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tours vs DIY

Travel Forums General Talk tours vs DIY

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1. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 8y

Im personally pretty against those horrible contiki drinking tours "this is us in paris, smashed at the eiffel tower" "this is us pissed in prague at some cheap bar"... bah. but i get it sometimes that if you wanna see alot and youve never travelled before then its not a bad way to go...

however what do you all think of the tours that are concentrated in just one country? like contiki tours of egypt/morocco/tunisia, where some ppl may be too scared to go on their own?

i for one, would be a bit cautious to go to egypt alone... and would consider a tour, but am i just being a woose or are single country tours sometimes worth it? for single female travellers? for anyone?

just curious what you all think?

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

You have to realize that not all tours are created equal, so it's rather hard to generalize. I really like the concept that Intrepid has of creating tours with different comfort/physical activity levels. I really enjoy the planning stage of travel when I DIY a new place, but I must tell you that at times the world can be a lonely place! (I also hate to be waited on when I know it to be unnecessary.)

3. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 8y

yeah, its hard to compare i know!

the intrepid tours seem to be pretty decent... i also hate to have things done fo rme etc when i know i can be doing it myself. through western europe i would most likely never pay for a tour, however i might in the middle east or africa...

i guess it really depends where youre going and what kind of person you are!

4. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

DIY, unless you're really pushed for time and want to go somewhere where the transport is really infrequent or likely to stuff up.

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 8y

Quoting jaxstar84

i for one, would be a bit cautious to go to egypt alone... and would consider a tour, but am i just being a woose or are single country tours sometimes worth it? for single female travellers? for anyone?

I've been to Egypt (single female) and with a good guidebook and some common sense it is practically a backpacker's kindergarden. Yeah, you need to put up with the touts, but they are an advantage too: Follow them and you'll always find a place to sleep. It won't be the cheapest or best value for money, but being offered services catering to tourists at every corner is not too bad.

For all ME countries there are a set of rules that a single female traveller should follow, learn them by rote and stick to them.

Personally, as long as there is a good guidebook and or I've got a basic grasp of the local language I would always go alone. I would only consider a tour when I would risk my life or my health by going alone, say travelling through the Sahara desert from Morocco down to Mali or trekking or cycle touring in remote locations in Central Asia. And even then I would most likely go with a group of like-minded people, say a bunch of other cycle tourists or so.

6. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

I have much the same dilemma in planning a return trip to SEA. My DIY Vietnam trip was a big success, but I also saw tour groups there having a real ball, and I wanted to say "can I join in"? I know that Thailand is super easy, but I'm actually thinking of doing a tour there of N. Thailand, and then heading off to Laos/Vietnam by myself. If anyone can point me to a tour of N. Thailand that includes N. Laos too, I'd be very happy.

7. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 8y

i would take a hiking tour maaaaaaaybe... if it wasnt too expensive... hiking alone can sometimes be a bad idea, if you get hurt you might be in the shit! and telling the hotel/hostel etc where youre going and when you should get back is a good idea but they dont always care, esp if you already paid... i just hate to pay so much for them! thats what puts me off mostly - the cost! and it takes away from the experience, having to figure out the public transport urself, talk to the locals, try and go food shopping etc if you have all that done for you...... then its not so cool.

i think i would not take a tour to the ME, but i wouldnt want to go alone...

8. Posted by adamandmeg (Respected Member 7 posts) 8y

Not just for safety reasons. Personally we hate the tour group thing - but sometimes there is no legal choice - for example along the Inca trail in Peru. I can't tell you how annoying ir is to be one of the first up, carrying your own gear and still having to sit around waiting for the last of the stragglers rising some 30 minutes after the departure time. Ahh, tour groups. It's not just the coordination that annoys me, I personally dislike the complete disregard for others when travelling as a mob. How many times have you been sitting, or standing in a beautiful place or a sombre place (Auschwitz) when you are suddenly in the middle of a mob of pay by the minute tourists (Terrifying)... And those umbrellas or flags!!! AHHHH.

That said, it is sometimes the most economical way of doing it - on Ko Change Island in Thailand, there is no cheaper way of going for a snorkelling trip to the reefs than an all inclusive tour from your hostel.

9. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 8y

haha yeah i hate to have to deal with tour groups when im travelling - i find them obnoxious for some reason! and i had to snigger when i read about the little flags and umbrellas, those tourguides must get a sore arm!

if i ever was to take a tour, it would be a small group, no more than 10, and the more i think about it, the more i think that i cant see a reason why i would take a tour. if i dont feel that safe in a country ill prob just choose somewhere else! there are so many places i want to see in the world...

10. Posted by SwissGilly (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

I am of the type who prefers going DIY as well, often just too proud to follow a map! but with organising a RTW ticket i find myself having to plan every step of the way.

How can you balance out being spontanous and DIY with the dates and detailsrequired by the RTW booking??