6 reasons to choose an organised tour
Even though I had travelled extensively overseas with my family when it came to go travelling on my own for the first time I was very nervous. I was so nervous that I almost cancelled all my plans to travel Europe as I didn’t think I could go on my own. It was my parents who suggested to me to go on an organised tour. And they gave me 6 very good reasons why I should. So let me share their reasons with you.
1. A tour will include accommodation and most meals
Yes, this is quite true, accommodation was included. The accommodation on my tour was a mix of local styles to provide a great European experience. So in France we stayed in a French Chateaux. In Italy we stayed in an Italian Villa. While in Switzerland we stayed in a Swiss Ski Chalet. We even spent the night on a small cruise ship sailing along the Rhine River. I don’t know if I would have found such places if I travelled on my own!
And most meals were included. Well we all had to pitch in with duties to make the meals and this helped me meet people. On some nights we went out to experience the local food.
2. No single supplement
Some tour companies charge what is called a single supplement for those who travel on their own. This is because hotels have always charged singles more to stay in a room and so the tour companies would pass this on to their clients. My tour didn’t charge a single supplement as it didn’t offer single rooms, everyone had to share with someone or a number of people. This is great to keep the cost of the tour down.
3. Everything paid for before you go
With everything paid for before I left (well the accommodation, bus travel and food) all I had to take with me was spending money for souvenirs and incidentals. The potential incidentals were explained to me before I booked the tour so I knew what to expect.
4. Meet like-minded people my age
My parents were convinced I would meet some great people on my tour. They suggested I go with a tour company that was aimed at my age group (at the time that was 18-30 years). They had obviously done their own research because they presented me with a number of tour brochures.
I wasn’t that sure about organised tours as I know you get all sorts of people on tours. I was worried (yes I was worried about everything) that I would end up with ‘idiots’. But it turns out I was pleasantly surprised. Of course there were some idiots and annoying people but I made a couple of friends and we stuck together. And my parents were right, I met a great bunch of people including my partner.
5. Provide safety and security
Being on a tour was like travelling in a cocoon where I felt safe and secure as I had other travellers around me. Plus I had the backing of the tour guide and bus driver. Both of them were fonts of knowledge and were there to ensure a safe, secure and enjoyable environment. I felt my back was covered.
6. Tours take you to places you want to see
The tour company had a number of tours available and I was able to choose one that suited me and my budget. The one I chose took me to the major cities in Europe and included visits to all the major sights I wanted to see. I had dreamt about seeing the Sound of Music House, the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Coloseum, cruising the Greek Islands, etc. My list was endless and my tour took me to all those places.
I had always wanted to see the Coloseum and my tour took me there.
6. Great grounding for more travels
Doing the organised tour for my first trip overseas through Europe on my own was one of the best things I did. It gave me confidence and an insight into travelling with people. The tour was a great grounding for my future travels.
About the Author:
Sharyn McCullum had travelled extensively thanks to her father that worked at Sydney Airport. When she wanted to go to Europe on her own her parents recommended going on a tour. She chose Contiki and loved it. Later, she went on other tours including with Top Deck and Trafalgar. Also lots of independent travel and with friends. She currently calls Melbourne home.
Check out Contiki’s tours by clicking on the link below.