To Tour or Not To Tour?
For anyone who’s planning a Eurotrip, there’s comes a point where you have to decide between an organised tour or self-itinerising. I have been on two Topdeck tours around Europe, a Contiki around Croatia and a Paddywagon about Ireland but have also done quite a substantial amount of travelling on my own. I couldn’t say which mode of travelling I actually prefer, but I can identify some definite upsides and downsides of the tour option.
- You can be lazy as fuck
Everything is done for you. You don’t have to think; you don’t have to be sober; you don’t have to worry about a thing. The Organised Tour decreases travel stress and the sheer number of, “Fuck, where’s my passport?” moments considerably.
- You see heaps of shit
The Organised Tour will take you to a large amount of famous sites and places, so much so, that you will become that annoying pretentious person who points at stuff in movies and TV shows and says, “I’ve been there!” or “I’ve seen that!”
- You will have the time of your life
There is no doubt about it – you can’t not have fun.
- The price is right
Initially, when you look at some tours, you might be offended by their cost. However, in my opinion, you really do get what you pay for and, ultimately, you’re probably going to spend just as much doing it on your own anyway. By the time you factor in accommodation, food, flights, trains, buses, activities, vino etc., shit starts getting pretty exy. Also, as you usually pay for these tours a good six months prior to actually doing them, it really doesn’t feel like such a financial burden by the time you get to your desty.
- You win some, you lose some
As any single girl will admit, my entire life is entirely dictated by one sole purpose: to find single guys. On my second Topdeck tour, I stepped on the bus with my six girlfriends to find a disturbingly and disappointingly high ratio of female travellers – roughly 57:3. However, that said, I still had a sick time, and made lasting friendships blah blah blah; but there was still a niggling feeling of nostalgia for my prior Topdeck cohort where there was plenty of penis to go around.
- You can’t escape a mild-to moderate-illness
Now I’m no doctor (though incidently I am a med student), but 15-40 days of daily binge drinking, eating pringles and sleeping in a bus/wet tent/16-bed dorm is a sure-fast way of contracting a minor disease, and I’m not just talking about the sexually transmitted kind. You can end up missing out on some sick touristy activities (such as taking suggestive photos with the Leaning Tower of Pisa).There’s no rest for the wicked
- There’s no rest for the wicked
That saying, “I just about need a holiday to recover form my holiday,” that I usually hear my mum reciting when Dad drags her away on trips in their Winnebago could not be more true after doing a tour. There’s no lounging about, “downtime” or hours of restful napping: you’re on the move with a constant onslaught of activities 24/7. Prepare to be absolutely exhausted at the end of it and to require a good week or so of recovery in a dark quiet room.
If you’re a useless, unorganised, naïve traveller who wants to see it all and get pissed all the time, the organised tour is for you. If you’re a mature, responsible, and travel-savvy tourist with a poor immune system, a dislike of being shunned by locals and ample of available travelling time, stick to your own devices.