina ALWAYS run out of cash in cash points and I couldnt get any out for this reason for 3 days. I managed to communicate to the mini bus driver (who didnt speak English) that I had no money and we found money off other bus drivers (he didnt have enough – it was only about £10). Then I had to stay on the catamaran from 9am-5pm with no money to buy a hot drink or food! It wasnt great to say the least!’

Some of these issues could have been avoided if this person had booked beforehand as local operators are especially good at organising transport for their clients in and around the national parks. They provide you with a neat set of prepaid vouchers which means cash for transfers, boats and buses isn’t an issue when you arrive. It’s small things like help with booking accommodation and paying for services beforehand that can make all the difference to how smoothly your holiday goes.

‘I would never go alone again to a country where they dont speak English (I was a bit naive and assumed such a tourist place would have a lot of English speaking people. Not even the tour operators could speak good English).’

Most people do a lot of research before booking a holiday. According to the Toluna survey of 2,004 UK consumers, while just under 10% of people take less than a day to research their holiday, the majority (64%) take two weeks or more. Indeed, careful research and planning puts you in a stronger position and avoids the disappointment of turning up to find that the interesting trips are booked up and the feeling of being utterly ripped off because you’re doing everything last minute.

By providing you with a wealth of trips to browse and through working with reliable and creible local operators we can organise trips that fit your dates and budget. As Spanish speakers, we are also able to organise the logistics and make sure that your itinerary meets your needs so that if you don’t speak great Spanish, you won’t have to face stressful conversations with Patagonian bus drivers!