One of the major questions that you will need to consider when planning an overseas adventure is to ‘tour or not to tour?’ Some travellers absolutely LOVE tours and book on one each time they travel, while other travellers prefer to go it alone and travel solo. In addition, there are some travellers who like to have a mix of both, which is exactly the way I like to travel. I have travelled on a grand total of six tours with some amazing tour companies including Contiki, Topdeck Travel and Acacia Africa, travelling through many amazing and spectacular destinations such as New Zealand, The United States of America (USA), Europe and East Africa.
If you have never been on a tour and are seriously considering booking on one, this post is definitely for you! Hopefully by the end of this article I can inspire you to book a tour for your next adventure!
So, here are my top ten reasons to book on a tour:
- Everything is organized for you.
Everything from accommodation, meals, daily excursions, guided tours of each city and also transport to and from each destination are included in the total tour price and are already organized for you. All destination are included in the total tour price and are already organized for you. All you have to do is sit back and relax! When choosing which tour company to travel with, make sure you double-check the inclusions and exclusions in the total price and see if the tour provides what you are looking for.
- Travel with like-minded travellers who are of a similar age.
Tour companies such as Topdeck Travel and Contiki target travellers between 18-39, and one of the main reasons I book on a tour is to travel with other like-minded travellers who are interested in the same experiences and adventures that you are; whether that is partying til all hours on a five storey bar in Prague or bungy jumping 134m off the Nevis mountain in New Zealand.
- Meet people and make new life-long friends.
This is one of the main reasons anyone books on a tour, to meet people. Through travelling the world on six different tours with three different tour companies, I have made hundreds of new friends from all over the world! A tour ensures you are not travelling alone and you have someone to share your travel experiences with. By the end of any tour, no matter how long or short it may have been, the new friendships you have established will feel like you are part of a close family, who support and look out for each other.
You will find many years later after your tour has ended, and you meet with each other again (and I can guarantee that you will!), that you will pick up exactly from where you left off and be that supportive family all over again.
- Cost Effective
Booking a tour is the best way to save money, especially when you can book at a discounted rate. Topdeck Travel offered me 10% off the total price of the tour as I booked early (six months in advance) and I was a past passenger. Other incentives may include paying last year’s prices for the tour or saving 5% off the price when you book with three or more friends.
As I mentioned above, tours include all sightseeing and walking tours, a full-serviced tour guide and tour vehicle, all accommodation, some meals and also included authentic travel experiences. If all of this were booked on my own I would have paid a lot more money for those experiences.
- Enjoy authentic and fun travel experiences that you may not have anywhere else!
One of the most memorable included travel experiences on my tour through the Greek Islands with Topdeck Travel was an included dinner on the island of Santorini (wine included also!) with the most spectacular views of the caldera. If I were travelling on my own, I certainly would not have dined at such a wonderful restaurant, as I would have chosen to save my money!
During my 28-day tour through Europe, bucket-list travel experiences included a gourmet picnic beside the Eiffel tower in Paris, a four course Italian feast in Florence, Dutch cheese and clogs demonstration plus a cruise along the canals in Amsterdam.
- Tours are safe.
The main reason I decided to book a tour of East Africa for three weeks with Acacia Africa is because travelling alone as a female in Africa is not particularly safe. I understand there are some female travellers who are comfortable travelling solo anywhere in the world, but due to my limited knowledge about Africa at the time, I felt it would be safer on a tour, and it was the best decision I ever made. On a tour you know exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there, and in addition, you are travelling in a group, all things which ensure safe travel. Tours are also designed with the intention of travelling to destinations that are safe, instead of destinations that are unsafe.
- You might just learn something.
Booking on a tour is a great way to learn about the places you are visiting, and your tour guides are the best source of information, so make sure you pick their brains! My tour guide across the USA loved American History, so when long hours were spent on the bus, he would put on movies and documentaries to encourage excitement and anticipation for the next destination, and to learn a little something along the way. Also, my tour guide through Europe was an art history genius and knew her Second World War history, so she was able to offer such insightful and interesting information about each and every new city we visited.
- Snapshots of each destination.
On my very first trip to Europe, I had a rough idea of what countries I wanted to visit and I intended to cover as much ground as possible! I booked a tour with Topdeck Travel, which travelled to thirteen countries, covering all the major European cities I wanted to visit. If you have never been to or have limited knowledge of where you’re travelling to, why not book on a tour and enjoy a great introduction to your dream travel destinations? After the tour has ended, you can always choose to go back and explore your favourites or better yet, save it for a return trip!
- Cover more ground in a short space of time.
Booking a tour no matter how long or short, will essentially cover more ground in comparison to travelling the exact same itinerary alone. My European tour with Topdeck Travel travelled through thirteen countries in twenty-eight days, which covered a lot more than what I had intended to see on my own. With travels through Europe, I find the best way to see as much as you can with limited time up your sleeve is to book a tour, but again, it is dependent upon your travel preferences and travel style.
- More time to explore.
As everything is organized for you on the tour, it is very easy to drop your bags off when you arrive at your hotel or hostel, and head straight out and enjoy the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the city hassle free! When you’re travelling on your own, you need to make time to cook or buy your meals, organize how you will get from the airport to your hotel, and how to get to the amazing and iconic sights and attractions without getting lost! On tours, they will often take you on a guided walking tour of each city when you arrive, and the next day you have the entire day to explore. You are at an advantage as you already are familiar with your surroundings and you have a knowledgeable tour guide to assist with directions and any other travel related questions!
On the bus arriving into Paris with Topdeck Travel, our tour guide provided us with a city map (as she did with each and every destination) with a list of things to see and do on the back that were all clearly marked, so you could plan out your day hassle free!
So, tour or not to tour? Leave a comment below with your experiences!
Bec Clipsham from ‘The World as Bec Sees It’ is a 24-year old Primary Teacher from Sydney, Australia with a severe case of wanderlust. With four continents and thirty countries under her belt (with plans to see more) she has just started in the travel blogging world sharing her travel stories, adventures and tips. She is a pianist of fifteen years, an avid cat lover, enjoys learning foreign languages and strongly believes you can have your cake and eat it too: Work in the job of your dreams and travel the world.