The benefits of small group touring

EMMA Lovell discovers the wonders of a small group tour and the benefits of choosing a tour that suits your interests.

Group travel is not for everyone and many people are quick to reject the idea. However, small group touring can be a wonderful way to see a country in a comfortable and well-organised way.

Tour companies have received the memo that people don’t want to be herded around like cattle on huge buses from one tourist attraction to the next. Instead, travellers are being offered the cost effective option of group travel in a more authentic way, with that touch of luxury that we so desire on a holiday.

Small group touring offers guests an affordable way to see a new destination without the hassle of planning the itinerary, making bookings or coordinating logistics during the trip. You’re offered an engaging itinerary that often includes all meals and showcases the best of your chosen location. You really can just sit back and enjoy the journey, while engaging with your destination and connecting with your fellow travellers.

For an experience that’s in line with your style of travel, try choosing a company that specialises in different types of tours. Whether it’s luxury, challenge, social good or glamping, there are small group travel companies to suit everyone’s needs.

Take me to India

Take me to India specialise in organising bespoke tours to offer boutique, luxury experiences across India.

In January 2019, I travelled with Take me to India on a small group tour through North and South India with four women. The trip ran seamlessly as we enjoyed authentic experiences in exotic and off the beaten track locations.

From the time you arrive at the airport, Take me to India are there to handle all arrangements. A local representative will meet groups at each destination and assist with hotel check-in, coordination of drivers and introducing local guides. You travel in comfort in our air-conditioned vehicles with complimentary wi-fi and well-stocked baskets of delicious local snacks.

Our detailed itinerary was well paced, giving us the opportunity to explore the iconic monuments as well as relax and engage with each city. The beauty of a small group tour is the flexibility it provides to change plans and adapt your days to suit your travel style.

In a country as complex and diverse as India, travelling with a company like Take me to India is safe, luxurious and offers you truly local insight.

Soulful Concepts

For the adventurers who want to really connect to a destination and give back, Soulful Concepts offer responsible and sustainable travel experiences for charities, corporates and individuals.

Soulful Concepts believe that sustainability can go hand in hand with comfort and style. Their aim is to support local communities and give people a better understanding of the culture they’re experiencing.

In 2018, I travelled with a group of 13 fundraisers to trek the Great Wall of China for five days. The group raised funds through their network over the course of a year to support people living with MS. These types of tours are called charity challenges.

It’s a different style of travel, in that you’re immersed in the experience from the day you sign up with fundraising, training and travel support. It’s a highly engaging trip that leaves travellers with a huge sense of achievement, as well as a unique view of their destination. An emphasis on eco-friendly accommodation and partnering with local operators adds to the responsible tourism appeal.

Group sizes range from two people in private departures to a maximum of 20 travellers on small group tours. If you’ve ever wanted to travel and give back, Soulful Concepts is for you.

Wayoutback

This Australian run and operated company offers unique, small group tours to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and showcases the highlights of the Northern Territory. When I had two guests visiting from the USA, I knew this was the company for us.

I travelled in a group of 12 on a three-day Uluru tour. We explored Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, visited a camel farm and of course, Uluru. The tour offered the perfect mix of comfort while staying authentic to the “outback experience”. We travelled in comfortable 4WD vehicles, slept in swags under the stars and enjoyed meals by the campfire. The guides were knowledgeable and catered well to the mix of cultures within the group.

This was certainly a more enjoyable way to see one of Australia’s most important landmarks and to have the time to enjoy the region without being herded around in a large group. For locals and overseas guests alike, I would highly recommend taking a small group tour with Wayoutback.

If it’s a little more luxury you’re after, Wayoutback offer a Comfort Accommodated tour which includes 4.5 star hotels, maximum group size of six and an eco-experience. You can also book your own private groups and customise the tour to suit you.

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