Escorted group tours appear to be the thing on the tip of every travel agent’s tongue nowadays. However, for anyone who hasn’t yet ventured on one, there are certain “rules” that should be abided by to ensure that you get the absolute most from these experiences.
In some ways, group tours take away all of the stress and responsibility of the standard holiday. A schedule is in place, there are no arguments with the other half about taking a wrong turn – everything is done for you. If you are led into believing this in relation to absolutely everything though, this is where you might not extract as much as you probably should from your escorted getaway.
Therefore, we’re going to embark on a selection of suggestions for anyone who is about to take to a group tour. The first one perhaps sounds ridiculous on first glance, but we do have a point, honest. We’re going to advise you to avoid, or at least bypass jetlag – in any way possible.
Most tours don’t include the flights, and every member of the group will arrive at different points before the tour begins. It’s therefore up to you to arrange your own transportation to the origin point of the tour and with these excursions tending to have quite heavy schedules, we’d suggest arriving at least two days in advance. Rid yourself of any tiredness, familiarize yourself with the nation – then jump into the tour. Having that breathing space is invaluable when compared to the alternative of rushing straight into day one.
Next, it’s all about integrating with the group. You might not be the most social person on the planet, but these tours allow you to extract culture in every way imaginable. Companies like Globus Tours provide a local guide anyway to give you a sample of the culture in the destination you are visiting, but it doesn’t have to end there. Most of the time, the group will be made up of different nationalities and it’s at this point where you should be aiming to mingle and just find out about each and every culture. Even though you seemingly won’t have anything in common with some members of the group, you’d be surprised at how many interesting anecdotes you can extract.
We briefly touched upon the local guide there, and this final tip involves taking any advice that they give you – particularly in relation to unplanned trips. Most of the time, these group tours will incorporate a lot of optional activities and unsurprisingly, the tour leader is accustomed to what’s worth doing and what isn’t. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are on some sort of commission to get you involved in as many activities as possible here – most local guides will give a clear opinion on what they think is worthwhile in any free time you have.
Fortunately, all of the above points are quite obvious and were hopefully at the forefront of your mind anyway. Basic common sense with these trips is all you need to make them as valuable as their reputation in the travel industry dictates.