Tours can be a great part of any indie trip, whether it’s a day tour of the city you’re staying in, a weekend bus trip around the region, or a multi-day hop-on hop-off journey around one or several countries.
A day tour could last any where between a couple of hours and a full day, but doesn’t involve an overnight stay. We love to do a walking tour the day after we arrive in a new city, to get a good overview of the layout and attractions.
Other types of day tour include cooking classes, hikes, guided tours of museums and gardens… the list is endless! Be aware that “free” walking tours aren’t really free — the guide often has to pay the company a certain amount per participant, so make sure to tip at the end.
- Context Travel for small-group walks with highly educated guides.
- Urban Adventures for overview walks and food tours (we loved the Cicchetti of Venice walk.)
- Eat the World for affordable food tours all over Germany.
- Devour Spain for fantastic food tours in Spain.
There are many types of multi-day trips, from a quick overnight excursion to an epic journey of several months. Some of these are best booked on location, like the Salar de Uyuni salt flats tour, or a desert tour in Morocco; others can be booked well in advance.
We choose multi-day trips when it’s difficult to travel by public transport to the places we want to see, or when we want someone else to do all the trip planning for us!
If you aren’t booking a private tour, make sure to consider the size of the group you’ll be travelling with, as well as how full the itinerary is.
Hop-on hop-off trips
If you want a bit of flexibility in your trip, a hop-on, hop-off pass can be a great option. Most are more like a transport pass than a traditional tour; you pay for transport along a set route, which saves you the hassle of constantly researching and booking bus and train trips, and the company has probably developed routes that cover the places you’re most likely to want to visit. If you fall in love with a place, you can stay longer. There’s often a guide, which means you’ll get to know the destination better than if you travel solo, and your driver or guide might even organise accommodation for you, which you pay for separately.
Stray Travel offer excellent routes in New Zealand, Australia and Southeast Asia.
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