What is a Backpacking Tour Group:
A backpacking tour group is organised by a company. They highlight favourite tourist spots in a country or place and coordinate travel and accommodation to visit each of the locations. Each group will have a designated tour guide who is an expert in that area. They can give you advice on the best places to eat, what is a must see in the area, and places to avoid.
The size and style of the group will depend on your budget and style of travel. There are luxury tours, budget tours, tours for 18-30’s and tours for the mature traveller.
Pros and Cons to Backpacking Tour Groups:
There is no right way to travel, the only way to travel is the way that works best for you. Having travelled both independently and with a tour group, I can appreciate their benefits and drawbacks.
Pros to Backpacking Tour Group:
- The best thing about backpacking tour group is you get to visit a lot of places in a short amount of time. At each new location, there will be background information and highlights about the area.
- The tour guide will advise you on; the best places to eat, how much you can expect to pay for things, the best activities to do in the area.
- Activities and excursions can be booked through the tour guide at the best possible price.
- All of the transport and accommodation is pre-organised. This takes out the headache of trying to find the best route in and out of a new location. You do not need to spend hours a week reading hostel reviews to find a semi-decent place to sleep.
- You get to meet like-minded people instantly!
- Even the basic accommodation is a great standard!
- Due to the extensive itinerary, you get to visit a lot of places in a short period.
- The cost of the tour includes everything apart from most of the meals and spending money.
- There is security knowing that you will be looked after by a tour guide. This was especially important to me as a solo female on my first trip.
- The tour guide is an expert in the area you are visiting; they can give you fantastic background information and history about an area.
Cons to Backpacking Tour Group:
- As there is a set itinerary, you have to move with the group (unless you do not wish to meet up with them again). This was my biggest worry feeling like I was rushed through the different locations and not getting a true feel for them. Fortunately, however, this only happened to me at one of the places I wish I had another day to do all the activities available.
- Tour groups are costly compared to budget backpacking.
- You have to visit the places set out on the itinerary. Throughout my tour trip, there was only one time there was a place I wanted to visit, but it was not on the agenda.
Solo travellers or first-time travellers, in particular, will also benefit from the security and organisation of the trip. All you have to worry about is spending money and what delicious street food you will try next! It’s a great way to kickstart a backpacking adventure.
I highly recommend doing a Backpacking Tour Group if you have a limited time to travel.
For more information about what to expect on a Backpacking Tour Group check this blog out.