What is the difference between an escorted, hosted and an independent tour? This is a common question in the travel industry, and in this post we’re breaking down what they are, and the advantages of each. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in!
An escorted tour is one that is conducted by a tour director. They will take care of everything from beginning to end. For example, your transportation to and from the airport, as well as transportation to and from your hotel for daily activities. You’ll also typically be with a group throughout your tour.
For some escorted tours it’s a one day affair where they will pick you up from your hotel in the morning, take you to see the sites, and then bring you back to your hotel in the evening. Typically there is a strict agenda with meal times, and places to visit set up for you as well.
In the more extreme escorted tours, every day of your itinerary is scheduled and handled for you. You’re picked up from the airport, driven to the hotel, and each day you will be picked up for a new activity, and then dropped off at your hotel each evening. Then, at the end of your vacation your escort will bring you to the airport to go home.
Hosted tours are very similar to escorted tours. Like an escorted tour, you will probably be with the same group of people throughout the tour, and you’ll be transported to and from your hotel.
However, the difference here is that you won’t be escorted to every individual activity and function. There will be local guides available to answer questions throughout the duration of your tour, but for the most part you will be on your own.
Hosted tours are great for those that want the freedom to do what they want, but also want a guide available when they have questions or need something. Some meals and sightseeing will be included as well, but what you get varies by the company you tour with.
These are the tours the free spirits typically prefer. On an independent tour you set your own schedule, you won’t be with a group, and you’ll be responsible for getting reservations for your meals.
With an independent tour vacation, you’ll still enjoy having your hotel, transportation, excursions, and some meals included with your package, but the rest is up to you. Many people prefer independent tour vacations for the freedom, flexibility and privacy they offer. However, what causes some travelers to opt for escorted and hosted tours over independent ones, is the discomfort they experience in being somewhere foreign to them.
What tour is right for you?
Deciding which tour is right for you is a personal choice only you can make. You’ll need to decide how much freedom you want on your vacation, and how comfortable you are with being in new places alone. Still, we hope this post has cleared up some of the confusion between escorted, hosted and independent tours.
If you would like to know more about tours available to your dream destination, call Ingenious Travel at 888.695.0321. From adventure to luxury getaways, exotic to romantic vacations – We work with the best tour operators that suit a wide variety of travelers needs.