I’m an experienced traveler — at least, I’d like to think so. Since I was a teenager, I’ve been able to plan trips entirely by myself. I’ve figured out how to choose a destination, how to find affordable flights and accommodation, where to sightsee, how to pack, and how to travel with others by my side. Of course, it wasn’t always so simple. Over the years, I’ve learned to “travel better.” This means being patient when choosing destinations or booking things, or leaving part of my itinerary open to enjoy the unexpected.
You might think that being able to do it all on my own means I’ve completely abandoned any idea of taking a tour.
Well, in some cases, I might certainly be able to do it on my own.
But, what I realized is it’s not a matter of being able to do it or not. Everyone can, of course, take traveling into their own hands. It’s not about that. It’s about so much more.
I am an experienced traveler, and here’s why I’d still do a tour:
Tours Can End up Saving You Money
When you consider the costs of having to book transportation, entrance fees, accommodations, etc. on your own, sometimes a tour is a better bet. In some countries, like Iceland for example, it’s much easier and affordable to go on an organized tour. Otherwise, you’d have to pay to rent a car, which in itself can be more than a basic tour across the island. While you should definitely compare the costs before making your choice, in general, you’ll see that a tour can save you loads in the long run.
Tours Can Take You to Places that Are Really Hard to Get To on Your Own
When I went to Beijing for the first time, I was a bit terrified. I had navigated many other foreign places on my own, but this trip was looking to be a big challenge. I knew that if I were going to Beijing, there was one thing I HAD to see — The Great Wall. With only four days in China, I didn’t have time to think about logistics. And, let’s be honest — not knowing any Mandarin didn’t help, either. (Overcoming language barriers is another perk of going on a tour, too!)
Because of the tour I went on, I was able to see much more than The Great Wall, too. I saw the Silk Museum, the Jade Factory, the Ming Tombs, and had a delicious Chinese lunch! Best of all, I didn’t need to worry about a thing.
Tours Give You a Chance to Relax
When you plan travels on your own, it can be quite exhausting taking trains, buses, taxis, etc. Sometimes it’s nice just being able to sit back and relax — without worrying about being ripped off, either.
When you go on a tour, you don’t need to haggle for rides, be afraid of getting lost, or read through pages of reviews to figure out where you should eat for dinner. You can sleep while you’re on the tour’s transportation, schedule your gift shopping around your itinerary, and feel safe knowing where you’re going.
Tours Help you See Places that Non-Tourists Can’t See
Tours are great because they help you see places that people who aren’t on tours can’t. In some extreme cases, there’s not even an option for you to go to a certain country unless it’s with a group. For instance, countries like Tibet or the depths of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil are really hard to get to otherwise. Many tours also organize your visas for you so you don’t have to be hassled with that.
Additionally, tours can just take you to really cool places that you might not be able to find without the help of an experienced tour guide. It’s a chance to learn more about the place you’re visiting. An opportunity to try truly local foods. And, despite the fact that people think tours take away free-time, they can actually maximize it.
Tours also have other awesome perks. Like, the ability to meet like-minded people, or even the change to meet a prospective dating partner. I’m an experienced traveler, but I’ll never give up on taking tours. What about you? Find your next tour here at Tour Amigo
Hana LaRock is originally from New York, though has called other places around the world her home for the last two years. She currently lives in Mexico and freelance travel writer. When she’s not working, she enjoys writing, reading, spending time with her dog, and of course, traveling. You can find her at www.hanalarockwriting.com.