When you think of “ESCORTED TOURS,” you might envision overcrowded buses unloading masses if people at buffet restaurants and tourist sites. But small group trips are different. If you want to travel but don’t know where to start, small group tours are a great option for inexpensive vacations and meaningful travel experiences.
Small Group Tour Basics
Usually limited to 12-16 travelers, escorted small group trips tend to be focused on authentic travel experiences. They have an experienced tour leader as well as local guides who are experts on the region. The tour, including lodgings, overland transport, and other details are arranged for you and included in the price. The smaller group size and local leaders allow you to get a more personal, genuine experience. One our favorite aspects of small group tours is the opportunity to meet and learn from other travelers.
Pros and Cons of Small Group Tours
When deciding if escorted small group trips are really right for you, you should weigh the positive and negative factors of each.
Consider the following “pros” in favor of small group trips:
- Most things will be arranged for you after arrival in your destination. You can even request airport pick-up for an additional charge.
- If you’re a new traveler or have never traveled solo before, it’s a great way to travel with a “safety net.” Along the way, you’ll also learn from the others on your trip.
- It’s not just solo travelers on small group trips – lots of couples, friends and families book these tours for their vacations.
- If you’re short on time, you won’t have to do a ton of research and planning to be ready to go.
- You can really focus on having an authentic travel experience. Spend your time learning about history and culture, trying local foods, and getting great photographs.
- You won’t have to worry as much about tourist traps, scams, and safety. Your tour leader will brief you at the start of the trip. They’ll also brief you each day or activity with things to consider.
- On many of our small group trips, you’ll meet other fellow travelers with similar interests. Many of our past customers are still Facebook and Instagram friends with many of them including tour leaders!
Conversely, some of the negatives of guided small group tours:
- You will be traveling with a group, and there will be a lot of different ages, nationalities, and attitudes among them. This can mean interesting travel companions… or people you just don’t get along with. Luckily most people who choose these tours are like-minded souls!
- You’ll need to stick to the schedule. For example, you might not be able to see a site at sunrise for photos, unless it’s in the itinerary. But you can talk to your group leader to see if modifications are possible, especially if your traveling companions agree.
- The itinerary is set, so you won’t have the freedom to stay longer in a place you want to explore more. However, you can arrive early or tack on extra days at the end of the trip.
- Many of the mornings will include an early start. If you like a more leisurely pace, consider an upgraded travel style; but these trips might just not be for you.
- Some of the tours might include physical activities beyond your ability. However on all our tours there are alternative activites so suit all levels of fitness.
- You won’t have the thrill and options of customizing your own trip. I know for some people , sometimes half the fun is in the planning! But we know the country like the back of our hand, so you can count on us to produce the best experiences.