How to find the right travel agency for you

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The most important decision you will make before traveling with a group is which travel agency you should choose. With various costs, sizes, and target demographics, the travel company and type of group can make or break your vacation. Here are a few factors you will want to consider before choosing.

What demographics do you want to reach?

Tour operators often cater to a defined age group – for example, 18-30, middle-aged adults, or 55 and over. Think about the crowd you would like to be in, not what age group you are in.

Many travel agencies that cater to younger crowds attract travelers who want to explore the nightlife and who might not like visiting museums in the morning. If you’re 20 and not interested in partying, consider joining a tour that caters to a slightly older age group whose interests may be more in tune with yours.

Likewise, many companies that cater to middle-aged adults will offer slower tours, requiring less walking from place to place than a younger visit. If you’re active and can handle a fast pace, you might want to consider a tour group that caters to a younger audience. Ideally, you want to join a group with like-minded people who want experiences similar to yours.

What’s your travel style?

Everyone has a different style when traveling, so you should choose a tour group that matches what you are looking for. Are you always on the move or do you prefer a leisurely pace? Most companies offer tours that require different levels of activity, from a slow pace with minimal walking to a fast pace, where your day is more physically demanding and most days are spent on the move. This is especially important if you have a disability or if you are not as physically fit.

Likewise, tours differ in the group time they offer. Some plan the whole day with group activities, while others make the most of your free time. If you want a tour that sets your schedule for you, you can choose an option that includes more excursions. If you want to do your own thing, you can choose a tour that just takes you from point A to point B.

What is your budget ?

Are you on a college budget and looking to travel as cheaply as possible, or do you want to splurge on a luxury vacation? Many companies offer budget and luxury options for the same or similar destinations, which vary in length, type of accommodation, and the number of excursions and additional meals offered.

If you’re on a budget, keep in mind that the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. Some tours don’t include extras like day trips and meals, while more expensive tours tend to include entrance fees, meals, and even travel insurance. They can also include flights and airport transportation, which can cost you more if you buy them yourself. Make sure you do your research ahead of time and understand what is and isn’t included in your tour.

With any tour operator, search online to find discounts. Sometimes they offer discounts for seniors or students, and sometimes there are discounts if you buy two trips at a time or book by a certain date.

Do you have non-negotiable items?

Some aspects of the trip are non-negotiable. For example, if you have a physical disability or mobility limitations, you may need additional assistance. Does the tour group you are looking for have the accommodation you need?

If you’re a solo traveler like me, you probably don’t want to pay the singles supplement, so choose companies that won’t penalize you for going solo. There are many companies out there, so research several to find out which ones may meet your specific needs and wants.

Company options

When I started looking for tour operators for my own travel needs, I found TourRadar.com useful, as it compared different tour groups and businesses. Once I familiarized myself with the types of trips available, I booked the tours I wanted directly through travel agency websites to avoid third-party fees.

While comparison sites won’t give you details of all travel companies, they can often break down the costs of various trips per day and show what’s included. It was a great starting point for me when I was overwhelmed with all the choices.

For people aged 18 to 35

Contiki allows you to explore destinations around the world with 18-35 year olds who share a passion for adventure and good times. With Contiki, you will create memories “that define what it is to be young, wild and free”. They offer 270 budget trips around the world, starting at around $ 100 per day. You pay a deposit up front and can pay the rest in installments, which is great for students on a budget.

Contiki hosts themed evenings several times a week, allowing travelers to explore the local nightlife. Friends of mine who have used Contiki say that many of the band partied a lot so if you are looking for some great nightlife this may be for you.

Bus approximately is one of the more economical companies, offering tours as well as the “hop-on, hop-off” bus option. It is a combination of independent travel and group travel, giving you the transportation and social aspects of a visit while allowing you to determine how long you stay at each location and what you do each day. .

They take care of transportation and recommend hostels for you, removing a lot of the work involved in planning your own trip. During the day you are alone. This is perfect for someone who wants to spend most of their time solo but would prefer someone else to plan the details.

Trip to Tuscany offers reasonably priced tours all over the world for all ages, ranging from two-day trips to 182 days. I traveled with them through the Baltic States last year. I was the youngest traveler at 23, but most people were in their 30s.

They took me through the Baltics and Eastern Europe for just over $ 100 a day. The tour was a good deal to start with, but I also received a 5% discount for those under 26 and an additional 10% discount for a special they had. Also, they assured me that there would be a few late nights but earlier in the morning, perfect for someone who is too old to go out every night but still wants a hectic experience.

For families

Looking for something the whole family can do, including your tweens and teens? Wait – teenagers, really? Yes! G Adventures offers reasonably priced tours that you can bring your tweens and teens to! Several sites offer trips for this demographic, but often they are not for the whole family or are quite expensive.

G offers trips specifically for the kids in your life who are old enough to do more exploring and doing with you while still being able to appreciate the culture around them. They offer tours with a maximum of 12 people to destinations around the world, with adventures for teenagers in the Amazon, Morocco, Vietnam and Costa Rica.

For people aged 55 and over

Complete with “days punctuated by leisure, healthy and fun entertainment and unparalleled service”, Seniortours offers trips all over North America and even Cuba. Whether you want to explore some of America’s incredible national parks, take a Cuba cruise or join the American Civil Rights Trail visit, there is a visit for you.

Famous for their low impact visit, they adopt a leisure pace with shorter travel days and frequent refreshment stops. Your safety and comfort is their top priority, so there are no major physical activities involved or rushed. They offer comfortable accommodation and an open bar with snacks on each bus. In addition, they will store your wheelchair, walker or scooter free of charge on the bus.

OldTreks, “The world’s first adventure travel company designed exclusively for people 50 and over,” offers more active and exotic tours in more than 100 countries. Most of their tours include outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking, but they also visit museums, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and nearby villages / towns to meet the locals.

Their tours have a maximum of 16 people and include most if not all meals. The accommodations are oriented towards comfort and location. ElderTreks supports local businesses and tries to give you an ‘off the beaten path’ experience unlike many companies that try to get as many people on board as possible and only support businesses with the most profitable services.

For a more academic experience, check out Road scholar. This travel group is proud to offer 5,500 “learning adventures” including expert-led lectures, field trips and creative workshops. Tours focus on specific topics or activities (bird watching, painting, baseball practice, storytelling, etc.) and include destinations in all 50 US states and 150 countries.

Almost 25% of their guests are solo travelers, and many of their trips allow you to have your own room at no additional cost. If you’re on a budget, you can book the general hotel option, but some tours have a luxury stay option, so you can splurge if you prefer.

With dozens of tour operators available, there’s a group for every age, budget, and travel style. Be sure to consider what you want to get out of your travels and do your research ahead of time to make sure your travel experience is perfect for you.

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