It’s great to be an adventurous traveler and wanting to explore new cities and countries by yourself. But if you’re traveling intending to learn something about the history of the place, or get comfortable transportation, day tours, or a guide, then you may be interested in booking a tour.
My idea of a relaxing vacation means having a booked tour before I arrive at the place. That way I am sure I won’t miss anything worth seeing, nor will I struggle to find suitable transport.
Before Booking a Tour
Before you book your tour, I would like to point out six questions you need to ask your guides.
The main question should be, who is your guide. Who is this person, do they speak English fluently, are they adapting the tour for beginners, how will you recognize them. The crucial question about your guide is whether this is a person or an audio guide. I have had booked many tours (museums mainly) where I was handed an audio guide, although I paid and expected a real person. For my latest trip to Barcelona, I didn’t want to make such a mistake, so I contacted Barcelona Exclusive Private Tours company and got everything I expected.
If you’re traveling with children, trust me, this question is a must. Having a child with you can be a real challenge (they will get hungry, tired, cranky, bored), so before you invest your money in this tour, ask this question. There is nothing more annoying than having a long tour that requires walking and being quiet when your kid simply doesn’t want to be there.
Length of days during the tour –
Look, some people seek long tours and don’t mind having day tours, museum tours, wine tours, etc., but if you aren’t prepared for a three-hour roaming around the city, you might want to re-think your decision. Adapt the tour to your preferences. Naturally, you will have to know where this tour starts (if there is a bus that will pick you up, how to get to the checkpoint, when, and where will the tour end). This question will help you plan the rest of your day.
Itinerary of the tours –
Some tours will make you run from a museum to a site and will make the whole experience a nightmare, while others take time and will stay in front of a building or a monument for half an hour. It’s useful to know in advance how long will you stay in every place. It’s a smart idea to do some quick research of the tour and Google all the areas that are included (perhaps you don’t want to visit all of them).
Size of the group –
From my personal experience, I can say that a group of 10-15 people is the best, but you aren’t the one who decides on the size of the group. It is a bit annoying when you have booked a group tour that gets canceled in the last minute only because there weren’t enough people. On the other hand, being part of a group that has more than 30 people is just a waste of money and energy; you won’t hear the guide well, and you will walk in a crowd, wait for others to catch up… You get the picture.
This is a mandatory question no matter where you go. Thieves are everywhere, so you better ask which parts of the city are recommendable for visits. Also, your tour operator should be very vocal about this, even if you forget to ask. Not every touristy location is paradise (some of the most exotic places I’ve visited turned out to be quite dark and dangerous).