The perks of travelling on a tour
Charlotte was one of the lucky winners of the 2017 BlueTicket Presents Your World Tour – basically a free Round the World Trip (we’re not jealous at all)! While she was out there, with three other travellers, we begged her to share her new-found worldly wisdom with you guys. Read on to find out her views on group travel (because travelling for a few months with 3 strangers pretty much makes her an expert)…
Deciding between booking a tour or going it alone can be a difficult decision. Having been travelling through Southeast Asia for a month now, both with pre-arranged group tours (such as our G Adventures tour through Cambodia) and by ourselves, I thought I would weigh up the pros and cons of tours to help make the decision a little easier.
- See the sights fast
When on a tour, you’re pretty much guaranteed to see the main sights of the country and pre-organised transport means that you’ll do so fast. For this reason, tours are great if you want to tick things off your bucket list but are limited by time constraints.
- Meet like-minded individuals
No matter what tour you’re on, you’ll be thrown into a situation where you’ll be travelling with others. It’s definitely one of the best ways to make friends – some for life (and potentially your onward travels!)
- Structured days
Tours are great because you’re always up and doing something. You don’t have to worry about wasting your time in a location because there’ll always be something planned for you to do.
- Flexibility to explore alone
On the flip side, most tours provide you with the flexibility to choose what you take part in. G Adventures for example, includes the ‘must sees’ as standard, but you can pack up your days with as many optional activities as you want. This leaves time for you to explore alone, have a lie in or simply enjoy your own company while your new travel companions sweat their butts off climbing a volcano.
- Guides provide invaluable insights
For me, one of the best and most important bits about doing a tour is having a guide who knows their way around. Having someone who can chat in the local language means that you’ll find restaurants off the beaten track and deals not often given to tourists. Not only does it help make travelling easier and worry-free, but having a guide opens up a whole new dimension to a city or country.
- You don’t get the opportunity to settle
Whilst the fast-paced nature of tours means that you get to see a lot in a short amount of time, it also means that you’re always on the move. It’s unusual to stay more than 2 nights in any location which sometimes makes falling in love with a place pretty difficult.
- Early wake ups
If, like many students and young adults, getting out of bed in the morning is a bit of a struggle, then the early alarms while on a tour might be a bit of a shock to the system, especially if you’ve been out partying with your tour mates the night before. But don’t worry, most often you’ll play sleep catch up on bus and train journeys!
- Hard to mingle outside of the group
If you make good friends with your tour companions it can be hard to make friends with people that aren’t on the tour. You’ll do most of your socialising in one large pack which can be a bit intimidating. So, if you fancy mingling with the non-tourers, just bear in mind the size of your tribe.
- Not a great deal of alone time
On a group tour, you’ll constantly be with others. You’ll eat together, sleep together and most probably know the ins and outs of everyone’s facial routines, and if you’re lucky, their bowel movements too! Whilst these things will help you bond with your new buds, it can be hard if you’re someone who likes their own space. If that sounds like you, consider choosing a tour where they offer small groups, or tours where you share a room with just one other person rather than a dorm. G Adventures tours are great for both these things!
- Having to say goodbye
Whether your tour has been 10 days, 20 days or even a few months long, eventually it will come to an end and with that, means saying goodbye. You’ll find that you’ve shared moments and created memories that will last a lifetime and for that reason, the goodbye is one hundred percent the worst bit. But this is the case when you do any type of travel – it just means you’ll have to get organising your next trip sooner!
Have a look at the tours STA Travel offers around the world, and see if you fancy any. We promise you won’t regret it.
Want to be in with a chance of winning a place on the 2018 BlueTicket Presents Your World Tour? Then head to our page to find out how to get involved.