I much prefer wandering around at my own pace, and typically very early in the morning and right around supper time for my photography (best light). Therefore, most multi-day tours aren’t great for me (maybe I’m just scared of ending up with people I don’t like). However, I’m always seeking out tours that look cool for inspiration in my own travel planning and enjoy day-long tours the most.
Because I learn about a lot of tours and tour services through my work on Longest Bus Rides, I will share with you those that look most fascinating, because I realize you may really love a tour.
Worldwide – Tours that Look Cool!
- Visit.org – This website makes it easy to plan a day tour or multi-day tour through a local non-profit, which are often really hard to find once in-country. Having been a Peace Corps Volunteer, I’ve seen the good and the bad of local non-profits. So, I got on the phone with one of the co-founders of Visit.org, and felt comfortable with the information provided. I actually went on a day-long tour in Thailand and got to watch baby elephants playing at a sanctuary. I wrote about my experience on the blog!
- REI I went on a sea kayaking trip in Baja California years ago, and I loved it! Plus, the guides and food were great! They contract with local guides, so you get a guide who really knows their stuff.
- World Expeditions The trips look amazing!!! I’ve never been on one myself, but I might someday.
- Secret Compass The trips look hardcore! I’ll definitely be on one of them someday!!
- G Adventures. There is a huge variety of trips, and they often organize with National Geographic as well as donate to local communities. Some tours are mainly the organization of accommodation and general itinerary, whereas others are family or female wellness-focused. Most are active. Anyway, have a look! One of my close friends did a tour with his family in Peru and they enjoyed it a lot.
- Intrepid tours. A bit similar to G Adventures in the sense that there is a huge variety of tours and locations from island hopping to cities to whatever else you can imagine.
- Get Your Guide offers tours, tickets to sights, and a lot more. If you’re hitting a city or series of cities, this website can be really helpful.
Wellness and Other Topical Tours
It seems like I’m now seeing a lot more wellness or other tours specific to a certain objective these days.
- African American female tours (mostly. A few for couples) with a focus on travel and wellness. I met Danielle of Rogue Experiences (love the name!) during my flight to Indonesia. She seems super nice and leads groups to foreign destinations around the world.
- I met Crystal Fry in a coffee shop and she leads Fearlessness retreats around the world a few times a year that are about “What would you do if you had no fear?” Seems intriguing!
My own horse trekking trip was inspired by these tours that look cool by Equitours. (Equitours actually does tours worldwide.) Take a tour by them, or put together your own do-it-yourself trip, including a horse guide, for about $50 USD per day. An English-speaking guide is a different person and would charge for their time. During the tourist season (late May-August) you can get a DIY tour at Red Waterfall, in Tsetserleg, or in the north to see the reindeer. Have a look at my Comprehensive Mongolia information write-up for ideas. Also, check out the Argentina section on this page and read about the horse trekking tour to the reindeer herders offered by Estancia Ranquilco.
I met Karina Safari at an event. She is leading an Everest Base Camp Trek in October, 2016 that sounds amazing, and is a good price. She told me she’s led it before and people just love it.
I was doing some online research when I happened upon this Irish Music Tour. I was told that this tour is “a LOT of fun” by one of the people who organizes it. Plan your own similar tour, if this one is no longer offered.
You can arrange a Trek to Machu Picchu before arriving, or there are many places that will help you once you’re in Cusco. One way or another, if you’re in the area you’ll get to Machu Picchu. I did a 5-day Salkantay trek, but they’re offered in 3- and 4-day packages as well. The Inca Trail limits tours, so that trek must be planned well ahead of time. You can also go to M.P. on a day trip from Cusco, but you’ll be getting up well before the crack of dawn and returning late at night. Aguas Calientes is the town closest to M.P. You can read about my trip.
I was at a weekend party in the California hills and my friend told me that I should chat with this guy who’d also traveled in Mongolia. What a great suggestion!!! He guides horseback tours in Mongolia for people to visit the reindeer herders in the far north (and explained to me why tourists can only stay 1 day with the herders). And, he and his sister are 2nd generation owners of Estancia Ranquilco, a ranch in the Andean foothills of Argentina with an off-the-grid ecolodge (just getting to the lodge looks fun). You can learn everything from butchery and bread baking from the gauchos to horse trekking. The tours look amazing. He also offers positions for volunteers and internships, which are highly competitive, so prepare for a real interview. Note: the Argentina and Mongolia commonality is that the riding is totally unfenced, meaning you can ride for days without hitting a fence or gate.
Space Camp in Alabama
I have forever wanted to do space camp. I was ready to do it as a kid, but my family’s budget didn’t allow for it. As an adult, it’s still on my bucket list. There are camps for all ages and for families!