Book a Tour
Finding & Booking
You have picked your destination, booked your flight, booked your hotel, arranged any other transportation. But… you are not done! I often find people will spend $1000’s of dollars getting their flight and hotel and to the location, but don’t arrange their itinerary or schedule for once they get there. They then waste valuable time and eventually money trying to figure it out.
I always try to make sure I know my activity options in different locations. This might be a self-guided tour, booking a day tour, or multi-day package. I personally enjoy a mix of all three.
Self-guided tours are great as you can go at your own pace. However, it requires a lot of pre-planning, a good map (and map reading skills), and being a bit outgoing to interact with locals to really immerse yourself in your location.
Booked tours are great for the opposite reasons – it’s all done for you. No planning, researching or figuring out maps and often language barriers. In addition, you can also meet other travelers with similar interests and a great guide will immerse you in the culture immediately. The con is being on a schedule where you can’t linger or stay at a place longer than you like and dealing with potential issues from other on the group. There often seems to be one person in the group who is chronically late.
In both cases, pre-planning and research can mitigate the con’s and maximize your experience.
For activity ideas, both self-guided and booked tours, I usually start off with TripAdvisor due to the sheer volume of reviews. You can quickly get a feeling for the tour looking for specific items that will make (great guides who have detailed information) or break (too much time on the bus) your tour. You can also book directly through TripAdvisor which I have done several times.
Viator was acquired by TripAdvisor but I sometimes find other listings there as the companies are not completely merged.
Another place to search for day tours is GetYourGuide. This German company has a great selection of tours, especially in Europe and great customer service.
Intrepid Travel is a company that I have recently started exploring due to their focus on small group experiences focused on sustainable and cultural experiences.
Check them out and plan a great trip!
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this website are affiliate links. I receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, which contributes to maintaining this website as a travel resource. Please know that all companies are ones that I do use and have had great experiences with in my travels, or I would not include them on Blue Sky Traveler.