6 Reasons Why You Should Choose an Escorted Tour
At Travelzoo we believe there's a travel style to suit every kind of traveller. And, whether you're a solo adventurer, intrepid explorer or someone whose definition of a holiday means zero-decision-making-whatsoever you might be surprised to hear that there's an escorted tour for you.
Group tours have come a long way in the past few years, offering new destinations, itineraries and experiences from travel companies that have reputations staked on providing the very best holiday. Here are six reasons why we believe you should be considering a group tour in 2019.
Travel through the Eyes of a Local
Whether you’re touring through the jungles of Ecuador, taking in cosmopolitan cityscapes or trekking through Middle-Eastern deserts if you have a local by your side things are undoubtedly easier, safer and often – more fun.
Escorted tours allow you to get under the skin of a country or place, without worrying about the detail. With a local - often multi-lingual - tour guide leading the way you’re taken to places they’ve been to a million times: the hidden gems, their best friends’ restaurant, the hole in the wall bar or the quaint village they grew up in. Rather than struggling through language barriers ordering a simple meal, you’re invited to eat with families, learn the history of ancient cities, witness cultures up close, stay in yurts and caravanserai, sleep under the stars and experience what ordinary tourists don’t.
There’s a Tour for That
Whether you’re a foodie on a Vietnamese quest for the very best Phở, an animal lover wanting to wander the wild African plains in search of the ‘Big 5’ or an avid adventurer on a trail or cycle tour through Europe – tour companies are moving further away from generic sightseeing and toward itineraries specially tailored to their guests.
Focused tours allow you to surround yourself with people with similar passions and with the comfort that your itinerary is focused on exactly what you want to do or see and how you want to do it. Food, Safari, cultural, expedition (or adventure), walking, hiking, cycling, wine or history. Whatever your travel style, there’s a good chance there’s a tour for it.
Safety in Numbers
The more intrepid traveller yearns to travel to remote places that are far from the beaten path. From the mountains of Iran and the blue-tiled mosques of Uzbekistan to the nomadic culture and untouched landscapes of Mongolia - group touring companies make lesser-travelled destinations all the more accessible.
Although we all wish for a world where travel is always safe, the reality is that some destinations require a little more caution when visiting. With destination expertise, local guides and a handful of other travellers by your side, you can rest assured that safety is a high priority with acceptable risk.
It Takes Many to Mull the Wine
As ambassadors for solo travel we believe everyone should experience travelling alone at least once in their lives. However, there are always those incredible travel moments when you wish you had someone by your side. It takes two to tango in Buenos Aires, ice skating in Prague is better enjoyed with someone to laugh with, mulled wine at German Christmas markets is better shared and viewing the panoramic views of Machu Picchu is a life-changing moment, not quite the same alone.
Don’t forsake travel just because you have no one to travel with. Group travel pairs you with a bunch of people who’ve chosen the same tour as you - that means they're like-minded to start with. Tour companies often target a demographic group, so with a quick bit of research you know you’ll be adventuring with potential friends - whether you're choosing a luxury 5-star tour or a cheap-and-cheerful adventure.
Flexible Touring is Not an Oxymoron
Touring companies have long since shifted away from the rigid tours of the past that saw ‘sheep-like’ travellers queuing from one attraction to the next, and instead are offering more tailored packages to suit your travel style.
Itineraries now cater for long-haul time travellers (which, let’s face it, often apply to us Aussies, miles away from anywhere) by offering downtime on the first day and last day to give you a little time to settle in and catch up on the jetlag. The option to extend your stay is also becoming more common, meaning that ‘week-long’ Italy tour can see you living it up for a few days either side before the touring really begins. With options to add on additional tours and plenty of downtime for your own independent exploration, group travelling is more about flexibility than ever before.
Less Hassle, More Value
Researching how to get from one place to the next, finding the best hotels, investigating sightseeing, and flight options can be viewed as a fun precursor to your trip. What's not so fun is is how quickly the costs add up. The airport transfer, the ferry to the island, the taxes, city fees and tipping costs are all expected travel expenses that often have an unexpected price tag.
Tour companies have one massive advantage in their ability to get you the best deal, and that’s bulk buying, in advance. Their ability to package these incredibly ‘hot’ tours comes from a combination of heavily reduced early-bird airfares, accommodation and partnerships with local guides and attractions which are unbookable for the average Joe, ensuring that their packages are almost always cheaper and with more added extras, than if you ‘self-packaged’ the trip yourself.
Whether it’s the money you're saving, the comfort in knowing everything is done for you or the unique experiences you’ll enjoy – group tours allow you to sit back and relax, meaning more time for adventure and less time getting lost, missing transfers and finding hotels.