As this exciting style of travel becomes more and more popular, we’ve summarised the top 6 reasons why your next holiday should be a small group tour…
6 reasons why your next holiday should be a small group tour
Travel with a local expert and have a truly authentic experience
More than just a guide, your tour leader will be your navigator, translator, historian, food critic, medic and so much more. On small group tours, expert trained guides travel with you for the duration, not just to get you from A to B, but to help you really understand the culture of the country you’re visiting. Minibus journeys between destinations become an opportunity to learn, and you’ll be guided down alleyways and through living rooms to the very best places to eat and drink. Practically, having someone on hand who speaks the local language can be hugely beneficial (especially in restaurants with no translations or pictures!), and to make sure you’re safe and not being ripped off at local markets or attractions. These wonderful people are so passionate about sharing their country with you, you can’t help but end up leaving their tour with a lifelong friend.
Stop overthinking and just let go
Once you’ve nailed your itinerary and start your tour, you won’t need to worry about a thing. Everything is pre-arranged, meaning any internal flights, coaches, trains, or day trips are organised for you, and your guide will keep you updated with what the day ahead will hold (and even advise you on what to pack, what kind of shoes to wear etc!). Your guide will even offer to arrange a group kitty to make sure that you’re correctly tipping locals for their services, so you don’t need to worry about a thing. With everything in-hand you can simply concentrate on throwing yourself into new amazing experiences, without thinking too much about organisation or timings. What a luxury!
Meet amazing people
When you travel with a small group (typically around 10-16 people), you will be sharing an incredible experience with strangers from all walks of life, with different life experiences and of various ages. Although travelling with strangers may initially seem like a daunting prospect, you will broaden your mind and end up making friends for life – operators will often match groups to pair people of similar ages and interests. What’s more, even though you are travelling together, most group tours work-in plenty of free time, so you have the flexibility to explore or relax independently or as a group, and create the perfect balance for you.
You don’t need to slum-it (unless you want to!)
Although you will want have a very authentic experience, you don’t have to stay in grotty hostels (unless that’s your preference of course). Many tour operators offer a range of accommodation and transport options to suit different tastes, from the basic to the more luxurious. So, if you want the traveller experience with some creature comforts, this style of touring is perfect for you.
Go off the beaten track
Although you’ll likely be visiting popular destinations and famous attractions along your tour, travelling with a guide and a small group means you will often wander off the beaten track (either on route to your next location or whilst exploring a town or city) and really get under the skin of a place. Whizz around an ancient citadel on the back of a motorbike, explore deserted temples not known to most tourists, grab street food in hidden kitchens and meet amazing local people in their homes. Because you have a local guide with you, you’ll head for hidden gems you would never have stumbled across if you were travelling independently.
Push your own boundaries
From overnight sleeper trains to sampling local delicacies (Spider Village in Cambodia really lived up to its name!), to sleeping on a junk boat in the middle of a bay – the range of activities on any itinerary may excite and scare you in equal measures. Whether you do the lot or decide to sit some of the activities out, you can be sure that you’ll end your adventure feeling proud of yourself for all the incredible things you have experienced, and with some rather amazing stories to tell.
So how do you pick the right group tour for you? Whether you’re wanting to discover the temples of Cambodia, cruise the Okavango Delta in Botswana, or hike Machu Picchu in Peru, you’ll find hundreds of tour options with different routes, specialities and durations. Here at Footprint Travel we work with all the major tour operators, as well as smaller bespoke ones, and will do the hard work for you in finding you the perfect itinerary. We can package it all for you with flights and transfers (even adding some extra nights pre or post tour if you want to explore a little further) and will make sure you know everything that you need to make it an amazing experience. So, whether you’re wanting a food tour of India’s Golden Triangle, or a cycle experience in Cuba, let Footprint Travel research, plan and book your holiday of a lifetime. Thank you for reading our 6 reasons why your next holiday should be a small group tour.