Top Custom Tours & Vacations 2024/2025 [reviews & photos]

Customized Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

2,054 Custom trips. Compare tour itineraries from 11 tour companies. 18,362 reviews. 5/5 avg rating.

Small Group Custom Tours

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Top Custom Attractions

From cultural immersions to adrenaline-fueled adventures, our custom itineraries offer flexibility to tailor any trip to your unique preferences and interests. Explore the world on your terms and create unforgettable memories along the way.
  • Relaxing in Thailand in the knowledge that if you need assistance, your tour agency has representatives in Bangkok
  • Watching your children with pride as they tackle a hiking trail in New Zealand that your tour agency suggested was family-friendly
  • Discovering the hidden gems of Kyoto's historic streets, guided by local experts who unveil the city's rich cultural heritage.
  • Indulging in a culinary journey through Spain's tapas bars, sampling authentic dishes recommended by your knowledgeable tour guide.
  • Sipping a cappuccino in a small Italian village that you would never have known about without your tour agency's regional expertise
  • Exploring the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, guided by experienced archaeologists who share insights into the site's fascinating history.
  • The fun of helping to plan your trip without having to sweat the details
  • Spending your honeymoon on an African safari with just the two of you, your guide, and a parade of elephants and giraffes
  • Immersing yourself in the vibrant colors and sounds of India's bustling markets, accompanied by a seasoned guide who navigates the bustling streets with ease.
  • Touring the Sapa region in Northeast Vietnam that offers a traditional view into many of Vietnam's ethnic tribes, such as the Hmong, as well as touring the meticulously maintained rice terraces
  • Riding horseback alongside local gauchos through ancient Lenga forests
  • Embarking on a photography expedition to Iceland's breathtaking landscapes, capturing the awe-inspiring beauty of glaciers, waterfalls, and volcanic terrain with expert guidance.

Custom Tours & Travel Guide

Custom Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Customized tours have recently entered the mainstream tour business. Previously, they were available only to the wealthy few who could afford to hire a tour agency to create a trip just for them. 

Today, many tour companies offer a range of custom tour packages, including those whose primary business is offering guided group tours.

The effect is that custom tours—while generally more expensive than standard guided group tours for various reasons—are no longer out of the reach of an average traveler. No longer limited to luxury tours, low-cost customized tours are much more readily available thanks to competition, particularly from budget-oriented tour agencies.

Luxury custom tours are still predominant, partially because budget travelers still consider guided group tours first since they're relatively economical due to group discounts and typically less work for tour agencies. 

What is a Customized Tour?
Custom tour packages allow you to speak with an expert to plan your trip rather than following a set itinerary already established by the tour operator. Where you go, how many days you spend there, and what kind of travel and accommodations you choose are entirely up to you. 

Your trip could include a private guide or guide, or you may opt for a self-guided tour without any guide. Working under the guidance of a tour agency—some of which specialize only in custom tours—you choose where you want to go and when, and the agency takes care of much or all of the logistics.

Who Should Choose Custom Tours?
Usually, travelers who need help finding exactly what they want on a standard guided tour opt for custom tours. They've combed the brochures, but none of the tours offered to their destination meet their needs regarding timing or itinerary. With a custom tour, they can go where they want when they want. 

Many travelers want to keep their own pace and crave the flexibility and spontaneity that guided group tours may offer. While many group tours include some free time for travelers to explore independently, everyone still needs to keep up (or slow down) to stay with the group. 

A custom tour has no such obligations — you choose your level of flexibility! For instance, you may opt for a rental car and arrange lodgings on a driving tour of Wales, keeping the rest of your day free to roam as you wish. The custom tour agency will provide suggested routes, sights, eating places, and other ideas, but you can make the final decisions on the spur of the moment when you're there.

Following are some of the types of travelers who would benefit from custom tours:

  • Honeymooners: If you're on your honeymoon, you would want to travel alone instead of a bunch of people you don't know. A custom tour can easily be fashioned into a romantic tour of, say, Italy, or — for adventurous couples — a land-river tour of Southeast Asia or an African safari complete with a private guide and luxury safari tents. 
  • Families: Customized tours are the perfect choice for families seeking quality time together. They ensure the trip caters to the interests of every member, including children and elders. Unlike group tours, where activities may not suit children and parents may worry about others' reactions, custom tours integrate kids and grandparents seamlessly.
  • Small Groups of Friends or Associates: Custom tour packages are an excellent choice for friends, coworkers, or families with similar-aged kids who want to travel together and follow the same itinerary specific to them. Since they have similar interests, they can benefit from group discounts and take a vacation created explicitly for them.
  • Independent Travelers: Some people love autonomy during their vacations. Individuals or couples who like traveling alone but want less time on logistics or need expert advice in setting up their trip can opt for customized tours where everything is set up for them. They can then follow the itinerary on their own. 

Is a Custom Tour Right For You?
You know best what kind of traveler you are. If you enjoy making new friends, having lots of company on a trip, or feeling more secure traveling with a group, you may be best suited for guided group tours. 

If you have specific ideas about what you want to see or do on a trip and can't find guided group tours that fill the bill, a custom tour may be the right choice.

Many tour agencies listed on Travelstride specialize in individualized custom tours, also known as tailor-made or bespoke tours. Many other tour companies will custom design a tour for you if you prefer that to a standard tour.

What To Look for if You’re Considering a Custom Tour Package

When you're choosing a customized tour, you should take note of the following:

  • Expertise in the region of your destination

  • Personalized service that ensures you get what you pay for

  • A robust policy of assistance during your trip if needed

  • Highly trained local guides if you want them

  • Competitive prices if you're on a budget 

Guided Group Tours vs. Customized Tours
Guided and customized group tours offer distinct advantages, catering to different preferences and travel styles. 

Guided group tours provide convenience and camaraderie, offering structured itineraries led by experienced guides. These tours are ideal for travelers seeking a social experience and the opportunity to explore popular destinations with like-minded individuals. 

Conversely, customized tours offer flexibility and personalized experiences tailored to individual preferences. Travelers can design their itinerary, choosing destinations, activities, and accommodations that align with their interests and travel goals. 

Whether exploring off-the-beaten-path locations or focusing on specific interests, customized tours allow travelers to craft a unique and unforgettable journey. 

Ultimately, the choice between guided group tours and customized tours depends on the traveler's preferences, desired level of flexibility, and travel objectives.

Benefits of Custom Tour Packages
Customized tours offer myriad benefits that cater to travelers' unique preferences and needs. Here are some reasons why opting for a custom tour package can enhance your travel experience:

  • Personalization: Tailored itineraries designed to match your interests, allowing you to explore destinations and activities that resonate with you.
  • Flexibility: Freedom to choose your travel dates, duration, accommodations, and activities, providing greater control over your itinerary.
  • Expert Guidance: Access to knowledgeable local guides who can offer insights and recommendations based on your preferences, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of each destination.
  • Privacy and Exclusivity: Enjoy the company of your select group of family or friends, ensuring a more intimate and personalized travel experience.
  • Efficiency: Streamlined logistics and arrangements handled by experienced tour operators, saving you time and effort in planning and coordination.
  • Authentic Experiences: Opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture, cuisine, and traditions, fostering meaningful connections and memorable encounters.

Top Destinations for Custom Tours
Embark on a tailor-made adventure to some of the world's most captivating destinations with a custom tour. Here are top destinations where you can craft your own unique travel experience:

  • Italy: Explore the charming cities of Rome, Florence, and Venice, indulge in delectable Italian cuisine, and discover the country's rich history and culture.
  • Japan: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Japan, from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the serene landscapes of Kyoto and the ancient temples of Nara.
  • Peru: Trek to the mystical ruins of Machu Picchu, explore the colorful markets of Cusco, and venture into the Amazon rainforest for a truly unforgettable adventure.
  • New Zealand: Experience the breathtaking beauty of New Zealand's landscapes, from the towering peaks of the Southern Alps to the pristine beaches of the Bay of Islands.
  • Morocco: Wander through the labyrinthine streets of Marrakech, camp under the stars in the Sahara Desert, and haggle for treasures in the bustling souks of Fez.
  • Australia: Explore the diverse landscapes of the Land Down Under, from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef and the rugged Outback.
  • Greece: Dive into Greece's ancient history and mythology as you visit the Acropolis in Athens, explore the picturesque islands of Santorini and Mykonos, and sample delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Costa Rica: Embark on a wildlife adventure in Costa Rica's lush rainforests, spot colorful toucans and sloths, zip-line through the canopy, and relax on pristine tropical beaches.
  • South Africa: Experience the thrill of a safari in Kruger National Park, visit the vibrant city of Cape Town, and explore the stunning landscapes of the Garden Route.
  • Iceland: Discover the land of fire and ice with visits to dramatic waterfalls, geothermal hot springs, and towering glaciers, as well as the vibrant capital city of Reykjavik.

Things To Do on a Customized Tour
Embarking on a custom tour allows travelers to tailor their experiences to match their interests and preferences. Here are some top things to do on a custom tour:

  • Explore Cultural Gems: Dive into the rich culture and heritage by visiting iconic landmarks, museums, and historical sites that reflect the essence of different locations.
  • Indulge in Culinary Delights: Sample local delicacies and traditional cuisines through immersive food tours, cooking classes, and dining experiences that showcase the region's flavors. 
  • Go on a Wine Tour: Indulge in the pleasures of wine tasting at boutique wineries. Sample a variety of vintages and immerse yourself in the terroir of renowned wine regions, creating unforgettable experiences for oenophiles.
  • Embrace Adventure: Seek adrenaline-pumping activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, paragliding, or zip-lining in picturesque landscapes and natural wonders, providing thrilling adventures and breathtaking views. For example, if you have a few days to spare on your Seattle trip, you can custom-plan to visit Olympic National Park for an epic hiking trip. Mount Rainier National Park also offers a great experience for an outdoor excursion.
  • Relax and Unwind: Recharge and rejuvenate with spa retreats, wellness activities, or strolls along tranquil beaches or serene countryside with beautiful scenery. 
  • Connect with Locals: Engage in authentic cultural exchanges, homestays, or community visits to interact with locals, learn about their traditions, and gain insight into their way of life.
  • Customize Your Itinerary: Personalize your journey by selecting specific attractions, activities, and destinations that align with your interests, ensuring a truly bespoke travel experience tailored to your preferences.

On a custom tour, the endless possibilities allow travelers to craft their dream itinerary and embark on a memorable adventure designed just for them.

Custom Reviews & Ratings

5/5  Excellent
18,362  Reviews
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Paul Thomas

Jul 2024

Written on

Italian Concerto

Trafalgar did a great job putting together engaging site visits and experiences that felt exclusive. Our guide was a great part of our travel experience keeping us ...


Trusted Customer

Jul 2024

Written on

Italian Concerto

Our trip was truly amazing and our tour guide Gordon went above and beyond to make it exceptional! This is my second trip with Trafalgar and I can’t wait to book my ...


Trusted Customer

Jul 2024

Written on

Italian Concerto

Fantastic trip to Italy. Salvatore and Tour Director were outstanding.

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Traveling to Custom, an FAQ

1. Does Travelstride have all the tour operators?

Travelstride has the widest selection of tours and tour companies. All the largest companies are on the site and most smaller local operators though we are adding new operators daily. Unlike other websites and agencies, we show you all the options, regardless of whether or not we are paid by the company.

2. How does the Member Savings program save me money?

Travelstride membership is absolutely free. You receive special benefits including saving up to $700 on select tours with top tour operators. The main requirement is to write a review after your trip to access the savings.

3. Can I trust the tour operator and trip reviews on Travelstride?

Yes. Travelstride has both expert reviews, written by Travelstride staff and local experts as well as traveler reviews written by people like you who have used the company and traveled to that destination.

4. What does ‘Stride Preferred’ mean?

Stride Preferred and Stride Premier are status categories to help you sort quickly through known and reliable travel companies. Since there are thousands of tour operators around the globe, Preferred or Premier badges are awarded to companies that Travelstride has determined meet the highest standards of professionalism, customer satisfaction, and quality.