KNOW YOUR TOURS
Escorted- Guided- FIT Tours: Know which tour is best for you. You might find that any of the three can be the best for you. It all depends on what you want and how you want it.
Escorted tours are conducted by a Tour Director. A Tour Director is responsible for leading a group on a travel experience over several days with the same guests. They take care of everything, from your transportation to and from the airport, as well as transportation to and from your hotel daily, as well as your daily activities. Typically you are with a group throughout your tour.
Escorted tours usually have preset dates and itineraries from which to choose. These packages usually include the hotel, bus or rail transportation, some meals, and admission costs to the activities scheduled. Flights may also be included or available as an add-on option.
Every day of your itinerary is scheduled and handled for you. You’re picked up from the airport, driven to the hotel, and each day you will be picked up for a new activity, and then dropped off at your hotel each evening. Then, at the end of your vacation your escort will bring you to the airport to go home.
Escorted tours provide an inside knowledge of the destination that you might not have. Insider knowledge of the area means you’ll hit all the highlights. The tour may also allow you to uncover some hidden gems within the city that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Guides often share stories and bits of history about landmarks to give more depth to your experience. The company uses its knowledge of the city to schedule activities and visits during times when they aren’t as busy.
Tour Directors are jack-of-all-trades: they deliver commentary about the sights, handle the organization and logistics of getting the group to and from where they need to be, and their job often involves using a motor coach (or even a cruise ship) as transportation. They “bring the fun” by acting as an entertaining presence on the microphone, enriching the group travel experience, and promoting bonding over the days spent together.
An Escorted tour can be good for travelers visiting a new location for the first time who may feel nervous or unsure of where to go and how to act. This is particularly true for vacations abroad if you aren’t fluent in the local language. A guided tour gives you a sense of comfort since the tour guide understands the culture.
The advantage to an escorted tour is you just need to book your trip and show up, and everything is taken care of for you
Hosted/Guided tours are very similar to escorted tours. Like an escorted tour, you will probably be with the same group of people throughout the tour, and you’ll be transported to and from your hotel and to some activities.
Guided tours are perfect for travelers who want some freedom, but still prefer the comfort of having a guide with you part of the time.
Also know as “Foreign Independent Tour” or “Fully Independent Tour” or “Free Independent Traveler.” Whichever term you use, the emphasis is on “Independent.” A FIT Tour means that the traveler or small group of travelers (usually less than 10 people) will be taking a trip that does not follow an itinerary preset by a travel supplier and will not have a set tour guide or leader.
An independent vacation combines the best parts of escorted and guided tours, with the freedom and flexibility of solo traveling. On an independent tour you set your own schedule, you won’t be with a group, and you’ll be responsible for your meals.
With an independent tour vacation, you’ll still enjoy having your hotel, transportation, excursions, and some meals included with your package, but the rest is up to you.
On an independent vacation, you will not be part of a group, which gives you the ability to spend your days exactly how you like.