When to book an all-inclusive vacation vs. a DIY trip

Most of the traveling I do is very do-it-yourself and independent. I’ve never used a travel agent for my own trips or booked any kind of package deal. In general, I value freedom and having control over where I go, how I get there and what I do when I’m there — I’m not one to leave those decisions up to other people.

But I don't often travel for a chance to unplug and get away from it all. My trips tend to be adventures. They can be stressful, and tiring, leaving me more frazzled when I return than I was before I left. For me, the sense of being on high alert that comes with exploring a new country or culture is part of the reason I travel. Resorts are nice, but I'm restless; the beach is relaxing, but pretty boring by day three.

On the flip side, DIY trips can certainly be a lot of work. The effort of researching, planning and booking travel for an independently planned trip can eat up a significant amount of time and energy — and not everyone’s interested in that. There is value in all-inclusive, pre-planned vacation packs. There are times and places where this is the right choice. How do you know when to go this route?

Note: In 2014, I wrote a weekly blog series on budget travel for eHow. This post is from that series, so you'll have to head over to their site to read it in full. Thanks for reading!

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