Why take a European tour?

In centuries past, exploring Europe was generally limited to the very wealthy, who might have travelled from the casinos of the French Riviera to the canals of Venice, or the mineral waters of Baden-Baden, with great steamer trunks, maids and valets in tow. Low-cost, guided coach tours eventually made European holidays far more accessible, but with few authoritative books around, travellers were reliant on guides throughout. Today though, getting around Europe independently is a breeze. So why opt for an organised tour?
Convenience

Convenience

Travel in Europe is usually very easy and safe, with English fairly widely spoken. But an organised trip gives you an extra layer of assurance. Experienced tour leaders are there to deal with logistical problems, and help you to avoid any cultural and language difficulties. They are not guides – though they may take you on the occasional, informal walking tour of a city on arrival – but they will certainly know their way around, and be a valuable source of information when it comes to things to see and do, or how to navigate public transport. Essentially, you can relax and enjoy the sights, safe in the knowledge that all the important but boring stuff is being looked after in the background.
Value

Value

This kind of trip is superb for travellers on shoestring budgets of course, since how you fill your time in each destination is up to you. But almost any overland trip will prove good value, as you’re seeing several countries in one trip. If you’re coming from the USA or Australia, for instance, you can visit a whole swathe of European cities, but only need to buy one set of international flights.

Our top European tour Holiday

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania holiday

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania holiday

Journey through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 12 days

From £1439 12 days inc UK flights
Small group travel:
2019: 24 Apr, 8 May, 15 May, 22 May, 5 Jun, 19 Jun, 17 Jul, 24 Jul, 31 Jul, 14 Aug, 21 Aug, 11 Sep, 25 Sep
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Saving time

Saving time

The fact that many major European cities are less than a day’s travel apart means that you can see an immense variety of landscapes, cultures and landmarks even if only have a few weeks to play with. Plus, a small group tour gives you access to activities, such as sharing a meal with a local family, that you might find difficult and time consuming to organise independently. Just because you’re with a few other people doesn’t mean you won’t still get an authentic experience.
Sociability

Sociability

With groups ranging from 12 to 20 in number, sharing travel, accommodation and often meals, it’s no surprise that bonds are formed very quickly on this kind of trip. As a result, they’re a very popular option for solo travellers. If you like the idea of meeting new people, but not spending your entire holiday with them, then simply opt for a trip where there is no set itinerary in each destination, and you can do whatever you want outside travel time.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: zkbld] [Prague: Jay Dantinne] [Train station platform: Samuel-Elias] [Place du Luxembourg, Elsene, Belgium: Yannis Papanastasopoulos] [Group travel: Charisse Kenion] [Estonian breakfast: Mikhail Petrov]
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