The pros and cons of a guided tour

Tourists out and about enjoying a guided tour holiday. Free Back view of unrecognizable young female traveler in warm clothes walking along touristic street and sightseeing during vacation Stock Photo Photo: Musa Ortaç

You have been working your socks off all year and it is time for a holiday. The question now arises. Do I want to travel independently or go on a guided tour? Here are the pros and cons of going on a guided tour. YOU decide.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, here are some statistics to show how the world’s general public feel about it. In 2022, 74% of people went solo as they wanted to see the world and didn’t want to wait for others.

63% of people wanted to do what they wanted when they wanted. 73% wanted to travel independently vs. 50% who wanted to travel on a group tour.

So, what is a guided tour?

A guided tour is best described as where you pay a tour company a fee and they do everything for you. They organise your ticket, the places you will visit including a guide who will show you places of interest. They provide you with hotel accommodation and catering.

Three reasons why a guided tour is a good thing:

  1. You will make friends – Make sure you go with a tour that fits your age group. Tour companies for young people include: Contiki, Italy on a Budget Tours, G Adventures, One Life Adventures and Tru Travels. Tour companies for seniors include: Elder Treks, EF Go Ahead Tours, Newmarket Holidays and Travelstride. You will be visiting places together, sharing your experiences together, eating together, and who knows, making friends forever. You definitely won’t be lonely and you are in a safe environment.
  2. Relax and enjoy – you don’t have to worry about anything, as everything has been planned for you, from the flight to the places you will go to, and hotel and food. There will be no language problems as your guide will be there to explain everything and answer any questions you have.
  3. Immerse yourself in the culture – you will get to see and learn a lot more because your guide will know where to take you, explain all the ins and outs of local customs and tell you lots of anecdotal local stuff that you may not find in guide books.

Prague Christmas Market

Three reasons why a guided tour is not a good thing:

  1. Expensive – Guided tours can cost more money than independent travel as they charge you a fee for organising everything. If you go independently you can budget by getting a cheaper flight, hotel and go to places and enjoy activities which may be free. If you don’t want to go on a comparison site, check out these top companies:
  2. No freedom or flexibility – You may want a late night and a longer sleep in the mornings. That won’t happen with a guided tour unless you decide to skip a morning. There may be things on the tour that you might not enjoy, or want to spend more time at others.
  3. Lost out on opportunities – When you go solo or travel independently you can explore, get lost, bump into locals who help you find your way, have a laugh and make unforgettable memories. You may get less of that in a guided tour experience.

tour map sailing croatia dalmation coast

There are a lot of tour companies around. Travelsphere does tours all over the world – Australia, Asia, Europe, North America and festive breaks like Christmas markets in Prague (see picture)  and Krakow. See my article on Croatia with its thousand islands. This holiday includes: return flights, 7 nights on board deluxe 5-star boat, 15 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners.  Eight days from £1,999.00

Whatever you decide, enjoy your holiday. You may want to experiment and do both. There is also the option of ditching a group tour and going for a private or solo tour. If you do, let us know what works out best for you.

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2 thoughts on “The pros and cons of a guided tour”

  1. This blog post offers a thoughtful examination of guided tours versus independent travel. It begins with informative statistics on traveler preferences and then discusses the advantages and disadvantages of guided tours. 

    The post covers the social aspect, convenience, and cultural immersion benefits of guided tours, as well as their potential downsides, such as cost and limited flexibility. 

    It also suggests options for various age groups and hints at combining different travel styles. It provides a well-rounded perspective to help readers make informed holiday decisions.

    Best Regards


    • Thanks Herman for your much-valued comments. It really is a difficult one when choosing what type of holiday you are looking to book. 

      As I get older I think my preferred option will be to do a guided tour. However, for young single people, I think it is also a great way to meet people and make long-lasting friends. 

      In a way, when you visit relatives abroad, that can also be considered a guided tour, as from my experience, relatives abroad have already penned an itinerary for you as to what they want you to see. 

      I recently did a blog post on going solo on holiday – I need to mention that as a possible option.

      If you are looking for a winter vacation, I have just posted today a piece on Christmas markets. A few years ago I went to Vienna over Christmas. I also include in the blog Krakow in Poland, and Prague in the Czech Republic.

      Happy holidays and Christmas in December!

      Tony (Tonchik)



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