What is a small group holiday?

What is a small group holiday?


Our guide to what you can expect



Small group travel is rather like having a friend in every city, village or farm you choose to visit. Someone who knows all the best cafes and restaurants – where the menus don’t have photos of the food, and all the seats are filled with locals.

It’s like having a companion who can translate for you, who can ensure you’re getting on the right train, who can take you out to meet her friends – and maybe even invite you round to meet her family. Small group travel is having a local “fixer” – someone who can find a way around a landslide, or a delayed flight, or a workers’ strike.

It’s knowing what time the street parades will whirl past, which dishes are really vegetarian, and which of the so-called “must-sees” are actually best bypassed – in favour of lesser-known treats and treasures.

Our small group cultural holidays reveal authentic local culture – not a version of it put on for tourists. Small group activity holidays are graded by ability and interest – and your fellow travellers will motivate you to try new experiences. Small group family trips mean your children aren’t stuck with boring grown ups – and leaders will know how to inspire and excite young minds.

The tour leader is the key to any small group holiday. They aren’t there to herd you around – but to plan, advise, assist and make sure that everything runs smoothly – meaning that even in the most exciting of destinations, you’ll be able to relax and let your trip unfold.

Read on to see why we think small group holidays are the best when it comes to big adventures – and why our travellers agree.

What are the main benefits?


WHY CHOOSE A SMALL GROUP HOLIDAY

Big experiences


Small group trips offer big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge – from walking the Great Wall of China to an overland tour of Africa.
"Wonderful guides, incredible access to the remotest regions and real people."
Dan Cobley, who cycled across East Africa

Simplicity


Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics – from booking hotel rooms to queuing for train tickets – and dealing with unusual menus.

Peace of mind


Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
"Relax and enjoy the adventure. Even when I suffered from altitude sickness things were dealt with well and the schedule reorganised."
- Mike Sammons, who visited Bhutan

Cultural insights


You can’t possibly learn all the languages of Indochina – or read every menu in Mongolia. But your group leader and guide are there to break down the language barrier – and let you travel like a local, not an outsider.
"The amount of contact we had with local farmers and their families… Despite the language restrictions, using our guide we were able to communicate with them."
- Lynne Oakerbee, who walked the Great Wall of China

Who is it ideal for?


IS A SMALL GROUP HOLIDAY FOR ME?

Travellers who are short of time


If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company


Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
"We had a wide age range but all got on very well and enjoyed the adventure with laughter and cocktails."
- Karin Barrett, who travelled around Cuba

Less confident travellers


Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
"The company meet me at Kathmandu airport and showed me around… All my transport and accommodation was organised, always with a friendly smile."
- Louise Young, Bhutan and Nepal

"The unexpected - the tour leader was flexible and a number of times we took unscheduled opportunities to see wildlife, talk to local people, find out about the election that was going on while we were there."
- Alison Cathles, Mongolia
Hello.
If you'd like to chat about small group holidays or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

Mythbuster!


THE FACTS ABOUT SMALL GROUP HOLIDAYS

"I won’t get any privacy!"


Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements are usually available, giving solo travellers their own room – and space.

"There won’t be any free time"


Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax. Your leader can recommend the best places to eat, drink, shop – or simply admire the view.
"Don't underestimate how tired you may become after a day's visiting archaeological sites; Christos realises this so there is sufficient free time built in."
- Julian Grubb, who took a Greece archaeology trip

"The accommodation will be basic"


Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

"I won’t like the other travellers!"


Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
Photo credits: Japanese menu Chelsea Marie Hicks
Written by Vicki Brown
Yoga holiday in Portugal

Yoga holiday in Portugal

A stunning Yoga retreat in the Portuguese mountains.

From €800 7 Days ex flights
Small group tour of Turkey

Small group tour of Turkey

The perfect introduction to cosmopolitan and memorial Turkey

From £599 8 days ex flights
Sea kayaking holiday in Croatia

Sea kayaking holiday in Croatia

Kayaking holiday on stunning Elaphite Islands near Dubrovnik

From €750 8 Days ex flights
Family adventure holiday to France

Family adventure holiday to France

Life enhancing family adventure & yoga in the French Alps

From £834 7 Days ex flights
Walking tours to Japan

Walking tours to Japan

Explore the backroads of Japan

From £3090 15 Days ex flights
Japan small group holiday by bullet train

Japan small group holiday by bullet train

Japan's must-see cities and beautiful, rural countryside

From £3495 14 Days ex flights
Croatia activity holiday for families with teenagers

Croatia activity holiday for families with teenagers

Teenager Departures. Family multi activity week in Croatia

From £895 8 Days ex flights
Northern lights short break, Finland

Northern lights short break, Finland

Leisurely stay in Finnish Lapland & an Aurora alert system

From £1265 5 Days inc UK flights
Petra and Wadi Rum by bike, Jordan

Petra and Wadi Rum by bike, Jordan

Cycling trip through stunning desert scenery

From £1549 9 Days inc UK flights
Cuba adventure tours

Cuba adventure tours

Authentic Cuba using guesthouses and local guides

From US $450 8 Days ex flights
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh holiday in Vietnam

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh holiday in Vietnam

Capture the spirit of Vietnam on this compact adventure

From £744 10 Days ex flights
Romania adventure holiday

Romania adventure holiday

An amazing tour exploring medieval Europe and Transylvania

From £1849 14 Days ex flights
Patagonia small group holiday

Patagonia small group holiday

Explore Patagonia's National Parks by foot and small-ship.

From US $4850 11 Days ex flights
Convert currencies