These days, it seems like everyone is a traveler. When you look at your Instagram feed, you see a ton of free spirits in new locations talking about the benefits of solo travel. When considering a new trip or your next travel destination, you’ll probably be advised time and time again to just plan it all out yourself. There are many valid reasons why traveling on your own is a great option. For one, you’ll likely save some money. You’ll also have the freedom to make your own itinerary. But in the world where everyone is talking about seeing the world on their own terms, there are plenty of good reasons why you should travel with a tour group.
The Perks Of Joining A Travel Tour Group
You Skip A Lot Of Lines
When you go on a tour group, you do a lot of the touristy things. It might be a bit embarrassing to follow a flag in a big line of people at a popular tourist destination, but when that flag skips hours-long lines, you really don’t seem to care. With Trafalgar’s travel tour group, we got exclusive access to places off-limits to the general public. We got to see an amazing view over Rome atop Bramante’s Staircase and skipped a 3-hour wait at the Colosseum because of our tour group status. These are classic landmarks and experiences you don’t want to miss, but you certainly don’t want to spend a full day just waiting to get in.
You Learn So Much
Even with all the resources for travel from blogs to books to pamphlets from different destinations, nothing compares to the guided tours you get around a location from a tour group. I even took a little notebook with me so I could write down everything I was learning about these new destinations. At Trafalgar, while there’s an main tour director with you at each location who is super knowledgeable, but there are also local tour guides at each location who provide an in-depth guided tour that no book can compare to.
Transportation Is A Breeze
You don’t need to worry about how you’ll get from point A to point B. Not only do you not have to drive, you don’t have to even pay attention. There’s no, “When’s my stop coming up?” or “How far will this bus take me?” With a tour bus, when its time to go, you hop back into your seat where you left your pillow and iPhone charger, and relax while you await your next destination. You are completely at ease to take notes on your latest excursions, edit the photos you took on your smartphone, or take a quick cat nap. You’ll arrive exactly where you need to be, every time, without ever having to worry about it.
You Get To Relax
Speaking of not worrying, on a tour group you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of. Tour groups want you to have a great time so you’ll book another trip with them. So even if something does go awry, you can be sure that the company will go above and beyond to turn the situation around and make it a positive experience. You don’t have to worry about any of the details when you travel with a tour group. You are completely taken care of – the itineraries are complete, the tickets are purchased, and all the little logistics are planned for you to have a great time.
There Are Surprises At Every Turn
At Trafalgar, they call them “hidden treasures.” You go off the itinerary for a short while to have a little gem of an adventure. One hidden treasure was taking the trek up a mountain top to get this epic view of Florence. Another was when we couldn’t get the Colosseum tickets for the time we really wanted while we were in Rome. Instead, the tour guide arranged for us to go to the Colosseum later during the day and said, “oh yeah? Well we will just go see THE POPE at that time instead.” That’s right, as a complete surprise we got to see the Pope in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
You Don’t Need To Count Pennies
I won’t lie, it is not cheap to go on a tour group. But the good thing about traveling with a tour group is that you can book in advance and work with them on a payment plan. By the time the trip starts, you’ll have evenly spread out the payments so it doesn’t feel like it was really that much. When you are on the trip, since you already paid for everything (even the tips for staff if you choose!), you can literally go on the tour and barely spend a dime. You don’t have to worry about transportation costs, many meals are included and all your tickets to activities are already taken care of. It’s nice to be on a trip and feel like you aren’t pulling out your wallet at every turn. You can fully enjoy your trip not worrying about budgeting and counting your pennies.
Access To Authentic Experiences
One thing that turns people off to tour groups is the idea that you won’t be able to have an authentic experience that immerses you in the culture of the place you are visiting. Instead people fear they will only ever see the tourist traps with street peddlers and selfie sticks. But I don’t think we could have had a more authentic experience than a home cooked Italian meal at a Tuscan villa. I don’t think this is something I would have ever been able to plan for myself.
You Meet New People
Traveling helps open your eyes to different cultures and new experiences. While of course you want to meet the locals of the towns and countries you are visiting, it’s also great to meet new people who are a part of your tour group. Usually on a travel tour group, you’ll be among people from different countries. When I took a tour to Italy and Greece with Trafalgar in the spring, I met people from Australia, the UK, Canada and the Philippines. Just from talking to them and getting to know them, I feel like I’ve learned so much about their countries that I would have never known before. I’ve gotten a new perspective on a lot just from them.
Have you ever been on a travel tour group? What was your experience like?
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