Solo travel is great! You are independent, can go wherever and whenever you want , but it can get lonely. And sometimes it’s not the smartest move to go to certain places alone. For instance, like I did travelling the Australian outback. I sewed together a bunch of STA tours that took me across four Australian states in a month and I had the time of my life. Even an introvert can enjoy group travel to the fullest. But it can also diminish your travel budget tremendously. Who wants that? So here are my tips on how I saved 1K on tours by doing the prep and planning myself.
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Know where you want to go
Knowing where your global travel and tours should take you is a big bonus. Don’t take that for grantd as often, and the longer you backpack, you don’t always know where you’ll be the next month. Things come up, people share cool travel and tour recommendations with you and suddenly you’ve changed plans.
Not being bound to a very narrow selection of dates on which you can travel is a great advantage. You can check for off-season times and avoid holidays. This way, the prices will be slashed as the demand isn’t that high and you can also find much more last minute deals on global travel and tours.
Keep up to date
Right now, STA has amazing deals thanks to Thanksgiving and the Black weekend. If you sign up to their newsletter you will get notified of any new deals. And there are a lot of deals on packages of global travel and tours throughout the year.
Check for solo traveller tours
There are a bunch of tour companies out there that specifically cater to solo travellers. However, mostly that is not the case. However, with companies, like STA and Tourradar, that are geared towards young and adventurous travellers, chances are, most people on tour are solo travellers like you. This happened to me all the time during my solo travel to Australia. I joined a bunch of tours in Australia and plenty of solo backpackers were on them.
This is the most crucial point. Don’t shy away from comparing different companies online and then asking in store. Chances are, prices are similar between online and in a travel agency. If not, they might be able to match the price, like Flight Center does. This way, you can benefit from a personal travel counselling session with a travel expert and maybe even their special agency prices and insurance. Plus, they will get a commission and that gives you karma points!
Do you qualify for a tour discount?
If you are a student or under a certain age, chances are you can save $$$! With STA catering to young travellers on a budget, you can for instance get 5% Off Japan Rail Passes, get Eurail discounts for travelers under 28 years old or the Emirates Student Discount – $15 Off Emirates Blue Tickets only at STA Travel.
Don’t be afraid to do ground research yourself
Even if you found some nice prices and got helpful advice in the travel agency, if you have the time to spare, dig into the research. After I left STA in Australia for initial travel inspo, I armed myself with all the brochures I needed on the tours and Australian travel destinations I was interested in. I went through all of them, compared stops and prices myself and patched my own combination together. With that I went to the STA agency and had everything booked. This way I saved 1K as opposed to another tour member who had essentially booked the same route.
Get started with travel inspiration
As a solo traveller tours are a great way to connect and share experiences. So if you are super keen on trying group travel yourself, here are a few tours to kick start your inspiration for your own global travel and tours bookings for 2018. Because it is never too early to start travel planning.
Where have you been doing group travel? Are you planning to do your own global travel tours for the coming months?
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