FIT tours or foreign independent travel has increased in recent years as more people realized it has its benefits over group travel. Why travel in a group of strangers some of whose personality may be on a collision course with yours when you can experience the destination on your own or in a company of your friends, the people you really want to travel with. Many tour operators now offer customized trips along their package group tours often at a price that does not have to be considerably more especially if much of your itinerary may be carried out as self-guided as opposed to guided tour. In economic hard times self guided travel is a way to go. An expert travel planner can design an itinerary for you that can include all the highlights wherever you may wish to go but instead of providing you with an escort for the whole trip to save you money he can tailor in station guides, meaning local guides, that will guide you only at specific stops, while allowing you to be on your own traveling between most points on your itinerary. Although guided travel with a group leader has its definite benefits, self-guided travel does not necessarily mean you must be completely self-reliant. Skilled travel consultants can structure only as much support along your itinerary, whether transfers or guides, as they may feel will assure smooth logistics and your maximum enjoyment, letting you be completely independent where you may prefer to be or they know you can be. The fewer supported segments your itinerary will contain the less expensive your trip may be, provided you have done homework on where you are going. Remember, not all tour operators carry out the tours they sell. Most outsource services to local carryout operators, including guides, tour leaders or escorts, especially when traveling in small groups. Next time you plan a trip engage a travel planner to design a tour for you but provide him with clear guidelines on what you wish to accomplish and you may well save good bit of money while getting the benefits of the professional agency’s network of partners at different points along your proposed itinerary. Pre-arranged itinerary certainly beats an option where to save money you hope to book local sightseeing and transport as you travel along. Although this can work on a long trip, on short trips it makes little sense to waste time trying to find reliable local services at destination, hence working with a travel planner and getting your tour arranged before you leave is of essence.