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|
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.|
4. You're taken to all the best places.
5. You're taken to places you wouldn't have thought to visit.
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!|
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|
8. You get the best of travelling alone and travelling with friends.
9. You make new friends.
10. Your guide keeps you safe.
|Our fearless leader|
11. Your guide is there to answer all your questions.
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?