With so many tours to choose from, it can be tough to know which one to pick. There are literally thousands of tour operators around the globe, and they’ll all offer you a slightly different spin on your destination! From Ecuador to Vietnam to Italy, It’s vital for the perfect vacation that you know how to choose the right tour for you. What you can guarantee if you decide to book a tour for your next vacation, is your trip will be planned for you from beginning to end by the world’s most experienced tour operators. There are so many choices involved in the process that it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, but with a little research and preparation, you’ll be on your next adventure in no time!
1. Choose the right destination
When thinking about your destination, you have to ask yourself how much you want to experience on your trip. Will your tour focus on culture in-depth, travelling at a moderate pace and really getting immersed in one culture? Or do you want to hit multiple items on your bucket list in a high-powered, exciting journey of discovery? Perhaps you’re craving the outdoors and true adventure, packed with adrenaline and breathtaking landscapes?
What’s important to evaluate is what trip length and pace is right for you. Tour itineraries which cover large distances can show you a lot, but be prepared to travel. Time on the road is definitely not time wasted though! You’ll need time to digest all that you’ve taken in, or maybe just some time to grab a short nap and recharge for your next stop. Tour Leaders often have stories to share about the places you’re visiting, or want to prepare you for your next destination.
2. Choose the right tour operator
Once you know what style and length of trip suits your needs, consider the operators who are best placed to offer exactly the experience you’re looking for. Do you prefer a multi-national company who can offer you a comfortable, fully guided group tour with a seasoned tour leader to escort you throughout? Or would you prefer a small group experience, lead by a local operator who can show you your destination like no-one else and really bring you out of your comfort zone? It’s also important to consider the age group a tour operator requires. There are many tour operators who operate tours exclusively for young adults, which often comes with some kind of party scene, and others who cater for all ages, including families with kids.
3. Choose a group tour with TourRadar
When looking for a tour on TourRadar, you can see a description of each operator on the dedicated operator pages, where you can also read endless reviews, written by real people who have travelled with that tour operator. Traveller reviews are one of the best ways to really understand what to expect from your tour.
You can also use filters on the search pages to narrow your results based on operator preference, duration, or by travel style. It’s not uncommon, once you have narrowed down your options, that you’ll come across two very similar tours with very different prices. Depending on transportation, accommodation, and excursions, no two tours are alike!
Where the classic style of touring might include most, if not all, meals and activities, many operators today recognise that they need to provide options for the traveller who wants more choice, with more free time and opportunity to eat where and what they like, and allowing them to decide which activities they prefer, rather than including everything in the tour price. This is often one of the main reasons for one tour having a higher price than another, but of course, it can also reflect the standard of accommodation and included tour features.
4. Find a travel style that works for you
This might come as a surprise to you, but we all travel differently. Some prefer simple, clean, and comfortable accommodation, leaving more to spend on food, drinks, and shopping for special mementos to take home to remember your journey. For others, a high level of comfort is paramount, both while on the road and at the end of the day. For this type of traveller, Instagram-ready boutique hotels and a VIP “skip the line” experience at famous touring sites is something essential to the enjoyment of their trip. Most of us are a little bit of both, but what we can guarantee you is with a little research, we’re confident your perfect tour is just waiting for you to turn up on day one.
What’s important is what you want. After all, it’s your journey.
5. Create a travel wishlist with TourRadar
Now you’ve narrowed down your top tours, you might want to create a wishlist to compare the trips you’re interested in. You can do this by clicking on the heart icon on each tour. Your personal wishlist also makes for easy access to your dream tour collection if you need some more time to think about your decision. Although there you’ll find a detailed itinerary and outline of what’s included on every tour page, you might still have a couple of questions before you book your dream tour. No problem! Check out the Q&A section on the tour page where you can see other real travellers’ questions about your tour, or if you want to know more about touring and TourRadar in general, check out the help centre.
If you prefer to send us a question in writing, you can click on the “Ask a question” button on the tour page, which sends an email with your enquiry, or join us for an online chat in real time where a Travel Expert will be happy to answer your questions. We’re also available 24/7 by phone if you prefer to speak to one of our friendly Travel Experts.
6. Enjoy the adventure!
At the end of the day, the goal is always for you to have a life-changing experience you’re excited about. At TourRadar, we’re always prepared to help you every step of the way, no matter the question or issue. Once you’ve found that dream tour, though, usually all there’s left to do is book flights and start counting the minutes until take-off!
How did you plan your last group tour? Do you have any tips we missed here? Let us know in the comments!