Experiential small group travel, riding camels in desert

Small Group - Best Tours & Trips 2019

Small group tours have some distinct advantages over larger tours: they can generally move more quickly from one place to the next, eat in more intimate dining spaces, stay in smaller hotels or inns, and travel in smaller vehicles, among other perks.
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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 4,551 Trips Shown
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Top Small Group Experiences and Attractions

Top Small Group Experiences

Receiving an invitation to watch a local Vietnamese woman prepare pho in her kitchen

Quickly and easily accessing museums and historical sites in Italy and Greece

Staying ‘under the radar’ while exploring the medinas of Morocco

Connecting on a more personal level with your fellow travel group companions

Getting an intimate, private tour of a local artist’s studio in Cuba

Experiencing a water puppet performance at the Thang Long puppet theatre in Hanoi

Using local transportation options, such as tuk-tuk in Thailand

 

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Small Group Trip Reviews

56,714 Small Group Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 42,668
Great 13,461
Average 422
Disappointing 100
Terrible 64
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

Great way to discover Vietnam with small group tour

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

We did this trip in September with great experience from Highland to Lowland and Halong bay for 3 days. Highly recommended!

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Operator Go Vietnam Travel

An excellent experience for the food lovers

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 5.0

We enjoyed all of the locations we visited, the great food and wine, the rich culture & interesting history of Portugal... Thanks for coordinating, booking, confirming and generally taking care of our requests in planning our adventure.
Highly recommended and I would definitely book Eco Trilha again.

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Operator Eco Trilha

This was the trip of a lifetime. I had high expectations for what this 8 day adventure would be, and every single moment of the trip exceeded what I had hoped for.

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

The days in La Paz were fun and seeing the whale sharks was incredible. The 6 days of kayaking and camping around Isla San Jose was out of this world. Beautiful camp spots where I could have spent the rest of my life gazing at the stars. The sunrise every morning and sunset every night was picture perfect. The campsites they chose were out of a movie, true paradise. I loved how remote the area was. We didn't see any other people other than a few local fisherman the entire week we were kayaking our way around the island. The waters were so clear and we saw marine wildlife everywhere we looked- turtles, stingrays, mantarays, dolphins, sea lions, whale sharks and so many beautiful fish I could never list them all here. The guides were happy to take us on whatever activity we wanted, and spent time beyond just the daily kayaking with us to ensure we had the adventure of a lifetime. They also gave me great pointers while we were on the water every day, so my paddling technique improved each day, and made the miles of paddling much more enjoyable with the ease of the techniques they shared with us. The food that was prepared for us each day was some of the best of my life. Traditional family recipes from the guides that ensured I got a real taste of Baja flavor. Hiking, snorkeling, and even accompanying our guides on spear fishing adventures were some of the amazing activities we did every day. Ruben, one of our guides would spear fish for our dinner and then the three of them would make us fresh sashimi on the beach with the snapper and parrot fish he caught! WOW! Thank you to Guillermo, Ruben, and Guerro for the most incredible trip I have taken in a long, long time. You guys are amazing and made this week one that I will remember for the rest of my life. I can't wait to take another trip with ROW, and more than that, I can't wait to come back to Baja and take another adventure with all of you!

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Operator ROW Sea Kayak Adventures

A fabulous tour with fabulous people!

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

I just got back from a 3 week trip in the UK, where I actually took two Rabbies tours. The Isle of Sky was my first tour with them, and it exceeded my expectations. I really can't say enough about how great the experience was traveling with Rabbies.

One of the things that stood out to me about them, and why I decided to book with them, is the fact that I could make the experience fit my budget.

Rabbies lets you select your desired accommodation style, from hostels all the way up to nice hotels, and then they book it for you. And no meals are included during the trip, which again, for me, worked out really well, because I could seek out meals within my budget.

Our guide, Matthew was fantastic (if a bit of a fast driver!!). He had a great sense of humor, and was enormously knowledgable about the area - providing tons of historical and cultural context to what we were seeing, which was a huge plus for me. He also stopped frequently to let us take photos and stretch our legs.

The group was what really made this trip extra special though. We had travelers from all over the world, and a very wide range of ages. Several single travelers, a few families, and a smattering of couples. Everyone got along famously, and it was a shame we were only together for four days.

I can't wait to take another Rabbies tour when I go back to the UK!

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Operator Rabbies

It was the best experience of my life

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

I went to Tokyo, Japan for the 2018 summer course and it was the best experience of my life, I met people from all over the world all super nice and sharing the same interest in the land of the rising sun, the activities were great and super fun with everyone. The school and dormitory were awesome. In short, if you want an unforgettable experience, it should be done without moderation!

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Operator Studytrip.com

Beautiful and Fun

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

Loved all the different scenery - rolling grassy hills, bayside towns, etc. The bikes were durable and smooth. Got some great speed!

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Operator AmeriCan Cycling Adventures

Small Group Tours and Travel Guide

Small Group Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Small group tours have some distinct advantages over larger tours: they can generally move more quickly from one place to the next, eat in more intimate dining spaces, stay in smaller hotels or inns, and travel in smaller vehicles, among other perks.

Depending on the tour operator, a "small group" may number anywhere from a few people up to 24, though more traditionally it means a maximum of 12-16 travelers. Biking and hiking tourstrekking expeditions, and other adventurous and exotic tours tend to be small groups, but any type of tour can fall into this ever-more-popular category.

The ‘Ninja’ Factor

You may not think of yourself as a ninja per se, but small groups have similar characteristics! In a small group, you can slip in and out of places without raising a fuss or causing a commotion. This includes that hole-in-the-wall gem of a restaurant you might find in a quaint Italian village or joining the morning tai-chi class at a park in Shanghai. Either way, traveling in a small group can feel more like traveling with a small band of friends (or ninjas) versus a tour group.

More Authentic Experiences

In most cases, small groups tend to offer more in depth, authentic experiences than traveling on a coach or bus tour. This is mostly a result of the flexibility you have in a small group. For example, you’re walking around a rural area in Brazil and come across a pick up soccer match (or futbol to the Brazilians). You and your travel companions stand and watch and are then invited to play! These types of memories are often what turns a good trip into a great one, and are usually only possible when traveling in a small group.

Connecting With Fellow Travelers

You may or may not travel in a group to make friends. However, you are almost sure to come away from your trip with at least one or two new ‘pen pals.’ Traveling in this style affords real connections among the group - whether this be chatting around a campfire while on safari in Tanzania or catching up at happy hour on the deck of your small-ship cruise. You might not relate to everyone but will find that most small-group travelers are like-minded and are there for the same reasons.

Top Small Group Travel Companies

All Small Group tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Small Group trips.

4,551 trips from 295 tour companies with 56,714 reviews

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