There is nothing better than exploring a place with your best friends. When I look back at my own travels abroad and the friends I made, it made the destination just that much more mesmerizing. A few years later, we congregate together and have a pee inducing laugh about all those good times!
Generally, people can be against group travel, I understand as a solo traveller I don’t specifically want to be stuck with the same group for 10 days however many positives weigh out that one negative.
Relax, everything has been organised and planned for you.
This is great as when you are travelling in a group it’s really hard to come to a decision compromising of what everyone wants to do. Your trip is planned, there is no extra stress. There are no arguments about who wants to do what. There is a list of activities that you wouldn’t come up with on your own and people can choose to do what interests them.
Safe and secure.
If you are travelling alone or have parents that are crazy protective, group travel is top of your list. Carefully planned with leaders that look out for you as you safely explore. Some tours give you a lot more freedom than these protective mom-run tours, however, the guide is there to make sure you have a great time and are filled with insane amounts of information.
This is the best part of group travel. You make friends for life and that leads on to the most amazing network. Next thing you know you are visiting friends in Switzerland for Christmas. If you travel with your own friends, you make more friends and more memories. If you like people then you will love group travel, definitely for the social butterflies out there.
I’m going to leave those 3 main reasons why group travel is the best. There are so many reasons that do follow on however, it depends on the tour operator. The many “myths” about group travel are easily busted by our well-known tour operators.
We are talking about Myths like
“You can’t even wander off and do your own thing”
“I don’t want to wake up early on tour”
“I don’t drink so I wouldn’t suit the tour.”
Many tours don’t allow these things or do, that’s why it is so important to try different tour operators. Same theory as you like olives but your friend doesn’t – Not every tour operator is for every person.
I have noticed how the younger generation is moving away from so-called “booze-travel” and are looking more into a destination for arts and culture. The tour operators are listening to you and are adjusting their tours to suit the trends of travel. I mean if they didn’t they wouldn’t be in business. Now think about that line again “if they didn’t they wouldn’t be in business” – They are still in business for a reason. They know what they are doing – FACT!
Truths about group travel are never-ending.
This is honestly the part with the positives by far weigh out the negatives and it speaks for itself. I hope you are ready because I am going to list out just a few.
- More Included
- Prime locations
- Exciting excursions
- Best secrets
- Most cultural
- Offers more for your buck
- Make the best friends
- Always have someone to take photos
- Guided the entire way
Now to address the questions of if it is cheaper.
To be honest I don’t think its cheaper than planning it for myself but there are two sides to that answer. If you can buy a ticket to visit the colosseum for half the price, do you factor in waiting in the queue for 2 hours in the hot Italian sun or would you rather pay a little bit extra and have a personal tour. Those 2 hours waiting in the sun is a total waste and I would never recommend it. If you are on holiday those 2 hours can be used for an amazing experience. Instead, you have sunstroke, sunburn and are extremely tired but 10 euros richer, good-bye to the rest of your day!
There is a reason tours cost a bit more than putting it together yourself, you are paying for a crafted experience. In most cases, I have compared the rates, apples for apples and tours are cheaper due to their group rates. With everything if you go in a peak season it is going to be busy, just be logical with your time and money. I think the best part about group travel is the fact that the guides are local, they speak the local language and are passionate about sharing their home with you.
Now my turn to give you my top three tour operators and what makes them great!
Contiki is the leader in youth travel. They were the first of their kind to start youth group travel. They offer group travel for 18 – 35-year-olds. This is a great tour option for people with overbearing parents. They can feel safe knowing that their precious babies will be well looked after. This tour operator is also great for people who like jam-packed itineraries with exclusive activities, in South Africa we say “Larney” (fancy) people. The unique part of Contiki is they have bought properties all over the world.
You may be in France and end up staying in an exclusive Contiki Chateau and making your friends jealous, the ones that didn’t join you. It’s exclusive to Contiki so you have to do a tour to experience it. You get group discounts for the more friends you bring. Contiki has different categories to their trips depending on what you are looking into. They also have top destinations and honestly the best winter sales! You can book a Contiki tour for next year at R1000. That’s the deposit to secure your spot and then you slowly pay it off. The rates are set so you don’t need to watch the rate of exchange, only if you are a big shopper!Contiki US_2021 & 2022 Australia Preview! Save up to 20% when you book by July 31, 2020.
is for more independent youths. This tour operator creates a trip that you control. These tours allow you the basics that you would pay for anyway: accommodation, transport and activities. The tours are affordable for all that’s included with the advantage of so much free time to keep you lost in your world. What I like most about Topdeck, like most tour operators, is that it is run by people who love their job. One of their top values is no tipping. This is great for budget travellers who can’t budget that in! I would say Topdeck travel is for people who have travelled before but just want another type of experience. They have the most affordable offer for Bali island hopper which is ridiculous considering how much is included!
G adventures are my heart and soul! They offer tours that feed the soul. This tour operator is a non-profit organisation! They offer small group travel of max 12 people. The tours give back to the community and grow a country through their tourism. This tour operator helps me sleep at night knowing that each person I send on this tour makes a massive difference in the community! G-adventures is top of the pops for tours in Peru and Machu Pichu – MY DREAM!!
Some more practical information, there is no single supplement on these tours – you just have to share your room. If you don’t like your roommate, tell you guide and they can try and move you around. If you want your room then you just pay the small supplement. I would say the travellers that enjoy G-adventures are adventure travellers that have a heart for culture and giving back to the community. They have the most amazing wellness options for a retreat. These are tours that look after the locals and small needs in travel.
I am obsessed with the above tour operators and have so much information if you want to email me and we can go through it. I only mentioned it for Contiki but all these tour operators have the R1000 deposit to secure your trip. This is a great way to get your friends to commit! Each tour has become a lot more detailed with their itineraries, take a look and find the one that is right for you.