When I travel, planning is the fun part for me. I consult blogs, examine maps, use the Lonely Planet Thorntree board, (a great resource btw). I love exploring on my own. A few years ago I started incorporating at least one guided tour when I go on vacation, because sometimes its more relaxing to take in the surroundings, the experience of a city, without having to do the navigating.
When I’m guiding tours I can feel people start to relax, as they let go of the mental work of vacationing, and start to enjoy spending time with each other. On our tours we’ve mapped the routes, we give clear directions, and when we narrate a stop we’re thinking about what each individual guest might be interested in. We point out unique aspects of architecture and history that might be missed when you’re focussed on mapping out the next destination. As locals we have current anecdotes, events and developments to share you won’t find in any guide books.
I was reticent to sign on to guided tours in the past, I thought they would be too passive, or feared I’d be trapped. When planning a Handlebar Bike Tour, I always keep that in mind, and try to mix up the stops, narration and always build in “bunk out” time, a little time to break away from the group and check out a few of our stops on your own. If you think a guided tour is not for you, try one of ours, you might be pleasantly surprised.