First of all- what is an ESCORTED TOUR?
Very simply put, if you are on an escorted tour, you are part of a group. You and your fellow travelers will have the same itinerary for your vacation and will travel together (usually by motor coach) or sometimes by trains or planes. You will have a guide with you and your route is all planned out in advance. Sometimes they’re known as group tours or guided tours.
This would be the opposite of you and your traveling mates taking a self guided itinerary where you will be on your own. Many of My Vacation Lady’s honeymooners and more adventurous clients prefer the idea of the self guided itineraries where we can help pre-plan the travel components (hotels, transportation and some activities) but they have the freedom to explore more on their own.
Why did we take an escorted tour?
We are usually very independent travelers but this year, our first big vacation since covid, I wanted something EASY. I didn’t want to have to worry about pre-planning every aspect of our vacation while moving through 3 states in the US. While we could have driven, I didn’t want to have to watch the speed0meter. (Mr My Vacation Lady tends to have a lead foot 🙂 This time, for one of the few times in my life, I wanted to be told what time to be where and the rest was taken care of for us.
Our Pacific Northwest Adventure started in Seattle and ended in San Francisco and was filled with nature, fun adventures and city exploring.
The group was pretty typical of an escorted group tour with the travelers ranging from their 40’s to later 70’s. Since this was going to be more of an adventure with natural beauty it did attract a more active group. During the summers, you might get more families and younger travelers. In off season time and on longer trips, the age range tends to be a bit older.
During our 9 day tour, we explored Seattle (and I do mean explored a ton of FOOT- about 12,000+ steps per day). We headed from Seattle to Portland visiting Mulnomah Falls along the way. We took a crabbing boat ride- and yes, we did catch crabs but had to throw them back- in Newport Oregon. We did a Sand Dune jeep tour and a jet boat ride. We went to 2 Redwood Parks, Sausalito and had magnificent views right under the Golden Gate Bridge.
I can honestly say that we saw parts of San Francisco that we never saw before and probably wouldn’t have thought of going to. We traveled in comfort and let the bus driver do a U turn on Route 101 when he missed one of the beautiful pull off sites along the road.
- learn to pack very well. I used packing cubes and really limited what we took.
- Take a 2nd pair of comfortable walking shoes because somewhere along the route, your feet will rebel.
- Take layers (short sleeve, long sleeve, fleece, rain gear) because you may need all of it (or none of it)
- Be considerate. I can honestly say that this was one of the nicest and most considerate groups that I have ever traveled with. If we had xxx amount of time to explore on our own, everyone was back on time.
- Bring water bottles and snacks with you.
- Bring back packs as carry on bags since a wheeled carry on won’t fit on the bus’ over head compartment
I honestly wasn’t sure that I was going to like the escorted tour concept but we actually really enjoyed it. We met a good number of like minded people from around the country. Everyone had to be vaccinated, so we felt safe in our “little bubble”.
This was a mid range budget tour with 4 star hotels and a good amount of inclusions but there is everything out there from LUXE to cost conscious tours. The more expensive tours will have more centrally located hotels and more activities/excursions included. Our tour included daily breakfast. Some will not. Some will include all meals.
We do recommend a good number of different escorted tours to our clients and they are usually a hit among our single female clients and those who want to see a lot in a limited amount of time.
The team at My Vacation Lady can help you decide if an escorted group tour is for you and we can guide you toward the best one to fit your travel style and budget.
Next escorted tour for us—- Iceland.