How to Choose the Right Organized Tour

Tour companies that offer multiday trips arrange most everything for you: lodging, sightseeing, food and transportation. But group size, style of travel and budget are among the considerations travelers should assess before picking a tour. Read on for tips.

Start your research by thinking about how many people you want to travel with and what your tolerance is for the social demands dictated by group size.

Smaller groups can move more nimbly and possibly see more. But they can also be more intensely social as you spend a great deal of time with the same people touring and dining.

Larger groups tend to require more time to get around, but they can also offer more social variety — for example, you can change up your lunch partners more easily.

“Large groups offer anonymity, allowing travelers to choose their level of interaction,” said Deborah Miller, a travel adviser and the owner of Edge of Wonder Travels Unlimited in San Francisco. “Conversely, smaller groups foster intimacy among travelers, guides and the destination itself.”

Think about the demographics of your travel party and consider matching that to a tour company.

Operators often segment their trips by age under the assumption that similarly aged people have more in common or prefer the same pace. Road Scholar, for example, caters to an intellectually curious 50-plus crowd.

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