7 Reasons Why A Guided Travel Experience Can be More Enriching Than You Think
We’ve heard it a million times: travel by yourself, it will be a life experience you won’t forget. While that remains true, a guided travel experience will provide more in terms of value and opportunities. While it may not be right for every trip you’re looking to take, you might be surprised by the level of authenticity and unique benefits that it can provide.
1. Get the VIP treatment
One of the perks of traveling with a group or guide is the access they’re able to provide that would likely not be available to you when traveling independently or solo. Experienced and reputable tour companies like Collette (in business for nearly 100 years) who have on-the-ground local experts in various regions often have deep relationships with organizations, sites and local hot-spots and have negotiated special experiences or exclusive access to otherwise inaccessible areas.
2. Travel like a Local
Part tour guide, part confidant, part concierge, and part friend, when on a guided travel trip you have a tour manager with you and accessible to you throughout your journey. Drawing on their own rich backgrounds, extensive training, and history within the location they’re in, they enhance each journey. Whether it’s with a bit of historical information, suggesting a special local restaurant or sharing a laugh, they are experts who make your experience truly unique and as authentic as you’d like.
3. Unrestricted Access
In some instances – as with travel from the U.S. to Cuba right now – certain countries or locations are only accessible through group tours. For whatever the reason for restrictions, it doesn’t make these locales any less “bucket-list” worthy. Going the guided travel route may be your best bet to experience them. Guided travel is also a big plus if you want to head somewhere with a significant language barrier, like China, or plan a more complex tour of a unique location, like hiking the Swiss Alps.
4. No Plans Needed
One of the biggest perks of guided group travel is that nearly all of the details are pre-arranged for you. Most of your trip – save the down or “free” time that’s integrated into your itinerary – is well planned ahead of time, so you’re able to simply show up and enjoy every minute of the experience and not worry about what’s next or how to get to your next destination. Another perk? Any hiccups that come up along the way are handled by your local tour manager so you can get back on track quickly.
5. Share the Journey
While true that travel of any kind, typically leads to meeting and forming relationships with people you never thought you’d cross paths with, a group experience helps enable this fostering of new friends even more so! You may even return from tour with new friends to visit on your next trip!
6. Ease Into the Unfamiliar
International travel can be harrowing for some – especially if you don’t speak the local language. Traveling with a group – and local experts – can help ease some of the concerns or nervousness of heading somewhere unfamiliar.
7. Experience Everything.
While guided group travel can ensure you have access to unique locations, it’s also a way to make sure you don’t miss any of the must-sees. When traveling on your own it can be a challenge to make sure you’re seeing all you want to see and getting the full taste of each destination you’re in. A group travel experience takes that on and makes sure you’re not only seeing all there is to see at each stop but also gives you time to experience it on your own and in your own unique way.
So, have I convinced you yet? Regardless of where you decide to travel to next, if you’re looking to go the group travel route make sure you do your homework on the company and what they offer first. Some are very specific in the types of travel experiences they provide so know what type of journey you’re looking for before digging in. Companies like Collette, however, offer a wide variety of experiences at all activity ranges and journey-types. So whether you’re looking to dig into local culture with culinary and entertainment activities or get a classic take on a new place, you can find exactly the trip you want!
While taking a guided tour has its own benefits, traveling solo has its own. Also read as to why you should travel solo at least once in your 20s!
Have you taken any guided tours yet? Share your experiences with us!