Are you planning to travel across the world? You made the right choice, but do you have a solid travelling plan or know exactly where to explore? Well, here are some tips on choosing the right tour company.
1. Understand the Costs
Before choosing a tour company, take precautions to ensure you get value for your money. While some companies go out of their way to give you the best value your money can buy, others will nickel-and-dime you in an attempt to maximize their profits. Find out what percentage of your fee will be going to their overheads.
Also, make sure the hotel you will be staying in is the one you paid for. It is not uncommon for some tour companies to put up travellers in 3 or 2-star hotels although they paid for 5-star accommodation. You also need to find out if there are additional expenses such as park entrance fees, etc. That unbelievable deal may not be so good after all if you have to pay for everything.
2. Choose a Tour Company that Targets you
When travelling in a group, find out the category of people with whom you will be travelling. Does it target young or old couples? Is it for families? Nothing can mess up your holiday than being stuck with a group with whom you have little or no common interest. The wonderful thing is there is a tour company exactly tailored to meet your vacation needs. Always look for a tour group that is targeted at people within your demographics.
3. Local Tour Guides
Guides can wreck or make your tour experience an unforgettable one. Knowledgeable local guides make sure travellers understand where they are and where they are going to next. They keep the tour flowing seamlessly. It is important to ensure the tour guide is knowledgeable and courteous enough to keep all the travellers informed.
If you are lucky, you might get a walking encyclopedia with immense travel experience, thorough knowledge of the local dialect, and one who has life-saving techniques.
4. Safety Record
The tour company should meet all recommended safety requirements. It should also be accredited or registered to operate by the relevant bodies. Find out where you can lodge a complaint in case of mistreatment by a tour company.
5. A Balanced Schedule
Look for a tour company that will fill your days with enough activities while at the same time leave you with enough time to do what you feel like. If the tour company leaves you to your devices, you may not be getting good value for your money. Before you sign up, ask for a list of scheduled activities. While you may not want to sit around all day, you also don’t want to be running around throughout the day.
6. Tour Group Size
Small tour groups provide more value to travellers than large ones. They tend to be more mindful about the environment and provide a more personalized service. Besides, it’s easier to make friends in a small group of, say, 12 people than one with 60 travellers. Before you sign up, understand what you are getting into and decide if that’s what you want.
7. Check Their Reputation
Reviews from genuine past clients or friends are your closest guarantee of choosing a good tour company. You can get online reviews to understand how reputable a tour company is. The reviews may not be objective, or at worst could be stage-managed, but you are better off checking them out than not.
Between the polar opposites of extremely good and extremely bad reviews, you will find the truth somewhere in the middle. Some of the poor ratings may be based on metrics beyond the tour company’s control such as bad weather, or a feeling that almost all Indian restaurants serve spicy food. While reading the reviews, remember that people often report the bad, rarely the good.