Guided Tours vs Self-Exploration – Which One is Better?

As you might have already guessed, the travel industry is full of differing opinions that all sound good — which makes it hard to get good information when you need it most. For example, if you’re planning a great international trip to a destination you’ve never been to, you might wonder whether or not you should even try to book a guided tour, or just try to explore the land on your own. There are some upsides and downsides that you will need to think about, which means that this is a tough question to just answer openly.

The reason why it’s hard to answer this question outright is because there are so many different factors involved with actually pursuing a guided tour over a self-exploration style trip. For starters, you will be looking for someone that can really help you understand the area. Some tourist guides like to only show the cleaned up tourist sections of a city. If this is something that suits your own travel goals, then go with it. However, when you know that it won’t be enough, you should really make sure that you go forward and build your own tour of the city.

Guided Tours

This is actually not as difficult as you might imagine, especially when you consider the fact that you can actually buy guidebooks and audiotapes that help you find the best parts of every city. There are even maps that you can pick up to look at certain locations and make sure that you know how to get to them.

Of course, a paper map is so low-tech these days — you have a wealth of different travel apps on a variety of different mobile platforms to help you really get things moving along. You can have directions emailed to you, and you can also use GPS to get real-time direction help without having to even know the local language. Naturally, local languages are usually going to be the best way to go when you need in-depth help, but a foreigner can usually hack their way around without too many troubles.

If you know that you want to explore things a bit more, you should definitely try the self-exploration route. One of the strongest benefits you’ll find with this method is that everything is on your terms. You won’t have to try to fight with anyone to get a guide’s time, nor will you have to try to fit a guided tour within your schedule. If you know that you’re a night person, you can just take off at night and work your way around the city. Naturally, you will need to exercise some common sense before you go off at night.

So, which one is better? It’s just a matter of thinking about what you ultimately want to do. However, if you really take the time to focus on the type of trip that you ultimately want to have, you should have really no trouble at all building the vacation you ultimately want!

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