Fact or fiction: common group touring myths
‘Is a group tour for me?’ It’s a common question, and one that should definitely be considered before booking a holiday. We think group tours are a fantastic way to see the world – and they might be more suited to you than you realise. We’ve broken down a few common touring myths into the facts and the fiction, to help give you more of an idea about what group tours are really like…
It’s always a big, impersonal group
FICTION. Small group tours have a maximum of 24 guests on them – on some tours, we limit numbers to just 12. If you don’t like the idea of a larger group (our main tours can have 40-50 guests), these smaller group itineraries are ideal.
Small group travel allows for a more intimate experience, where everyone on the trip can really gel and get to know one another. You can enjoy some really incredible experiences, too – things that aren’t possible with bigger groups, like watching the changing of the guard ceremony at the India-Pakistan border, for example, or meeting artisans in Costa Rica.
Our African safari tours are all small groups, as we feel that wildlife-watching experiences are always better with fewer people. It’s the same in South America (small group tours to Ecuador allow you to have a richer experience when cruising the Galapagos Islands) and Central America (small group tours in Costa Rica give us access to some incredible parks and reserves that would be harder to access with a big group).
Group tours are great for exploring multiple destinations…
FACT. Variety is one of the key advantages of a touring holiday. Many of our itineraries take you to a whole host of amazing places, often travelling between states, regions, islands and even countries along the way.
A European tour could take you to Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, for example; from Venice to Sicily on a two-week trip through Italy; or to three gorgeous Greek Islands. Opt for one of our South America group tours, and you could be whisked off to discover Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls and Rio on one unforgettable journey.
…but they’re not so great if you want to stay in one place
FICTION. While lots of itineraries keep you on the move, there are options if you prefer to stay put. Our Stay & Explore holidays are based in just one or two hotels, with excursions to explore the local area as well as more free time to relax.
And there are plenty of tours which cover one destination in depth – our Cuba group tours, for example, introduce you to the island’s Spanish colonial cities, beach resorts and lush valleys over 12 days. And on ‘Israel – Discover the Promised Land’, you’ll stay in three locations (Tel Aviv, Galilee and Jerusalem), giving you plenty of time to explore the sights around each one.
Every second is planned – I won’t get any free time
FICTION. While our itineraries are carefully planned out, we do build in time for you to relax and do your own thing. As mentioned above, Stay & Explore holidays are great for this. But even on traditional touring holidays, you will get time to yourself.
Our website lists in-depth itineraries for each tour, so you can see exactly what you’ll be doing and when. Some tours are more action-packed than others – it’s up to you whether you want to choose something that squeezes lots in or go for something a bit more laid-back.
I’m a solo traveller, so I’ll feel left out on a group tour
FICTION. Group tours are actually fantastic for those who are travelling on their own. Not only do we welcome thousands of single travellers on our main tours each year, but we even have a range of tours reserved just for those on their own. They go to all sorts of places, from Switzerland’s mountains to Japan’s temples, and give you the chance to see some incredible destinations with a group of like-minded solo travellers.
They’re a hassle-free way to travel
FACT. If you’re looking for a holiday where the planning, organising and logistics are sorted out for you, a group tour is ideal. On our tours, you don’t even need to think about how you’re going to get to the airport – we’ll pick you up from home in one of our VIP transfer vehicles.
The itinerary has been taken care of, the flights booked, the hotel rooms reserved. You’ll even have a Titan tour manager on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly and everyone knows when and where they need to be for excursions and transfers.
I’ll be sat on a coach the entire time
FICTION. Yes, there is a fair amount of time on a coach, and definitely more than you’d get if you opted for a beach holiday. But you won’t be spending all day every day travelling – we plan out our itineraries to make sure there’s always a good mix of time spent travelling and time spent exploring or relaxing.
Some itineraries will naturally have longer journeys as they cover bigger distances (cross-country tours of America, say, or some of our Australia holidays). But there are many where you’ll perhaps spend a couple of hours a day travelling.
If you’re in any doubt about the amount of travel time, our friendly travel advisors can let you know more specific timings. You can also use the ‘Ask a traveller’ feature on our website, which lets you pose questions to customers who’ve been on the tour you’re looking at.
It’s just sightseeing – no time for experiencing the destination
FICTION. There are some truly memorable experiences included on our holidays. On our Sri Lanka group tours, you’ll go on a leopard-spotting safari and take high tea in hill country. In Uzbekistan, you’ll tuck into lunch at a yurt camp and attend a Bukharian cooking masterclass. And our Zimbabwe tours end with a sunset dinner on a steam train past Victoria Falls.
Sure, you’ll see plenty of sights along the way. But we love to include opportunities for you to meet locals, try traditional cuisine and really get to know your destination (particularly on our small group tours – immersive experiences are just one reason we think this type of holiday is so special).
For more information about group tours, take a look at our website or contact our travel advisors.
Although she loves a lie-in at home, Laura is often up and about before dawn on holiday. She’s watched the sun rise over the Grand Canyon, Uluru and Angkor Wat, but her favourite was seeing the first light of the New Year sweeping across the yacht-dotted waters of Sydney Harbour.
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