What are your European vacation goals? Maybe you’re setting out to see centuries-old architecture, like the Notre Dame cathedral. Or perhaps you’re a history buff and want to see monumental memorials in person.
Whatever brings you to Europe, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: It’s always a good idea to spend your money wisely!
Planning your first trip to Europe can seem daunting. You want to make sure you get everything packed into your trip (and packed into your luggage!), but you also want to make sure you get the best value for your money.
Perhaps you think an escorted tour breaks the bank, but actually, it’s the perfect option for your first trip overseas! Here are nine smart-money reasons why you should book an escorted tour:
1. It’s not every day that you travel to Europe—make sure you get the most bang for your buck!
Look, it’s a serious commitment to get to Europe — not at all like hopping a flight to Disneyland or embarking on a cruise. Shouldn’t you savor every minute of your time there? And that’s why an escorted tour makes sense.
Think about it: You’d never tackle a complex home repair — say a leak in your water heater, for example — without consulting a professional. Or even if you would, chances are good it would take you hours and hours and the end result wouldn’t be nearly as good as if you’d consulted a professional right away.
It’s the same thing with European travel. Sure, you could read about some interesting places to go, and honestly, you should do a little research. But if you’ve never been to Europe, wouldn’t it be better to leave the details to the pros? DIY solutions have their place, but your first trip to Europe isn’t really one of them.
An experienced travel operator makes sure nothing is wasted — not your time and not your money.
2. If time is money, don’t spend yours planning an itinerary — let the experts handle it!
Let’s face the facts: Vacations cost money. They also cost you time — time to book, time to plan, time to pack, time to travel. Well, if time truly is money, you could end up spending a whole lot of it just planning your trip.
That’s where escorted tours come in. When you take a trip designed and organized by professionals, you ensure the very best value you can get. Imagine an expert taking you around, giving the best insight into your destinations and making sure you don’t waste time on tourist-y things or inauthentic experiences. You’ll see the most important sights in each place you visit!
3. Eat smart - don’t save calories, but do save money!
Who wants to watch what they eat on vacation? C’mon, indulge a little! But don’t let your wallet suffer for it. With an escorted tour, the majority of your meals are included with the total price, meaning you aren’t going to pay a fortune for a meal every time you eat. Best of all, your tour guide knows the quality restaurants in every city you visit—you’ll get a great meal and a great value (and avoid the overpriced tourist traps, too).
Imagine sitting along a Venetian canal mid-morning, sipping caffé on the terrace of a coffee shop, soaking in the golden sunrays. How can you find that paradise? Simply ask your tour manager: Which way to pure, caffeinated bliss?
4. Dine and stay at the highest quality establishments, but at the lowest prices.
Wouldn’t it be lovely to stay at a four-star hotel for a three-star price? By booking an escorted tour, awesome deals like that are at your fingertips. Often, escorted tour operators have relationships with quality hotels in the cities they visit and are able to get much better rates on accommodations than you could get on your own.
How can you trust that a company is able to provide such a bargain? Try looking at their mission statement or “About” page on their website.
5. All of your transportation needs are taken care of!
What can be the biggest hassle while traveling abroad? The answer is easily transportation. Telling a cabbie where to go in Germany is not so easy if you know no German. And navigating the train and subway systems can be intimidating, even for experienced travelers.
With an escorted tour service, you can forget dealing with taxis and subways to get to dozens of must-see places or taking trains to get to many-miles-away destinations. All transportation is included in your tour cost and is usually well below the rates available to the general public. Plus, you’ll get door-to-door transportation without the hassle of getting to a train station. Don’t stress over how you are going to get to the remote Stonehenge—let your tour operator get you there instead!
6. The early bird gets the worm—and can even save money, too!
Tour groups often get discounted prices, and even early entry to museums and other points of interest. They can also get into exhibits or sites that may not be available without an advance reservation. In some cases, escorted tour participants may get in before opening or after closing to allow time to explore with less crowds.
Imagine a guided tour of Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s exquisite ceiling frescoes or a glimpse inside St. Peter’s Basilica and the breathtaking Pieta. This type of access is hard to get without advance planning and an expert guide — but those lifetime experiences make the difference between a “nice” vacation and a truly spectacular one.
7. Take advantage of professional assistance should something come up.
Was your flight delayed? Did your luggage not make it over? Let the professionals help you! Dealing with unforeseen circumstances is difficult when you have never traveled to a foreign country before. It can seem impossible if there are language barriers, but your tour operator can help smooth over any difficulties.
Your tour company will also recommend travel insurance providers for additional assistance and to protect you against unforeseen situations. It’s extremely reassuring to know you’re not alone when you’re traveling abroad.
8. When you have a tour operator, fear not!
Your tour operator typically has insights into the best airfares and connections and can arrange your airline tickets for you. This also saves you time at the airport looking for transfers to your hotel, because in most cases, if your tour operator handles your airline reservations, they will be there right at the airport to greet you so you get started on your vacation right away.
9. Get a tip on — well, tips!
Save on all those little incidentals that can eat up your vacation budget. In an escorted tour, your tips for hotels, restaurants, even luggage handling are included in your package. You only need to worry about tips for your tour manager and driver (see FAQs for tipping guidelines). This makes life a heck of a lot easier for those who are not particularly math-minded!
The more you know...
When it is all set and done, you will be happy that you chose an escorted tour of Europe. Not only will you meet new people, feel safe in a group, and learn extensive information about your destinations, you will also know that every penny spent was spent wisely.
Ready to get a jump start on planning your European vacation? Get in touch today! And if you’re not quite sure, but want to know more, just request a brochure and learn everything you ever wanted to know about planning a tour of Europe.