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Booking Guided Trips and Tours

Advantages and Disadvantages

Are you considering booking guided trips and tours and not sure if it is worth the price? To help you decide, we put together a list of the advantages of using a guide, the advantages of doing your own thing and the disadvantages of both. We hope this will help you determine if you should book guided trips and tours for some of your excursions. 

Disclaimer: I may make a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Going on vacation should be fun and stress-free. But let’s face it, sometimes unpredictable things happen. From minor inconveniences like not being able to locate that little café the guy on the plane told you about, to major disasters like not getting back to your cruise ship on time and watching it sail away without you – stuff happens!

When you use a guide, “stuff” doesn’t happen nearly as often!

Advantages of Doing Your Own Thing

  • You are completely on your own schedule and can spend as much or as little time at the spots that appeal to you most
  • You get to choose just the attractions you want to see and not those chosen by somebody else
  • You only pay for the attractions you choose
  • You can walk about town and discover shops and attractions you didn’t even know you wanted to see
  • You can change your itinerary on a whim
  • You can rent any sized automobile and travel in comfort
  • You can grab a cab to take you to places around town or out of town
  • No annoying strangers!

Disadvantages of Doing Your Own Thing

  • If you don’t stick to a well-planned itinerary, you risk running out of time to see all the attractions you intended to
  • If you rent a vehicle, you’ll have the extra costs of gas and insurance plus the time spent picking up and dropping off
  • You may get lost and be unable to access google maps. There are patches of the island without cell service (really!). If you are travelling outside of the major centres, you should purchase a back-country map and be able to read it. Depending on exactly where your travels take you, a satellite phone may also be recommended.
  • You won’t know the history or fun facts of all the sites and attractions that you see
  • Taxi cab drivers will get you around but will not provide a narrated tour
  • You may need an international license depending on where you are travelling from

Advantages of Booking with a Group

  • The route, sites and stops are all planned out in advance - sit back and enjoy
  • You will see the most popular sites
  • Narrated tour
  • Safe and reliable transportation
  • Easier to budget when costs are known up front
  • You'll meet interesting people from around the world

Disadvantages of Booking with a Group

  • No flexibility in the schedule or activities; itineraries can not be altered
  • You may pay admissions for attractions you are not that interested in
  • You may not discover the hidden gems of your destination, or where the locals go
  • Some travelers in your group may be annoying (ugh!)

Advantages of Booking Private Guided Trips and Tours

  • Sit back, relax and enjoy the narrated tour – no fumbling with maps or electronics to figure out where you are; learn fun and interesting facts about the things you see
  • Just you and your travel partners in a private, luxury vehicle 
  • Safe and reliable transportation
  • Guides are locals too and they know their way around town. If there is a road closure or some construction, they’ll know how to get around it and on to the next stop on your itinerary
  • Guides know exactly how much you can pack into one day and they’ll make sure you make the most out of your time

Compare prices and itineraries of our most popular tours here.

  • Your guided trips and tours can be personalized to suit your interests 
  • Time permitting, your tour can be altered “on the fly” to see more of one attraction or less of another
  • Gas and insurance are included in the tour price
  • Prices are usually quoted per tour, not per person (activity prices are usually not included)
  • easier to budget when excursion prices are known upfront
  • Ideal choice when you have limited time in one city
  • If you are arriving in Victoria via one of 20 different cruise lines, you have the option to book a shore excursion that includes port pick-up, customizable itineraries and a return to ship guarantee 

Disadvantages of Using a Private Guide

  • Additional cost to be included in your vacation budget

Have you decided to book guided trips and tours for some or all of the excursions you want while you’re here? We suggest you check TourScanner to compare all the tour options in the region.  

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