Why Take an Escorted Tour 2015
Intro and Contents
Why Take a Tour? There are almost infinite reasons to take a tour over exploring the country yourself. Besides the obvious fact that you can make all the stops you want without having to navigate, the benefits are absolutely limitless. Here's some stops we'll cover:
- Types of Tours
- Travel Guides
- Recommended Tour Companies
- Taking a Tour vs. Traveling Alone
Escorted tours are for people of all ages!!! Everyone should experience this!
What I knew about Travel 3 Months ago
I am a recent college graduate, in my 20's. Not too much traveling abroad experience. What I have learned in the past few months is invaluable knowledge into the options for traveling to foreign countries. I was not even aware there was a market for going to another country and being escorted the whole time without paying thousands and thousands of dollars. I also thought that the only way you could travel escorted was to have a personal tour guide. Never thought of going with a group. Thinking about the benefits of traveling in an escorted tour is really exciting to me because I have always wanted to explore the world, but never could really grasp the understanding of how to do it without A. Knowing the language, B. Knowing how to get around and C. Everything else you can imagine. I was clueless to even looking into a group tour. Anyway, enough about me. Let's talk about the benefits of an Escorted tour.
1. Types of Tours
Before you say anything along the lines of: I want to go on vacation and not a school field trip let me tell you about the different types of tours. The thing about escorted tours is that there are all different types.
- Are you single and want to mingle? There's a tour for that!
- Beer Drinker? How about a pub tour of Ireland?!
- Romantic Vineyard Group tour of Italy? Checkaroo!
Small Group, Large Group, Private Group, Cruise Tour, River Tour? Literally everything you can think of is offered by tons of tour companies that operate all around the world! All you need to do is find the location you want and the kind of tour to hop on! Let's go through just a few of the main kinds of tours you can adventure on. Remember these are just a few of the tours you can go on. There are also a variety of tours that include this description.
- Leisure Style: This style of touring allows travelers to stay in each place for (on average) 2-3 nights in order to explore the places better and gives a more relaxing feel to the tour. This also allows for more free time and R&R.
- Small Group: This style is great for getting to more sights with your group. The size of the group is smaller which means you get through attractions and sites quicker which allows more leisure time to do whatever you want.
- Private Tours: Not as expensive as you might think you can do a tour with a group of friends or just your family. While more expensive then a Large Group tour, this option allows you to be in the comfort of just people you know and usually contains more luxurious hotels and amenities. Custom itineraries and schedules are at your own pace while also being able to fit many stops in due to the small size of your tour.
- Cruise Tours: By land and by sea, this tour is the best of both worlds! If you can't figure out if you would rather go on a cruise or a tour, why not pick both. The size of the ship may vary depending on where you are going but if the sea is your thing, this tour is for you. You will make stops at specific ports and get off and stay in luxurious hotels and hostels all with the comfort of a tour guide and people around you who speak your language.
- River Cruise Tour: How would you like to get on a boat and unpack once and only once? On a river cruise you find a room aboard a river ship and never have to move living quarters. You go to sleep in your room on your boat and wake up in a new city each day.
2. Travel Guides
When you go away, no matter where it is, it is nice to have someone who knows the area. It doesn't matter if you're traveling to your grandson's school and want a tour of the campus, or if you're traveling to California and want to see the sights of the Movies. Either way having a knowledgeable person to guide you is the most informative and easiest way to explore places that are foreign to you. On an escorted tour, Travel Guides know the area like they know the back of their hand. They know the language, customs and their way around. Better yet, most of these tour guides are locally raised. They are not people from Kansas who know a lot about Germany and travel to Germany when it's time to tour. It's people who have lived there and experienced the area first hand. Passionate people who love the area you're traveling to and want to share that knowledge with you.
3. Recommended Tour Companies
Of all the companies to offer Escorted Tours, these are the ones I would recommend based on the accommodations or type of tour you are looking for. Be aware that these companies are constantly updating the tours they offer based on demand and new ideas. It is imperative that you research all tour companies to find one that you would like to adventure on:
Trafalgar Tours, Globus Journeys, Insight Vacations & Collette Vacations
First Class Accommodations
Tauck Tours, Insight Gold Tours
Abercrombie and Kent, Travcoa Tours
Abercrombie and Kent Connections, Cox and Kings, Alexander and Roberts & Tauck Culturious
Small Group Tours
18-35 and Singles Tours
4. Taking a Tour vs. Traveling Alone
So here we are. I have hyped reasons to take a tour, coming firsthand from someone who didn't even know it existed a mere 3 months ago. But now it's time to compare. What's the advantages to taking a tour vs. traveling alone. Well...
No, Unless you have a friend
Hotel Accommodations included
Most Tours offer at least one or two meals provided per day (if not more)
No, unless you count a free continental breakfast
Early Admission to sites and attractions
Go off the beaten path with Knowledge
Yes, your guide knows all the secret spots
No, you'll have to find it alone
Meet New People
Yes, with certainty
Yes, but you'll have to reach out of your way to do it
That's all folks. I can successfully say that in the past 3 months I have gone from not knowing that an escorted tour exists to taking one myself through the hills and cities of Israel. It was an incredible experience that I will not soon forget. I have Atlas Cruises and Tours to thank for teaching me about it. I met so many people that I still keep in touch with and will for the rest of my life. I made unimaginable bonds and was taught invaluable lessons that apply to my everyday life. I highly recommend you take a tour, if not to meet new people at least to escape that little place we like to call comfort. See Ya!
Written by: Scott B
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