Even if you’ve never considered taking an escorted or guided tour before, this might be the best time to see why more and more people – and even families – are signing up for an escorted vacation.
There are a lot of myths about guided tours, and images of exclusively older singles and couples on buses.
Read on! Not only does a multi-city guided tour give your family a ‘tasting menu’ of destinations to revisit for a longer duration another time, which is one of the reasons they are such a great introduction to places like Europe for a family.
You may be surprised how many ways any type of escorted tour is your best option for a low-stress, high-reward family vacation.
By: Lynn Elmhirst, producer/ host: BestTrip TV
Let’s start with the ‘return to travel’ reasons why booking your next family vacation with a guided tour company provides you with the easiest and most reassuring travel options.
1. Post-Pandemic Ease: Why navigate the health rules of one or more foreign destinations yourself? Your guided tour company will help you make sure you are well-prepared for all the requirements of your trip.
2. Post-Pandemic Safety: Many people are still cautious about travel and their exposure to many new people. Traveling with the same, (often tested, with vaccines required) people, in the same luxury coach, maximizes your ‘safe’ time, with less time spent in public transit around or between cities.
Now onto the timeless ways that escorted tours tick a lot of boxes for family travel:
3. Leave the Planning to an Expert: As much fun as planning travel can be, a lot has changed in the last couple of years, and anyway, do you have the time for all that research and reviews and planning? Booking a guided tour means someone else is investing in precious planning time – and you benefit from it. And tour companies have direct access to their own sources. That current, most expert local knowledge ensures you get the best experiences – and you know every aspect of your trip has been vetted and someone else is responsible for making sure it all comes together.
4. Focus on Family Time: When someone else is taking care of all the logistical details, you can concentrate on what family travel should be all about: good times with family members. No juggling of reservations and train schedules, or even struggling with a ‘lost in translation’ moment of communication confusion. You’ve downloaded that onto people who do it every single day.
5. Someone Else is the Timekeeper and Box Ticker: No more family travel time spent ‘herding cats’ or worse, being the ‘bad guy.’ Your tour guide is tracking what time you have to leave for the airport, or how long it will take to get to your dinner or show reservations. It’s not left to one member of the family to keep all the balls in the air. You can relax and enjoy.
6. Jump the Line: One of the best things about places like Europe is the landmark museums, historic sites and scenic view points like funiculars and tower tops to enjoy. Many also come with long line ups that can test the patience of not only the youngest, but even the more mature members of the family. The good news is that tour companies book blocks of tickets and can often walk their tour group right past the long line ups of independent travelers. So you don’t have to miss a thing because it creates too much stress to wait in line.
7. Keep Every Family Member Interested: Escorted tours give you a broad overview of the best of the best of a destination, plus often access to unique, in-depth experiences in special interests you might not be able to access yourself. There’s enough of a change of pace, scenery, and activities to keep everyone in the family on their toes.
8. Get Off the Beaten Path: You might think of Paris for a family trip to France. Guided tours will often also take you to smaller, outlying destinations you don’t know about or don’t want the hassle of organizing a side trip to. Often, these smaller, local destinations and activities in these less crowded destinations can be the most memorable of your trip.
9. Local Expert = Better Experiences: Translator, timekeeper, fountain of historic knowledge… and current lifestyles. Your tour guide gives you that ‘friend in town’ experience you can’t get traveling on your own, unless you have an actual friend in town. Furthermore, they are the best sources of advice on ways to spend your unscheduled time, so you can also find experiences to enjoy your family’s special interests or get tickets to a local event.
10. Customize Your Travel Experience: Just because you’re booking a guided tour doesn’t mean you can’t experience a destination in your own way. You can book a top or tail custom extension of your guided tour to remain in the destination you’re now familiar with for an extra couple of days to take in a sports game, event, markets, shops and more. Even without a trip extension, different types of tours give you different amounts of escorted and free time to pursue your family’s interests. Your expert travel advisor can help match your family to the style of guided trip that best suits your interests, attention span, and energy levels.
Bonus: Group Discounts
If you take an extended, or multi-generation family group tour, you may be able to get discounts for the size of your group. In fact, it might even make sense to arrange for a private family group tour, with all the benefits of group travel- customized for your own family. Another way guided group tours may be the perfect way to get together with your extended family group after a couple of years without travel.
Your travel advisor has the expertise of the different types of guided tours, and ways to get the best value guided tour for your family.