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Guided Group Attractions And Landmarks Guide
The old image of guided group tours as endless on-again, off-again bus stops is mostly long past. Today's guided group tours may spend days biking the Greek Islands, boarding a Zodiac in Antarctica, hiking the Canadian Rockies on an epic Canada vacation, or delving deeply into the cultures of distant lands. Group sizes are often smaller -- as few as 10 to 16 per trip -- guides are better trained, and potential destinations are increasingly far-flung. Guided group tours also allow you to focus on the sights rather than the logistics of travel, help provide companionship on the road, and can save you money as well by securing group rates. They remain the most common type of tour, but they now offer uncommon benefits.
Gone are the days when group travel only meant following your flag-waving guide aimlessly from museum to museum. Sure, guided travel means traveling on a pre-set, multi-day itinerary. If you miss the plane, bus, or train, you’re in trouble! However, these days, guided tour companies like Explore! actually schedule free time into the itinerary, which encourages travelers to explore on their own. For example, you might join your group on an orientation walk around Marrakech in the morning, but then have the afternoon free to explore Djemaa el-Fnaa square. On longer excursions, you might even get an entire ‘free’ day to lounge on the beach or go for a day hike.
Comfortable & Local Transportation Options
While coach tours do exist and are great for some people, they are hardly the only option in the guided travel category. Many travel operators such as Abercrombie & Kent, offer transportation options like private luxury vans that hold only 16 people. Other companies, such as G Adventures and Intrepid Travel, use local transportation, such as tuk-tuk, felucca, and even camels to get you from point A to point B. Not only does this usually result in lower costs for you, but it provides an opportunity to mingle with locals vs. being stuck in a stuffy coach with your fellow travelers.
An Opportunity to Socialize & Make Friends
You’ll find that you actually have a lot in common with your travel companions. Most group travelers are like-minded and choose group tours for the same reasons: to get an authentic taste of a destination without having to worry about planning the logistics of an international vacation. Whether you’re in a group of 10 or 20, chances are you will connect with someone who you share something in common with. And you never know, maybe you will make a few life-long friends along the way!
These days, many guided tour operators are offering ‘small group’ tours. This means traveling under the radar with groups as small as 10 travelers. And, if you choose the right tour operator, traveling in this intimate style doesn’t need to equate to high prices. Small groups mean you can be more nimble and flexible, and they make the group feel more accessible to the local people. It’s also much easier to make true connections with your fellow travelers.
Authenticity and Local Flavor
A group tour can be just as authentic and eye-opening as independent travel; perhaps even more so if you’re lucky enough to have a local tour guide. Think of your guide as a friendly local who can ‘unlock’ the destination for you - showing off favorite restaurants, markets, photo spots, boutiques, etc. Some tour operators like Exodus include homestays in their itineraries. What better way to experience France than by staying in the home of a local winemaker? You'll have the chance to chat with locals on public trains, play in a random soccer game with a bunch of children, and learn about local spices from a market vendor. What’s more authentic than that?
28,458 Guided Group Tour Reviews - Summary
Excellent, with a few minor exceptions. August 20185.0
Financially, it was a good buy overall. However, it did cost somewhat more than expected based on the advertisements. Although Caravan advertises that "most or all" meals are included, in this particular tour only nine of the twenty meals were included, and of these, only one of the seven dinners. In addition, there was heavy emphasis on gratuities, with too-frequent reminders. Suggested amounts were given, and even the minimum suggested amounts seemed rather high to me. We were given to feel obligated, rather than left to decide on our own based on the quality of the service. Caravan stated that the only gratuities not included in the price were those to the tour director and driver. However, gratuities to hotel maids and local guides, and shuttle drivers were also not included, and suggested amounts for these were given by the tour director. Overall we spent about $150 on gratuities, even though staying in the lower range of the suggested amounts.
But we are glad we went, and will consider Caravan again when planning another trip. Read more
Operator Caravan Tours
Experience of a lifetime July 20185.0
Operator Gate 1
FUNNEST GAP TOUR EVER! July 20185.0
Unfortunately we missed out on Nice as we were in Paris heading to Nice on Bastille day, the day of the drive through attack. Topdeck took a good step forward and moved us to Switzerland earlier and we had an extra day there and in Florence instead! They had the best facts and took us to the best places. Our leader Amanda would tell us the most important facts of the trip show us where to party and where to stay safe and let us do our own thing at night!
Would highly recommend!
Check out my Topdeck here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB_uiN6dOOc&lc=z221j1nhwkfwfjgeaacdp4302urkdwx33xmfi0u45j1w03c010c Read more
Great Experience July 20184.0
Operator G Adventures