Adventure

6 Group Tour Myths That Need To Be Busted

Throw everything you believe out the window.

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What comes to mind when you picture a group tour? A huge group of rowdy singles? Budget accommodation? A landmarks-only bus tour of the world that misses out on local flavour?

Well, friends, it’s time to throw those misconceptions right out the window. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the biggest group tour myths floating around, and a few reasons why they’re just plain wrong.

Myth #1: It’s more expensive than going solo

Says who? Yes, travel has costs, and depending on the places you go, this price tag can stack up. But going on a tour doesn’t mean you have to fork out an arm and a leg to make it work.

Booking a tour means you’re travelling with operators who are able to get you (and your group) the best deals on accommodation, food and other essentials. Plus, because tours come with a transparent price tag upfront, you don’t get sledged with unexpected costs that sometimes arise when your solo travel planning just isn’t up to scratch.

Pick tours that cover all the ground you want to cover, and let them do the organising in one affordable hit.

Myth #2 Tours aren’t worth it

Au contraire, dear friends, tours are worth it – you’ve just got to sort the wheat from the chaff. Like anything, there are good tours and less good tours, and the good ones are almost always inspiring, challenging, enlightening, run by savvy people who understand the lay of the land and the local scene, and support local communities and the environment while they do it.

Whether it’s a half-day bike tour of Berlin’s underground, or a multi-day jaunt through South America with a reputable and conscious crew, tours can, in fact, be the best thing you ever do. Choose wisely, choose ethically, and get set for an incredible experience.

Myth #3 They’re for the just-turned-18 set or retirees

Yes, there are tours full of starry-eyed 18-year-olds with newly minted passports just ready to experience everything the world has to offer (who can blame them?). And, yes there are tours full of retirees looking to rest their knee joints and still take in the sights.

But that fails to take into account the whole range of tours available for everyone else. These days, you can book tours for 18-39-year-olds, private group tours (just for you and your mates), family tours if you have little ones, and that’s just the beginning. One thing’s for sure, no matter your age, travel is likely to make you feel younger, and feel more alive.

Myth #4 Every second is planned

While some like to have their t’s crossed and their i’s dotted on each and every itinerary and booking sheet, micromanagement remains an optional extra on tour.

In fact, so much of travel is about the things that come up when you least expect them, and good tours recognise this by building in swathes of free time to allow you to explore and make your own discoveries.

And (of course) when you can’t figure out just how to organise a permit for a hiking trail or you need the help of someone who speaks the local language, your tour guide is always there for back up.

Myth #5 You shouldn’t go by yourself

Yes, you can, and yes, you should. It’s one of the most liberating things anyone can do. Having the ability to pave your own path to the places you’ve always dreamed of is an astonishingly rewarding experience. Plus, going solo leaves you more open to new friendships: you never know who you’ll meet along the way!

Myth #6 You’ll see the greatest hits… And nothing else

Eiffel Tower. Notre Dame. Trevi Fountain. They’re just some of the landmarks you can catch on tour (and capture for your Instagram feed). But if you want to scratch beyond the surface, you’re in luck, because many tour companies now pride themselves on giving travellers locals-only access and life-altering experiences that go way beyond travel clichés.

Whether you’re catching stunning landscapes from your train window on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, are discovering the little-known secrets of Oman or are learning about voodoo in Haiti, there’s a tour for everyone’s interests, steeped in local culture and full of unexpected adventure.

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