A Beginner’s Guide to Escorted Tours

The novice traveler has a number of questions to consider when planning a vacation. Where do I travel? When and for how long? Where do I stay? How do I decide what to do while I’m there?

For many first-time travelers, Escorted Tours make lots of sense. An Escorted Tour can provide you with some guidance to many of the questions you’ll have on your trip, as well as making sure you don’t overlook some of the magnificent and unique sights at your destinations. Read on to learn more.

What’s included in an Escorted Tour

Generally, an Escorted Tour will include as many services as possible, so that the vacationer doesn’t have to worry about them. This usually means that the necessities are included — transportation (both flights to a location and transportation while there), hotels, and most meals are often planned in advance. Certain sightseeing opportunities are also planned; sometimes these involve special access to known tourist areas, and other times the tour will have access to more hidden and out-of-the-way places.

Companies that offer Guided Tours cultivate relationships with locals that allow them to offer unique experiences that aren’t in your typical guidebooks and aren’t necessarily accessible to solo tourists. Some tour companies offer private tours of significant places, experiences with local artisans, and even traditional dinners in a local family’s home.

If you want to take a vacation full of sightseeing and unique experiences, you don’t mind staying a little active, and you may not be sure of your own ability to find the best highlights of a location, a Guided Tour is a great way to go.

Escorted vs. Independent – Pros and Cons

Of course, there are tradeoffs. While an Escorted Tour may offer some time for wandering on your own and seeing sights off the itinerary, this can certainly vary. For the most part, you’ll be sticking to the schedule, and though it may have some flexibility built in, your Tour Director is generally going to keep things moving along.

An Independent, or Self-Guided Tour, can offer more flexibility and freedom. If you really want to travel alone and be left to explore at your whim, then this may be the best option for you. You’ll have to be pretty well-prepared to make the most out of your experience, though.

With an Escorted Tour you are trading total freedom for the chance to have experiences and see things you wouldn’t have known about or wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. Whether or not this is a trade you want to make really depends on your needs. Escorted Tours are generally recommended to people who are new to travel, unfamiliar with a particular location, or who prize sightseeing and unique cultural moments. A Self-Guided Tour may be preferred for someone who wants complete freedom of time, who feels confident in their abilities to make their way in unfamiliar countries and cultures, and who prefers to travel alone.

AffordableTours.com has partnerships with several companies specializing in Guided Tours and can get you the best rates on those tours. Visit AffordableTours.com today for more information about those offerings.

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