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    A Guide To Groups: Are Group Tours The Right Travel Solution For You? By Andrea Schubiner

    By Andrea Schubiner


    The New Year brings a time to reflect on personal goals and resolutions – and it is no surprise that “traveling more” is often at the top of people’s lists. 


    While 2022 may still hold much uncertainty for your travel plans, January remains a perfect time to refine your travel bucket lists and start planning ways to turn your travel dreams into a reality this upcoming year. However, given the still unfolding path of the pandemic, you may want to review my earlier post on purchasing travel insurance, just in case.


    If you are one of many Americans who find themselves with big travel ambitions but are unsure as to how to properly see travel plans through, do not worry – you are not alone!  Far too many people have long travel bucket lists, but are reluctant to travel on their own, or feel overwhelmed by the planning process.  Some often just don’t have the time to put together a customized, detailed trip.  If any of those barriers resonate with you, don’t let those obstacles stop you from traveling! A group tour could be the easy, perfect solution for you!


    Guided group tours can be an excellent choice for travelers who are eager to hit the road, but don’t want to deal with all the details, or travel on their own.  The beauty of a group tour is that you can just pack your bag, and not have to worry about any of the transfers, hotels, tours, or other logistics.  Even better, you may find yourself surrounded by like-minded travelers eager to explore the world and share incredible experiences together. 


    There is no shortage of great options for travelers looking to explore the world on an organized group trip.  With so many options catering to different destinations, group sizes, interests, activity levels, budget, and more – the hardest part of travel may be narrowing down what trip is best for you! 


    To help you navigate your options and choose a dream trip that is right for you, I have consolidated some important questions to ask when considering a group trip and outlined some group providers you may which to consider for your next journey. 


    Important Questions to Consider When Selecting a Group Trip


    Of course, there are some essential criteria you will want to make sure a group trip meets before moving forward – like the right dates, destination, and budget – but beyond these crucial points, you will want to consider the following aspects of the trip before signing up:


    • Who is the trip geared for? 
      • Some trips are targeted towards certain age groups, interests groups, activity levels, travel styles, etc.  – make sure you are comfortable that you fit into the target audience


    • How many people will be traveling in the group?
      • Some groups fill big tour buses, others have limited small group capacities – make sure you know the size of the group you are signing up for and are comfortable with the implications of a bigger or small group


    • Where will you be staying?
      • Accommodation on various trips can vary greatly – be sure to look into each hotel selected and make sure you will be ok with your nightly lodging 
      • If traveling solo – understand if you will need to pay a solo supplement if you get a hotel room by yourself, or if they will pair you with another solo traveler


    • Who is leading the trip?
      • It is good to understand who will be your guide during the trip, their credentials, and if you also have local, specialized guides along the way


    • How structured is the itinerary?
      • Some groups have activity/tour options to choose from each day, others have a lot of free time to let guests explore on their own, others are structured from sunrise to sunset – since the level of structure, pace, and flexibility on a trip is a very personal preference, make sure you are ok with what the trip is offering 
      • Similarly, understand meals in the itinerary and how they work – some people love eating all together as a group, others prefer options to explore destinations and eat on their own – make sure the trip fits your preferences


    • What is included in the trip price?
      • While most group trips are clear on pricing and inclusions, some trip components such as gratuities, lunches, optional excursions, insurance, or transportation to/from the group trip can sometimes be left off of the package price – make sure you know exactly what additional expenses may be required on the trip and account for these extras your overall trip budget


    • What have previous participants said?
      • It always helps to read some previous client testimonials and reviews to make sure there are not any glaring warnings or trip considerations you should be aware of. Most tour group sites showcase their own reviews and testimonials through third-party review platforms like Trustpilot or Feefo. Otherwise, travel forums like TripAdvisor or Cruise Critic are good resources as well.


    Where to start? Some recommended group trip providers to consider



    The following list is in no way exhaustive as to your group travel options, but hopefully a good start of showing you some available options and great companies you can leverage for your next trip:



    • General Tour Providers


    • Small-Group Tours


    • Educational Focus
        • Road Scholar
        • Odyssey Traveler 
        • Also, check with your college/university alumni networks as many offer their own specialized trips for alumni!
    • Active Tours


    • Adventure Tours


    Beyond the above tour providers, cruises are also an excellent way to book a fully planned itinerary and easily meet like-minded travelers.  Booking river and expedition cruises through a company like Tauk can make the onboard experience feel even smaller with your own group within a cruise support network.  


    Train journeys as well, like Rocky Mountaineer or Belmond Trains, are also great ways to explore the world, meet fascinating people and not stress about the travel logistics!  


    With lots of great options covering literally every corner of the world – make 2022 your year to get out and explore those places you have been yearning to visit!


    Andrea Schubiner is the Founder of Wanderful Journeys, a boutique travel advisory service that specializes in designing unique itineraries filled with enriching, off-the-beaten-path experiences, coupled with luxury service. Wanderful Journeys was founded as a vehicle to share Andrea’s love of traveling with others. A true citizen of the world, Andrea has journeyed across 95 countries and has visited over 250 cities on 6 continents. A native Detroiter, Andrea has been fortunate to also call New York, Chicago, Johannesburg, and London ‘home’ over the years. After receiving a BBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Andrea has turned her experience as a marketing professional and as a management consultant at Bain & Company, into an entrepreneurial endeavor. Her passion for adventure and severe wanderlust has molded her into an expert on all things travel.