You may think that personally planning every last detail of your upcoming vacation is the best way to have a memorable vacation. Or you may only think of the massive get-on-the-bus-get-off-the-bus trips when you hear the words “group tour”. But there is one type of trip that can often be overlooked – the small group tour.
Small group tours provide a number of benefits over trying to plan a whole vacation on your own and certainly offer a more intimate and engaging experience than the 50 person plus group tours.
Small Group Tour vs. On Your Own
- The only thing you have to plan is how you are getting yourself to the first meeting spot. After that, your transportation, accommodations, meals, and activities are taken care of for you – with some flexibility built in so that you can switch things around if something unexpected comes up.
- You meet like-minded, fun people. If you’re going on a food, beer, or wine tour, you already have a built-in common interest with the other people going on the trip with you. And those commonalities help to facilitate deep and engaging conversations that help to enhance your vacation experience.
- You have the opportunity to do exclusive experiences that you otherwise not have access to.Tour companies work hard at building relationships with local restaurants, wineries, breweries, and other establishments to create unique and interesting experiences not available to the everyday traveler. Even doing the most extensive online research may not reveal some of the experiences that are only available by going on a tour.
- You see the great places outside of the touristy areas. Like the bullet point above, some tour companies pride themselves in their local partnerships and love to get off the beaten path to show their tour guests something only the locals know about.
Small Group Tour vs. Large Group Tour
- Most small group tours are not just a get on the bus get off the bus tour. Small tour group companies their numbers low so that you don’t have to feel like cattle getting herded from one tourist trap to the next.
- Guides don’t have to cater to a large number of people so your preferences will be considered. If you have 50 people on a tour, there isn’t enough time or resources to cater to everyone’s preferences. On a small group tour, it is more likely that if you mention liking something or wanting to check a particular place out, your guide can either adjust the tour schedule accordingly or at least provide some recommendations on where to go when you have some free time.
- It stays intimate and authentic. The fewer people that are traveling with you, the more up-close-and-personal experience you’ll have, wherever you are vacationing.
- You can get stay at boutique hotels and get into less touristy restaurants. There are infinite options of amazing restaurants and accommodations all around the world but you are significantly limited when you are trying to fit 50+ people at one sitting or in one hotel.
Next time you are planning your vacation, consider a small group tour – it may be the perfect fit for you!