Good choice my friend! There’s nothing wrong with solo travel (I’ve done plenty of it) but sometimes you just want a little company, right?! Let’s take a look at the advantages of booking a group adventure tour…
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I’ve joined over 15 group adventure tours over the past 18 years so you could say I know a thing or two about which companies are worth considering & which are… well, a bit meh! In general, you won’t go far wrong with G Adventures or Intrepid Travel. Dragoman is worth considering for overland style travel. Contiki and Topdeck are best avoided unless you want a party bus!
There are group tours for everyone from families with young kids to couples and solo adventurers. But they aren’t right for everyone! I think the people who will benefit most from a group tour will be those enjoying a more adventurous, off the beaten track type of adventure, those who are too busy to plan it themselves and those nervous to travel solo.
We’re all itching to travel again but we also want to do it safely and responsibly, right?!
Each company has their own Covid policies. Most have at least addressed the issue of unexpected Covid cancellations. But G Adventures and Intrepid seem to have taken steps to make their trips safer too. Check out their policies below…
It varies from company to company but most will have between 10-15 travellers (or less currently due to the pandemic.) Overlanding trips like Dragoman tend to have more travellers as they spend less time in hotels and more time camping. It also keeps the costs low. Personally I think 10-12 is the sweet spot. Enough people that there will be at least a few you click with but not so many that it feels like a bus tour!
Most adventure tour companies do not charge single supplements but you will need to check with the specific company. Most instead pair you with another traveller of the same geneder and similar age. If there is an uneven number of travellers then someone will get a room to themselves at no additonal cost. You can usually choose to upgrade to guarantee yourself a room to yourself if you prefer. I would recommend doing this if you are an introvert as you will appreciate some time to yourself at the end of each day.
It varies hugely. I’ve been the youngest on some tours and oldest on others and it’s never been an issue either way. Mostly it’s very mixed.
If you prefer a younger crowd then look for 18-30’s trips or stick to the more budget trips in more adventurous locations. In general, the average age is lower on budget Asia trips than it is on more pricey trips to South America. Overlanding camping trips tend to attract a younger crowd.
Overlanding trips with companies like Dragoman usually use a mixture of camping and budget hotels or hostels. It’s never luxurious!
Companies like G Adventures and Intrepid offer a real mixture. They have more budget trips where you can expect twin accommodation in budget hotels and more luxurious trips where hotel swimming pools wouldn’t be uncommon.
Some trips include a homestay to experience local life. They are usually 1-2 nights only and you may have to go without luxuries during this time. But I bet these trips will be your highlight!
If you take an overlanding trip, you will be travelling by truck! The Dragoman overlanding trucks are fun as they usually have some roof seats for you to enjoy the scenery on occasion! The trucks carry everything you need to set up camp at the end of the day.
If you are travelling with a company like G Adventures or Intrepid, expect a mixture of air conditioned minibuses and occasionally local transport. Check the tour itinerary for more info. If a flight is included in the itinerary then it is included in the price.
Only if they are part of the itinerary. Your flights to get there and back are not usually included. Some tour companies will help you arrange them though.
Often group tours are pretty busy and it’s always nice to have some down timne at the start and end of every trip. To save you relocating to different hotels, most companies will help you secure accommodation in the start and finish hotels as long as it’s available. Policies on this vary from company to company.
Yes! if you want it! Most group tours schedule in plenty of time for you to do your own thing. They may make recommendations or book day trips for you and many people do decide to spend time in small groups but there is no pressure to do so.
I’m an introvert too. People are often surprised as I’m very sociable. But I need a lot of time to myself to recharge my batteries.
If you’re the same, I’d recommend paying extra for your own room and booking a few days at the end for some chill time. Take some good ear plugs to zone out to music on long journeys and don’t be afraid to do something different to the group if you need time out.
I’m an introvert but I’ve taken over 15 group tours and loved every single one!