Here at AffordableTours.com, we partner with a number of reputable tour companies to offer you a variety of tours to different destinations, with differing lengths and amenities, and of different styles. Read on to discover the many styles of tours you can book for your next vacation.
Our most popular type of vacation is the escorted tour. Vacationers may not be familiar with their travel destinations, and may find the challenge of learning all about a foreign locale and determining the best itinerary on their vacation intimidating. With an escorted tour, many of these details are handled by professionals and all included in the packaged price. An escorted tour is usually led by a single tour director who is in charge of the details and services for the duration of the trip. The tour director arranges all transportation and even baggage handling as you go from destination to destination within your tour package.
Some features you might find in an escorted tour:
- A single tour director from beginning to end
- Internal flights (flights between destinations within a tour), hotels, motor-coach as the primary mode of transportation, and other transportation
- Meals included
- Sightseeing included
- Moderate to Fast pace, often no more than two nights in a single location
Guided / Hosted Tour
A guided tour is similar to an escorted tour, in that most locations and activities will still have an expert guide handy to lead the vacationers. However, unlike an escorted tour, where the entire tour has a director who stays with it for its duration, the guided tour is “hosted” by various local guides. Each location will have a local representative who guides the tour through certain activities. Because the guides are local, they don’t plan the entire vacation in the same way the director of an escorted tour would. This will also leave vacationers with more free time at each location to explore on their own, while still having the comfort of an expert guide around.
Some features you might find in a guided/hosted tour:
- Local guides at each destination
- Some guided/escorted activities
- More free time to explore on your own
- Some meals, accommodations, and sightseeing included
A unique kind of guided tour offers transportation by rail. Many cross-country rail systems have been designed with the scenery in mind, so on a rail tour, the transportation from location to location is as much a part of the experience as are the sights seen once the tour arrives. You will still have the guides and hosts to show you around at each destination, but you will also get the excitement of seeing the countryside through a train window while traveling in comfort.
What you are likely to find in a rail tour:
- Guided tours at each location
- Views of the countryside
- Luxurious, comfortable trains for transportation
- Most amenities included
The river cruise has become one of our most popular tour options. This unique form of vacation offers both the sightseeing benefits of a guided tour and the relaxation of a cruise. Unlike a standard cruise, a river cruise heads through locations by river, rather than cruising in a sea or ocean. Being surrounded by land allows the river cruise to stop at various locations for tours and sightseeing. Essentially, a river cruise is a tour taken by river cruise ship rather than train or motor-coach.
Some features of a river cruise:
- River Cruise-ship luxury
- Guided tours at each stop
- Wide variety of stops
Tour and Cruise
If you can’t decide if you’d rather take a tour or cruise, and the river cruise isn’t what you’re looking for, you may want to try a tour and cruise combination package. These offer a tour or independent vacation on land that is also accompanied by a cruise of at least three nights. If you want both in your next vacation, this may be the option that most suits you.
Some benefits of a tour and cruise vacation:
- Two vacations for the price of one
- Lots of variety
- Guides and hosts to provide suggestions for sights and activities
Small Ship Cruising
While full-sized cruise ships are a luxurious way to take a vacation, they run into a natural limitation. The world has some remarkable wonders and sights that can only been seen (or most easily be seen) by boat, yet to get there requires narrower passage than full-size cruise ships can make. These smaller ship cruises take you on tours that would have been impossible otherwise– for example, on a tour of the Galapagos Islands– as well as taking you to more intimate settings in common locales, such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
Some benefits of a small-ship cruise:
- Unique locations for tours
- More intimate locations in familiar settings
- Allows for tours that wouldn’t otherwise be possible
- Combines benefits of a cruise and a tour
With the amount of information available at everyone’s fingertips now, many vacationers prefer to do their own research and make their own plans. That attitude has led to the independent vacation becoming an increasingly popular option for travelers. As the name suggests, this vacation largely leaves the traveler on his or her own.
Unlike the escorted tours, the independent vacation does not try to move quickly through locations to see all the highlights. Rather, each location on the tour has a two- or three-night stop that allows travelers to take a more leisurely pace in getting to know their surroundings. These tours usually have local hosts who are available to answer questions and offer sightseeing suggestions, but for the most part, vacationers are left on their own.
Some of the benefits of taking an independent vacation include:
- More freedom to plan your own itinerary
- Several nights in each location
- Allows traveler to become familiar with a location beyond the popular sights
- More affordable, because of fewer prepaid sights and meals
Check out our partners in independent vacations. Monograms by Globus are a popular line of independent vacations for AffordableTours.com clients. Trafalgar is another company with a strong reputation who offers independent vacations. Insight Vacations offer a line of independent vacations as well. Check out these, or vacations of any other style, at AffordableTours.com today.