Finding and Choosing the Perfect Tour



Finding and Choosing the Perfect Tour

Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? When would you like to go?

How much time do you have?

How fast or slow do you want to go?

Who is going with you?

What is your budget for this adventure?

Determine how much you are willing to spend per day on all your travel needs. If you are planning an all-inclusive tour–where transportation, lodging, meals and guides are paid for in your fee–divide by the number of days to get your daily cost, add a little extra to cover miscellaneous expenses like shopping, and see if it is still in your budget. Don’t forget to add in your airfare if it’s not included in your package.

To group, or not to group?

If you are hesitant about traveling with strangers, consider a custom tour. Some tour operators will design a tour just for you, your family or small group. You can choose what you want to see and do, and even build in more time to explore on your own than some group tours allow.

What kind of accommodations do you want?

What else do you need to be comfortable? Do you have any physical or other challenges that could limit you?

If you are planning an active vacation and using the tour as an excuse to get in shape, remember that when the calendar pages turn and it’s time to go, you need to be ready or your vacation might be less than ideal. Be realistic about your desires and abilities to shape up and make sure you give yourself time to train before you go.

Research your options

If your Internet search comes up short, try travel magazines, newspaper travel sections, guidebooks and activity-specific magazines (skiing, biking, etc.). Tell your friends about what you want to do. Sometimes, the best information comes through the grapevine from friends, family or other acquaintances.

  • Request information and brochures from several tour operators or outfitters. Read all program literature carefully. Make sure you’re clear on time frame, costs, accommodations and other details. If you have questions, contact the tour operator and get answers. Also, ask for references from past customers. Contacting others who have taken the tour is a great way to determine what to expect.
  • And don’t forget to purchase trip insurance. Many companies cannot or will not refund deposits or full payments if you have to cancel the trip due to a health, family or work emergency. Trip insurance is a great way to protect yourself and is relatively inexpensive. Many tour operators also offer it when you book your tour through them.

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