There’s a lot to think about while traveling.
Where you’re staying. How to get around. Where to eat. What to see. Safety. Cultural norms. The list goes on and on.
It’s a lot of responsibility and all of those details send some people running in the opposite direction of their travel dreams.
I like to think everyone has a little bit of wanderlust in them. We all have an innate desire to explore, but there are many reasons why people hold themselves back. Perhaps the greatest of those reasons is fear.
Exploring a new city or country can be intimidating, but there’s a way around that. Nervous would-be travelers - this one’s for you.
Most people vacation independently, meaning that they fly into a destination, check into their accommodations, rent a car, explore on their own, and are in charge of their daily schedule. Most of the itineraries I assemble are for independent travel, but that leaves out an entire group of people who want to explore, but have doubts about going it alone.
The solution to this problem lies in a very simple and accessible form of traveling known as escorted touring.
Picture this: you choose a destination, arrive, and are met by a tour group leader who handles everything for you during your stay. All activities, lodging, and transportation are arranged for you. Something goes wrong? Handled. Access to exclusive activities or restaurants? Yes. Expert advice and leadership all week long? Absolutely.
Escorted travel allows you to push yourself right up to the edge of your comfort zone without feeling completely alone in a new country. You reap all of the benefits of travel without the angst. Along with that, you get the chance to meet other like-minded travelers without having to spend every waking second with them. Structured itineraries, coupled with strategic free time allow travelers to experience the best parts of a destination, all while still feeling like a grown up on vacation rather than a child on a field trip.
In short, escorted touring makes far-off lands accessible for people who aren’t interested in going off the beaten path on their own, but still crave an experience outside of their comfort zone.
Let’s take New Zealand for example.
First of all, they drive on the other side of the road AND on the other side of the car. I quiver just thinking about it, and I’m a fairly adventurous traveler.
So instead of white-knuckling from one city to another, you can travel with an escorted group, moving through the country on comfortable transportation, staying in authentic lodging, and participating in activities than you may have missed out on otherwise.
If you’re thinking that this sounds nice for older travelers or solo travelers, think again.
I recently sent a young honeymooning couple to Belize with an escorted group. They explored the jungles, rivers, beaches, and everything in between. They had plenty of time to strike out on their own or relax as much as they wanted. With no worries about the details, their honeymoon was, according to them, one of the best trips they’ve ever been on.
Benefits of escorted touring:
No stress, no hassle: Every detail is arranged for you. You show up and focus on the best parts of traveling without worrying about a thing.
Expertise: Your assigned tour guide is a trained professional. They have knowledge of the history, culture, people, and the lay of the land.
Exclusivity: Tour group companies have an in with suppliers throughout the countries they offer. This means hard-to-reserve lodging, restaurants, and activities are at your fingertips.
Comfort + safety: With expert guidance, you never have to worry about roaming into unsettling situations or iffy territory.
Competitive pricing: Bundling a vacation with a tour group often ends up being more cost efficient than following the itinerary on your own.
Every kind of traveler can find an escorted tour group that fits their needs. Contiki caters to young travelers with a sense of adventure. Collette offers more mature, discerning clients a chance to travel in style and comfort. G Adventures focuses their travel options around sustainability and exploration. Uncruise mixes love of sailing with adventurous small group cruising. I could go on, but you get the point.