No Old People Allowed! Tour companies for 18-30 something year olds!
By: Eric Tiettmeyer "Mr.Student Traveler" (justin) 2012.07.01
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Booking a tour for your next trip can be a great way to see a country. I had never been on a tour, and my wife and I decided to book one with Tucan Travel to Peru. What a great choice!
The tour took us through Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu and into the Amazon Jungle for two weeks. Sure, we could have figured all that out ourselves -- done the research and gone solo. But once you get to the Amazon River, there are a dozen unmarked boats that all go to different lodges in the Amazon, and noone speaks a lick of English -- are you really going to trust that print out from your internet research on which boat to get on!
Tours do just that. They handle the transportation, accommodations, and most meals that can sometimes be a hassle on the road. That way, you can enjoy the places you are visiting. In our case, it made all the difference. We saw amazing sights, met great friends from around the world, and saw places we would have never found on our own -- like an alpaca farm off some random, dirt road or a guided tour through the Amazon rainforest complete with a visit to local villagers living on the river. Even better, most people on our tour were young. That's not to say traveling with old people is boring -- more senior citizens were making their way around Machu Picchu than us younger adventurers. But young people like to travel (and party) with other young people. So these tour companies do just that!
Tours are especially nice for your first trip to a place. Contiki Holidays and Topdeck Travel specialize in coach bus tours throughout the world, with Europe being both companies' top continent for young people. Topdeck Travel has tours (not focused around festivals) that start at 6 days throughout England and Scotland for $960 to 24 days in 13 countries from just over $3000!
A Contiki tour can start at three days in London starting at just over $300 up to 47 days in 17 from $7099! The most popular tours are European Discovery (14 days), Italian Espresso (9 days), and Greek Island Hopping for 14 days. Topdeck Travel has over 100 tours of Europe, with it's most popular being European Wonder for 14 days, European Pathway for 17 days and European Odyssey for 18 days.
Large tour companies such as Intrepid Travel and G Adventures use vans for their tours. G Adventures and it's YOLO brand (You Only Live Once) caters to 18-30 year olds, with trips around the world. According to Jessica Barrows of G Adventures, there are over 68 YOLO tours around the world, starting at 7 days from Prague to London from just under $1,100 to a whopping 82 days all over South America for just over $8,000. Intrepid Travel offers Short Break Adventures ranging from 2-5 days to a 137 days to cross Africa from Cairo to Capetown for about $13,000 USD. According to Gina Kelly with Intrepid Travel, their tours will utilize local transportation when possible and use mini-vans when that type of transportation is not available. Kelly added that Intrepid Travel has Basix trips that are the least expensive because travelers stay in 1-2 star hotels, have plenty of free time, activities that are optional, and the freedom to choose meals to suit their budget. She adds that Basix trips are " ideal for first-time travelers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travelers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences."
And there are even tours in your own backyard! Au Pair Adventures offers passenger-van tours. For instance, the popular Endless Summer tour covers is 8 days to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley Tribal Park, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. Six nights of camping and one night in a hostel costs $750 USD, including all necessary camping equipment, and most meals. Au Pair's Operations Manager says that while most of his travelers are Au Pairs, hence the name, he gladly takes college students or anyone between 18-29 years old! He also adds that there is almost always a ratio of 7 girls to 1 guy on any given trip -- a statistic that both guys and girls seem fine with!
Tours are a great way to see the world. Whether it's on a coach bus with Contiki or Topdeck to Europe, smaller vans with Intrepid and G Adventures, or even camping with au pairs in your own backyard, there are plenty of adventures for 18-30 something year olds around the world!