Everyone travels differently. For some, it’s all about flying solo. For others, it means having a few companions. While there are many misconceptions about vacation tours, the reality is there are plenty of perks that can lead to a great experience with the guided travel option. It all comes down to what you need for your personal experience.
Here’s what you should know as you’re considering a guided vacation versus traveling independently.
Guided Vacations Are Great for Meeting People
You and the others in your tour group have at least one thing in common: You’re each looking for a safe and enriching experience to see the world. This creates a genuine bond between group members, sometimes one that lasts even after your stay in Galway’s Abbeyglen Castle, climb up the ornate steps of the Forbidden City, or island hop in a Pacific paradise. On the other hand, independent travel can be lonely. You’re far from home, constantly on the alert, doing real-time planning, researching, and looking for the next attraction, train, or restaurant alone. To some, this solo aspect may seem attractive. To others, it’s less ideal to feel isolated while navigating a foreign country.
Independent Travel Means Planning (+ Everything Else) is On Your Own
Research, transportation, sightseeing, hotel, food, and more add up to daunting tasks that are solely on you when traveling independently. If you’re up to them, even thrilled at the thought, independent travel might be for you. However, many people traveling overseas, especially to foreign countries that speak other languages, might prefer a little guidance with the best places to stay, eat, and visit during a trip.
Experts and Staff Have Your Back
Group travel means having someone there for your safety and also getting the most out of your trip and particular destination. The experts will make sure you understand the ins and outs of what and where you’re visiting. After all, that’s the whole point. These experts, who can speak the native language, are in communication with local vendors, farmers, and artisans, ensuring your most authentic experience. This convenient and valuable aspect cannot be guaranteed when you’re traveling independently.
Independent Travel Isn’t Always Cheaper
Contrary to what many believe, you can actually save money when traveling with a group. More often than not, as travel company such we have great contracts with operators, museums, hotels, restaurants, and more, which creates the utmost value for your vacation. These savings have a direct impact (sometimes up to 50%) on a trip and could even allow you to see more during your adventure.
A Guided Vacation is Simply That: Guided, Not Controlled
Your guided travel is still up to you. It’s truly the best of both worlds: just enough flexibility and just enough guidance. A great trip, especially overseas, is all about balance when it comes to exploration, going off the beaten path, being escorted directly, having free time, working at your own pace, and maintaining a little structure to get the most out of the adventure. Group travel allows all of these aspects to coexist.
Choose Guided Travel if You:
- Would like to see a particular country but don’t know where to start
- Don’t speak the language of the place you are visiting
- Want to see as many destinations as you can in a short period of time
- Want to make lifelong friendships with fellow travelers
- Hope to be well-educated about the destinations and attractions you’re visiting
- Are overwhelmed by the thought of researching everything yourself
- Are concerned about transportation and lodging in an unfamiliar place
- Hope to get the most financial value from your getaway