To Tour Or Not To Tour: An Important Travel Question

tour or not to tour

If you’re planning a vacation, holiday or trip abroad, you may be wondering whether or not to incorporate a tour? Whether this is for the entirety of the trip or just a day or two, it’s an important travel question. So, to tour or not to tour? Let’s take a look…

Safety

The first consideration to make when deciding whether to tour or not should be regarding your own safety. It could be the case that you have been to a city many times before. Perhaps you also have family there or are at least travelling with a group of people who know the city well. You may also have fluency in the language to give you extra confidence. If these things are true for you, you may feel that each gives you enough safety. However, what about if these things aren’t true? In these cases, tour! You will have people around you to keep an eye on you. You will have somebody who speaks the language and knows the safer parts of the city.

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Meeting new people

If it’s privacy and seclusion you’re wanting, a private tour will be the only thing to suit you. But if you want to make new friends, travel with a group or just have a different experience? Then a tour is ideal. That’s because it will be filled with like-minded people. They have an interest in the same city or country as you plus they want to meet new people also!

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Local knowledge

There is one thing that tours offer that you simply cannot replicate with a guide book. This is local knowledge. A primary reason for this is that local knowledge simply changes faster than new books can be written, printed and distributed. For example, the latest and coolest bar can change from week to week. The newest restaurant to open can change daily! While guide books simply can’t keep up with this, your tour guide can.

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Access

One on hand, some may warn you off guided tours because they worry that they don’t stray far from the norm. In other words, your tour guide will take you to the same old places that everyone has seen. As a result, everything that you see will be touristy and not authentic. However, this simply isn’t true if you chose your tour company carefully. Look for promising words in the description, like unique holidays to Iceland. ‘Unique’ dictates that there will be something a little special and a little more unusual. Also, flip the concept on its head. Rather than considering restrictions that the tour may put on your head, consider the new-found access. The guides will know the language, the local area, shortcuts and more.

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Expense

Another facet of going on a tour that may be putting you off is the expense. Of course, it is up to you to figure out whether or not the price offered is good value. However, when considering this, do bear in mind the extra access you get. Something as simple as having someone in charge to translate signs and people you meet is worth the extra expenditure.

Josh Martin
Josh Martin is the founder and chief blogger at Badge of Awesome. He lives in southwestern Ontario, Canada and is the author of "Misadventure Musings: Lessons learned from life's awesome and absurd moments" and "Going on a Bear Hunt: Five things cancer taught me about overcoming obstacles."