As a family travel blogger, much of my day is spent on travel – reading about travel, writing about travel, and actually traveling. So, as our family gets ready to embark on our second guided tour in Europe, I’ve had a few people ask why we’ve chosen to go on a guided tour. After all, since I spend so much time on travel, wouldn’t I want to plan my own trip? Wouldn’t it be easier for me?
Why We’ve Chosen To Go On a Guided Tour
When we decided to embark on our first European family vacation, we knew that we wanted to go to Italy. My first trip to Europe (back in high school) was a guided tour, so I definitely knew that it was a great way to see a lot of things over a short amount of time. Here are the various reasons for why people don’t like tours – and why we didn’t think they were a factor for us.
Guided tours aren’t flexible – we want to do our own thing
I heard this from a lot of people, and I definitely considered it. While our tour was very scheduled, everything was actually optional (unless we were going to a new city and not returning to our hotel). No one in our trip opted out of anything, but it’s definitely an option. I’ve read trip reports from people who have actually opted out of a day trip to spend more time at the resort. While we definitely try to take advantage of everything (since we’ve already paid for everything), there is still some free time built into the schedule.
I don’t want to vacation with other people
I’m used to traveling with strangers because of the press trips I’ve been on. However, I can understand that it can definitely seem uncomfortable at first. But our trip was so much fun, even though we didn’t know anyone else. My kids especially loved meeting all of the other kids – they spent almost all of their time together. At the end of our trip, people were actually in tears.
Tours are expensive
They definitely can be. The nice thing about tours is that you pretty much know all of the costs, however. For our upcoming trip, I know that I just need a little bit of extra cash for a few dinners, tips, and merchandise purchases. But our hotels, transportation, tours, most meals, and activity tickets are already paid for.
But, the main reason why we decided to go on a guided tour is because it’s all planned. While it may seem that I would want to plan our family’s vacation, I really don’t. I want to go on vacation too, and with a guided tour, everything is taken care of for me. I don’t have to worry about directions, or what time we need to leave to beat traffic, or what tickets to purchase in advance. I just have to listen to my guides, show up on time, and have fun.
Have you been on a guided tour?