A popular way to discover a new destination is to take a group tour. Group tours can be cheaper since the cost of travel is shared by many travelers and includes easy access to attractions all over the world, particularly those you'd have trouble getting to experience on your own. They’re also a great way to make new friends with a similar travel style and interests, who you can trek all day with and then go out for a night on the town together.
Group tours are available in popular destinations like Europe, South America, and Asia. If you've always wanted to cycle around Italy or celebrate a Thai holiday like the locals, the world is your oyster. A group tour can provide you with a detailed itinerary and continuous support to keep you safe and give you insider knowledge to help you have the best experience. No matter your budget, you can find a suitable tour to take you on the adventure of a lifetime.
Though it’s fairly easy to get around Europe, planning to visit out-of-the-way attractions like Stonehenge or the Cliffs of Moher can be a little trickier. Group tours can bundle some of the top sights from all around a specific country (or several!) and provide you with transportation and easy admission to each one. Many group tours offer some scheduled activities as well as free time to explore on your own, so you still have control of your vacation without any of the stress of planning it.
Planning a trip to South America can be daunting on your own. Some important attractions like Machu Picchu in Peru require meticulous planning, which is difficult if you have little knowledge of the region. Group tours in South America can take the headache out of these epic vacations. With detailed itineraries and prebooked accommodations, a group tour can take you to the most beautiful monuments and sacred spaces. They can also provide the kind of equipment and support you might need along the way, like oxygen tanks on high-altitude hikes.
Group tours to Asia can give you access to scenic beaches and stunning ancient architecture in countries where you might otherwise find it difficult to get around. Group tours can involve scheduled treks through famous temples like Angkor Wat or nature hikes in the remote wilderness, with a knowledgeable guide to give you historical background on all the places you visit. Asia is a particularly good destination for an adventure tour that may include biking or camping.
If you're interested in learning all about the history and cultural norms of the country you're visiting, you might want to join a group tour with a cultural focus. These might include visits to small traditional villages in Asia or South America where you can get a feel for local life and customs. You'll also learn about the country's religion by visiting churches, temples, and museums that chronicle its spiritual and religious history.
Adventure tours take you out of your comfort zone though difficult hikes and wild landscapes. An organized group tour allows you to participate in interesting excursions, like kayaking or camping, with the support of your tour company. You also don't have to worry about transporting things like sporting equipment or tents because your tour covers that for you. Aside from necessary equipment, traveling with a group provides an additional layer of safety as you venture out into the wild.
One of the most interesting ways to get to know a new culture is to experience one of their celebrations. Many event tours, particularly in Europe and Asia, center around holidays and special events like St. Patrick's Day in Ireland or Holi in India. With an event group tour, you'll be able to get affordable accommodations during a busy time and enjoy the festivities with your tour mates. A group tour can secure experiences that might be hard to do as a solo traveler, like getting a table at Oktoberfest in Munich.
An alternative to a traditional small bus group tour is a cycling tour. These kinds of tours allow you to see your destination at a slower pace and to enjoy some of the beautiful vistas from places that cars can't always access. Imagine taking the route that cyclists take for the Tour de France. The experience could be yours with a group of active new friends and the support of your tour guide.
Planning Your Trip
There are many different types of group tours almost anywhere in the world that focus on a variety of activities. They vary in size and length, so they can fit your budget no matter what it is.
What to Look for in a Group Tour
If you prefer a specific kind of tour or activity, you should ensure that the detailed itinerary matches your interests. The length and accommodation type heavily influence the cost, so you can narrow down your options based on how much you can afford. You should also closely consider accommodation options, like whether the price includes shared or private rooms. A good group tour will provide customizable options to best suit your needs.
Common Types of Group Tours
Generally, group tours fall into two categories depending on size. With large group tours, you might be able to save some money by traveling around in large groups on commuter buses. Small group tours are generally more tailored and can give you more time to do what you want to do, but they'll be more expensive. Aside from that, you'll have options in tour focus, whether you'll be city hopping or exploring the countryside, traveling on foot or by bike.
Typical Tour Cost
The cost of a tour tends to depend on the destination. Tours in very remote locations might be more expensive than those in popular and central countries or cities. For instance, an Everest Basecamp expedition might be around $1,200, whereas a group tour hosteling through European cities like Paris, Rome, and London might be only $800. Generally, you can find group tours as cheap as a couple of hundred dollars and as much as several thousand depending on your style of travel.
Other Tips for Group Tours
When traveling to certain countries, you might need to do additional preparing in advance. For instance, some destinations require a visa or special vaccinations before you head overseas. Make sure you're well aware of the requirements before embarking on your tour. Your tour company will be able to do very little to help if you did not obtain the required documentation in advance. It's also a good idea to get travel insurance, especially if you'll be taking a tour that is inherently more active and poses a greater threat of injury.