The right tour can save you money. Tour operators get kickbacks from hotels and charter their own private jets. If you’re on a budget, a tour operator can score you some great bargains that you could never get on your own.
Some group vacations have no groups. Americans love their privacy, even when traveling together. That’s why many tour operators offer group excursions that don’t require you to follow a tour guide all day long. Stick with the group long enough to get from place to place, then explore on your own.
Tours are a great safety net for first-time globetrotters. If you’ve never left the country, you might feel a little intimidated by local customs and language barriers. Tours let you enjoy the sights and tastes of a foreign country without the fear of getting lost or offending your hosts.
Check out the hotels before you sign. It’s easier than ever to get the skinny on the hotels you’ll be staying at. Get a comprehensive list from your tour organizer before you submit any payment. Check the list against independent travel reviews and bulletin boards to make sure the four star honeymoon suite you were promised isn’t a closet in a brothel with a leaky toilet.
Get references. Likewise, check out your tour operator. They should be happy to provide you with testimonials from happy customers and references that you can easily check. If you can’t find anyone online saying good things about them, run away.
Leave the driving to them. Tours take a lot of the stress out of foreign travel, especially when you’re visiting a country with different driving laws. Kick back and relax as an experienced coach driver navigates the hills and valleys for you.
Get VIP access. Many tour operators negotiate behind the scenes access to some of the world’s best attractions. Let their clout get you into the best shows, restaurants, rides, and beaches around the world. Some tour operators even run their own private islands and clubs.
Enjoy your companions, but set boundaries. Even on your honeymoon, when you want to spend time alone together, you and your bride will encounter some interesting characters along the way. Have fun and be cordial, especially when sharing plane, train, or bus rides together. If you want some alone time, just let folks know, so they can respect your wishes.