For independent travellers, choosing to go on an organised tour goes against the grain. The word ‘tour’ often conjures up images of coach trips, with passengers crowding on and off the bus at each stop, while a guide complete with microphone tells the story of each passing attraction – interesting, sure, but often lacking the true soul of the place.
However, seasoned independent travellers know that often, organized tours are exactly what allow them to get under the skin of a country. And that’s exactly the reason why we set up Real Wales Tours.
First and foremost, an organised tour can take care of all your transport needs, so that you can cover a lot of ground in one day – great for those short on time. As well as being a great way to meet likeminded travellers, travelling in a group can be cheaper, and if you choose the tour company carefully, they can give you access to the best-kept secrets in the region you’re visiting.
So then, what should you consider when choosing a tour in order to avoid any independent traveller’s nightmare coach trip scenario?
1. Choose a local Company
Not only is this usually the cheapest way to take a tour because it cuts out the middleman, but it also helps to support the local economy. It goes without saying that a local guide knows their country better than anyone, including secret spots often not found in guidebooks and on large group tours.
2. Group Size
They say small is beautiful and as far as travel is concerned, nothing could be closer to the truth. Small groups are more easily able to access small and local places, restaurants, pubs etc. The places which can’t cater for large numbers are often those which are truly local. Furthermore, imagine yourself on an otherwise deserted beach or mountain top – who do you want to share it with – 5 other travellers, or 20?
3. Mode of transport
Travelling by coach or even minibus means being confined to places accesible by main roads. If you are travelling by car though, you can get well and truly off the beaten track.
4. Fixed or flexible itinerary
With ten or more people in a group, you’re restricted to a pretty tight Schedule. On the other hand, small groups are much more flexible.
5. Language barriers
English-speaking countries can be pretty ignorant when it comes to other languages, assuming that everyone else can speak English and not going out of their way to cater for those who can’t. If your level of English isn’t that great, or you’re not overly confident in using it, sometimes you may want a bit of help to get the most out of the trip and understand the context of your journey. For this reason one of the main aims of Real Wales Tours is to offer the traveller language support during enquiry, booking and while travelling with us.
6. Value for money
You need to be clear on what is included in the price of a tour. In Europe every tour operator needs to provide details of what is included in the package. However, what is included in a tour can vary from company to company and every tour can be different, so it’s a good idea to double check what to expect before booking, for example, entrance fees, food, activities, accommodation etc.