NATAS Fair 2012

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It is that time of the year again, where travel agencies and potential travelers looking for that ‘great’ deal congregate together. You would think that it would be free admission, but admission costs S$4 per person. When you enter, there are booths upon booths of tour agents, and their related counterparts.

Though touted to be a travel extravaganza, the advertisements on the newspapers don’t really appeal to me. The thought of having to pay S$4 to get in just to see if there is any interesting and worthwhile is making me think whether I really want to go, not to mention the number of people that will be there, all the pushing and shoving. That and maybe I am just not interested in the places that are on offer. However, I believe that this would be a good opportunity for those looking a bargain on that dream holiday and know where they want to go. I might end up looking at the offers online at Natas Travel instead of going to the actual place.

With travel information being so readily accessible from the internet, going in a group tour from an agency is only good if you are traveling to places that you do no know the language or want a brief overview of the place (to me at least). Otherwise, I think if you have the means and time, no harm taking it slow and enjoying yourself, immersing yourself in the culture of your destination.

Tour group packages will always tend to be cheaper, than if you were to go on your own and on a budget. But then there are the unforeseen circumstances: accommodation might not be as advertised or up to standard, plans change and flights are delayed, you lose your deposit, no hotel of your choice, limited departure dates, not enough people joining the tour, miscellaneous (hidden) fees (e.g. taxes, surcharges etc…) that are always not included upfront and you might end up paying more, or that rushed feeling getting from one place to another to stay on schedule. 

If you are on a budget, you might be best to find a location that best suits your budget, no point looking for something cheap to realize (with all the miscellaneous) it was not cheap after all, or worse, you had a horrible time. That is not to say that tour group packages are not good, I think it is good for places where you have little or no knowledge of the language and want to save yourself the hassle of having to find transportation and planning your itinerary on your own, and communicating in an unknown language.

I think for now I will try to google and Natas Travel for my holiday plans, but if you are interested in going please take the MRT and don’t drive, I can imagine the massive jam and difficulty trying to find a parking lot.

When: Feb 24 - 26, 2012 (Fri to Sun), 10am to 9.30pm
Where: Singapore Expo Halls 4 & 5 (View floor plan)
Admission: $4.00 (adults), children below 12 (free)
Expected: 65,000 (estimated)

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When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.


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