How to Choose a Tour Operator
You’re sure you want to go on that trip, but you don’t know which tour company to call. The good news is, there are many choices out there, but how do you choose?
Tour Group Size
First of all, look at the tour group’s size. Smaller ones offer more flexibility and easier access to what they call the “hidden gems” of a destination. But that also means you have to spend lots of time with the same set of people.
Tour Pace and Physical Requirements
You may not have thought of it but the pace and physical requirements of a tour can affect the overall quality of your travel experience. If you usually enjoy lingering at a specific attraction, a guided tour may be your best bet. If you like to check out as many attractions as possible, a coach tour or a ship cruise may be the better choice. In terms of physical requirements, you will be provided with alternate modes of transportation in most cases. Also, you will only be required to join some – not all – of the activities during a tour.
You need just what what exactly will be included in the basic cost of the trip. Will you have to pay for airfare? Hotel or other amenities? Will the tour include any free days that you might want to use shopping? Confirm as well if there will be additional activities as part of the tour. Keep in mind that these will probably cost extra and require advance booking.
Cultural immersion can be defined in various ways. If meeting locals is one of your goals for the trip, spend a night in a homestay or share a meal with the family. You can also see a traditional play or dance. Tour companies offer different levels of cultural immersion, so pick the one that matches your preferences the most.
There is probably nothing more important for a tourist than his itinerary. Make sure all the attraction you want to see are part of the tour. This one is so easy. Just ask your prospective tour company to give you a copy of their itinerary, or maybe just look it up on their website. Of course, you can always customize your tour if you don’t like the preset packages.
There are times when you won’t want a lot of free time, like when you dislike your tour group or when the trip is shorter. On the other hand, more free time may be exactly what you want so you can enjoy the attractions on your own. Most of the time, tour companies will be happy to accommodate your preferences if you tell them.