When you’re choosing your guided tour there are a lot of factors to consider to ensure you end up with the right fit for your holiday. With so many tour operators and itineraries to choose from it is easy to be overwhelmed by the options. Here are a few key things to look for when you are narrowing them down to find your perfect trip.
The style of experiences on offer
Ultimately travel is all about experiences. It is about the things you see, the places you visit, the knowledge you learn, the people you meet, and the feelings that stir within you. Different travel experiences trigger these emotions for different people. For some, nothing beats fulfilling a childhood dream of seeing the iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower. For others, it’s about getting off the beaten path and immersing themselves in places they may never have heard of.
Each tour offers different opportunities to fulfil your bucket list, no matter what is on it. It is important to consult the day by day itinerary to get a feel for the experiences on offer and make sure they resonate with you. You can also get a feel for the type of trip you’ll have by researching the operator and their travel style – whether they are about adventure, immersive and intimate moments, or big wow experiences. There is something for everyone.
The pace of the itinerary
Some multi-day guided tours consist of one-night stays and you are constantly on the move from day to day. This style of itinerary is great to cover a lot of ground (particularly in a short space of time) and showcase as many different places as possible. If you’re happy to spend your holiday on the go, then this may be for you. However, if you prefer to travel at a more leisurely pace then perhaps consider an itinerary with multi-night stays in each destination so that you have a balance of time in the same place.
It is also important to consider how active you want to be – whether you are happy to cover quite a distance sightseeing on foot or hiking and biking your way around, or whether you prefer an itinerary that is less active and offers excursions at a gentle pace. You can refer to the day-by-day tour descriptions to make sure the activities are suitable for you, so you get the most out of your journey.
Who you’ll be travelling with
Your fellow travellers can really impact your trip, so it is important to know who you will be travelling with and choose the right environment for you. Some people like the social dynamic that comes from touring with a large group (in the realm of 40 – 50 guests), while others prefer the intimate setting fostered by a small group tour where there could be just a handful of you or anywhere up to 24 kindred spirits.
While the number of people on your tour can influence the experience, so can the demographic that will be joining you on your holiday. For example, there are some tours for younger travellers (in their 18s-30s) while others are tailored for intergenerational family travel, or simply for those with a shared interest. Special interest tours showcase everything from delicious cuisine, special gardens of the world, historic battlefields, and places of religious importance. By choosing one of these, you know that you’ll be travelling with likeminded people that share your passion.
The inclusions of your tour
Your accommodation and transport will be arranged by your tour operator, and some will include five star properties and private coaches with plenty of leg room while others may include shared budget accommodation and get around on public transport (plus everything in between!). Consult the itinerary description to see what meals (if any) are included so you know the value you are getting and what dining experiences to expect, and what you’ll need to budget for while you are away.
When it comes to the inclusions of your tour, something to look out for is the day to day excursions and associated entrance fees. Some tours include all of these, some only include a small selection with the option to add extras, and others don’t include any, so you’ll have to purchase these along the way from the tour operator (or choose to fill your time independently). Make sure the itinerary gives you the option (and the time) to fulfil everything on your must-see list. If you weigh up all of these factors, you can choose the style of experience that suits your preferences, and your budget.
Dislclaimer: This is branded content.