What Is A Tour And Why Should You Go On One?

For First Time Solo Travellers

Or less-experienced travellers in general, making decisions when trying to plan for the ultimate travel adventure can be incredibly daunting. How to get from one place to another, how to see everything you want to see in a certain amount of time. The list goes on. The good news is that going on a tour can make those decisions a whole lot easier and take the stress out of the equation.

I think tours are a really great way to ease into stepping out of your comfort zone. Why? Because everyone you are doing it with is in the exact same boat. A tour is essentially an organised trip that is guided and, honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a bit of organised fun?

Dispelling Myths About Tours

Group tours can sometimes get a bad wrap, particularly from adventurous souls who prefer to go their own way at their own pace, in search of a road less travelled by. But many don’t know that opting for a tour doesn’t mean you have to compromise on adventure, independence or more low-key destinations.

There exists the assumption that tours can be too large and impersonal, over-guided, and subject to a strict itinerary. While this may still be the case for some, this structure has changed dramatically in recent times. Most group tour operators these days now focus on offering flexibility, variety and smaller, more intimate tours.

It’s also important to note that group tours are not one size fits all. The number of types of tours are endless. But I can guarantee that you are bound to find one that suits your travel style and expectations and allows you to meet like-minded people.

Some tours choose to just scratch the surface and cover as many key tourist sights as possible. Others may choose a slower and more authentic approach that focuses more on educating travellers on the destination, culture and environment.

From sightseeing tours, to eco-tours, to adventure tours, there’s a myriad of options out there that are worth exploring!

A group of people standing underneath a sign
Wine tasting on tour... As good as organised fun gets

The Value of a Guide

One of the biggest benefits of choosing a tour is the guide.

Tour companies will often employ local people, meaning guides often have first-hand experience living in and exploring the destination. This comes hand in hand with extensive knowledge of the area, along with its culture and history. Because of this, the experience is made ten times more authentic and personal, because you are being shown the destination through the eyes of an insider.

Local guides also have the hot tips: the hidden gems, the cutest locally-owned shops where you can buy gifts for your friends back home, and which cafe to get the best oat milk flat white from (if you don’t know what that is, you’re in for a treat).

A good tour guide is engaging, passionate and knows how to tell a story.

Having a guide show you around should feel like wandering around town with a mate. Exploring little streets and quirky stores, doing a bit of window shopping along the way, trading stories and anecdotes, popping into a bakery for a treat, taking some photos for the gram and finishing the day off with a nice cold beer and a burger at the pub on the corner. Throw some valuable insight and knowledge about the destination and culture into the mix, and you’ve basically got yourself a guided tour. Who would have thought?

People sitting in front of a cabin
Squad goals with our tour guide Clauds (front right) and her group of legends

Meet Like Minded People

Let’s not forget that travelling is all about meeting new people and sharing experiences with them.

So, what better way to do that than throw yourself into the deep end right from the start and spend days (or weeks) eating, drinking, sleeping and exploring with your own little travel crew?

There’s something really special about discovering new places with new people who are like minded and share the same passion for travel. It really does make the whole experience so much more enriching and memorable.

Take it from someone who works for a tour company and sees it every week. Travellers start the week off as complete strangers, all from different walks of life, bringing their own experiences and stories to the table, and over the course of the week they become such a tight-knit family that by the end, they don’t want to part ways.

You never know what could happen. Whether it’s finding the perfect summer fling to get you over your breakup or meeting friends for life that you will go on to travel with for years. The possibilities are endless!

The sense of community that comes hand in hand with people choosing to go on an adventure together is pretty heartwarming and in my opinion, is what travelling is all about.

People sit across from each other as they eat and talk
Tours are for meeting friends for life

Avoid Logistical Nightmares

Sometimes, it’s best just to leave it to the experts to take care of the logistics.

Don’t want to be blind sighted by national park fees that you were unaware of? How about left desperately searching for the nearest gas station? Or having to deal with a bus or accommodation booking gone wrong when you’ve had approximately 2 hours of sleep and a ton of tequila?

If you opt for a tour, not only does it often make more sense financially, but EVERYTHING is organised and taken care of for you. This means that you have more time to just be, enjoy and take it all in without worrying about where to be, how to get there or what to do.

To put this into perspective, let’s take Fraser Island as an example. Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, and a must-do destination on the East Coast of Australia.

No roads means the only way to get around is by driving around the island, on the sand, in a 4×4. Yes, it’s exactly as cool as it seems.

Doing a guided tour is HIGHLY recommended because not only is the island HUGE and remote, it’s also dangerous if you don’t understand the tides. As in, you could end up in the ocean if you miscalculate when high tide is.

On top of this, wouldn’t you just rather have all of the boring stuff (food, camping gear, transport) already sorted for you so you can spend your energy on frolicking in the pristine freshwater lakes, cruising down lazy rivers, driving like a rockstar on the beach and drinking beers by the fire?

Four-wheel drive cars driving on the sand on Fraser Island
4x4 cars tagging along on Fraser Island

So How Do I Find The Right Tour For Me?

You do want to make sure that you pick a tour that’s designed for travellers like you, has the vibe you’re looking for and has good reviews so make sure you do your research!

Watch some YouTube videos/travel vlogs and read some blog posts by people who have done the tour or by the company itself. These can really help give some insight into what to expect, what the company is like and if it’s for you. Word-of-mouth recommendations are usually quite reliable!

Go on the company website and even reach out to them. We all understand that this is a difficult decision to make, so we’re more than happy to answer your questions or paint a better picture for you. At the end of the day, we just want you to have an unreal and unforgettable experience, because a good tour is one you will never forget.

A tour group at the beach
A tour to tell the grandkids

Still want to learn more?

Then our legendary guide Clauds has made a video below just for you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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