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There are as many different styles and methods of group travel as there are different travelers! Take a tour of Europe's must-see attractions, hike the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, or travel through Costa Rica visiting cloud forests, volcanoes, and butterfly gardens! Some tours hold your hand the entire time so you don't have to lift a finger, while others bring you to places and let you explore on your own. All range of accommodation are available, from hammocks on the beach for the adventure thrill-seekers, to luxury properties with white glove service. If you can imagine it, there's a group out there ready to make it happen!
Group trips like to incorporate in a little of everything - some excitement on the side of your relaxation, some learning along with taking in the scenery. Some groups focus on one specific area while others move around; some visit historical areas while others focus on a destination's natural beauty. There is either a little or a lot of free time to do with as you wish - usually in the evening - when there's a break in the itinerary.
Arguably the best thing about guided group tours is that you get a knowledgeable guide who knows the area and who can not only give you insights on the main attractions, but also direct you off the beaten track to local spots. It's like knowing someone to give you the inside track everywhere you go!
When deciding whether a guided group trip is right you, the important thing to remember is that it's a group trip. After the location, the biggest focus of the trip will be the people you're traveling with, so it's important to have a relaxed and welcoming attitude - you're all in this together!
Once you're signed up for a tour that interests you, all you have to do is show up! Ask your guide for suggestions or wait to see what the other people in the group do with their free time - either way you don't need to worry about it!
From touring the monuments and museums to touring chocolate plantations and learning how to make French bread, there is a tour for everything. Ranging from rugged to luxury and everything in between - there is a tour out there perfect for you!
Everything from the rooms to the transfers and guides are tried and tested by experts in their field to ensure that everything runs smoothly and your needs are anticipated and met!
DO find the right tour. This sounds obvious, but there are literally thousands of tour operators offering every type of travel under the sun. Talk to your agent about your priorities so you not only go where you want to go, but do what you want to do the way you want to do it!
DO consider arriving a couple days before the tour. You'll have the opportunity to get your barrings and get over jet-lag before the tour starts!
DON'T miss the bus. Literally. You don't want to be that person everyone else has to wait for; if you're late, everyone's late.
DON'T be afraid to ask questions. Your tour leader is a valuable travel resource, and it's their job to know about the area and to offer suggestions for things to do during unscheduled time. Most leaders are delighted to talk about the areas they love!
DON'T wander away from your group. There will be free time to explore at your leisure, so be sure you have the address of the hotel and contact information for your tour leader before striking off on your own.
DO be social. You don't have to become everyone's best friend, and it's important that you get time to yourself, but you're sharing a unique experience with the people in your group - get to know them!
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