The independent travel versus group tours debate is one that consistently pops up. In some instances, there is no choice and a group tour is the only option (think Antarctica).
In other instances, escorted group tours may be a better option to help you explore your country of choice.
Seven benefits of escorted group tours include:
1. HASSLE-FREE PLANNING
Some countries, such as China and India, are enormous. Where do you start when planning your trip? Escorted group tours help to narrow down your choices and make planning hassle-free.
They also remove the hassle of dealing with the finer details of trip planning, managing unavoidable changes that may occur or trawling through websites for hours. Escorted group tours take care of all that for you – the hotels, airport transfers, restaurants, sightseeing locations and timing, even something as simple as toilet stops!
We have busy lifestyles and having the time to plan a trip may be limited – no matter how badly you want to go! Sometimes it makes sense to let someone else do it for you.
You may also have a tight schedule and want to make the most of your time on the ground. A group tour can ensure you’re able to tick off numerous bucket-list experiences in a short time.
2. VALUE FOR MONEY AND EASY TO BUDGET
Escorted group tours come with a load of inclusions. This means it is much easier to budget and ensures there are no unexpected expenses once you arrive.
You can use your spending money for fun things such as shopping, foot massages or local snacks.
3. LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
When travelling, you want to visit the best spots, see secret gems and sample the best food. Sometimes these things are not the obvious options the rest of the world knows about.
Local guides and ground operators can be the best source of this knowledge. They know the best times to visit a location to beat the crowds.
Imagine uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal or being able to walk along the Great Wall without having to dodge hordes of other tourists. All of these factors are built into escorted group tours.
Local Guides and National Escorts are the experts in their hometown and country based on their daily experiences with tour groups, not what is in a potentially outdated guidebook. They’ll share stories and anecdotes of the history, customs and lifestyle of the country you’re visiting, often information you can’t get in a guidebook or off the net.
4. WORRY-FREE EXPLORATION
Imagine a trusted escort who eliminates all your worries! What does this mean for you? It means you’ll be able to relax and focus on exploring and experiencing your destination, rather than planning.
Escorted group tours also expose you to special considerations and priority treatment, such as different entrances, fast tracks, group check-in for flights and reserved spaces at attractions.
It’s inevitable that things might go wrong when travelling. Flights and trains can cancelled or delayed, unexpected roadworks, the list goes on.
During a group tour, there is always a contingency plan for unexpected problems or delays. You won’t have to worry about working this out yourself.
5. A BALANCE OF SHARED EXPERIENCES WITH INDEPENDENT TIME
An amazing experience is always better when shared with other people.
Many group tours present a happy medium of group activities and shared experiences with time doing your own thing if you choose. You might even make some new friends!
6. HELP WITH LANGUAGE BARRIERS AND CUSTOMS
Navigating a new country can sometimes be difficult. This is especially the case when the language is different, the customs seem strange, and the lifestyle completely different to your own.
During a group tour, you’ll have assistance with this. No matter how confident you are overseas, it’s reassuring to have someone to help you trouble-shoot and navigate the intricacies of local customs. No one wants to make a social faux pas or offend someone unintentionally.
7. COMFORT AND SAFETY IN NUMBERS
If you’re an inexperienced traveller or perhaps just stepping out of your comfort zone, it’s good to have safety in numbers. Provided you have your wits about you, group travel will reduce the chances of getting lost or becoming a victim of pickpockets or scammers.
Think group touring could be for you? Check out some of our most popular tours:
China Group Tours
Japan Group Tours
India Group Tours