How to Pick a Tour Operator
You know that trip must be taken now or never, but you don’t know which tour company to use. You have a lot of options, that’s for sure, but how do you choose the right one?
Tour Group Size
First of all, check the size of the tour group. Smaller ones offer more flexibility and easier access to what they call the “hidden gems” of a destination. 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. In terms of physical requirements, you can expect various modes of transportation to be available. 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. Do you cover your airfare? How about accommodation or other amenities? Will the tour include any free days that you might want to use shopping? Also check whether there are other activities that will be offered during the tour. Note that these will likely cost extra and need to be booked ahead.
There can be many ways to define cultural immersion. If you want to spend time with locals, maybe stay a night in a homestay or at least have a meal with the family. You can also take a cooking class and learn some local dishes. Tour companies can offer varied levels of cultural immersion, so go with the one that is most in line with your preferences.
There is probably nothing more important for a tourist than his itinerary. Make sure the tour you pick includes all the attractions you want to see. This is very easy. Just ask the tour company for a copy of their itinerary, or maybe you can even find it on their website. Of course, you can always customize your tour if you don’t like the preset 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.