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Custom - Best Tours & Trips 2019

Custom Tour Packages allow you to design your own trip rather than following a set itinerary already established by the tour operator. Where you go, how many days you spend there, and what kind of travel and accommodations you choose are entirely up to you. Your trip could include a private guide or guides, or you may want to guide yourself. Working under the guidance of a tour agency – some of which specialize only in custom tours -- you choose where you want to go and when, and the agency takes care of much or all of the logistics.

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Trip Type Trip Type Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Tour Styles

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 0 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

Company

Flights & Transport

Continents & Regions

1- 15 of 691 Trips Shown
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Top Custom Experiences and Attractions

Top Custom Experiences

Spending your honeymoon on an African safari with just the two of you, your guide, and a parade of elephants and giraffes

Watching your children with pride as they tackle a hiking trail in New Zealand that your tour agency suggested was family-friendly

Sipping a cappuccino in a small Italian village that you would never have known about without your tour agency’s regional expertise

Relaxing in Thailand in the knowledge that if you need assistance, your tour agency has representatives in Bangkok

The fun of helping to plan your trip without having to sweat the details

Touring the Sapa region in Northeast Vietnam that offers a traditional view into many of Vietnam’s ethnic tribes, such as the Hmong, as well as touring the meticulously maintained rice terraces

Riding horseback alongside local gauchos through ancient Lenga forests

 

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Custom Trip Reviews

213 Custom Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
Excellent 208
Great 4
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Tour Reviews Write a Review

A really wonderful safari break!

5.0
Zama Tours & Safaris Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Thanks Zama Tours for arranging an incredible safari experience for us! We went on a great 5-day safari adventure. It was all well taken care of and we really enjoyed everything we saw and every minute of it. It has exceeded all our expectations!

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Operator Zama Tours & Safaris

Enjoyed traveling with Pothigai Tours to Sri Lanka

5.0
Pothigai Tours and Travels
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Pothigai has made a good hotel arrangement and Good cab service for the tours. We really enjoyed the tour and Guide is so flexible. Sri Lanka locations are beautiful especially madhu river boating, whale watching and dambulla cave temple etc., We appreciate pothigai guys for the excellent arrangement

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Operator Pothigai Tours and Travels

Overall my experience with Acoss Argentina is excellent.

5.0
Across South America Company Reviews
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0

I like the way they plan my 23 days trip to South America tour in Peru, Argentina and Brazil. Although we can enjoy more in Brazil but we have only 3 days left before we go back to Manila. Since our tour was made from our own IT expectation and budget, Acriss Argentina was able to fulfill our dream vacation in South America. We will use tgis agency again when we explore Patagonia and Antartica.

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Operator Across South America

I recommend with closed eyes!!! Excellent service

5.0
Travel Zone Greece Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

At First I was a little afraid to close the cruise for a company I didn't know and even more distance. But I recommend with closed eyes!!! Excellent service. And look I'm detail, boring really.. lol. I traded several emails with Susana. Several questions. And everything responded immediately. Susana is exceptional!! solved flawless everything for our trip! Very Happy!!!

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Operator Travel Zone Greece

Looking fwd for more camps...

5.0
Trailblazer tours India Company Reviews
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

My daughter had gone to bhandardara near nasik with the trailblazer team...she had a very nice time..and it was first time I had send her ...so looking fwd for more camps...

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Operator Trailblazer tours India

Excelente!!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Excelente atendimento recebido pela empresa.

Read more
Operator Inka Rainbow

Custom Tours and Travel Guide

Custom Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Custom Tour Packages allow you to speak with an expert to plan your trip rather than following a set itinerary already established by the tour operator. Where you go, how many days you spend there, and what kind of travel and accommodations you choose are entirely up to you. Your trip could include a private guide or guides, or you may want to guide yourself. Working under the guidance of a tour agency – some of which specialize only in custom tours -- you choose where you want to go and when, and the agency takes care of much or all of the logistics.

Customized tours have recently entered the mainstream of the tour business. Once mainly the province of the wealthy few who could afford to hire a tour agency to put together a trip just for them, custom tours are now widely offered by a whole range of tour companies, including those whose main business is offering guided group tours.

The effect is that custom tours – while generally more expensive than standard guided group tours for a variety of reasons – are no longer limited to just luxury tours that would bust the budget of many a traveler. With added competition, including that from more budget-oriented tour agencies, lower-cost custom tours are now much more readily available.

This isn’t to say that luxury custom tours are no longer predominant. They are, partially because budget travelers still tend to look to guided group tours first, where the economies of scale – and typically less work for the tour agencies – add up to lower prices. But the field is widening.

Who Are Good Candidates for Custom Tours?

Honeymooners. If you’re on your honeymoon, you may not wish to travel in the company of people you don’t know. A custom tour can easily be fashioned into a romantic tour of, say, Italy, or – for adventurous couples – a land-river tour of Southeast Asia or an African safari complete with private guide and luxury safari tents. 

Families. Custom tours are ideal for families who fear that their children will miss the company of other kids on group tours where adults predominate. Parents may also feel that other travelers will resent having children along on their group tour. With a custom tour, parents can emphasize quality family time together and make sure their kids’ interests are taken fully into account. Custom tours can also work well by adding grandparents to the generational mix, or perhaps by joining up with friends who have children the same age. 

Other small groups of friends or associates who want to travel together and follow the same itinerary, specific to them. 

Individuals or couples who like traveling by themselves but  don’t want to spend much time on logistics or who want expert advice in setting up their trip. Every custom tour should offer those two advantages.

Travelers who can’t find exactly what they want in a standard group guided tour. They’ve combed the brochures but none of the tours offered to their destination meet their needs in terms of timing or itinerary. With a custom tour, they can go where they want when they want. 

Travelers who want to go at their own pace and maintain more flexibility and spontaneity than guided group tours may offer. While many group tours offer some time to go off on your own, you may want more free time than that – and you still need to keep up (or slow down) to stay with the group. With a custom tour, you can choose your level of flexibility – for instance, you might opt for a rental car and arranged lodgings on a driving tour of Wales, keeping the rest of your day free to roam as you wish. (Custom tour agencies will provide suggested routes, sights, eating places, and other ideas, but you can make the final decisions on the spur of the moment when you’re there.)

Is a Custom Tour Right For You?

You know best what kind of traveler you are. If you enjoy making new friends or having lots of company on a trip, or feel more secure traveling with a group, you may be best suited for guided group tours. If you have very specific ideas about what you want to see or do on a trip, and can’t find guided group tours that fill the bill, a custom tour may be right for you.  

Many tour agencies listed on Stride specialize only in individualized custom (sometimes called "tailor made " or “bespoke”) tours. Many other tour companies will custom design a tour for you if you prefer that to a standard tour.

What to Look For if You're Considering a Custom Tour

- Expertise in the region of your destination

- Personalized service that ensures you get what you pay for

- A robust policy of assistance during your trip if needed

- Highly trained local guides if you want them

- Competitive prices if you’re on a budget

Top Custom Travel Companies

All Custom tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 5.0 for all Custom trips.

691 trips from 219 tour companies with 213 reviews

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