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Umrah Price Comparison: Umrah Package Agents vs DIY Umrah Which is Cheaper?

A very popular question for people who have never been to Umrah before is which one is cheaper agent Umrah package or do-it-yourself Umrah. Honestly, there is no right or wrong answer since for many it really depends on their circumstances. 

I initially wrote this article in 2018 and now have it updated to compare Umrah packages between agents and do it yourself in order to see if it still stands the test of time. In 2018, the average saving for a luxury 5 or 4-star Umrah package was around £450 per couple. 

If you follow this website, you know I am a massive fan of Do-It-Yourself Umrah, and I advocate the flexibility and help to provide this site as a resource for planning your own Umrah without an agent. I also put together several monthly packages for people to make it easier for them to book or get an idea of how much each month costs.

You can find those DIY Umrah packages here. 

Now, I am not saying agents are not good. Definitely not the case. Packaged Umrahs are an essential part of the pilgrim market and in many countries the only way people can actually go for Umrah. I have been writing about Umrah for nearly 10 years, and over that time, thousands of comments have been with agent promoting their business (they go to spam).

However, nowadays, Umrah is much more accessible with the Saudi tourist visa and the upgrades the government has been doing. With low-cost airlines like WizzAir also flying to Saudia, it is also much cheaper to get there. 

Which is right for you? DIY or Agent Packages 

DIY Umrah allows travellers to plan and organize their own pilgrimage, including booking flights, accommodations, and transportation separately. On the other hand, Umrah Agent Packages offers a comprehensive travel solution, covering all aspects of the pilgrimage, from flights to accommodation, transportation, and even guidance throughout the journey.

If you are a seasoned Umrah person, then doing it yourself will make sense. In essence, planning an Umrah is exactly the something as any other type of holiday. 

If you are elderly, and want the spiritual leader or point of contact in the country because you don’t feel confident enough to be on your own there, then an Umrah package might be best for you. 

Sometimes, money is not as important as your spiritual journey. So spending a little extra will be worth it for less stress on your part. 

Which is cheaper DIY Umrah or agent Umrah packages?

I decided to check out the price of packages vs. the Do-It-Yourself Umrah method. I wanted to put it to the test purely on a saving money aspect since I always advocate here that your money should work harder for you rather than line the pockets of others. By saving this money you can upgrade your hotel experience, for example, and book something closer to Haram. 

Again, this is purely for the purpose of helping you decide which is best for you; it is not for the purpose of advocating to stop going to the agents.

Personally, after so many Umrah, I can plan one in my sleep, but again, this is my business and work, so I am very familiar with the process. I also use a lot of points to offset the cost, so I never pay the full price. I do have a book on this and a guide here. 

The average cost of an Umrah package 2023 from the UK for a 4-5 star Umrah is around £2200 per person for double occupancy, i.e. two people in a room. Kids also pay about 90% of the cost of an adult, so around £2000. Don’t quote me on exact figures as they change this is purely for guidance. 

I decided to pick an agent I know follows the blog closely to see the price difference of pricing this on my own since I normally recommend the same hotels. 

Now bear in mind that agents have better price deals with hotels, so they can actually have bigger profits than those mentioned below.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The agent cost of a luxury Umrah package in 2023 from the UK is around £2200, which is what I am going for. This is a reputable agent again that I am using with good reviews and that I usually recommend to people who want to go with.

This includes issuing visas, Ziayara trips, ATOL protection and a religious person with you.

Do-It-Yourself Umrah Price Comparison Packages

Flights for Umrah 

You have several options, as I mentioned above, about flights. You can either go with a budget airline, which will bring the cost down significantly, or with a more mainstream airline. Since we are comparing we are going with mainstream.

A flight from London to Medinah and then from Jeddah to London costs £625 per person with Qatar Airways. A budget option is £175 for comparison. The prices are for August 2023 but they are pretty average as well. 

Do-It-Yourself Umrah VS Umrah Agent Packages

Hotels for Umrah in Makkah and Medinah 

For Madinah hotels, I am picking the 4-star Shahd hotel, which is right next to the Prophets mosque and close to everything. It is just opposite the Hilton Medinah, which I have reviewed here. 

The price for 5 nights for two people sharing breakfast is £980. If you have young kids and they sleep with you they are free, which is where the big saving is for families. You can have this hotel for 850 if you don’t include breakfast, but since we are comparing I have added it. 

The price for 5 nights for two people with breakfast in the Doubletree Hilton Makkah is £642. If you have young kids again they are staying with you they are free. I personally book Hilton hotels directly as I am a loyal Diamond member and receive free breakfast and other benefits. If you want to see how you can do that, check out my post on credit card strategy. 

diy umrah vs agent umrah packages: umrah price comparison

Transportation during Umrah

Since you arrive in Medinah, which is what I normally suggest, you have only the transfer to Makkah and then Jeddah. 

The Haramain train is the best option for this as it is the fastest, safest and most comfortable. I have a full article here for this. 

The price per person in economy is £35 per adult and £15 per child approximately. 

The taxi from Makkah to Jeddah costs approximately £50, and you can find plenty of them just outside your hotel. 

Saudi Tourist Visa for Umrah Package 

The cost of the tourist visa cannot be avoided, and you have to pay £120 per person, even for children. It is valid for a whole year. The full article on how to issue the visa can be found here. 

The total cost of a DIY Umrah Package 

It is time to price the full package and see the cost. Again, as this a DIY package, you will not have a guide with you and Ziyaray trips which you can organise with a taxi driver and cost about £30 per person. 

Cost per person
Flights £620
Hotels Makkah£321
Hotels Medinah£490
Total cost:£1636

As you can see, the saving is almost £600 per person for a package. If you have children this cost will be even higher since with kids you pay for them flights, but they stay in the same room as the parents for free. 

A significant cost saving for creating your own 5 star umrah package. 

A similar saving can be had with cheap umrah packages with budget hotels and airlines. For example, some of the budget hotels further from Haram but newer like the Novoter Thaker City is only £43 a night, which is considerably low. It’s still a good 4 star hotel but just a longer distance, though they offer shuttle service. 

In conclusion, a family doing their own DIY Umrah can save around £1000 per couple in comparison to going through a package agent. Again this is not to say agents are not needed or used, but in some cases, it makes sense to save that money.

 DIY Umrah with additional Umrah saving tips

I have tons of articles on Umrah saving tips, and I recently did an Ultimate Guide to DIY Umrah, which has everything you need and it is a must-read if you are planning your own Umrah. 

My favourite way of saving money when it comes to Umrah is knowing the prices and sales.

  1. For example, airlines have sales 3 times a year offering up to 40% discount. Also, booking your flight 6-8 weeks in advance will give you bigger savings; the majority of people will be booking their flights for about a month in advance, which will spike the flight prices.

If you are too late in the game or wait for your Umrah visa I have found through my own testing and talking to other bloggers that for about 2-3 weeks, the prices still go down. My favourite tool for tracking these changes is Google Flight Track. To read the article on this click here. 

  1. Hotels are so much easier to save money on because, thankfully, in Makkah, we now have so many options we can choose from. From luxury hotels only steps away to new budget options that can cost as little as £30 a night.
  1. For me, the most significant savings I have ever made, and I have done some great ones in Ramadan 2015 when we saved over £18,000 using loyalty programs. I save every year in Ramadan this way with the tips in my book. Over the years, it has been over £100,000 in savings with loyalty points for Umrah in Ramadan when prices are sky high.  If you want to find out how to save even more money you can check out my Umrah book and savings on points.

Loyalty programs save me a ton of money every year, and I usually try to be strategic in how to make them work. I stay in the same hotel and then use the points accumulated to just book those in Makkah for free.

The Ultimate Guide to Loyalty Programs

The Best DIY Umrah Packages 2023 Done for You

The Best Practical Tips You will Need When Travelling for Umrah or Hajj with Kids!

The Ultimate Guide on How to Do a DIY Umrah; (Do-It-Yourself) Umrah

Hotel Review: Hilton Convention Hotel Makkah, Fantastic Price and Choice Close to Haram

The Best tips for Umrah with kids

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