I was fortunate enough to travel to Italy with Trafalgar last October. Trafalgar is an Escorted Tour Company (ETC) which means I was part of a group that traveled together for the duration of the trip. ETCs offer a variety of itineraries, paces, and types of experiences. The itinerary I experienced was a fast paced 7-day getaway. We saw so much! This was my first time traveling with an ETC and definitely had some hesitation about whether or not I’d enjoy giving up the freedom of traveling independently to be part of a group. I quickly learned that there are so many benefits of an ETC. Here are some of my top reasons why you shouldn’t overlook these escorted tours:
ETCs know the hot spots you want to hit and can also find those hidden gems. They’ve had years of experience tweaking and perfecting an itinerary that travelers love and hit all of the destinations they want to explore on their trip.
Any hotel accommodations offered has been inspected by their experts and approved for quality. You can trust that the properties have great service, positive reviews, and are strategically located.
Worry-Free Luggage Handling
This aspect of travel is often overlooked, but having your luggage transferred securely while vacationing is definitely a bonus. Whether you are waiting for your hotel room to become available or driving from place to place, ETCs makes it easy and keeps your luggage safe and secure.
Many meals are included. Most ETCs include at least half of your food while on tour. On my trip, all breakfasts and dinners were included. ETCs also include fun value-adds like classes, demos, and tours. We had an opportunity to see a glass-blowing demonstration in Venice!
You’ll have the same guide and bus driver with you the whole time, which is amazing! These are local to the country you are visiting and are an encyclopedia of information. You develop a great relationship with them on the tour and they can help direct you to things you will love when you have free time from the group.
ETCs give you a great opportunity to meet new people you may not have met if you traveled on your own. You are together quite a bit of your trip, and have time to get really get to know your fellow travelers and bond through your travel experiences. As a solo traveler on a group tour, I definitely appreciated this! I was glad to get to know couples or other singles that were interested in the same destinations as me.
Sit Back and Relax
You don’t have to worry about renting a car or navigating public transportation. All of your transfers are included. From when you collect your bags from the airport to when you say farewell, all transfers to and from scheduled excursions, group meals, and new cities are included. It is so nice to vacation and not have to worry about directions or missing something amazing off the road. It removes a big stressor for a lot of travelers – myself included!
More often than not you’ll be able to skip the line for those top attractions you have your heart set to see. Plus, not only do you skip to the front of the line, you have an expert guide to offer information, fun facts, and insight you may not have otherwise learned exploring on your own. A normal wait time to go into the Vatican Museum is 3 hours. We jumped ahead and was admiring artwork within minutes.
Are you hesitant to try your first escorted tour? Want to learn more about my trip to Italy? Let’s talk - I’ll help you plan a great European adventure!
Written by Allison Bryant
Allison is a Leisure Travel Consultant at UNIGLOBE Travel Designers who has a love for all things Harry Potter. She has a passion for travel and loves learning about new places. She keeps busy being married with three children and a rambunctious lab.