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You see and experience a lot on a tour

Article published
18.7.2015 at 06:00
Lama temple in misty morning, Gansu, China.
On a tour the practical matters have been thought out, so there is more time for seeing and experiencing new things.

These days, many travellers are used to being on a journey and have plenty of linguistic and survival skills, but arranged tours have remained popular nevertheless.

Their popularity has even increased, as typical tour participants – travellers who are over 50 years old and interested in the ways of the world and other cultures – have loads of stamina and time.

One specific group comprises country spotters who can easily collect several exotic countries on their list during a trip.

All the way to the Antarctic!

The reasons why package tours are popular include the convenience for travellers, competent guides, and small groups.

On tours, people visit at least two, and even three or four different countries. Travelling is made much easier by the fact that someone has planned transportation from one location to the next, for instance. 

Many frequent travellers have said that after going on a tour once, they will never travel again in any other way. Lone travellers have described how nice it is to meet new people who think the same way.

Popular destinations include tours of China, Tibet, and Bhutan. The Galapagos were the biggest favourite last year.

Destinations few have experienced firsthand become the most popular destinations. One good example is the Antarctic: several reservations have been made for the trip which will be arranged in 2017.

On a cruise the accommodation travels with you

If you are not excited about constant packing, I recommend a cruise. The hotel room travels with you, and relaxation takes centre stage.

At the same time, you can tour as much as you like on a cruise. Popular routes include a tour across the Pacific Ocean and a tour of the Far East from Hong Kong to Singapore.

You have to be in reasonably good shape to go on a tour. You must be fit enough to walk and remain in high spirits to absorb everything you see and experience. Long flights and time differences add to the strain of travel.

Geishas and exquisite gardens – or Native Americans and wine regions

You should prepare carefully for a once-in-a-lifetime journey. I would read both facts and fiction about the destination.

If I had the choice, I would go on a tour of Japan to see the gardens, the geishas in Kyoto, and the glory of the cherry blossoms in the spring.

Or I would go to South America where I could test whether I have learned the Spanish I studied in my adult years. Items that interest me there include, apart from Native American culture, the big cities and the wine regions of Chile.

Photo: iStockphoto