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Find Your Travel Style: Group Tour Or Private Tour?

Apr 9, 2008
It is not always about money - you may have sufficient funds to afford either but one of them would suit you more. And it is not always about your general style or preferences as 'travel style' is totally different. Many positive people may turn to be 'unbearable' fellows while traveling only because they have chosen the wrong style.

You can go for group tours if you agree with some or most of the statements below:

- You are single and do not have a travel buddy: Join group tours for more fun, less cost and of course to make new friends.

- You are not alone but still enjoy knowing people from all over the world; where else will you have this chance?

- You are female(s) traveling to less developed countries - stick to group tours if possible. Groups can offer more safety and comfort.

- You seek for maximum efficiency: Group tours have pre-scheduled itineraries to maximize your sightseeing. No matter how long your wife/husband would prefer to stay at a shop or your photo addict friend would like to take extra shots; the tour has to end when the guide blows the whistle.

- Although money is not everything, it is something: In some countries such as Turkey, Greece or Morocco private tours cost almost double or even triple prices when compared to the group tours. For small families or friend groups (2-3 traveler) it'll be more cost effective to join escorted group tours.

If you are not sure about your travel style yet, here are the reasons why people prefer private tours despite the higher costs:

- You want to have full control on where to go, how to go, when to relax, when to shop etc. No matter how much more it cots, take a private tour.

- You are not control freak but prefer flexibility while traveling: Well, check the group itinerary, see how tight their schedule is. Some group tours provide flexibility to some extend. But at the end, there will be at least 30 more people to share the same flexibility.

- You want to get off the regular tourist path; you prefer to visit a less known sight hidden at the far end of the city, or to stop at a local snack shop to mingle with the locals. If yes, you'll have limited opportunity for this with a group.

- Your tolerance limit is somewhat low while traveling. Totally understandable. Well, in a group tour there might be fellow travelers that you dislike and you'll need to stick with them for the entire tour. If this sounds like a nightmare, private tour might be a better option.

- You have certain accommodation preferences such as design hotels, awarded hotels, small B&B's etc. However group tours usually stay at western type standard hotels to cater for the taste of the majority.

- You want to have the time and the freedom to ask silly questions.

- Simply you prefer privacy and personalized service!

- Last but not least, you have extra savings to afford all the reasons mentioned above.

So what will you do for your next trip? You don't have to decide right away. It all depends on the destination, on the tour company, itinerary you'll be looking for, the price etc. You will see that it is much easier to find group tour sellers. There are certain big tour operators that organize these tours and most of the travel agencies sell the same packages with same rates. However for private tours, you definitely need to make your homework. Look for a smaller boutique travel company that provides customized service. This company should have some expertise about the destination, should have the patience, and bulk purchasing power. The only way to understand all these are by asking questions, asking for price and comparing at least few companies. Always and always check the legitimateness of the tour company. Where is it registered and licensed? Are you under the protection of a provincial travel fund if anything goes wrong? All these questions are crucial before traveling to a new destination. At the end, when traveling is involved, cheapest is not always the best; peace of mind is what every traveler will be looking for.
About the Author
Turkay Aykut is the Sales Manager of Anatolia Tours & Travel Co. offering private and escorted tours to Turkey , Greece, Morocco, Dubai, Oman, Egypt & Jordan. More information at http://www.anatoliatravels.com.
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