Adventure travel tours vs independent travel

If you are thinking about travelling abroad, one of the major decisions that you will have to make is whether to book adventure travel tours or whether to travel independently. This is no easy decision, but here we have rounded up the main arguments for and against adventure tours and independent travel to help you decide.

Adventure travel tours - the advantages

  • Booking an adventure travel tour means that you have to do minimal organisations yourself. Accommodation, transport and sometimes even food is all arranged for you. This can be particularly good in countries that don't have very good infrastructure or if you don't speak the local language.
  • Adventure travel tours allow you to see a lot within a short space of time. Itineraries often pack in the highlights of a country or a region, and there is often a variety of itineraries to chose from.

Adventure travel tours - the disadvantages

  • Itineraries are pre-set, meaning that you can't just move on if you don't like a place. You often have to compromise to meet the needs to the group.
  • Group travel can be difficult, especially when there are "difficult" members of the group (e.g. the complainers, the heavy drinkers, the ones who are always late...)
  • Tours are often more expensive than independent travel would be.

Independent travel - the advantages

  • You have absolute freedom to plan where you want to go and what you want to see. You can amend your plans as you go, perhaps staying longer in a place you love or cutting short time in a place that you don't.
  • It's usually cheaper than booking tours.
  • You don't need to compromise to please members of a group - you can travel your way.

Independent travel - the disadvantages

  • If something goes wrong, you're own your own. There will be no tour leader to sort things out. It's therefore a good idea to learn some of the local language.
  • There's a lot of organisation involved - both before you travel and while you're on the road.
  • You probably won't be able to fit in the same amount of places or experiences as you would in the same period of time with adventure travel tours.

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