Common Misconceptions about Group Tours
By Real Travelling
Last updated: 31st July 2018
We absolutely LOVE group tours. For us, group tours offer the perfect combination of fun, adventure, socialising and unique experiences, all in one convenient travel package – plus accommodation, transport and activities are all sorted! However, some people hold some strange misconceptions that put them off group tours. We’re here to set the record straight:
1. I’ll only see the tourist traps
Some people can be worried that a group tour just takes in all the tourist sights and doesn’t allow any time to explore the more off-the-beaten track locations. Firstly, there’s a reason that tourist sights are so popular – they really are some of the best places in the country that you simply must see, so any good tour will take them in. Secondly, in a competitive travel industry, tour operators want to make their trips stand out and so many include off-the-beaten track excursions and unique experiences in remote locations.
2. A group tour is too rushed
Group tours often pack a great deal into a short space of time. This allows you to see as much as possible while you’re there. However, some travellers may be worried that they’ll feel too rushed. A good group tour operator allows more time at popular places, and often adapts their itineraries based on customer feedback to dedicate more time to places that past customers have enjoyed.
You could also see a group tour as a good introduction to a country, showing you the best places around and helping you settle into how everything works. You can then explore more of the country on your own. Why not schedule some independent travel time after your tour is over and return to your favourite places?
3. I’ll be stuck on a bus the whole time
Another common misconception about a group tour is that you’ll spend the whole time sat on a bus. On some tours, you will encounter long bus journeys to get from place to place, but this would be true even if you travelled solo. The benefit of a tour is that you’ll often be on a well air-conditioned coach, with free Wi-Fi and a group of travelling friends to pass the time with. Many tours also use different sorts of transport, including private yachts and public trains, which are a travel adventure in and of themselves!
4. I could do it cheaper myself
This is a very common complaint about group tours. Travellers sometimes believe that tours are overpriced and they could get the same experience for much less on their own. In some cases, this might be true – you might be able to do the same experiences for a little less, if you are prepared to haggle for excursions, compare dozens of hotel prices in each destination and seek out low-cost transport. On the other hand, if you book a tour, you get all your accommodation, transport and activities sorted out for you, allowing you to get on with enjoying your trip! Plus, a group tour can often be cheaper, as tour operators get access to exclusive deals, and travelling in a group means transport and accommodation costs can be split between everyone.
5. I’ll never get any privacy
The thought of being thrust into a group of strangers for a couple of weeks might be your worst nightmare, especially if you’re an introverted personality. Even if you’re a social animal, you might be worried that being around other people non-stop on a tour will start to wear thin. This is actually a common misconception. Group tours actually give you plenty of free time to get some alone time. Whether it be a stroll along the beach, or grabbing a solo coffee in the city, you can recharge your batteries and enjoy some ‘me’ time. Then when you’re ready to go back, you have a group of friends to return to. Better than being lonely on your travels!
6. I’ll stay in rubbish accommodation and eat gross meals
Not true! Group tours have contacts with some of the finest, good value accommodation in every destination they visit. From funky backpacker hostels to cultural homestays or even private yacht cabins, you’ll stay in exquisite places as part of your group tour. Some tours include meals, and these will often showcase local culture and cuisine. You might enjoy authentic street food, home-cooked community meals or sizzling beach BBQs.
7. It’s for old people
This is quite an old misconception about group tours that doesn’t really exist anymore. It used to be that ‘group tour’ conjured images of white-haired retirees on a museum tour of the continent. Now, a group tour is far more synonymous with young, adventurous backpackers looking for unique travel experiences. With adrenaline activities, surf lessons, adventure treks and nights out – there’s nothing ‘old’ about group tours!
Fancy exploring the world on a group tour? Head over to our website and check out our awesome guided trips around the world.