Organised Group Tours
Organised group tours are great if you have a short amount of time but still want to see as much as possible while on holidays.
The majority of sites and attractions as well as all the accommodation are already included in their costing meaning you are covered even before you go. This means you need less money on your trip and in your wallet when you arrive.
However just keep in mind that not all tours and sites are included. Make sure when making enquiries that you find out what is already included and what isn’t. Some national parks for example may need to be paid at the entrance.
There are three main categories for group touring companies as far as price goes; budget, mid range and fully inclusive. An example of budget and full inclusive is the company Gecko’s. It is actually a child company and budget version of Peregrine tours which is a fully inclusive tour operator.
Each company and category has different accommodation levels and some of the sites either aren’t included in the budget tours or come at a price on arrival.
Usually you have a choice; pay to go in to a site or just hang around the town or city while the others see the attractions.
The budget group tours for example might use camping grounds or hostels for their accommodation and may even use local transport to get around.
Mid Range tours might either have a combination of hostels and/or perhaps all 2 to 3 star hotels. Where-as the fully inclusive tours generally stay at 4 to 5 star hotels where available and these include pretty much all of the tours.
Another good benefit about group tours is that all the accommodation and transport already included and is organised before you leave. This takes out a lot of stress of travelling around foreign countries and trying to arrange all the different hotels you may need if you were to do it all yourself..
When it comes to the attractions and sites do make sure you know what’s included. The reason I urge you to check this is for the very reason that mid-range tours might be cheaper than the budget tours, depending if you wanted to do all of the attractions.
You might look at the budget one and go wow that’s $500 cheaper, but when you add all the extra sites and attraction charges it may work out to be the same or possibly even more than the mid-range tours. It all depends on how much you want to do or see.
If you did it this way you get the better accommodation plus get to see everything you intended to see, plus more. You don’t want to book the budget tour if it means you are going to miss out on something you’ve always wanted to do or see.
If you are travelling solo, most of these companies will allow you to pay a single supplement if you want to a room to yourself. This attracts additional costs of course as the tour company need to pay for an extra room.
However if you were to opt in for sharing a room then you save on that single supplement charge. You will need to share a twin room but this is another way to meet new people and make new friends.
A lot of the meals are also included while on the tour. This will also save you a tonne of money. The budget to mid range tours may only offer breakfast and lunch and sometimes a couple of the dinners, especially when in the remote areas.
Compared these meals to the full inclusive tours and you may find that they surprise 3 meals a day every day you are on the tour. Again this will come down to preference as you may want your own choice of restaurant.
So when comparing tours make sure you find out what meals are already included.
You may again find that mid-range tours are better off then budget when you add in costs for additional meals as well as the sites and attractions that are included.
Some of these group touring companies include; Gecko’s, Peregrine, Contiki, G Adventures, Top Deck, Trafalgar, Scenic, Helen Wong, Toucan, Adventure World and many more just like them.
Shop around and make sure you check the inclusions in order to determine what’s best for your trip and what you intend to do while at the destination.
How many breakfasts are included? How many lunches and dinners are also included? What sites and attractions are included, what’s not included? Are there any gratuities or government taxes that I need to pay on arrival? Do I need visas for any of those countries?
These are the sorts of questions you need to ask when enquiring about organised group tours.
Determining the above will help you figure out what truly is the cheapest and the best option for your travel.
If you don’t care about seeing too many of the attractions then go on a budget tour, If you want all meals and all attractions included then look at full inclusive tours.
Do always compare both of these options to the midrange tours for both price and inclusions as well.