America | English flag English | USD flag USD

General information

Choosing a Tour Operator (Brand)

traveler menu
When going on an organised tour, we need to choose a destination nearby or far-away, determine what our main must-see and must-do criteria are, pick the best time to go and the number of days to spend there and then plan a budget for that trip. There will be many existing, pre-defined itineraries by different tour operators that match our requirements. They may include highlights, activities or locations that we never thought about.

Which tour operator should we pick if we travel organised? A well-known brand or a local niche tour operator with some great ideas? There is something to say in favour of each.

We can play it safe and travel with a well-known local brand where we travelled with before and be taken care of starting at our own airport. We’ll meet fellow countrymen & women who speak our language and know our culture. An advantage could be that a representative is never far away. If we need to change something before the tour, or if we are not happy with the tour itself, we know where to go. Depending on the country, the choice of itineraries, availability and start dates may be limited.

We can travel in an international (English speaking) group with a major international tour operator. Travel brands in this category have existed for 25-100 years. The fact that they still conduct tours means, that they are doing something really right. Of course these businesses have excellent financial protection in place for their travellers. Most of them have also take steps to become more sustainable and even promote local activities (at the destination). People trust them. Their itineraries are good value and certainly worth considering. Some are specialised in travel for singles, young adults, seniors, families or interests (sport, architecture, religion). These tours can very comfortable as well as adventurous.

Classic Tours...
  1. Trafalgar Tours
  2. Insight Vacations
  3. Globus
  4. Collette

Small Group Tours...
  1. G Adventures
  2. Intrepid
  3. Exodus Adventure Travel
  4. Explore

We can also try something different. Inbound tour operators have their office at our destination. Their staff grew up in our destination and they know their country better than any foreigner. Some tour operators offer exclusive cultural tours to visit for example local tribes. They may also involve local restaurants and stimulate the local economy more. We just need to make sure, that the company really exists and bookings are guaranteed and secure.

See also About Group Tours.

Last but not least we can design our own itinerary and travel in our own group of friends and family. A professional tour operator can organise our tour and arrange transportation, accommodation with 3-4-5 stars, a local guide who speaks English, special activities and tickets for shows, attractions or musea, to name a few. We decide when we like to go and how long we go. Standard packages for private tours exist, where some of this is already packaged and priced. Alternatively it is possible to customise or design all- from scratch. It may be easiest to work with a local tour operator or travel agent in case many special wishes have to be implemented in your tour.