When you’re traveling to a new country one of the first questions you might ask yourself is whether you should take tours while you’re there or go it alone. Some people like the opportunity to explore a city on their own, while other people feel like walking, biking or bus tours can provide them with more opportunities to get a true feel for a new locale without missing things.
If you’re wondering about tours and what to know, the following are some tips and tidbits that can help you make the right decision on your next trip.
The Hop-On Hop Off Tour
Some people don’t love the idea of tours because they like independence and they want to explore without feeling like they’re locked into a rigid tour. That’s why the hop-on-hop-off tour can be great.
As an example, if you wanted to choose from New York City bus tours so that you could see the main sites without having to cover everything on foot, but you still wanted to do it in your own way, these hop-on-hop-off tours usually offer buses that go on set routes throughout the city.
There are stops which are outlined on a map, and buses come at regular intervals. You can get off only at the stops that interest you and skip the ones that don’t. You can also take as much time or as little at each one.
These are a popular tour option in cities around the world for travelers who want the best of both worlds.
Another option you might be interested in, particularly if you don’t love the idea of being with a group, is a private tour. This works well for people who are traveling for leisure, but also business travelers who want to get the experience of a location without investing a lot of time into it.
Private tour guides can tailor your experience around what you want to do and see, and these options can even work perfectly if you’re only in a city for a long layover.
Not every tour is going to be for every person. Tour guides are going to have different personalities and options are going to be geared toward different audiences. One of the best things you can do is read the reviews before choosing one.
For example, if you’re a single business traveler looking for a way to see the city in your limited free time, your tour interests are obviously going to be different from a family with young children.
If you’re doing an entirely guided trip, reading reviews and making sure you’re choosing the right one for you is even more important. For example, if you’re a retired couple going to Europe and you’re taking a guided tour for a week, you don’t likely want to find yourself in the mix with college-aged spring breakers.
Finally, if you’re on the fence about tours, one of the biggest benefits is that it can take a lot of the trouble out of planning and make logistics easier for you. You want to spend your trip doing things you enjoy, and booking tours ahead of time can help you do that, rather than standing around in New York or Paris staring at a map for half the day.