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. At least, there are many options out there, but how do you take a pick?
Tour Group Size
First of all, look at the tour group’s size. Smaller means you have more flexibility and easier access to what they call a destination’s “secret gems.” But that also means you’ll be spending a lot of time with the same bunch of people.
Pace and Physical Requirements
Tour pace and physical requirements can affect your travel experience more than you think it can. If you’re the type who likes to linger at an attraction, you might prefer a guided tour. If you like to check out as many attractions as possible, a coach tour or a ship cruise may be the better choice. When it comes to physical requirements, expect different modes of transportation to be provided. Also, not all activities during a tour are mandatory.
You have to know the exact inclusions in the basic cost of the trip. Will you have to pay for airfare? What about accommodation or other amenities? Will there be any free days you’d like to spend shopping? Confirm as well if there will be additional activities as part of the tour. Take note that these will likely cost extra and have to be booked in advance.
There can be many ways to define cultural immersion. 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 take a cooking class and learn some local dishes. Tour companies offer different levels of cultural immersion, so pick the one that matches your preferences the most.
The itinerary may well be considered the most important part of a tour, guided or not. Make sure the tour you pick includes all the attractions you want to see. This one is quite easy. Simply ask for a copy of your prospect’s itinerary, or just look for it on their website. Of course, you have the option to take a custom tour if you’re not happy with any of their packages.
Sometimes, you may not want too much free time, as when the trip is shorter or you don’t like the group you’re with On the other hand, you may want more free time to explore on your own. Tour companies are usually happy to work with you on your preferences.