5 Reasons to choose an escorted tour for your next holiday
By Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter @kellythekiwi)
Escorted tours are becoming increasingly popular. I am not just talking about the tours aimed at the party-hard 18-25 year olds but more luxurious tours as well, aimed at a more mature crowd. When my parents came to visit me in London they chose to do an escorted tour through Europe on their way home to NZ. This allowed them to visit a number of cities/countries in a short space of time and they didn’t have the hassle or stress of booking everything themselves. If you’re thinking of travelling soon, have a read of what I believe are 5 advantages of an escorted tour.
#1 Less hassle (and less stress) than self-planning
Planning any sort of trip can be stressful and time-consuming, especially if you are planning to be away for an extended period of time or visit multiple destinations. Choosing to travel on an escorted tour makes things easy! Once you have chosen your tour all you need to do is select your optional activities and be at the right place at the right time. You also won’t have to live with the fear of choosing a dodgy hotel or an unpleasant restaurant as the decision has already been made for you.
#2 Easy on the budget (if you’re prepared)
Escorted tours can seem expensive to begin with and there are often ‘hidden costs’ if you choose to do some of the optional extras. But if you plan properly and read the information you are given (don’t forget to include coffee breaks, snacks and those must-buy souvenirs), then you will actually be able to manage your finances better than if you are travelling independently – you already know what’s included and what’s not included; plus being part of a tour group could mean some excellent discounts! For more ways to stretch your budget, have a read of this post.
#3 Expert guides and exclusive experiences
Leaving a destination feeling like you may have missed out on seeing something incredible is one of the worst feelings. You don’t have to worry about this on an escorted tour! Generally you will be travelling with a Tour Manager who has a real passion for travel and knows A LOT about the places you are visiting. Additionally, you will benefit from local guides who will be able to give you an exclusive insight into attractions and experiences that you wouldn’t get if you were travelling alone. In fact, there are some places you can’t get into if you’re NOT part of an escorted tour. A local guide will also be able to tell you whether it really is worth travelling that long distance to see that particular monument or sneak you in the back entrance of the gallery so you can avoid the long line outside.
#4 Personal safety and comfort
Feeling safe when you are travelling is very important! It is very easy to feel uncomfortable when you are in a foreign county, especially if you don’t speak the language. In fact, loads of people miss out on amazing holidays because they don’t want to travel alone. An escorted tour gives you a sense of comfort that you would not have if you were travelling independently. Tour Managers and local guides will make sure you know which areas of the city to avoid, what the real tourist traps are and whether you really are getting a good deal on your souvenir shopping.
#5 You get the opportunity to make lifelong friends
Chances are the other people that have booked on your tour will have the same sort of interests as you do. Whether you’re dream is catching a cabaret at the Moulin Rouge, visiting the casinos of Monte Carlo or drinking Sangria in Barcelona, sharing these experiences with others will create a lifelong bond. And if you’re not from the same city or country as your travel companions… Facebook!
Check out these great escourted tours ideas.