As I planned my itinerary thoroughly … I decided to go on my own for all necessary bookings like hotels, airline, train pass etc… I was pretty confident for everything except for the VISA part of it !before that i roughly checked the prices and calculated my travel expenses versus offers by standard tour operators for custom made tours, I dropped in mails to all major tour operators like Cox and kings, Thomas cook, Kesari tours, makemytrip and so on. I also contacted most of them, had telecon, chatting sessions, got estimations etc. but finally I concluded that it is not worth since most of them were offering to what they were aware of or what they wanted to ! however i wanted something of my own mind .. something that i had decided for !
based on my last experience of South east Asia tour where i went to 4 countries in 13 days .. wherein i completed all the famous tourist destinations .. but after completion of tour i could write only about 4 pages for a 13 days tour !!! this shows how much satisfied i was in that tour !!! so i realized that at any cost i need to execute what i have planned for in my dream country Switzerland tour 🙂
Now that options from all these standard tour operators are gone for toss !! what to do ? how to get VISA ?
so I started thinking of having a tour operator just to get an VISA for me .. I placed inquiry over many tour operators where i got first response from Mr. Ashish Bhavsar of “Life holidays”, Baner. When I started talking to him for my plan, he informed that he would do all the airlines, hotel , railway bookings without any extra charges, since they get their commission from all these agencies, so i was really happy that now i have to only tell him plan and get all bookings done 🙂
So I discussed with him for the plan and told his team to find out best airlines deal for me, dates given were anytime in July month on condition to get best deal from any airline. the team came up with package from Swiss airlines with 48500 rs return airfare.
In the mean time I also got call from Mrs. Nikhita Khatri of “Company 1” who assured me for the best services having new establishment of their company and requested me to give a chance to serve. Being almost decided to go ahead with Life Holidays, I gave her the task of finding best airline deal with the same condition to get best prices any date of July 2013. and in an hour she came back with deal of 44500 Rs return airfare of direct flight with Swiss airlines !
I called back again Ashish team asking if he can get best airline deal, since earlier they confirmed that they have checked all 30 days of month and there is no deal less than 48500 rs, i asked to recheck dates given by Nikhita, and now they came up saying this price is available on said date ! so understanding that they have not put into efforts to save my money I decided to go ahead with Company 1 for remaining bookings.
Now something to say about this coupleDipesh & Nikhita Khatri, who started this company in 2012, with Dipesh working with WNS for almost 8 years and Nikita working with Thomas cook almost 5 years
Surely the base thing they have is good attitude to listen to the client and try achieving the best as per requirements. Although they offered package tours in the beginning, once they undestood that i wish to go as per my plan, they readily agreed to do remaining bookings too for me.
One benefit they told me to do bookings through them is they are able to hold the booking for couple of days, like when I decided for airline dates, as a tour operator they can keep the seats on hold for two days during which i was able to finalize hotels, keep them also on hold and release all booking at a time, which i found attractive.
So for VISA, airlines, Insurance etc I went ahead with Company 1.
As the time have passed I have guided to almost 100 couples for Switzerland tour and done air ticket and VISA/Swiss rail pass bookings, so feel free to drop me mail and I will be happy to assist you.
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By this time one of my college who came to know for my planning told me to contact one more package tour operator names Company 2 travel and holidays. They supported his family tour to south east asia and are specialized in only individual tours. So I contacted them too.
Since all these contacts were going in parallel, I was discussing with each of them, the first one “Life Holidays” dropped out immediately due to not putting in efforts to save my money !
Now it was going in parallel with Company 1 and Company 2, I opted to go with Company 2 for hotel bookings, to take a judgement, so that it will be useful for my next tour. Here their executive was Sonal Thorat who again won the deal with her consistent followup and provided me many options to choose from.
In short I would say both of these companies are really good to go with, having said that Nikhita and Dipesh are trying to comeup on their own versus Company 2 who is well established. One can give chance to each of them and see the results 🙂 I am sure they will be better than any other Giants in market who are having thousands of customer to serve for !!
For the rail bookings you can either go through these travel companies (mind that they do not charge anything extra than the train ticket charges) or u can do it on your own.
So that’s it .. a lonngg story for finding the tour operator, but please remember that although the bookings will be done by them, keep your plan ready, since u r the best judge of what u want for …
hope this helps !
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Planning trip to Switzerland from India