The first large escorted group tour we provided at Hurley World Travel was to Italy in 2015. This was my first escorted tour, and after having been almost exclusively an independent traveler and specializing in independent travel for our guests, I wasn’t sure I was going to like the experience. Boy, was I wrong.

We all are familiar with independent travel. Typically, we research and select a destination, book our travel and accommodations, have a checklist of things we’d like to see and do, and we’re off. We get there, drive around, go and see a few places, eat at a few restaurants, drive around some more, see a few more sites, etc. and then return home.

Shared Experience with Like-minded People
The big benefits of private escorted group touring are traveling with people who have similar interests as you do, learning more about a destination than you could learn on your own in a short period of time, and having someone handle the details of your trip for you so that you can just focus on enjoying your trip and experiencing your destination.

A private escorted group tour has a limited number of people attending and is customized specifically for that group. The people in the group are excited about visiting that destination and open to socializing with other members in the group during their travel, making the tour experience fun for the group. An escorted tour means that a key person from the travel company goes with the group on the entire tour and attends to all the details and any problems that arise so that the guests on the tour are free to enjoy the tour.

Fewer Hotel Changes
Group tours may stay in a few or many hotels as they travel. Many tours concentrate on cramming as many sights as possible into a 7-to-10-day window, resulting in constant hotel changes, and lots of packing and unpacking. Guests who take these types of tours often feel rushed and overwhelmed by the constant changes in lodgings. We’ve found that a customized escorted group tour from a primary base of operation allows guests to have a more settled and relaxed experience giving them more time to enjoy a destination as they have more time to become familiar with it and absorb its atmosphere.

More Expert Information in Shorter Time
Escorted group tours utilize knowledgeable tour guides and experienced drivers that safely transport the group to its destinations at a leisurely pace. Tour guides travel with you throughout the country you’re visiting, providing so much more information than a typical traveler can learn on their own through independent travel during that same period. Guides explain the sights you are seeing, while giving interesting facts and the relevant history and culture of the area you are visiting.

Safer Travel Without Fear
When traveling in other countries by car, some independent travelers may be intimidated about local driving laws and driving on the wrong side of the road to destinations they’re not familiar with. A group tour utilizing an experienced driver eliminates the fear of driving and the time spent in finding your way. Also, guests can rest while their driver takes the group to its destinations, giving guests more energy to explore the destinations when they arrive.

Knowing What to See, What to Do, Where to Go, Where to Dine
When it comes to sights, the ideal escorted group tour is comprehensive, has a good pace, and visits the most important destinations of interest to the group. The tour is customized to the sites the group wants to see and introduces the group to even more sites they probably would not have discovered on their own through independent travel. Dining and sampling the destinations local food is a huge part of experiencing a destination. Guests benefit from the guide’s recommendations of the best dining locations, places to see at the destination, and places to shop, because the guide is experienced and knowledgeable about the destination and knows the importance of giving guests a thorough and enriched travel experience.

Millennial Group Touring on the Rise
Today’s escorted group touring isn’t like yesterday’s bus trips. Far from it! Escorted group touring is highly customizable and inclusive and can encompass travel by air, land and sea and can include walking, hiking, and other active events tailored to the group’s request. 58% of Millennials like to travel as a group, wanting the social aspect of traveling with friends and like-minded travelers.

Group Touring Can Cost Less than Independent Travel
Lauren Chattman, in a recent article about group travel in Newsday, stated, “Group travel is no more expensive than traveling on your own, and in many instances can be cheaper. Trips generally don’t include airfare, allowing travelers to use frequent flier miles or search for the cheapest way to fly. Because not all meals are included, you can spend as much or as little as you want on food when you’re on your own. Solo travelers are paired up, bringing down the cost of hotel rooms. Discounted group rates on everything from boat charters to museum guides also help bring down costs.” We couldn’t agree more. We look for efficiencies in travel costs to keep our prices as low as possible for our clients while giving them a high quality highly-inclusive no-worries touring experience. We price our private custom group tours so that they would be comparable to doing a self-driving tour without all the challenges that independent travel can present.

At Hurley World Travel, we create every custom private escorted group tour and I personally escort every one of our group tours to handle all the details and ensure our guests have an amazing travel experience. We offer unique itineraries that see some of the most amazing destinations in Europe with as little hotel switching as possible, excellent tour guides, entertaining and experienced drivers, delicious dining experiences, great hotels, and a whole lot of fun.

Please call us today at (410) 588-6938 to find out how to join us on one of our unique tours, or to plan a customized tour for your group. We really have a great time and I look forward to traveling with you soon!