How to Pick a Tour Operator
You know that trip must be taken now or never, but you don’t know which tour company to use. At least, there are many options out there, but how do you take a pick?
Tour Group Size
First of all, check the size of the tour group. Smaller means you have more flexibility and easier access to what they call a destination’s “secret gems.” But that also means you’ll be spending a lot of time with the same bunch of people.
Tour Pace and Physical Requirements
You may not have thought of it but the pace and physical requirements of a tour can affect the overall quality of your travel experience. If you like to linger at a particular attraction, go with a guided tour. If you fancy seeing as many attractions as you can, then without a doubt a ship cruise or a coach tour is for you. In terms of physical requirements, you can expect various modes of transportation to be available. As well, there will only be a few activities during a tour that are mandatory, so that gives you time to rest if you want to.
Know what’s actually included in the trip’s base cost. Do you cover your airfare? How about accommodation or other amenities? Will you have any free days that you might want to spend shopping? Also confirm whether the tour will include any other additional activities. Note that these will likely cost extra and need to be booked ahead.
Cultural immersion can mean many different things. If meeting locals is one of your goals for the trip, spend a night in a homestay or share a meal with the family. You can also learn to cook some local dishes by attending a cooking class. Tour companies offer different levels of cultural immersion, so pick the one that matches your preferences the most.
The itinerary is probably the most important part of a tour, guided or not, alone or with a group. Make sure all the attraction you want to see are part of the tour. This one is so easy. Just ask the tour company for a copy of their itinerary, or maybe you can even find it on their website. Of course, you can also check out customized tour options if you’re not happy with preset packages.
There are times when you won’t want a lot of free time, like when you dislike your tour group or when the trip is shorter. On the other hand, more free time may be exactly what you want so you can enjoy the attractions on your own. Tour companies are usually happy to work with you on your preferences.