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May 28, 2018

Tips on group travel

Interested in travelling stress-free? An organized tour may be the way to go. This short guide will help you pick the right adventure for you.

A versatile way to travel

The concept of group travel has changed dramatically in recent years. Nowadays, you can travel in small groups offering a more flexible itinerary, while large-group, multi-city, escorted tours still exist.

Of course, baby boomers are the main takers of this type of travel. But 18-35 year olds are also jumping on the structured-trip bandwagon. This definitely increases the variety of packages available.

Benefits of group travel

Group travel is generally more affordable than solo trips because of the buying power they have. However, if you want to avoid large groups, then consider a small group, which is often just slightly more expensive.

Groups can often skip the line or benefit from special treatment in restaurants and tourist attractions. Consider this if you plan on visiting the most popular sites.

Above all, group travel fans appreciate the company of their fellow travellers. Long-lasting friendships can develop when travelling and eating together – or even during more challenging moments.

Drawbacks

Depending on where and what you’ll be doing, some people may find organized tours to be too restrictive, especially when it comes to schedule and the choice of activities or restaurants.

It is worth noting that the larger the group, the harder it is to get along with everybody. Depending on your personality and need for alone time, a small group may be your best bet – or you could pay more for a solo or couples organized trip.

Most tour operators will draw up an itinerary and book everything for you, combining convenience and safety.

Clarify your needs first

The advantage of group travel is that it is more flexible and caters to the needs and tastes of the average traveller. There is simply no reason to have to settle for an uninspiring trip.

After setting your budget and choosing your destination (or at least the general location), it’s important to consider the following: do you prefer large or small groups? Do you need a lot of free time or do you want everything to be prepared for you? How much time do you expect to spend in every place you’ll be visiting?

These questions will allow you to decide which package and tour operator is best for you.

Shop around

Based on the answers to the questions above, it’s time to do your research. Ask tour operators about sleeping arrangements (types of accommodations, level of comfort) and meals. Though a meals-included plan can seem attractive to many, others would much rather enjoy intimate meals or dining alone in a little hole-in-the-wall en route.

Ask your tour operator about who they normally cater to. A retiree may not enjoy touring with a bunch of millennials… and vice versa.

Along the same lines, sports enthusiasts will probably enjoy more physically demanding activities, while those who prefer rest and relaxation may want to walk as little as possible. Therefore, it is wise to choose the tour best adapted to your overall fitness level.

Your tour operator can arrange other details for you, such as whether or not to add air and/or ground transportation, certified guides or drivers, as well as optional excursions.

Be sure to request quotes from several tour operators. You can then compare offers based on price and your level of interest in the various tours available.

It is highly recommended to deal directly with a Canadian tour operator holding a valid permit issued by the Consumer Protection Office in your province or territory, rather than one in a foreign country. This way, you will be better protected in case of cancellation or unexpected surprise.

Get insured!

Whatever the type of travel, it is vital to be insured. All-inclusive travel insurance covers emergency medical expenses, trip cancellation and interruption, baggage and other risks.

Tour operators will usually suggest insurance products to add to your package. You can decide to take out insurance with them or with the insurer of your choice.

At assurancevoyages.ca, we compare quotes from many recognized insurers for you. Feel free to contact us!