Monday, 25 January 2016

11 reasons for going travelling with a tour group

For the majority of my trip through South-East Asia, I was travelling with a tour group run by G Adventures, and I could not recommend it more (no-one's paid me to say that, honest!)

Although guided tour groups may be associated with retired folk on Saga cruises, a lot of young people - particularly solo travellers - go adventuring with tour groups these days. Contiki is a big one, but there are tons of companies. I booked mine through STA Travel who work with a bunch of tour companies, including G Adventures.

As a 23-year-old girl heading off to Asia for the first time by herself, it was absolutely perfect for me.

Some people turn their noses up at tour groups, but I think they're wrong. Sure, you may lose a smidge of spontaneity, but you gain so much. It's just so much fun and so easy! Here's what I mean:

1. It's hassle-free before and during, thus also a timesaver. 

You can just recline like Buddha here
With my trip, the accommodation in each place and travel from place-to-place was all organised for me. And that's the stressful part of travelling, am I right? On travel days, all I had to do was dump my backpack in the back of a minibus and relax or follow my guide through an airport or train station. Simples!

2. It's targeted to your budget.

G Adventures offer trips at various different levels of luxury (or basic-ness!) so you know that the places you'll be taken to will fit your budget.

3. You know each place you stay will be decent. 

Alas we did not stay here as I was on a budget tour, but some day I plan to.
We've all heard accommodation horror stories from travellers who've backpacked through Asia, but by travelling with a tour group, you now you won't be taken anywhere too horrendous.

4. You're taken to all the best places. 
If I'd had to research everywhere I wanted to go in advance, I'd never have gone! Having run their tours for yeeeaaars, G Adventures know which places you're going to want to visit and how long to spend in each.

5. You're taken to places you wouldn't have thought to visit. 
Had I been travelling by myself, I'd never have spent nights in the Sumatran jungle but I am SO glad I did! My trip was ace as we went to all the tourist sights you want to tick off your list, but then also loads of places that were genuinely off the beaten track where we didn't see any other white people for days.

6. You're free to do as you please in each place.

Day on the beach with a coconut? OKAY THEN!

Although travel from place-to-place is organised and the itinerary is fixed, you can do whatever you want in each destination.

7. You get ideas of what to do from fellow travellers and your guide.

The amazing Indian restaurant we found thanks to Alice's guidebook

In each place we stopped, our guide gave us recommendations of what was actually worth seeing and doing, which was great. The other guys on the tour also suggested things that I hadn't heard of which was fab too.

8. You get the best of travelling alone and travelling with friends.
Want to spend some time by yourself? Off you pop. Fancy a big group dinner? You've got chums!

9. You make new friends.
No doubt about it, I have made friends for life, and I know I'm going to meet up with some of my new travel pals again. My group changed throughout the trip and although the majority of us were in our early 20s, our ages ranged from 18 to late 30s and we came from all over the world (but mainly the UK!). Even though I probably won't keep in touch with everyone, it was great to meet like-minded people - we were mostly young solo female travellers - and always have people to do things with. I know a lot of people meet up with friends from their tour group further into their travels, which is lovely. We had a ball!

10. Your guide keeps you safe.

Our fearless leader

As well as having a great group of people, our guide, Masha, was fantastic. She was so knowledgeable and warned us of any scams and the like, ensuring we didn't get ripped off or into trouble.

11. Your guide is there to answer all your questions. 
And I had a lot of questions. From asking where she'd recommend for dinner to random cultural curiosities, Masha knew the answer to everything. I learnt so much from her. What's that plant? Why do women work more than men? Is this safe to eat? She always had the answers.

Although travelling with a tour group may not be right for everyone, it was perfect for me, particularly for my first big exotic trip by myself. DO IT! I wanna go again!

Have you ever been travelling with a tour group? Or would you?


  1. I've been on a couple of tours with Trek America and loved them for all the same reasons! I do feel like people turn their nose up at tour holidays - nobody has ever said anything to me about it but there's such an expectation that real travel has to be done independently in order to come off the beaten track and truly see a place yada yada yada... I always find myself justifying the tour but people are always really open to the idea :) p.s lol at the baby elephant being a little too out of its depth haha xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy

    1. Couldn't agree more, Lucy. Trek America would be awesome! x


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