Anyone who has the smallest modicum of pride in their status as an intrepid traveler will cringe with embarrassment at the mention of any murky package tour involvement in their past. For a young wanna-be intrepid traveler, the mere contemplation of beginning their traveling adventures with a package tour will make them cringe with embarrassment at the thought of how it makes them look like a gullible tourist.
There are both pros and cons to taking a package tour for your travels of course, but none of them stem from a misplaced sense of pride. To help you make your decision on whether to go down the route of a package tour, here are some of the things you might want to consider.
1. Less flexibility
The number one drawback we can think of with a package tour is the fact that you’ll have to explore an itinerary that someone else decided is great – you have minimal say in what you see or where you go.
2. The People
While the fun of going to travel with a group of unknown strangers holds the possibility of making some new lifelong friends or even meeting a potential partner, the odds are equally great that you might not meet anybody you like, or would choose to travel with if you had a say in the matter. While a great group of people can infinitely enhance your travel experience, an annoying group can really dampen the whole thing.
3. An artificial Disneyland-like vibe
A lot of tours are so focused on jam packing your time with indelible experiences that they risk caricaturing the entire country. Thailand is reduced to the tuk tuk ride, India is reduced to three hours clicking selfies in front of the Taj, etc. After a point, you begin to question the authenticity of the experience. Is this how its done in this country? Or am I seeing this because the tour operator said I would see this?
1. Cost effective
Any established tour operator will have a vast network of contacts and contracts which will be able to guarantee you many more unique experiences than you could have found yourself for the same money. Plus, after years of being in the business, they are also privy to a lot of trade secrets that will enrich your travels that you would have likely missed out on your own.
2. The People
This features in both lists because really, it all depends on the kind of person you are. Most people are able to have a really great time with strangers on their group tours. After a point in life, your friend-making ability stagnates because your social circle becomes increasingly more rigid. Breaking away from the grind and entering a new circle is a refreshing way to change that.
3. It makes your life way easier
There are some logistical details that are really foolish to do on your own. Going to the Greek islands and just winging it, for example, will cost you Way more than if you had just let a travel operator back home do the bookings for you. If you want to cycle through Europe in limited time and you’re coming from North America, it makes more sense to have someone arrange your bikes and accommodation for you than lug everything around.
So What Is A Great Package Tour?
Anything that offers you an itinerary that suits your style, is reasonably priced, has experience in the field, and has some great reviews from past travelers. GAdventures, Intrepid Travel, Contiki, and Travel Talks are a few examples of some stellar tour operators out there.
If you want the structure of a package tour but the flexibility of independent travel, we can help you out! We organize custom made itineraries designed to your specifications! Find out more here!
Do leave us a comment below on your experience with a package tour!