Top 7 Questions to Ask Before Booking a Tour
Have you ever bought a tour package? If not, you could be missing out. According to a study, airline tickets, overnight lodging accommodations and car rentals are the dominant travel products and services purchased online by travel planners. And by bundling these items together, the price for the tour package drops significantly versus purchasing them individually.
While tour packages can save you a lot of money, they aren't ideal for everyone. Here are 7 questions to ask before booking a tour:
1. Is it all-inclusive, or will you have to pay additional admission fees
If you will be visiting attractions during the tour, the price of the tour may be completely separate from the admission to those attractions. Be sure you budget for such additions so you don’t miss out on part of the tour.
2. Is food provided
If the tour bridges a mealtime, ask if food is included in the price of the tour. If not, will there be time and opportunity to purchase something, or should you bring your own snacks? If food is available, what options are there? You’ll want to make sure the offerings suit your taste and dietary limitations.
3. What weather can you expect
If your tour requires you to get on a windy ferry to an island, or to walk for two hours in the summer heat, you’ll want to know ahead of time so you can dress appropriately.
4. Where does the tour pick up and drop off
Many tours operate without official offices, so they might meet at street corners, near a famous statue, on the steps of a museum, for instance. Take the time to map out how to get there from your lodging, as this is often the most difficult part of taking a tour.
5. How much time is spent in each place
Sometimes folks on tours complain of having been rushed through a place they really wanted to see and absorb, while others report having had to linger over something in which they had little interest. If there are specific stops on the tour that are (or aren't) important to you, a little research will help make sure you see what you want to see, and not more or less.
6. What size is the group
A tour that’s too big will make you feel like you’re walking around town in a giant swarm of tacky tourists; one that’s too small can feel awkward. Even if you like the idea of a small tour, find out whether there’s a minimum required number to keep the tour from being canceled.
7. Will you get to break off on your own
Even on closely guided tours, it’s nice to be able to break off on your own a little bit, whether to linger in front of a painting, dwell on a beautiful view or read a historical placard. Many tours will give you a bunch of information followed by a little bit of time to poke around yourself.