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Guided tours vs. solo travel
eurkd
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Joined: 01/15/2007
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Hi Everyone

I know there are a few topics out there on this already but I wanted to talk about it again and not be buried under dozens of responses.

I have been traveling in Europe numerous times over the past 10 years and except for my first trip with a school group that ignited my travel bug, all my trips have been independent. I’ve gone with friends and family and have always really enjoyed myself. Recently I had two weeks off in February and was in the position to take another trip. I couldn’t find anyone to go with and wasn’t keen about traveling alone at such a slow time of year on such a strict time schedule (silly “Real jobs Wink). SO I looked into a tour and settled on the Spanish Spree tour from Contiki. (The dates worked out the best, there are many similar tour companies so this isn’t a contiki promo.)

I was aprehensive about doing a tour after traveling on my own so much but after having gone I can firmly say it was a great decision. I still fall well within the 18-35 age range and met a lot of fun people. The trip was also incredibly low stress as you don’t have to think about anything; from accomodation to transportation, its all arranged. I have always enjoyed stepping off a train in a new, unknown city and finding a place to stay but I did get a lot more done in a day not having to worry about this. The entire two weeks was spent in Spain and our longest day on a bus was 6 hours. It was a great way to meet fellow travelers when traveling during a low season. Many of the travelers with more time continued traveling after the tour. I highly recommend it.

Having said that I know not all bus tours are like this. Cramming 15 countries into 2 weeks seems like a nightmare to me. I highly recommend independent backpacking as much as possible. But these regional bus tours maybe something to consider as an alternative if you’re on a tight schedule, traveling in a low season or want the logistics taken care of. I’d be interested in hearing what other people have to say or if anyone has any questions. Smile

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