Choosing Travel Group Tours On A Budget


While most of us want to put travel at the top of our bucket list, it doesn’t always seem feasible to go jaunting around the world. It might even be a little intimidating to think of visiting another country, not knowing how to get to the sights you want to see or how to best utilize those precious vacation days.

For travelers on a budget or with limited vacation hours, group tours can be a great way to make the most of your time and money, while visiting all those amazing places you’ve been longing to see. Don’t worry, these aren’t the tours your grandma used to take with her bridge club! Today’s group tour agencies offer modern tours and extensive destination choices, with everything from small, exclusive excursions to bigger group events, all of which offer surprisingly inexpensive deals that include airfare, transfers, hotels and some meals.

Here are some of the best travel group tours around.

Gate 1 Travel

In business for more than 35 years, Gate 1 Travel is an affordable tour company with a strong reputation. Their vacation destinations span the globe, and they have a wide range of travel packages and price options. Choices include fully- or partially-guided tours, land with airfare, land only, river cruises, sea cruises and a special section for value tours that highlights their most affordable routes.

Most tours include four- and five-star hotels, select meals, transportation and airport transfers. Check out their 13-day “Classic Thailand” guided tour, which includes airfare from Los Angeles to Bangkok and to Chiang Mai, hotel accommodations, daily breakfast and all transfers and taxes, with the unbelievable price tag of just $1,469 per person. You’ll get to see the famous Reclining Buddha, visit Bang Pa-In Royal Palace and enjoy an authentic Thai dinner prepared in a private home.

The Blarney Stone

Friendly Planet Travel

Founded by a group of self-proclaimed “travel junkies,” Friendly Planet Travel offers tours to worldwide destinations, with options to accommodate both large and small groups. They work hard to immerse travelers in the local culture, hitting not just the top tourist spots but also more unique local areas.

Tours include airfare, choices in guided or independent tours, luxury hotels and some meals. Their eight-day tour of Ireland, which departs from New York’s JFK to Dublin, provides not only airfare and all transfers, but also hotels, breakfast and a designated tour guide. You’ll have the chance to kiss the Blarney Stone, visit Killarney National Park and explore Galway, all for $1,599 per person.


Partnering with specialty tour offices around the world, Go-today combines excellent customer service with some of the best tours around. They pride themselves on maintaining a stable of travel gurus, who set up tours that are fun, informative and stress-free. They have almost endless choices in destinations such as Asia, Europe, the South Pacific, Africa and both Central and South America.

They also run regular travel specials, like their Paris and Amsterdam getaway, which flies you from New York to Paris. Spend a few days in Paris exploring the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and lovely Parisian cafes and then jet off to Amsterdam where you’ll tour the canals and Van Gogh Museum. Costs start at $999 per person and includes airfare, hotel and daily breakfast.