How to Choose a Tour Operator
You’re sure about going on that trip, except you have no idea which tour company to trust. You have a lot of options, that’s for sure, but how do you choose the right one?
First of all, look at the tour group’s size. Smaller ones offer more flexibility and easier access to what they call the “hidden gems” of a destination. But that also means you have to spend lots of time with the same set of people.
Tour Pace and Physical Requirements
The pace and physical requirements of a tour can be a huge factor in your overall travel experience. If you’re the type who likes to linger at an attraction, you might prefer 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 will be provided with alternate modes of transportation in most cases. Also, not all activities during a tour are mandatory.
You need just what what exactly will be included in the basic cost of the trip. Do you have to pay for your airline ticket? How about accommodation or other amenities? Will the tour include any free days that you might want to use 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 you like to spend time meeting locals, you can probably share a meal or stay a night in a homestay. You can also learn to cook some local dishes by attending a cooking class. Tour companies can offer varied levels of cultural immersion, so go with the one that is most in line with your preferences.
The itinerary is probably the most important part of a tour, guided or not, alone or with a group. Make sure to choose a tour that features all of the attractions you want to see. This one is quite easy. Just ask your prospective tour company to give you a copy of their itinerary, or maybe just look it up on their website. Of course, you can also check out customized tour options if you’re not happy with preset packages.
Sometimes, you’ll hate having a lot of free time, like when your trip is shorter or you don’t particularly like the other people in your group. On the other hand, you may want more free time to explore on your own. Tour companies are usually happy to work with you on your preferences.