Using a tour company as a Generation-Y wanderer used to seem a bit like a cop-out, but the more I talk to some dedicated travelers my age, the more I find that they often use tours as a way to get to some of their favorite places. When you have a full-time job working somewhere and you don’t have the time to plan every detail for a trip or scour the internet looking for the best deals on plane tickets, talking to a company who specializes in things like that can take a lot of stress off.
I took a tour with EF College Break a little more than a year ago after graduating. It was a whirlwind tour—I think we managed to see ten different countries in a space of twenty-five days. There were some things about being on a tour that weren’t my favorite, such as having a limited amount of time to explore on our own. There were some activities planned that I skipped (like a whiskey-tasting in Dublin—I just wanted a simple Guinness), and sometimes it felt like we were just going through the motions of traveling and not really appreciating the full experience.
Despite the times when I wished for a bit more independence, I had a wonderful time. I met some awesome people, with whom I am still friends with today. I also got to sample some of the best parts of each place in Europe because someone who knew the area was able to take me there. I had no worries about making sure the itinerary coincided in each city and was free to relax and enjoy every location. I got a taste of each place, so when I returned to Europe a few months later, I knew which spots I wanted to return to.
I’ve been thinking about which destinations are next on my bucket list of places to go (Peru, anyone?) and whether or not I would consider taking a tour again. The answer? Yes, and I am not ashamed to admit it. I know nothing about the climb to Machu Picchu, and I would be lost trying to find my way around India alone. At that point, a little extra security would not be a bad thing—especially so I could relax a bit and enjoy the experience rather than worrying about my safety. Taking a tour might not be the most adventurous way to do things, but it’s sometimes the cheapest and safest option you have.
Have you ever taken a tour for Generation-Y travelers? Would you do it again?
Picture is of me with some of the friends I made while on tour. I still keep in touch with them!