Some people use to travel with agencies, while another ones like to organize everything for themselves. I like to do everything on my own but as all of us, as a beginner diver I joined groups. After some disappointments I decided to be my own travel agent. Here is the story of becoming an independent traveler.
So with my about 10 dives I joined a man who offered a 4 days long to trip to Croatia. We discussed all the details. He suggested me to travel with a couple in their car. I decided to stay in a camping and eat the food I bring- I didn't have too much money in those years. We arrived after 10 hours driving and I realized there weren't booked accommodations. For me it wasn't a problem because I knew I had to sleep in the camping. Or at least I prepared for that: the instructor came back in 2 hours and he said "I booked a room for you as well!" I felt a kick from my pocket, my wallet sent me a message: "Say NO, you can't afford that!" But the instructor said it was cheap and much better than the camping, OK... Later he said to the group he ordered meal for all of us for 3 days, it's so cheap and delicious. I asked kindly how cheap was it but he didn't tell. I later found the price list and I knew I had to live on a tight budget somehow. I needed money for the accommodation, the food so I didn't have enough on diving. I was in Croatia, prepared for diving without too much money to spend on diving.
A few months later I traveled with another instructor to Croatia again. This time the apartments where we stayed were miles away from the sea, in a village without a pub or a shop, and my room was the kitchen of an apartment in the basement. The diving was OK but I knew if I would had organized that trip it had been much better. Or if it would had been as worse as that the only one to blame have been me. Since than I always look for offers on air fare, try to find discounts on diving and accommodation, book our own rental car and so on. All of the trips were much better than those terrible Croatian excursions. And when somebody join me I never want to cheat or book an useless expensive extra service to make money. I still remember the moment when I realized I spent my hard earned money on a dive trip where I had to stay out of the water instead of being under. I try to do my best when organize trips: I hope nobody collects disappointments but nice memories.