If you’re interested in going on a vacation led by a professional tour business, there are some critical things to know before booking your trip. As a leader in the industry for more than 20 years, I’ve seen everything possible. I’ve seen multitudes of companies that do safe, fun tours; I’ve seen a handful of companies out there that you want to avoid; and I’ve seen a handful of companies that do safe, fun tours but do it with a flare and a passion that leads to excellence and quite possibly the vacation of a lifetime. Whether you’re interested in a rafting tour, biking tour, hiking tour, bus tour, wine tour, variety tour, women’s tour, helicopter tour, boat tour, or any other type of tour, asking these questions of the companies you research will guide you to the latter (and much superior) class of tour company.
Grand Canyon Hiking Tours
Question #1: what’s the maximum number of people on a tour?
The smaller the tour, the more customized and personalized the tour will be. It doesn’t mean that a large group (larger than 12) will necessarily be a downer of an experience. It’s just that to handle larger groups, a business needs more systems, and so it naturally becomes less customized. Part of the magic of a great tour is the connection the guests have with their guide, and the larger the group, the less the connection. I recommend a group of between 4 and 8.
Women’s hiking groups
Question #2: do you provide custom tours?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in a custom tour or not, just the mere fact that a company provides custom tours means they’re set up to provide a more personalized experience. A custom tour is oftentimes about 20% more pricy but worth every penny if you want to see a lot of the ‘extras’ the guides know about but don’t show to the systematized tour.
Guided Yellowstone Hikes
Question #3: how many years of experience do you have?
Asking how long the company has been in business is less important than how many years of experience the owners have. I’ve seen 30-year-old companies lose their best people, and those people oftentimes go out and start their own companies. These newer companies, started by people with lots of experience, will oftentimes be more eager to serve you and make your experience extra special. Either way, you want the owners to have at least 10 years of experience in their industry.