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View some travel tips from backpackers who have been there and done that, and add your own tips...
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Backpacker Tours

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A lot of travellers like the idea of making up their own itinerary, plotting on a map where they want to go and what they want to see whilst trying to keep to a schedule of some sorts. It’s a great way to travel as it gives you lots of freedom, you can pick and choose exactly what you want to do and change your mind whenever you want. However some people don’t want the hassle of booking transport and finding places to stay all the time. Tours provide a peace of mind for people who have limited time and want a ready-made holiday. Knowing that your accommodation and transport is all pre-arranged for you allows you to kick back and enjoy the adventure. By a tour, we’re not referring to a tour of a museum for example, but a tour that takes you around half a country on an extended trip. Popular routes that you may have heard of are the East Coast tours of Australia, which stop off at several towns and cities, tours of the north and south Islands of New Zealand, and tours of the Golden Triangle in Thailand.

The downside to a structured tour like this is that you can expect to pay much more for a tour compared to making your own way, so it may not be an option for backpackers on a tight budget. You can also be quite restricted with the route and may not have much time to do other activities. Another factor you should consider is that you will be spending a certain length of time in the company of the same people day in and day out. If you get a bad bunch of people who drink and are generally loud the whole time, it could end up being the tour from hell! But if everyone is nice it could end up making your holiday! So there’s always an element of luck with these things unless you can get a recommendation from someone.

Another thing to think about are these ‘hop on, hop off’ tours. They sound like a pretty good option but in reality they charge a silly amount of money for something you could have done using a coach company for half the price. They are aimed at backpackers who want a party life style, but to be honest you are likely to get that at the hostels and any excursions you might go on. But if you want guaranteed social interaction, these tours are probably a good option for you. In summary there are many tours out there to choose from so you can probably find several that will suit your needs.

Below is a list of some of the better and reputable tour companies and ones specifically suited to those on a budget. It is a good idea to research lots of companies before actually deciding on one, as some prices can vary significantly.

  • Sta Travel - Can book your flights and have lots of tour options
  • Dragoman Overland - adventure travel for travellers who want grass roots travel in an overland truck.

Tell us Your Tour experiences

Did you go on a really bad tour, or a really good one maybe? Can you recommend any other good tour companies for our list? Please fill out the form below: