Should you hire a tour operator for your vacation?


This is where you really need to do your research.

I prefer to book trips all on our own. We haven’t used tour companies to plan out the trips for us. This is because we like to be on our own and because we like to spend a minimum of 3-4 days in each city that we travel to. And, because we are pretty good at planning! But that isn’t for everyone…

You might consider booking a tour that will take care of everything for you. The tour operator may book your flights, coordinate your transportation, book your hotels, tell you where to eat, what cities to visit, plan activities and have local guides for attractions. Some people love traveling this way.  These tours might be especially good options for inexperienced travelers, people who want to visit many cities in a short period of time, single travelers or people who don’t enjoy the planning process.

The benefit with traveling with a group like this besides convenience,  is that you have their experience and their trusted local guides. Plus, they might be able to show you things that most tourists don’t see or know about.

I have read great things about certain tours and some of them look tempting to me.

Of course, there is Rick Steves, you might have heard of him! He has fantastic travel guide books with lots of terrific tips and advice and he includes interesting history of the various cities that he travels to. I’ve never taken one of his tours but I have taken his advice! In fact, on a trip to The Louvre in Paris, we probably saved an hour of waiting in line by using his tip on a little known side entrance. It was awesome! He has tours all over Europe and tours specifically for families.

I also follow Adventures with Sarah on Facebook.  She works with Rick Steves. I’ve really enjoyed looking at her posts on her trips to Italy as well as Thailand and Cambodia. She also gives great advice on packing light. Plus, she just looks like someone that would be really fun to hang out and have a glass of wine with!

I follow a luxury travel group and many members have said amazing things about Adventures by Disney. They have tours all over the world including South Africa, Australia, Peru, Ecuador, China, Italy, Spain, Greece, Iceland and North America, just to name a few.

If you are planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands, you might consider Metropolitan Touring -operating in the Galapagos since 1969. Their reviews are fabulous and the Galapagos is on my short list…hum?

Here is a link to Travel & Leisure’s Magazine’s article on the Best Tour Operators of 2017

And another link to Conde Naste best of 2017

And finally, there is a website called Stride Travel.  It’s like TripAdvisor but instead of hotel reviews, you can read hundreds of tour company reviews.



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