There are a number of myths and misconceptions about guided tours, including the ones mentioned below. As you’ll discover, there are many benefits to vacationing with a guided tour that you probably had not considered. There are also some disadvantages to traveling alone that you may have forgotten about since your last trip.
Q: Isn’t traveling individually more fun than traveling with a group on a guided tour?
A: Actually, traveling with a group can be a lot more enjoyable than traveling individually. On a guided tour you can meet fascinating people from all over the country and enjoy conversations about family, careers, and travel. The new friends you make can last a lifetime.
With a bus driver doing all the driving, you can read, play games, or just relax and enjoy the scenery. No wrestling with a map or missing out on scenery because you’ve got your eyes glued to the road signs so you don’t miss an exit.
Q: Aren’t guided tours a lot more expensive than traveling alone?
A: When you’re traveling individually, gas, food, hotels, tolls, entrance fees and unexpected expenses like car repairs can quickly add up and devastate your travel budget. But with a guided tour, you’ll know your costs ahead of time so you can control them. You’ll also benefit from discounts afforded by group pricing, so a guided tour may actually be cheaper than traveling individually. In addition, group tours can offer group travel insurance, an even better deal if you are over 60.
Q: Isn’t traveling alone more convenient than traveling with a tour guide?
A: By taking a guided tour, you can avoid a lot of the hassles of traveling on your own. You’ll be able to see and do more in less time because a skilled driver will quickly get you to each destination. You won’t have to navigate unfamiliar cities or deal with construction, traffic jams or impossible-to-find parking spots. The driver will drop you off right in front of the various sites, hotels and restaurants.
Having all the reservations, payments and other details of your sightseeing, dining and lodging taken care of will allow you to be less stressed and more rested so you can enjoy every minute of your vacation. Tour guides know the travel industry well and know the best places to stay, so you can be sure you’ll stay in clean, well-maintained hotels and eat in restaurants with excellent food.
If you’re traveling overseas, going with a tour group can be helpful for many reasons. The tour guide can help you find a pharmacy or get medical assistance if you need it. She can help you cross the language barrier, exchange your money in reputable places, and keep you out of unsafe areas. And of course, you won’t have to worry about driving in a foreign country.
Q: Won’t you see more when traveling individually than with a guided tour?
A: Not likely. Good tour companies do a lot of research to find unique sites and hidden, out-of-the way places. You’ll see places only the locals know about. Tour guides will also provide background information about the sites you will be seeing so you can appreciate them more when you visit. And you’ll be able to avoid the tourist traps or at least know how to avoid their pitfalls.
Many tour companies provide optional individual tours for those who want to break away from the group for side trips, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Q: Why travel with a guided tour run by a Christian company?
A: On a Christian tour, you can experience the deep, close-knit fellowship that only brothers and sisters in Christ can enjoy. You can share devotions, inspirational stories and singing. Start your journey with a group prayer and continue to pray daily with your newfound friends. You’ll be able to learn history from a Christian worldview. And you’ll enjoy God’s creation to its fullest when you’re sharing it with fellow believers.
So next time you’re planning a vacation, consider signing up with a Christian guided tour to make the most of your time away from home. You’ll return home refreshed and able to enjoy the special memories to the fullest.
Chris Knowles has more than 30 years experience as a travel agent and Christian tour guide. She holds a master cruise counselor accreditation and works with her husband Andy to provide guided tours through Significant Living Travel. For more information, visit significantlivingtravel.com.