A guided tour while traveling gives you the security of a group and less stress because the planning is done for you. But many people prefer to travel on their own instead of with an organized tour group. If you’re trying to decide, consider these benefits of traveling independently.
With a guided tour, the stops and agenda are already preplanned. There is no flexibility or option to change the schedule. You stay with the group the whole time and visit whatever the tour company has decided.
When traveling on your own, you have complete control over your schedule. You decide what to visit and for how long. You can decide which day of your vacation you go to a particular attraction. You also get to decide where you eat and where you stay.
Another factor for many travelers is the amount of time spent at any one attraction. With a tour, the group arrives and leaves at set times. You have to work within that time frame to see the destination. When you travel on your own, you get to decide. If you enjoy a particular attraction more than you thought, you can slow down and enjoy it longer. If you get sick of a stop early, you can leave and do something different.
More Options to Save Money
When traveling on your own, you might have more options for saving money. You can use online deal sites, such as Groupon or Living Social, to save on hotels, restaurants or attractions. At an attraction, you can choose different packages to save money. For example, you might do a self-guided tour that is cheaper than a full tour. Or you might choose a smaller activity package instead of doing everything.
A guided tour usually takes a quick look at several attractions. You will likely stick to the main attractions. When traveling on your own, you can immerse yourself deeper into the culture. You can go off the beaten path and discover some great little spots that probably aren’t on the agenda of any guided tours.
No Cheesy Guides
Many tour guides are knowledgeable and entertaining, but you might not always get lucky. If you get stuck with someone who doesn’t know the area very well or who has a horrible sense of humor, it’s going to be a long tour. And you might not get as much out of the tour as you had hoped. You’re also stuck with whoever else signs up for the tour. An annoying tour mate could put a damper on the vacation. You might also be packed in tightly on a tour so the company can get as much money as possible.
When you travel alone, you aren’t stuck with a tour guide that doesn’t fit your style. You get to choose your travel partners or decide to go all on your own. You also won’t feel crowded since you’re traveling with your own group.