I agree that when we arrange our own trip, we’ll have total freedom. However, what’s bugging me is when some people think they’re better travellers because they arrange their own trips. They got the wrong impression about joining tours!
It’s like the
I have some reasons to arrange a private tour or join a tour, but the strongest reason is to help me attain the tourist visas. That’s how I got my very first Schengen Visa, even though I was in a complicated situation.
This article isn’t about boosting the benefit of joining a tour, just an honest opinion from someone who often
Myth: Tour Has Packed and Rushing Itinerary
Truth: Overseas Tour Operators Give More “Me Time”
Not having freedom is the #1 fear for most people. I agree, if you join a tour you won’t have as much freedom as
I joined the same UK tour operator for my Italy, Northern Europe and Spain + Portugal trips. During those trips, I had plenty of free time and didn’t feel rushed at all.
For example, I had a few of one free day(s) to do whatever I wanted in the city. One free-day to discover Cinque Terre, Italy, I admit is a bit rushing. Meanwhile, 3 ½ free days in St. Petersburg is surely enough?
What’s better, they often give you a city orientation for about 1-2 hour then let you roam the city by yourself. It’s like experiencing half group tour, half solo trip – minus the headache of arranging everything yourself!
Myth: You Can’t Choose Your Own Food
Truth: Overseas Tour Operators Give More Freedom in Dining Options
While you can’t choose where you’ll be staying, but overseas tour operators give you more freedom to choose where to eat. Breakfast is mostly included, plus a few lunches or dinners.
On the other hand, most tour packages by tour operators in Asia are including breakfast, lunch
Also, usually after the meal you have to go to another destination, makes it an inconvenience to split from the tour group just to find your
Myth: Extra Cost When Travelling Solo
Truth: You Don’t Always Have to Pay Single Supplement When Travelling Solo
The most painful part of
Many overseas tour operators waive this fee as they will find a roommate with the same gender for you. The downside, you’ll never know if you’ll click with your stranger-roomie. If you don’t, keep calm until the last day of the trip!
What if there’s no other solo traveller to share a room with me? Then the room is all yours!
For Malaysian tour operators, you can inform your tour agent that you want to share a room with someone from the same gender. If there’s another solo
Myth: Joining a Tour is More Expensive Than Travelling Solo
Truth: Some Tours May Help You Save Time and Money
It really depends on the destination you’re eyeing, how long you’ll be there and your chosen tour operator.
For example, my 10D7N Morocco tour in December 2015 cost me around RM10,000 all-in (including 5-star hotels, flight, meals, local tour guide, driver, bus, entrance fees).
If I go by myself, the cheapest flight ticket alone almost cost me RM4,000. The locals there don’t really speak English (outside of big cities) and must-visited places are located far far away.
I really wanted to see the Sahara Desert, so I joined the tour without thinking twice. Saved me time and headache.
Another example is my friend who
If she joined a tour, she would stay in much better hotels, eat better food and visited more places. But of course, she had total freedom.
To me personally, when it comes to certain destinations, especially those without easy transportation access, good hygiene, women-friendly and English-speaking people, joining a tour is a better option.
Subjective: Learning History is More Interesting on the Spot
Everyone has his own idea of travelling. To me, I won’t leave a place without knowing the history, fun facts or gossip about the place I’m visiting.
In this digital era, you can find all information about your destination online, but how many of you read them thoroughly? Do you prefer to learn it in textbook style or learn it on the spot?
As a visual learner, I find it more interesting when the tour guide tells me history about something while pointing at the actual thing (like statue, painting).
Giving me directions on the spot is also more helpful, makes it easier for me to remember where to go and read a
One of many destinations where you’ll miss out the big picture if you don’t engage a local tour guide or join a group tour in Cuba. The country is full of history and interesting culture (hello Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Martha Jimenez!).
It’ll be a waste if you travel there just to snap beautiful photos without learning anything.
Alright friends, those are five things that people got wrong about group tour, according to my personal opinion.
Perhaps one day when I have a partner who loves
Is there anything that you want to add on what people got wrong about joining tours? Just comment below 😉