The Benefits of Group Guided Tours
On a recent episode of THE TONIC Talk Show and Podcast, originally heard on December 21, 2019, I had the privilege of interviewing George Levesque, Vice President of EF Go Ahead Tours Canada. We discussed the advantages of guided tours (as opposed to planning out your own trips). The following is a brief excerpt of our discussion. For the full interview with show notes and links visit thetonic.ca
Q. What are the benefits of a guided tour?
A.Guided tours are all-inclusive travel experiences led by guides who follow a specific itinerary. It’s the safest and most convenient way to travel. All the complicated logistics are handled for you and you are led by an experienced local guide who speaks the language and knows the ins and outs of the destinations you’re going to. We handle all meals, hotels and travel arrangements. Having local guides who speak the language helps with the logistical barriers. And, because the trips are curated you’re going to see the places that matter the most and which have the biggest impact on educational content.
Q. Do guided tours benefit those travelling alone?
A. About a quarter of the people that book tours with our company are solo travellers and they love the idea about being able to connect with lots of other people. One of the greatest ancillary benefits of what we do is that you get to meet new people. Many of our travellers have remained in contact with fellow travellers from all over North America and interact with them regularly, travel with them regularly and have built long term relationships.
Q. From an experiential perspective what is unique about your tours?
A.Our tours provide exclusive access. World travel has become so busy. During peak season you might wait hours to get into venues. But with group tours you move right to the front of the line and you get VIP access. Having an expert guide gets you into the nooks and crannies that you otherwise wouldn’t know about.
Q.Are the trips all planned out, or is there free time to explore on your own?
A.For the most part everything is included, but there are optional portions to the tours that travellers can opt in or out of. There’s a significant amount of free time. We’ve learned over the years from our travellers how they like to experience travel. So the busses never leave before 9:00am so that you can sleep in and have breakfast at the hotel. We typically give time in the afternoon if there’s an evening event or dinner, because we know that people want to walk around, go shopping on their own, or grab a gelato.
Q.Are there health and wellness aspects on your trips?
A.We have a team that looks at the nutritional values of the meals being provided. We make sure that there are always healthy options. We incorporate optional events such as yoga, walking tours, cycling trips.
Jamie Bussin is the Publisher of Tonic Magazine and the Host of THE TONIC Talk Show and Podcast. And when he isn’t doing that, he does travel.