If you are reading this, you are most likely planing your next trip and that includes to choose tours there. But are you choosing tours that fit your profile? Information is easy to get nowadays: suggestions from local companies, travel agencies, travel blogs and so on. We are surrounded by options! Sometimes we find what we are looking for or things that were unexpected, but can make the whole difference. That´s why we would like to bring you some gret tips to end your doubts and help you choose the style of tour that fits you better.
In tourist, there are basically two different tour options to choose from. You will find options of private or shared (regular) tours. But what does that really mean? You will find below the man differences. Check out:
- Private vehicle
When you choose a private tour, you guarantee that transportation is only for you and who you are traveling with. It might be a car, van or even a bus depending on the number of people and you will be surrounded only by travelers you know.
- A tour guide only for you
It is a right of yours to have a tour guide during the tour - so says Brazilian law! So ask about it if you are not sure. During the private tour your guide will be there for you to give you information about the places you visit. He or she is a qualified professional and will have nice tips about bars and restaurants as well.
- More safety for you!
To have the transportation only for you will be safer regarding cleaning standards, as you will not share the space with others - social distance will be sure!
- Air condition
It is a great advantage in warmer places. As the vehicle will be only for you, the temperatures can be adjusted to your preference, at least inside the vehicle! ;-)
- The tour happens at your pace
The private tour is great for people who like to control the pace if the trip. As it is only for you, it will be easier to adjust to your rhythm. If you want a stop for a coffee, go to a store, have a snack or even stay longer in a place, it is much more flexible during the private tour.
- Tailor made tour according to your interests
You found the tour you like, but would rather include something or not make part of it. In a private tour, it is possible! The traditional tour can be changed and the tour company can adjust and modify the tour according to your preferences and private interest, what guarantees exclusivity and flexibilty that you wish for your trip. Another example: you heard about a good restaurant and would like to include it instead of the suggested one? No problem at all, what makes it a great fit for families, groups of friends, couples and groups with children or elder. Remember that you can control the pace of the tour.
- No waiting times
During a private tour you will not stop at other hotels and wait for other peopole. No hotel route to pick up other tourists. The same at the end of tghe tour. You will have more time to enjoy and rest. No annoying waiting (wasted) time!
- Private tours can be more expensive - but think about the advantages!
There are several advantages in a private tour and you need to realize the real price (value) of this modality.The points explained before reflect another kind of tourism. Costs can be bigger and will be divided by less people. So, in some cases, prices will be highber compared to a shared tour. But it will be up to you and the tour style you want. If you weigh the differences and compare to your expectations, maybe the price is not that high. If you do not compare, a cheaper option can not be the best one for you. In this case, we reccommend: compare the differences according to your preferences and expectations!
Shared or regular tour
- You will be with other people
In a shared (or regular) tour, your party will be spending time with strangers. If you want something more exclusive, it might not be the one you want. If you prefer to meet other people during the trip, it is appelling! Like before: it depends on your expectations!
- Tour guide will share his/her attention with the group
As mentioned before, by Brazilian law, it is mandatory to have a licensed tour guide with you. during a shared tour, depending on the number of tourists, it will be a tour guide for everyone. The guide will share his/her attention and the information will be more general and no one can be priority. Attention! Some companies include only a driver in shared tours. Be careful in your research.
- Everything on schedule
In a shared tour, the program is closed to please all that booked it. In theory, all times must be kept. Stops to visit a specific place of your interest can not be made.
- Pre-defined itinerary
The tour itinerary of a shared tour is pre-defined. The options are organized ahead that show the most obvious places in the destination - for example a sightseeing tout in the most visited places. In case you want to visit something else or change the restaurant or any other preference, in a shared tour these are not easy to do.
- Fixed departure times
For regular tours, the departure times use to be fixed, so that you must adjust yourself and not the other way around. Depending on your travel schedule, it can be annoying. If you plan ahead, you can think about days and times to visit the places you want and see if a shared tour fits you.
- Different interests than yours
As in any situation, people are different! Everyone has its own preferences and expectations. In regular or shared tours you will spend time with strangers. Mostly everything is just fine- we are used to live in society, share space and ideas. But the probability of a conflict of interests happens is bigger. A couple with a baby has other needs and interests than a youngster group, for example. It might be annoying for all. Think about it before choosing your tour style!
- Usually cheaper
Different than private tours, shared tours use to be cheaper, as the number of participants is highers to share the fixed costs. It can be good if you travel on a budget or alone.
- Some stops
Depending on the tour you choose, the driver will stop in yhour hotel to pick you up and in several other placesto pick everybody up. The same at the end of the tour. In other cases the group will be in a meeting point for the tour departure.
It does not matter if private or shared tour, it is important that you trust the company you hire. You need to be sure that the tour company is serious and commited, aware of new places and check out if they have complaints - things you must be sure to have a nice trip! For that:
Search and compare! This is the main tip we can give you! Look for opinions of other tourists that already hired the company. Comparing is a great way to start!
The TripAdvisor is today one of the best sourches for that. You will find good and bad reviews from restaurants to tour companies if you select the destination you want. If you filter according to your interests, it can be very helpful! In Brazil "Reclame aqui" is a great source for complaints at internet.
Other very common situation is that strangs try to sell tours on the streets. It is an informal practice, and we reccommend to be careful. Prefer companies that have offices or good websites and can give the service level you expect.
We are enthusiasts of travel planing - and use it daily! It is so nice to read about destinations, thinking how the trip can be and it is possible to have the tour our way. It is also stressful to book last minute.
Try to figure it out following situation: you have a health problem and need to see a doctor. Your trustworthy doctor is not available. You need to go to the hospital and anyone there will be in charge of your health - not necessarily a specialist in your problem.
Of course, no one plans to get sick! What do we mean with that? You CAN plan ahead your trip and avoid problems. If you book everything on spot, you might not have the "specialist" available to help you or time to compare different options. Your trip will be poorer.
Have in mind that many tours are seasonal and can be booked up! Just imagine to arrive in your destination, planing to book a tour there but no seats are available anymore? Or do you want to visit a museum and left it for the last day of your trip but did not check if it will be open. Several unpleasant situations can happen and if you can, plan and book ahead!
A budget optoin is usually the tour buses. Some cities like Curitiba and London are famous for the double decker buses that link the main sightseeing points. An interesting way to visit the city! See if your destination have sich a service. In Curitiba short recorded information are available in English. Check out departure days and times. In high season and hot days you might stand in line for a longer time. Think if you are comfortable with that!
We have an article about the Bus Tour in Curitiba..
If you want to avoid lines and want detailed information about the visited places, we reccommend a private sightseeing tour.
Traditional vs Different Tour
Depending on your traveler profile, you might prefer classic and traditional tours or have different angles of the place. Most important is to have fun! For your information, ecotourism is one of the fastest growing segments in the world. Maybe you want to visit the surroundings of your destination or have a wine or craft beer tour, a picnick or just places locals go to. Think about all the possibilities! Have an open mind and try different things can be great.
We hope our tips may help you plan your next trip! We are a incoming travel agency in Curitiba. In our website you will find many tips about the city and tour options. If you visit Curitiba, we will be delighted to organized your trip. See you soon!