When most people think of organized tours they immediately picture a bunch of overweight, middle-aged westerners. They think white tennis shoes, polo shirts, and money belts shuffling through a museum in Europe.
But kid-free group tours have come a long way. No longer are they the domain of the too-frightened-for-solo-travel, and instead you’ll find that there’s a tour company and a tour to suit the most adventurous traveler.
The best part about taking a tour? Unless you’re on a family tour there won’t be any kids. Instead you’ll be traveling with like-minded adults from around the world. If you’re a solo traveler it’s also a great way to make friends while still having the freedom to explore by yourself.
Who should you tour with?
These guys used to be known as Gap Adventures until the clothing chain got annoyed. Whatever their name, they’re perfect for budget-conscious travelers who want to have an authentic travel experience.
The maximum group size is around 16, and one of the best parts of traveling with G Adventures is the amount of free time you’ll have. While they include the must-see highlights on their trip, you’ll also have the flexibility to go explore by yourself. Head to http://www.gadventures.com/ to learn more.
Intrepid are an Australian company, although they have over 800 different trips on every continent. With a staff of over 1,000 based all over the world, these are the guys to go with if you want to get off the beaten track.
You’ll be in a group of around 10 adults, getting close to the locals and exploring the country with the help of your tour leader. Intrepid believe in responsible tourism and choose to support local economies, so you know that your money is helping the communities you’re traveling through.
They have three styles of tour to choose from: Basix, Original, and Comfort. This means you’ll have plenty of options-whether you don’t mind roughing it and sleeping in a tent, or you prefer the comfort of a hotel. See the wide range of tours available at www.intrepidtravel.com
If you’re the adventurous type then Geckos is the company for you-their motto is “Run Wild”. Geckos give you the independence of traveling solo, with someone else taking care of all the pesky details.
With their grassroots philosophy, Geckos use local tour guides, and you’ll be taking local transport, staying in basic accommodation (sometimes even homestays), and eating interesting, delicious local food.
Geckos have an average group size of just 9, and their travelers are usually in their 20’s or 30’s, or consider themselves young at heart. If you’ve already got a group together they can run a private trip, and will even tailor the itinerary depending on the type of travelers you are. Browse their website at http://www.geckosadventures.com
If you’re not the type to sit in a resort on your vacation, but don’t quite feel like traveling alone, a group tour may be the perfect middle ground for you.
Have you taken an organized tour? Would you tour again? Let me know in the comments below.