Many people think that the USA is easy to explore and that there is no need to join a group tour. We know, we used to think that way too. However, there are some huge advantages to taking a group tour in the USA vs going it alone.
We experienced this first hand on our recent 9 Day Northern California trip with Globus Tours. It surprised us and opened our eyes to how awesome the group experience can be in the United States.
21 Reasons to Visit the USA with Globus Tours
1. Everything Is Organized For You
First off, I don’t know about you but my time is valuable. One of the greatest things about organized tours in the USA is that there is no need to plan.
You book your tour, book your flights, and then just show up. The tour company does it all, so you’ll spend no time at all researching the best things to do, hotels or restaurants.
Globus had our entire experience organized from the moment we landed until the moment we left. This is huge! We love this since we don’t have to worry about anything.
During the trip, we were able to be present and enjoy the places we were visiting instead of worrying about making arrangements.
2. Ability To Adapt Or Change Plans
Let’s face it, in today’s travel world things can change at the drop of a hat. This is one of the most challenging things about traveling in general.
No matter how much planning you’ve put in or how much advice you’ve received from friends or family, your trip can and will be diverted somehow, someway.
This can be a headache and will not only cost you money but also time out of your vacation. Why lose money and time?
I don’t know about you but when I’m on vacation I don’t want to worry about anything. When you’re on a group tour, this becomes their issue, not yours.
On our trip with Globus Tours, they always had a plan a, b, c, and even d up their sleeves.
3. Relaxation Time – You Are On Vacation
I’m all about just being on vacation but when you’re traveling independently there are only a few moments of true relaxation. Good luck relaxing when you need to plan your next moves.
Being on a group tour allows you to just sit back and relax. You are truly on vacation with no worries at all.
On top of that, most group tours even plan in plenty of downtimes so you can go off on your own to explore or just relax at your hotel.
This is something we loved about our Globus Choice Touring itinerary in Northern California since we could do what we wanted.
4. Someone To Show You The Way
I love seeing places on my own however it does not matter how much research you do, you’ll still miss things.
Traveling with a group tour in the USA is great because during your whole trip you’ll have someone to show you the ropes.
You wouldn’t believe the experiences we have had because we had a guide who knew the places like the back of their hands. We’ve heard stories that we wouldn’t have heard and seen places we would have missed. Live knowledge is the power that goes beyond a guidebook or travel blog post.
5. See The Best Bits And Many Hidden Gems
Traveling in the USA can be difficult since there are so many great sites and places to see. It’s a huge country with every state and every city being so different from the next.
It can be frustrating since odds are that you’re just jumping from one highlight to the next, missing all the great stuff in between. We all want to see the highlights but we also want to visit some of the lesser-known places too.
I’m always doubtful, and then pleasantly surprised, about how many truly unique places we discover during group tours. We experienced hidden gems multiple times a day with Globus, even in popular places like Yosemite National Park.
6. You’ll Gain A Different Perspective
We all see things differently, no two people are the same, and being on a group tour allows you to learn about alternative perspectives. Let it be from fellow travelers, the guide, the driver, or even locals you meet along the way.
On top of that, many group tours include things that will give you a different view of a destination. These can be facts, stories, thoughts, and even experiences that go beyond just walking around viewing pretty places.
This can be great since nowadays everyone has a preset notion about everything. Tours take those preset notions and say, ok, you know this but did you know that? Or here’s this site but if you go over here, it’s 100% different.
I love this about taking an organized tour since it gives you a chance to dig a little deeper and allows you to see things differently than you normally would.
7. I’d Never Do That, But Did It And Loved It
I’ve done some of the most memorable unplanned things while on group tours. Things I can say I probably wouldn’t have tried while traveling independently.
This includes stopping at destinations I would have just driven by and exploring museums that I wouldn’t have given time to.
I’ve done sunrise and sunset hikes that I really didn’t feel like doing but turned out to be amazing. I’ve tried local food at a restaurant that I would have never roamed into all because my group tour included it or recommended it.
Group tours always include a wide range of destinations and activities. Most are can’t miss places but there’s always one or two that you may look at that don’t excite you. I suggest that you keep an open mind and embrace these things. They may just end up being your favorite part of the trip.
8. Health & Safety Are A Priority
Promoting health and safety is always at the forefront of any group tour. They focus on the well-being of their travelers and their staff. Organized group tours can offer a higher standard of health than you can on your own.
The company can require passengers to be updated with vaccines but it doesn’t stop there. They can also require their partners/tours/hotels and restaurants to do the same. Something that you cannot always guarantee when traveling independently.
This is huge in today’s world. On top of that they normally only partner with places that can offer a higher level of health standards since they have a brand to uphold. It’s all added peace of mind.
Additionally, Globus provides travelers with health and safety protocols ahead of the trip so you can understand their policies and do your part while being on the trip.
This includes information about personal health and hygiene but also measures put in place for transmittable diseases such as physical distancing, deep cleaning, testing, and vaccinations.
9. A Safety Net or Set Comfort
Your tour guide will be there for you in case you need help, if you have health issues or if you just need anything at all. The tour director and driver are certified with basic health response standards, which are a requirement by their employer for the safety of their passengers.
On top of that, they know where the nearest pharmacy, emergency room, or hospital is. It’s traveling with someone who is there for you no matter what you may need.
Group tours also offer a different level of comfort since you’re exploring with someone who already knows the area. At many places, they are treated like a local since they have seen them multiple times before.
This can be huge since many places don’t like outsiders. It can also be beneficial when the tour director can read a situation differently than a first-time visitor.
Group tours also offer a set level of comfort for transport and hotel standards. They won’t have you on a van or bus that may break down, has broken or dirty windows, no AC, and doesn’t have a bathroom.
The same goes for hotels, they are not going to put you up somewhere that has a sink on the toilet, bed bugs, or cockroaches climbing everywhere or with tired decor. They have a certain level of comfort that is guaranteed and withheld.
10. They Do the Driving, Navigating, and Parking
Ok, I get it, you love having the freedom with your own rental car in a destination like the USA. We’ve done our fair share of USA road trips in Florida, the Florida Keys, Nevada, to some of the best National Parks, and more.
The USA is known for its wide-open roads, ease of navigation, plenty of gas stations along the way, and so on. But do you like everything that comes with exploring that way?
Waiting at the airport for hours to pick up that rental car? Rigging your phone to the dash for navigation? Of course, that’s only if you have service.
Now you need to make your way around cities on roads you don’t know with cars going left and right. Then there’s the parking. Good luck, especially during the high season.
I love having someone who does all the driving and my only worry is looking out the window to enjoy the scenery. That’s the magic of taking a group tour. You have an expert driver who has driven the roads multiple times.
They know where everything is, even those places that may not be on your itinerary. Someone else worries about finding a parking spot while you spend your time actually enjoying the place you’re visiting. I don’t know about you but I love not having that stress.
11. Joining A Group Trip Is Good For Our Environment
When traveling we should always think about our carbon footprint and by joining a group tour you’re actually traveling with less impact than if you were traveling independently.
Sharing transportation reduces carbon emissions, on top of that they encourage you to get out and explore by foot at the destination and they also highlight that locals call these areas home so think about your impacts while you’re out exploring.
This is huge because tours can introduce responsible traveling behavior (like the Leave No Trace Principles) to those who may have never heard of it or may not have it on their mind. This includes encouraging the use of reusable water bottles.
It’s truly amazing to watch how people who would have never thought about doing those things are all of a sudden becoming ambassadors for responsible behavior.
They also partner with local businesses that have taken the initiative on practicing eco-friendly initiatives. This goes for hotels, day trips, and restaurants. All are held to a higher standard that ensures your travels leave as low of a carbon footprint as possible.
12. Included Entrance Fees, Park Fees And Reservations
In today’s world, it’s getting harder and harder to get anywhere without a reservation. This can go for something as simple as a famous museum or entrance to a popular National Park like Yosemite.
When you’re on a group tour, this is taken care of and you are guaranteed entry if it’s included in your itinerary. On top of that, they pay for entrance fees so there’s no need to shell out more money once you’re there.
This is great for those who don’t want to jump through hoops in order to visit those types of places. It’s also a great way to get into a National Park like Yosemite if you are unable to obtain an entry permit on your own.
13. You Get Plenty of Free Time
Just because you’re on a group tour does not mean you have to do everything with the group. If you want to explore with them, great, but if you want to branch out on your own you can.
We took advantage of this many times on our Globus California Dreamin tour and it was surprising how much free time we had away from the group. On top of that, Globus now offers Choice Touring where you get to pick what you want to do at select destinations.
This allowed us to spend our time seeing and doing the things that interested us. Then when we had free time, we explored the areas that were missed when with the group.
14. Get Into Hard to Book Hotels
If you’re planning a trip to the United States you’ll find that there are plenty of hotels but you’ll notice that many book out in advance.
This can be extremely frustrating for those who are looking to book a last-minute trip or aren’t familiar with the booking habits at particular properties.
This is where a group tour truly shines as they have the buying power and most of those popular hotels save a set amount of rooms for their travelers.
This is huge in some of those hard-to-find hotel destinations and is a win for those who want to stay in popular locations.
15. They Check You In And Get Your Keys At The Hotels
After a long day of touring, the last thing you want to deal with is long lines, a hotel worker who hates their job, or something worse while checking into a hotel.
It does not matter what hotel or where you’re traveling in the USA, the check-in process can be a headache at times and it’s one of the most frustrating things about traveling.
How about if I told you, you could skip all of that and just walk right up to your room? On top of that, they have that room be the way you requested it. No twin beds or handicap room for you!
Well, we experienced this first hand with Globus. They handled everything. At the beginning of our trip, they took our room preferences, and at every hotel, the bus pulled right up to the front door where our guide checked us in and handed out room keys.
I don’t know about you but I love just showing up to my hotel and heading right up to my room. This allows you to have one less headache and a little more time for yourself let that be time by the pool, having a drink at the bar, or just resting.
That is a kind of service you will not get if traveling independently in the USA.
16. They Transport Your Luggage
The little things matter. One thing I did not know I would love but I really did on our Globus tour in the United States was that they handled our bags 100% of the time. This worked slick!
All we had to do was have our suitcases ready for pick up at a set time and they would come to the room, pick them up and load them on the bus.
Once at the next hotel they would deliver them within 20 minutes of checking in. It’s a super convenient process and I loved just carrying my cup of coffee in the morning, not worrying about a thing.
17. Special Moments Are Always Up Their Sleeves
I love special moments when traveling, there’s just something about them and to tell you the truth I’ve had more special moments happen on group tours than I have had traveling independently.
Maybe that’s because while traveling independently it’s on you with the research. You have to dictate how your day goes which doesn’t leave much room for surprise. Where on a group tour, you have a set expectation about an itinerary and that’s it.
No matter the group tour we have been on there has always been one or two special moments that weren’t expected. This could be a special dinner with a local family or at a historical restaurant, behind the scenes at a museum, or even just a photo stop at a location you weren’t expecting.
18. They Take The Guesswork Out Of Time
We are pretty good at taking the guesswork out of how long it will take us to be at a location but that’s because we are full-time travelers. You probably know how long it will take you to go shopping at your local grocery store, right? That’s because you’ve been there many times.
By joining a group tour you’re paying for their expertise in whatever destination you plan on exploring. Based on their past visits they know how long it will take to get to each destination and how long you’ll need to enjoy the stop.
This is insider’s knowledge that only those who have visited before have. We have found that many group tours are right on for their allotted time or they are just slightly over, none have been rushed and all have been planned out well.
Having a knowledgeable and real time frame for exploring a destination not only allows you to enjoy it but also allows you to get the most out of your day.
19. You’ll Gain Inspiration
One thing I love about group tours is talking to like-minded travelers about their past trips and I can tell you from first-hand experience that many of them are well-traveled.
It’s always quite inspiring to hear their stories, what they loved and what they didn’t.
It’s a great way to connect with fellow travelers and gain first-hand knowledge about a place that may not have been on your travel radar. We have added unthought-of places to our must-see list from having conversations with other travelers.
20. Photography Opportunities
Group tours are great for photographers since all they need to worry about is taking photos. Yes, it can be challenging at times since you can be with a group but on the flip side of that, it can make you more of a creative photographer. We suggest embracing it and getting creative.
You’ll meet a wide range of photographers on group trips that range from DSLR users to simple smartphone photographers. Having so many different eyes with you can provide an opportunity to expand your own creative take on the places you are visiting.
On top of that, you can use the knowledge around you. There have been many times we’ve helped people capture better photos by just chatting it up with them.
One of the cons is that you do often lack the ability to scout locations when on a group tour schedule. But it’s not impossible because you already have a scout on the trip. Your tour director and most are very good at giving you the details on where to get good photos.
Lastly, many group tours offer photography-based options, like Globus does with their Choice Touring options in Yosemite National Park. You might be shocked to learn that we have taken several award-winning photos while being on group tours.
21. Value for Money Spent
We all can sit there and calculate the cost of an independent trip vs a group trip. Trust us, we’ve done this and it will often look like you’ll save money by going it on your own. More often than not, however, the costs end up coming out pretty close when it’s all said and done.
You have to remember to compare apples to apples. This isn’t an I can eat ramen noodles every night to cut the costs situation. Be honest with yourself about expenses when trying to weigh the cost differences.
All said I feel there are just so many things that end up outweighing any price difference on an independent trip that make a group trip worth its weight in gold.
Things like not needing to plan a thing. Not having to drive, navigate or find parking. Not dealing with booking hotels. And the list goes on.
All this contributes to a worry-free vacation that allows you to truly enjoy yourself. All that added up to create a huge value in taking a group trip compared to traveling independently.
Our Northern California tour was part of a paid partnership with Globus Journeys and iAmbassador. However, all opinions, stories, advice, and insane love for giant sequoias are 100% ours, as always.
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- Ultimate USA Travel Guide
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- Best Hikes in the USA: 15 Stunning Trails You Cannot Miss