• Advantages of Taking a Tour

    by  • Planning • 11 Comments

    Tours can sometimes be a great way to travel, or they can be a disaster. Like most decisions, trying to decide if you should book a tour involves weighing the pros and cons. Why should you consider taking a tour? Tours aren’t for everyone, but the advantages of taking a tour can enhance your trip.

    Planning

    With a tour, the planning is handled for you. Someone else is putting together the itinerary, so you don’t have to worry about what to see or how much time to spend in any one place. Having someone else make the planning decisions can make things more simple and allow you to sit back and enjoy your vacation.

    Transportation

    Transportation is a key part of most tours. The tour company will take care of getting you from point A to point B, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost. You won’t have to deal with confusing public transportation or taxi drivers who might not speak the same language.

    This can also help with places you can’t get to with public transportation. While in Australia last year, I wanted to see the Great Ocean Road, but I wasn’t willing to rent a car and try driving on the opposite side of the road for the first time ever while being distracted by the views. Taking a tour was the perfect solution.

    advantages of taking a tour - Great Ocean Road, London Bridge, Australia

    Social Aspects

    You’d have to go out of your way not to meet people on a tour. If you’re traveling solo, tours are a great way to meet other travelers so you won’t feel completely on your own the whole time. You’ll be spending lots of time with these people seeing the sights and exploring the cultures, and you might even make a new friend out of it.

    Information

    Your tour will almost certainly come with a guide. Not only does this mean being with someone who knows a lot about the area you’re traveling in, but it means you will have someone giving you information about the sights you’re seeing. Historical information can allow you to imagine an ancient city instead of just a pile of rocks and pillars when you’re looking at ruins.

    advantages of taking a tour - Ephesus ruins, Turkey

    New to Travel

    If you’re a new traveler, or new to solo travel, a tour might help you ease into traveling. You won’t have to worry about feeling lonely because you’ll always have people around. You won’t get overwhelmed with all the details of planning the trip, and you won’t have to worry so much about getting lost. A tour can take some of the fear out of travel.

    Are you debating about booking a tour? Tours provide simplicity in planning by taking care of the details for you. They organize transportation and provide you with information about the places you’re seeing. They are also a great way to meet new people and get your feet wet if you’re new to travel. The advantages of taking a tour can often outweigh the disadvantages of taking a tour, and booking a tour could be the right decision for you.

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    11 Responses to Advantages of Taking a Tour

    1. Matthew Cheyne
      September 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

      I’ve done tours before and like you said, they are a great way to meet people when traveling. On my trip to Sydney in 2006 I did the climbing tour of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The sites were amazing but the comeraderie that you can build up in a short time on a tour can make the experience memorable for all the right reasons.

      By the way, that rock feature on the Great Ocean Road that you have taken a picture of and included in your post is known locally as London Arch.

      • Ali Garland
        September 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

        You climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Wow! I don’t think I could do that. I’m not afraid of heights but that just isn’t my thing. I bet the view was amazing though! You’re right, you can bond pretty quickly with people you meet on a tour. I’ve definitely met some interesting people on tours.

        The sign called it London Bridge, but maybe that was because it used to be one connected piece? Makes sense to now call it London Arch instead. The Great Ocean Road is AMAZING!

        • Matthew Cheyne
          September 22, 2012 at 12:36 am

          The sign is a bit old. You’re right, it used to be called London Bridge until the middle bit fell into the ocean some time ago in the last decade I believe. They then renamed it London Arch but never changed the sign. And you’re double right about The Great Ocean Road. It really is amazing. I just love the sweeping vistas of the ocean and the various rock formations that you can’t find anywhere else in the world like the 12 apostles for instance.

          I did the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb not knowing that I was scared of heights until about half way in. I was really lucky in a sense to be at the front of my group because it meant that I had no option but to overcome my fear of heights on the way up. I did that by intentionally not looking down where possible and just taking one set of stairs at a time. I made it first up in my group and because the tour leader had to help the rest of the group negotiate the final steps, I had about five minutes to myself all alone on top of the bridge. The view was absolutely stunning from the bridge looking in all directions. I climbed the bridge around dusk so I saw the transition of central Sydney and the harbor from day into evening. It was a very expensive thing to do costing well over $200 but it was one of those things – to be able to say I climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Personally I believe it was worth every penny.

          • Ali Garland
            September 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

            That’s amazing Matthew! Definitely sounds expensive, but it sounds like it was a great thing for you to do. Congrats on making it through, and it sounds like a wonderful time of day to be up there!

    2. Liv
      September 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      There are definitely a lot of positive things about joining tours, but there are also some negatives like the program inflexibility and having to accommodate other peoples’ wishes. I think tours can be great, but it is also fun to do things independently too.

      • Ali Garland
        September 22, 2012 at 5:59 pm

        I completely agree, Liv! The right tour at the right time can be great, but there are a lot of reasons not to take a tour as well. My disadvantages post goes up on Tuesday!

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    4. September 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Even if I’m a huge fan of independent travelling I ended up on few tours couple of times and it was definitely worth it. In places like Armenia, when I had only few days, they allowed me to visit a lot of amazing places that public transport would take me too. But then I couldn’t spend there as much time as I’d like to since we were on tight schedule. oh well, everything has pros and cons

      • Ali Garland
        September 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm

        I agree, there are definitely certain situations when taking a tour is absolutely the right decision. It sucks to not have as much time in each destination, but you definitely have to weigh the pros and cons. Sometimes a tour will win, sometimes it won’t. (Disadvantages post goes up tomorrow!)

    5. September 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      We’ve taken tours from time to time, but they have always been day tours. I’ve never gone on a trip that is an organized tour. I’m not sure I’d like it.

      • Ali Garland
        October 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

        I took a few 10 day tours to Europe when I was in high school, and as a first experience it was fine. I don’t think I could do it now though. A day or 2 might be ok depending on the situation, but I much prefer to be on my own or on a short day tour.

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