How to get Your Best Value in a Tour
You have decided you want to visit a certain destination and a tour appeals to you. However, as you start to look at tour options you get overwhelmed. You find so many tours for your destination of choice and all at different prices. How do you know which tour is right for you? Are you better suited to a budget tour or a luxury tour? Which inclusions are worth the money?
Let us help decipher the options for you. Looking at the components of a tour and where the pricing comes from will help you know what inclusions are important to you and which tours hold the most value for you.
Accommodations often make up the majority of the cost of a tour. The cost of accommodation is not only determined by the level of accommodation but also by the destination. Where a 5 star hotel in Bali might cost $200 per night, a five star in Japan will be more like $800 per night. That is 4 times as much! You can quickly see where the difference in the tour cost can come from.
Of course you probably don’t need a 5 star hotel every night of a tour. We believe a comfortable hotel, with a restaurant and a lounge that is reminiscent of your destination is perfect for a tour. Most days you will be out touring and visiting sights all day, so a comfortable, clean place to rest at night is exactly what most ladies need. A place with a little more character than a chain hotel is also very much appreciated.
It might seem obvious that the more meals included in a tour the better the value but this can depend on the destination. In a destination such as Alaska, where meal prices are very high, then yes, it is absolutely better to have more included meals. A tour, such as our Alaska Land Tour which includes every meal may be your best option for that area. However, in another destination where meals are relatively inexpensive and you have many options it might be better to not have them all included. Why pay more upfront when you can have better and cheaper options when you are there.
Size of the Group
The size of the group that you will be traveling with can make a very big difference to the cost of the tour. It will always be less expensive to travel on a big tour bus with 40 other guests than a small group. While you might pay less to be with a larger group, small group travel has lots of advantages. With a small group you will be able to do activities and experiences that you can’t do with a larger group. Many of the hands on, interactive experiences in our tours are only available to very small groups. Imagine being a geisha for a day in Japan as on our Japan Cherry Blossom Tour or learning to cook Thai food in Thailand on our Enchanted Journey through Thailand. A small group also means less time waiting in lines and more time enjoying yourself. With our groups of 16 ladies or less you will quickly feel like you are traveling with a group of friends.
Your method of transportation is another component that can definitely affect the cost of your tour. An air conditioned mini-bus to travel through busy European streets will definitely cost more than lugging your luggage up and down train boarding platforms. Comfortable transportation methods may not stand out while you are booking a tour but they will definitely be much appreciated while you are on the tour.
Interior flights while on a tour can also be a component of cost. An interior flight can again be a factor in your comfort. Travelling very long distances by vehicle can be exhausting and not very comfortable, it might be very favorable to replace this land journey with a flight. Tours such as our Enchanted Thailand Journey and South Africa Cape Town to Victoria Falls have included interior flights to make your journey that much more comfortable. Included interior flights also take the guess work out of cost and schedules, making your tour more seamless, such as our Galapagos Private Yacht Tour.
Having an English speaking, knowledgeable, local tour can make all the difference in your tour. A good tour guide will be both entertaining and educational. We have been very lucky to have had many excellent tour guides over the years. Eileen is the first mate and owner of the yacht company for our Greece & Turkey Yacht Cruise. She is a former Canadian oil and gas executive who left the boardroom behind to start a Mediterranean yacht company….talk about chasing your dream! Piet is an extremely knowledgeable South African tour guide for our South Africa Safari. His wife, Nellie, is a university professor and he has no shortage of stories and information to share with us.
Deciding on what tour holds the most value for you is a very personal decision, governed by many factors. We may have the occasional lady think that one of our tours is too expensive but what is most important to us is that every lady that goes on our tours have a fabulous time and raves about the tour when she returns.