Tips on Finding the Right Travel Group Tour

May 31, 2019 New York, NY, USA

Tips on Finding the Right Travel Group Tour

Interested in group tours but don't which one to choose? In this post I'm giving you tips on how to find the right group travel company that best suites your travel style and needs. Whether you're a newbie to the travel world or world traveler these tips well help you decide where to book!

Group Travel.
When it comes to group travel tours it can be overwhelming when trying to pick the right travel company to go with. Nowadays there are so many travel companies out there and it's only going to increase over time because of how much tourism is accessible more than ever. In this post I'm going to share all you need to know about group travel in hopes that these tips can help you make a decision in what group travel company to go with.

What is Group Travel?
If you're new to the whole travel world and don't know what group travel is- let me break it down for you! Travel companies that offer group tours take care of all the travel planning for you. They take care of all the ins and outs of the trip from the itinerary, accommodations, transportation, a guide that will be there during your trip, activities, and some meals for your trip to run smoothly. 

Now that we have the basics covered. I want to mention that not all group travel companies are the same. I can't stress that enough! Some are better than others and they all run differently. Everyone has different experiences when it comes to group travel tours. Just because one person had a negative experience with a group travel tour doesn't mean all group travel tours are the same. Keep that in mind when trying to narrow down our decision.

Group Travel Style.
There is not one style of group tours anymore. I don't think many people know that there's so many different types of tours out there, you just need to do the research. From budget tours to luxury tours and everything in between you will find all kinds of tours out there. To give you an idea of whats out there, here are a few examples:
  • adventure based tours (hiking, camping, safari, biking, motorcycle)
  • cultural/historical/educational  tours 
  • sailing/yachting/river cruise tours
  • culinary/foodie based tours
  • volunteering/humanitarian tours
  • wellness retreat/yoga/spa retreat tours
  • LGBTQ+ tours
  • photography tours
  • specific age group tours (high school, young adults, adults, seniors)
  • hop on/off tours
  • dancing tours
  • family group tours
  • and the list goes on
As you can see there's so many travel style tours out there that you're bound to find a group tour company that aligns with what you're looking for. Don't book a group tour that doesn't suit your travel style. At the end of the day it's your money and you want to be satisfied on your tour and trip experience. So if you're someone who doesn't enjoy camping- don't book a camping tour. If you like a more in depth cultural and historical tour don't book a party tour. Keeping in mind your interests, go with a company that aligns with that!

Why Group Travel?
If your new to the travel world and don't feel comfortable planning out a trip abroad, group travel is a great way to ease your way into it. If you really want to go to a certain destination but don't feel comfortable solo traveling there, group travel will assure you a safe way in visiting that particular destination. If you really want to travel somewhere and don't have any friends or family to go with you, booking group travel is the best way to go fulfill your travel needs without waiting around for people's schedule to clear up to go. If you are planning to do a long solo trip and want to break up your trip and meet other people, group travel is a great way to to switch up your solo trip and meet so many people from all walks of life. 

Finding Group Travel Tour Companies.
First, you can simply use Google to find a travel tour company but we all know that going this route can be very very very overwhelming! The amount of pages that pop up when you google group travel tours are endless and going through many pages with so many options can be very daunting.

Second, you can ask a friend or family member who has been on a group tour for their recommendations. But with this option it can be difficult because you may have different travel styles and interests that don't align with what you're looking for.

Or thirdly, go to tourradar.com! I found this website to be such a great resource for group travel. I'm not affiliated or sponsored by them in any shape or form. This is my go to website to look for group travel tours and deals. This is a very user-friendly website that has everything categorized by destination, duration, budget, and even travel style. They have so many group travel tour companies on there, I'm not saying they have every single tour group in the world but they have a enough of a selection to choose from! They also have discounts available at different times which is also a bonus because who doesn't like to save some money? I'm always recommending this website to people who are interested in group travel and seriously if you haven't checked them out, what are you waiting for!

Narrowing Down Your Choices.
After searching many tour groups, you maybe have narrowed down your choices to maybe two or three options that appeal to you. This is where I highly recommend going through each itinerary closely and pointing out the pros and cons of each. Why do this you may be asking? If your three options are from different companies chances are they have different itineraries even if they are going to the same cities and locations. Option one could be staying in certain cities in a shorter time frame than option two's itinerary. Or maybe option three's itinerary doesn't include a certain city that you were hoping to stop in. Also option one can have better accommodations than the other two options or option two has better activities included. This is why I always suggest to compare and contrast itineraries before rushing to book your tour. You're able to spot differences in each itinerary that can be a major factor in your decision.

Research, Research, Research!
Now that you went through the itineraries it's time to research those companies. You need to do your due diligence and research anything that you will be putting your money towards. I can't stress this enough especially in the travel industry. I personally didn't have anyone in my inner circle that went on a group tour let alone travel to the places I was interested in. I had no choice to do my own research and I advise you to do the same. Here are the steps I took to narrow down my decision:
  1. Look up the company. You want to know how long the company has been in business and running tours. I personally wouldn't go with a company that just started in the travel industry just because I would rather go with a company that has more years of experience within the travel industry but that's just me. Theres a higher chance of things not being completely ironed out with their tours. There's also not enough information available to back up what their promoting if there's no reviews available from past travelers.
  2. Read Reviews. Tour companies should have reviews located on their website from past travelers. This gives you an overall gist of peoples opinions and experiences on the tour. If all of the reviews are positive that can be a bit sketchy or if there are only negative reviews that's another red flag to look out for. If there's only negative reviews, run the opposites direction and definitely don't book with them. I think having a mix of good and bad reviews on the website give a better consensus about peoples experiences and it's a bit more honest.
  3. Find blog posts. Taking your research a step further, google blog posts from past travelers. How to do this? Just type in the tour company and the words blog post and click search. You never know if past travelers have a blog and wrote about their trip. I personally get many emails through people finding my blog posts and asking for more information. By doing this you can also gather more information that a website review doesn't show.
  4. Search Youtube videos. So many people document their trip experiences through video whether it's a montage video or talking about their experience. Youtube is such a great tool to find additional information about a certain tour. How to do this? Type in the tour company or the name of the specific tour you're interested in and you never know what you may come across!
  5. Look Up Hashtags. Nowadays travel companies have a specific hashtag that want their travelers using when posting to social media! Instagram is a gem for this because who doesn't want a hashtag with many photo uploads. Search the tour companies hashtag and you'll come across current and past travelers photos. You can DM these people and ask for their opinion of the tour that they went on. I get so many DMs from people who come across my instagram and ask about my group travel experience. This is an effective way to get more information and research to narrow down your decision.
  6. Call the tour company. If you have questions that aren't being answered through their website or don't have clarity on the itinerary for some reason, call the tour company! Every tour company should have a customer service line where you can call and get your questions answered by a person.
Now that you did your research and gathered pros and cons of each option into consideration. You should be confident in your decision in which company to go with.

Before You Book.
I know you're excited about our decision and want to book right away but DON'T book just yet! Heres are a few things you should know before you book that can help you save money.

I would recommend to sign up for the tour companies newsletter because they can send you discounts straight to your email. So if you want to save some money, I would suggest doing that first! 

Another thing to note when it comes to finances is to check if the price listed includes your flight or not. Some companies include the flight price and some don't. You don't want to book just your tour and assume your flight is included and it's not. It would really suck to be at the airport the day of your trip to find out you didn't have a flight to get to your tour destination- so always DOUBLE CHECK THAT! I prefer to book my own flight just to be in control of that aspect and I like to think I find awesome flight deals anyway.

If you are on a budget and can't pay in full when booking, don't let that discourage you from booking! You should check to see if that tour company offers payment plans. You can put down their minimal deposit and pay what you can month by month leading up to your trip. Many people don't know that you can do that but you can! But I think it only works if your trip is planned far out in advance. If the trip your planning is sooner you have to pay in full so keep that in mind.

If you're planning to join a group tour by yourself just know most likely you will be sharing a room. If you don't feel comfortable sharing a room with a stranger, some tour companies have the option in booking your own room but that would be an additional cost. If you're planning to join a group tour with a friend, relative, or significant other make sure to call the tour company after you book to let them know you want to room with them so they can arrange that in advance.

Another thing to note is that is you're on a budget- most tours only cover a few meals with that price that you'll be paying. So make sure you plan to save money for those meals that won't be included and also there could be additional activities/excursions available that is not included in the price. So if you want to partake in those activities/excursions make sure you save for that as well. I always recommend to save some spending money while you're on the trip just in case you want to buy souvenirs, try different foods, experience the nightlife, or do a fun activities/excursions, and etc.

Mindset.
I think it's important to mention mindset when going into a group travel experience. Everyone who will be attending has the mindset of having a good time, exploring that destination, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. The mindset of being open minded is very important because you will be meeting people from different backgrounds, cultures, upbringing, personalities and points of views. Being respectful and open minded is something that goes with out saying but I have encountered some people who are very close minded. Or have met people who have gone on group trips who don't like being around people and are closed and in my mind, I'm like why are you even here? You can easily have taken this trip and done it solo if you have that kind of mindset.

Another thing that goes with mindset is that with any type of travel, things do come up. The weather could be not ideal, or something got mixed up with your reservations or bookings. Don't let that bring you're overall experience down. There's things that happen when traveling that are out of your hands so take it with a grain of salt. I'm a huge believer of things happen for a reason. So if something didn't go your away maybe it led to something better happening!

My Thoughts.
I personally enjoy group travel and think everyone should at least try it once before knocking it down. I love traveling with family and friends, solo traveling but I also so enjoy group travel as well. I also love staying in hostels, hotels, airbnbs, and resorts so as you can see I don't have a particular set style of traveling because I love switching it up all the time. With every time I went on a group tour, I've had different experiences but constantly recommend to others to try it out. With anything there's pros and cons but I know so many people who like to put down group travel without even experiencing it themselves. Just because they heard from a friend of a friend that they had a bad experience.You never know if you like something until you try it out.

I have so many fun unforgettable memories from each one of the tours I've went on. I have met incredible people through them that I'm still in contact with till this day. Group Tours bring people together who all have a common interest which is travel no matter where you come from or what you're background is, everyone there has that common interest that instantly bonds you together in some way. You came on to the tour as strangers but at the end you become like a little family no matter how long or short you trip was, that time together will always be remembered. You guys all shared that one experience together and created memories that will last a lifetime. If you ever been on a group tour, you know exactly what I'm talking about!

I hope this post was helpful to anyone who has an interest in group travel and hope to hear your experiences if you decide to go on a group tour after reading this post!


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