Monday, February 24, 2014

Group Travel or Not?

Hello friends… I say that like a lot of folks are out there reading, but I’m never sure it’s not just me here posting away for no good reason other than to hear myself roar!

I had lunch last weekend with Sharon Williams, the woman who got me into teaching travel classes in the first place! There were a lot of topics flying around. Many about group travel.

I find that as I get older, group travel seems to hold more and more appeal! So, I thought I’d blog a bit on that and see if anyone else out there has further comments on the subject. The reason I say I might be interested in group travel are:

  • Someone is handling the bags for me
  • I don’t have to wrack my brains to plan the perfect trip – it’s planned for me
  • They pick me up, they set me down, fixed itinerary – no muss, no fuss. No picking up (and driving) rental cars in a foreign country. No trains or planes to catch. Nothing but a luxury bus ride
  • There are any variety of groups traveling… I can take a walking holiday with a guide or see Arthurian historical sites. I can go on a pub tour or a fishing angler’s tour… anything that you can imagine is out there!
  • I can see new countries in relative safety with a group tour. It’s not like I just show up in Turkey and have to find my own way around.
  • It’s a great way to introduce myself to a country and then on followup trips, I’ll know the places I want to visit on my own or even whether I *want* to return to the country or not.
  • You (can) get really great insight if the tour guide is decent. I love to learn!
  • If you’re shy about meeting people, group tours are a great way to break into things more easily. Solo travel *can* be daunting!
  • It can be an adventure that you never could have thought of on your own. Imagine a James Bond tour or a music legends tour.
 Of course, there’s the little guy sitting on my other shoulder saying:
  • You’re LOCKED into their itinerary. It’s not flexible.
  • If you get a bad tour guide, that’s just tough… you’re stuck for days on end.
  • You’re stuck with what *they* consider are good hotels (I wasn’t happy on my last Trafalgar tour with the chosen hotels for the most part). 
But then, the OTHER guy says, "yanno, you can get small, custom group tours or river tours or train tours or self-catering tours or ... there is just about any FLAVOR of group tour you can think of!"

All in all, though, I don’t think group tours should be ignored as a possible travel option even if you typically travel solo or are an experienced traveler.  It just *could* open some horizons for you. :)

The World Famous Dog & Gun Pub, Keswick