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  1. I agree with you Linda. No matter how independent you are there are always times when a tour will supplement your travel experience.

    Tour companies will also often get you to places that travelling independent won’t – such as staying on a Marea in NZ or with indigenous people in the Outback of Australia.

    1. You’re right Dan, that’s what we’ve found — sometimes you just can’t get the experience that you want when you do it completely alone.

  2. As a veteran overland tour leader/ driver I found this fairly spot on!

    But depending on where you overland, to cover the distance and pack in the sights, you would be hard pushed to compete for price. And you get the benefits of camping out in the bush, meeting people and experiencing the local culture that is impossible without your own transport.

    Just championing overlanding – it’s not dying yet!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Andy. I agree with you — I’m a big fan of road trips (or offroad trips) myself! It really depends on the situation of each traveller, how much time they have etc. For us, overlanding wasn’t an option when we were in South Australia, but if we’d had more time and perhaps two more passengers to split the costs we certainly would have considered it. Next time, perhaps.

  3. Agree with the post but a big factor perhaps not emphasised enough is the convenience factor. Even if you are an independent traveller the convenience of flying into, say, Alice Springs, then doing a 3 day tour to see Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), and Watarrka (Kings Canyon) is why the overwhelming number of backpackpackers to this region take a tour here. You can hire a car and drive to these attractions but the knowledge of the guide, convenience of having camping gear and meals organised is at a price point that makes a tour an attractive proposition.

    1. I completely agree — convenience is a huge factor. We tend to favour price over convenience but in some situations (especially in Australia), we found that quite often a tour was more or less the same price as doing all the work yourself. And, as you said, you get all the extra benefits like a guide and organised meals.

  4. Agree with most points in here. My travel style is independent with the occasional day tour here and there. Recently, I took two day tours in Oaxaca for $30 each. I did it because they covered a lot of stops outside of town, I didn’t have a car and the price seemed more than good. I ended up with an excellent tour guide who taught us a lot about the area. Like you said, research is really important. Once, I did a 13 day guided tour because I knew I was not going to put together a similar trip for the price the company was offering me. So, I always evaluate the pros and cons of a tour.

    1. Sounds like you have a similar style to us. You’re right, research is so important, as is being open to options. We never even used to think of doing a tour — it was indie or nothing — and some people just book a tour without investigating going it alone.

  5. Hi Linda! I loved this post. Being a tour operator this was very informative and educational. I was recently in Iceland with a group of fellow travelers with a very loose itinerary so I wouldn’t really call it a tour but one of the days I decided to venture out of the city and took a Game of Thrones tour into the countryside which was incredible. There are so many types of tours that vary in style, length, cost, focus, etc. and each traveler has their preference. I think that no matter what your travel preference is, there is always a tour that you can benefit from. Great post!