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escorted tours?

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1. Posted by jenniffer (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

How do You Guys Feel About Escorted Tours? I know its better to do things on your time but for example

i found independent tour pacakages
and this is what they say about it
"The world's finest tour operators offer a large number of vacation packages designed for people who wish to travel independently, without groups or guides. Independent vacation packages typically consist of air, hotel, and transfers to and from the airport. Often, these travel packages include access to a local host who can answer your questions and steer you in the right direction. In all cases, you'll reap the benefits of low negotiated prices on our discount vacation packages.

Some independent vacation packages include sightseeing, museum passes, public transportation passes or theater tickets. Our discount vacation packages are ideal for travelers who seek plenty of free time to explore a destination."

But regardless, Is is better to just get lost and travel by yourself without tours?

Is there any specific area where you reccomend that a tour might be nevertheless a good idea? Example: Africa, Middle east?

Thanks , I appreciate your time,
Jen

[ Edit: No promotional links allowed in open forums ]

2. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 9y

I think you're probably going to get a very one-sided response on this forum

Personally I prefer doing it independently. Getting lost and frustrated at why things doesn't work out is part of the fun! I guess part of travelling includes meeting and mingling with locals and that might be difficult when on an organised tour.

But on the other hand, if tourism is relatively new to that country and English is not commonly understood, then probably an organised tour is the way to go, even if that might mean you only get a surface "feel" of the country and only what the tourism board of that country wants you to see.

Just my 2 cents

3. Posted by jenniffer (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

thanks, i guess thats true

also i think im going to have to delete this post..didnt know i was breaking the rules i wasnt using the url for promotional purposes...

thanks though

I speak spanish fluently so I know I can get around in South America For example, but places like the middle east where its not so stable like you said, those are the places i dont know if i should consider tours or not

Posts 4 & 5 were removed by moderators
6. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 9y

Escorted tours means just paying extra for services you don't need actually. Like Aharrold said, who needs a living guide if you got a paper guide already? Actually it is boring to listen to those guides anyhow.
But on some occasions, you have to do a guided tour anyway, because it is obliged or because it works out to be almost as expensive or maybe cheaper.
In North Korea for example, unfortunately it is not possible to travel around yourself, so I had to take a tour. East Africa is a place (well, actually, only ne national parks are) where a tour can come in handy as well.
And on a smaller scale: you really are not allowed to go and walk around Cheaucescus former palace in Bucharest.

Also I can think of some other places I haven't been to where a tour is handy/needed: Bhutan, Amazone (outside the public transport routes), etc. etc.

But in general, it is just more fun to arrange things yourself, not said that things have to be cheap always of course, that's something every single traveller needs to decide for himself.

7. Posted by jenniffer (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

thank You

8. Posted by hey_monkee (Respected Member 430 posts) 9y

I think the main reason people choose tours like you've mentioned, is because its an easy way to meet like-minded travellers. Also, if you're an inexperienced traveller it can be nice to have someone doing some things for you - driving you to all the major sights, negotiating good prices, having a little insider knowledge to take you to some cool places you wouldn't have known of on your own. Do shop around though, if you're willing to take the "budget" tour, which usually means camping or more basic sleeping conditions, you can save yourself a lot of cash as opposed to if you took a full-lodging tour

9. Posted by caitlin051 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

I have been dying to travel the world, but have not had the time or energy to iron out all those little details (i.e. how to get from the trainstation to the hotel on the cheapest fare). I just recently returned from a Contiki tour, it was awesome. I would highly reccommend a tour, I was able to 'get lost on my own' in every city and still have the perks of a guide/group. It provides so much detail, that all those 'extra costs' that you can't prepare for are already ironed out. It truely is an amazing experience, give it a shot!

10. Posted by Zepher (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

There are a lot of misconceptions about guided tours. The days of tours being dominated by huge buses and guides with flags herding people through streets is over. Of course, you can still find these types of tours, but today there are thousands of tour companies who specialize in small groups, special interests, and adventure travel. You can easily find tours that provide adventure trips, such as scubadiving, hiking, biking, motorcycling. Cultural, historical, culinary, archaeological, and sports tours are all included in today's style of tour companies. If you have an interest, there is an escorted tour available to you! There are also a wide range of tour prices. There are Luxury tours, budget tours, and everything in between. Most of the time the tours are a great value for what you get. I read an article -snip- that outlines the pros and cons of today's guided tours, and I'm convinced that today's guided tours are definitely a great way to travel in many parts of the world.
I do travel independently, but I also have joined group tours that were fantastic! Today's tour guides are professionals that provide the equipment, knowledge and accommodations necessary to make a vacation with no hassles.

Zepher

[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]