We hear it often from our customers: "We don't like guided vacations, we want to go on our own", and we find that most think of the old cliche, "if this is Tuesday, this must be Belgium." Escorted and guided tours have changed over the years to accommodate today's more experienced and sophisticated travelers, the tour operators have heard your feedback and adapted to suit you. Travellers on escorted and guided vacations will find that common myths are oftentimes just that.
Over 50% of most guided tours is at your leisure. Your guide is like a concierge, offering suggestions and advice, yet not holding your hand and herding you around. Whether it is shopping, visiting museums or a leisurely lunch, the guides are there to help.
What is included in on your own? A full-time tour director, all breakfasts, many dinners, sightseeing inclusions? What we have found is that when we compare apples to apples, guided vacations always come out 30% less expensive. Guides have the buying power of 30 people weekly instead of 2 today, allowing for better prices.
Today's tours offer many active options, hands-on activities and special events catering to the younger travelers now joining their tours. In fact due to these changes, the inclusive nature of the activities and the fact that people are traveling at younger ages, the average person on escorted tours is now 48 years old. Will you still meet an interesting older couple on their retirement dream vacation? Probably so, but you are also likely to meet Millennial honeymooners.