09 Jul Why Group Tours are a Great Way to Explore Europe
Planning and executing a trip to Europe is complicated. If you want to travel independently, it requires a fair amount of time and effort to research and plan your itinerary. While creating well-optimized itineraries is my passion at Montage Travel, I know there are many benefits to exploring Europe as part of an escorted group tour.
Group tours offer many benefits that combined can greatly enrich your overall travel experience. Tour itineraries and tour operators can vary quite a bit, but in general, they share many benefits.
Here, we’ll talk about the benefits of taking a group tour as well which travelers might find it preferable to touring independently. So, if you’re considering your options for your next trip, you’ve come to the right place!
With a group tour, there is no need to spend time before the trip planning where you’re going to go, how you’re going to get there, and in what order to see the sights. Simply choose the tour company that offers the experience that you are looking (That’s something I can help you with!) and the itinerary that takes you where you want to go.
Tour companies offer a variety of tried-and-true itineraries that will take you to see the top sights and take care of all of the logistics—making sure you won’t miss a thing. If you’re interested in getting off the beaten tourist path and want to see the lesser-known sights, there are tour itineraries covering these areas too. Or choose a tour that offers a mix of headlining sights and hidden gems!
Details Are Covered
Beyond a pre-planned itinerary, group tours also cover all of the details and logistical aspects of your trip. Expect tour guides, excursions, transportation, accommodations, and attractions. Some of your meals will be pre-planned. Having these details covered makes a group tour a great way to have a truly relaxing vacation.
A tour director leads each tour. This person will be your main point of contact and will be in charge of all of the daily logistics for the group. Sometimes the tour director is also the tour guide for each sight along the way. Other times, you will have separate guides. Either way, the local guides are experts, and they will offer local insights, answer questions, and share stories that will enrich your vacation.
An optimized itinerary is key to maximizing your sightseeing and will help you to avoid wasting time on indecision. Escorted group tours are designed to flow and make the most efficient use of your travel and sightseeing time. In addition, if you are short on vacation days, you will find that tour durations can vary. You will be able to choose a tour duration that will guarantee your seeing all of the top sights in the amount of time that you have.
You will benefit from the special relationships your tour company will have with the various sites and attractions. This includes being able to skip lines, being granted exclusive access to otherwise off-limits areas, and other VIP experiences that may not have been available outside of traveling with a group.
Budgeting for your trip is easier with a group tour because most of the big-ticket items, such as lodging and sightseeing, are already covered as a part of the tour’s cost. The only things you will need to bring money for are souvenirs and any meals not included in your package.
The fellow members of your group tour will often enrich the entire experience. Often, people bond over shared interests and shared experiences during their tour, which sometimes leads to life-long friendships. Because they come from different backgrounds, fellow travelers can also offer perspectives and additional insights into the places you visit.
Bonus Tip: There’s no need for a selfie-stick when you’re on a tour. Tour members are usually happy to take photos of you in iconic places and will be delighted if you return the favor.
There’s something to be said about the comfort of traveling in numbers. Generally speaking, European cities and countries are very safe (often more so than our American cities and states). However, it’s comforting to know that when you’re in an unfamiliar place, your fellow tour mates are nearby and the tour director is your contact if anything should go wrong.
Tours for Everyone
As you can see from the benefits above, escorted group tours are a great way to see Europe. Tour operators offer fantastic tour itineraries with options that accommodate every type of traveler.
Types of travelers that might find escorted tours particularly preferable to touring independently are:
If you’re new to traveling, or it’s your first time in a particular country, group tours may be a preferable way to tip your toe in the water. Tours offer a sense of security and familiarity and help with the transition into a different culture and language. Tours are also an opportunity to learn more about traveling before planning and executing your own trip in the future.
Traveling to Europe doesn’t always feel like a vacation, considering all of the activity and sometimes stress that comes from going from one place to the next. However, on a group tour, there’s more of a go-with-the-flow vibe, which takes the stress out of the equation.
If you’re traveling solo and want to go alone, but not be alone, a group tour is the best option. You’ll share the experience with like-minded travelers and benefit from the added safety of traveling with others. Some tour companies cater specifically to solo travelers, and some others have no (or low) single supplements.
If you’re looking for an adventure trip, such as hiking, biking, or skiing, there are many benefits to taking a group adventure tour. Tour guides will lead the way, bring the supplies, and coordinate the logistics. Depending on your destination, the sights you want to see may also only be accessible by tour.
Groups of Friends
Tours aren’t just for couples and families, they’re also great for traveling with friends. There’s no need to designate a trip planner in the group; simply choose an itinerary offered by a tour company. This also eliminates the worry about collecting money. Simply submit payments individually and you’ll be on your way to making memories together in no time.
Which tour is right for you?
Are the many benefits of group tours compelling you to join one for your next trip to Europe? If so, there are many tour operators to choose from and even more itineraries. With tour operators increasingly targeting distinct lifestyle niches, it can be difficult to choose the one best for you. If you would like some expert help, check out my Tour & Cruise Matchmaking service. Upon getting to know you better, it will be my pleasure to match you with the tour that best fits your style and preferences.