Every new destination comes with its own set of thrills and fears. And setting out to explore that new destination and all of its unique customs, foods, and adventures can seem intimidating at first. A guided tour can help you set your bearings in a far-away place, provide safety while you explore, and introduce you to places and sights you may never have seen on your own.
Tours aren’t for every traveler, but these 10 things to consider can help you decide if a tour will be right for you. And if you’re already planning your winter vacation to a new destination, there’s no better time to start looking into tours than now.
Weighing the options of what you want to see and do and fitting it all into your travel timeline can be stressful. Tour companies put together an itinerary for you, so you have a reasonable amount of time in each place and squeeze the right amount of sightseeing into your day. Just choose the tour you want to join, show up on time, and take in the sights.
Arriving at your sightseeing destination to see a line of tourists waiting for access can be a drag. Tour groups get access to fast track lines, so less time is wasted waiting and more time can be spent taking in the sights. Fast tracking also allows you to fit more destinations into a day of sightseeing.
Exploring a destination on your own can present difficulties when communicating with workers, taxi drivers, and other locals who speak a different language. Booking a tour with an English-speaking guide means you get a better understanding of the sights you’re seeing, and you avoid all of the miscommunications that can steer you in the wrong direction when visiting on your own.
Booking a guided tour can help you avoid the disappointment that sightseeing can bring. Tour companies let you know what you’ll be seeing ahead of time, and you’ll never arrive to learn that a site is closed for the day or that tickets have sold out.
Getting to and from a destination in a new town or country can be a nightmare. Tour guides transport you to the sights, so you don’t have to worry about car rentals, taxi rides, bus routes, or a number of other stressful transportation issues. Guided tours come with experienced drivers who know how to get you to your destination safely and without wasting time.
Some tourists frown upon guided tours because they think they move too fast or too slow for their taste. Tour companies have taken this into account, and most offer tours for varying ages and ambitions of travelers. Travelers can choose slow, moderate, or fast-paced tours to suite their individual needs.
Exploring a new location on your own may seem more adventurous, but you may not get all of the unique facts and information about the sights you’re seeing. Tour guides are always experts on the area and sights you’re visiting, and they can provide tons of information about local culture, history, and most anything about an area you want to know. Tour guides can even be an excellent resource for finding other activities, restaurants, or places you may be interested in seeing.
Solo travelers and groups that are new to traveling will probably find that tours are a great way to connect with other travelers and ease into the travel lifestyle. The people you meet on a tour may be people you end up traveling with in the future, and you can get a good taste for the local culture without diving in dangerously.