Many think that touring means you are locked into a schedule, stuck on a bus, or just not for them. What many do not realize is that when they go away they are doing some form of touring. Taking a cruise, doing a shore excursion, you are touring. In Rome, walking the streets and admiring the superb history surrounding you, you are touring. Taking the chunnel from Britain to France, you are touring.
My point, I think the word touring has somehow been turned into this bus trip with old folks with strict schedules...not true! Today's tour companies come in many forms. I am going to highlight two companies that I really enjoy, Globus and Tauck Tours. These two companies I have personally experienced and loved them! Both are top notch and I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to travel with some components built in for them.
The one thing both of these companies do well is bring you the experience of the destination but putting you right in the heart of it all. Both offer hotels that 4 and 5 stars and everything is included. You can do as much or as little as you want. Yes, there are components that are included but they are things that you want to see! For instance, when you go to Rome, do you want to drive by the Vatican or get inside and experience it? You want to get inside! Now do you want to stand in the 2 hour plus line or walk right in? Tours get you right in, no waiting. This is a huge plus when traveling with a tour company. Globus calls these "Happy Lines"! I agree with them! I am much happier to get into the destination and really experience it! Did I mention that after you are done waving at those your are walking by as you go into the highlighted place you also have your own private guide, highlighting things you may not have know about, but would have missed out on standing out in the line outside. Oh, yeah, it was raining on those in the line too! Ok, I think you get the point.
Another thing they offer are guides. These tour guides are invaluable. Most are from the area you are touring and after you see the main attractions of the destination, which are included in your pricing, you may want to have a quiet dinner but where to go? They will help you get there and plan that! They know what is going on and where to point you to. Use them, that is what they are there for!
Before you leave for your journey you can add more touring within the pre planned tour if you want a deeper experience. Globus has items called Local Favorites, these are experiences that clients can do that really give them a feel of everyday life in the destination.
Also, you are not always on a motor coach. They use all forms of transportation to get clients to the next destinations, rail, air, ship, ferry, and luxury motor coach. Many of the tours have less than 20% of the touring on a motor coach each day.
Touring is not just for Boomers! 80% of travelers on a tour are Boomers or younger. The average traveler on the 10-12 day European tours are in their 40's! Plus these companies have family focused departures that highlight the children and their interests and activities! Want to take the kids to the Wild, Wild West in the U.S? I highly recommend either of these companies or Adventures by Disney! This is a home run every time for everyone in the family!
So before you think touring is not for you, think again! The follow up to this blog will be adventures with Tauck Tours in the Canadian Rockies! One of my top 10 trips of all time!
Leigh Ann Arnholt