Traveling solo against your will? Join a tour

The Merits of Travel-Heather Malazdrewicz
The Merits of Travel-Heather Malazdrewicz

Photo by Zach Dischner

Can’t find someone who shares the same desire to travel as you do, but you shudder at the thought of going it alone? No need to give up on your dream of travel. An organized group trip might be just the solution you’re looking for.
Group travel does have it merits. It cuts down on the stress and anxiety of trying to organize all the logistics of your trip on your own. The itinerary is all laid out in advance, accommodation is pre-booked, some meals are included, you visit the major sights in the cities you stop at, you don’t have to worry about navigating the local subway or bus system (especially helpful if you don’t speak the local language), and you don’t have to worry about getting lost. If you have limited vacation time, a tour will allow you to see a lot in a short amount of time.
It’s a great option for first-time travellers who may be a bit nervous to go it alone. A guide on board is there to make sure things go smoothly, as well as to offer advice to help you get the most out of your tour. A local guide may also be part of the tour experience, which will bring first-hand knowledge of the country.
Tours are also a great way to meet new people who share a similar passion for travel. With an organized tour, someone else does all of the work for you, which means you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your vacation.
The methods of transportation on organized tours are going to be different or unique depending on which part of the world you travel in. In Europe, you can expect to travel in modern air-conditioned coach, complete with Wi-Fi, panoramic tinted windows, and a stereo system.
In Asia, you might travel by tuk-tuk, long-tail boat, or local taxi. In Africa, transportation could be on an overland truck and 4×4 Safari vehicle for wildlife viewing. In other cases, it can be a more unique experience like a camel trek across the Sahara Desert in Morocco.
Accommodation on tours can vary from hotels, to hostels, to camping out under the stars, and local homestays. The number of people on a tour can vary from anywhere from 12 to 40 people in the group, depending on the tour company. Potential to form many new friendships!
Finding the right tour for you
Tour companies like Contiki Holidays and Top Deck Travel specialize in tours for the 18- to 35-year-old crowd. So that guarantees that you would be travelling with fellow travellers in your age category. Intrepid Travel and G Adventures specialize in small group adventure travel. Smaller group sizes allow you to travel more like a local.
Other tour operators may specialize in adventure, hiking, cycling, food, trekking, or cultural tours. Intrepid Travel’s Real Food Adventure in Japan will have you discovering the difference between sushi and sashimi, soba and udon, tempura and yakitori on a food safari through the markets and restaurants of Japan.
If it is more of an active vacation you are looking for, choose from trekking, cycling, rafting or kayaking tours. G Adventures Ecuador Multisport Tour includes white-water rafting in the Amazon, trekking to an active volcano, soaking in mountain hot springs, and speeding down the Cotopaxi Volcano on a mountain bike.
The possibilities to choose from are endless, whether you choose a trek to Mount Kilimanjaro, a cycling trip through the bustling streets of Vietnam, get up close and personal with a mountain gorilla, or sail through the pristine waters of the Greek Islands.
No need to fear the thought of travelling alone. What are you waiting for? Create memories through authentic travel experiences.
Heather Malazdrewicz is the manager of Merit Travel at the University of Manitoba. She has worked in the travel industry for 24 years, while gaining her own experience of countries all over the world. Merit Travel delivers authentic travel experiences to the world’s top destinations, with help from a team of passionate and dedicated travel consultants at over 25 offices across Canada. For help planning your vacation, contact Heather at HMalazdrewicz@MeritTravel.com, or call 204-269-9530 ext. 6108.

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