Self-Guided & Independent Tours & Trips 2020
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Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Rivers & Seas Visitied
Attractions & Cities Visited
Activities & Interests
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flight & Transport Inclusions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
Impacted by Climate Change
- Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, renowned for the thousands of brightly colored Torii Gates
- Visit Osaka Castle and take a walking tour in Dotonbori, the city’s most famous entertainment district
- Visit Shukkei-en Garden, where natural landscapes are represented in miniature form
- Visit Itsukushima Shrine, a Unesco World Heritage Site, known for its floating Torii Gate
- Visit bustling Nakamise shopping arcade and Asakusa Kannon Temple, the oldest of their kind in Tokyo
- Blarney Stone and bagpipes, oh my! This vacation gives you equal time in Ireland and Scotland.
- Stroll through the streets of cosmopolitan Dublin and enjoy a pint of Guinness at a local pub.
- Dive into a local delicacy of oysters in the seaside city of Galway on Ireland's west coast.
- Hike up Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh for fantastic views over Scotland's historic capital.
- Feel at one with nature amongst the rugged beauty of the Isle of Skye.
- Discover seaside villages, castle ruins and more as you travel through the beautiful Emerald Isle!
- Experience the picturesque Irish countryside as you drive from destination to destination.
- Spend some time perusing the shops in the village of Adare. Admire the colorful storefronts and thatched roofs!
- Discover Dublin's history rooted in rebellion and viking sieges!
- See the majestic Cliffs of Moher and family-friendly Bunratty Castle & Folk Park.
- Explore the beautiful spanish colonial architecture of cusco and the hive of activity at the central san pedro markets. with plenty of time exploring at your leisure, you’ll really get to know this city.
- Walk through the breathtaking hills of the sacred valley between pisac and ollantaytambo, visiting a local community for lunch.
- No trip to this region is complete without a guided visit to the iconic machu picchu. explore this inca marvel with a local guide, learning of its engineering feats and intriguing history.
- Take a privately guided superjeep tour to Þjórsárdalur in Iceland’s southern highlands, exploring its verdant valleys and dramatic waterfalls.
- Climb a volcano and catch views of the south coast’s glaciers from the Westman Islands.
- Explore the verdant, craggy landscape of Eldhraun: the world’s largest lava field.
- See one of Iceland’s largest puffin colonies and learn more about Icelandic folklore in the Eastfjords.
- Explore the Golden Circle from the Hvítá river on a guided rafting tour, close to Gullfoss waterfall.
- Mountain bike through Eldhraun, the world’s largest lava field, with a local Icelandic guide.
- Paddle through floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon on a small-group kayaking tour.
- Don crampons and take a guided hike through Sólheimajökull glacier’s curious icy formations
- Soak in the geothermal waters of the Secret Lagoon, in the heart of the Golden Circle.
- Marvel at intricate frozen formations on a guided visit to an ice cave.
- Spot clownish puffins nesting along the coast.
- Cruise among sculptural icebergs on a boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
- See the world’s largest lava field, formed by an eruption hundreds of years ago.
- Eat your way around Reykjavík on a private food-focused walking tour.
- Snorkel between the tectonic plates in Þingvellir National Park.
- Wander through icy tunnels carved in the depths of Langjökull glacier.
- Watch icebergs calve from glaciers and float across Jökulsárlón lagoon.
- Experience excellent hotel accommodation in the heart of stone town and along a pristine beach on the east coast, both with private swimming pools and air conditioning.
- Savour the fragrance and flavours of the ‘spice island’ with an exploration of a local spice plantation. sample the local fruits and seasonings, and see exotic plant varieties like the henna bush and lipstick tree.
- Take time to soak up the sun and lie back in the shade of a coconut palm, along with the chance to enjoy activities like snorkelling and windsurfing.
- SIGHTSEEING TOUR with a Local Specialist in London, Rome, Florence and Paris
- ORIENTATION of Amsterdam, Heidelberg, Munich, Innsbruck, Venice and Lucerne
- VISIT St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the Latin Quarter in Paris
- VIEW the canals in Amsterdam, the Town Hall in Munich, the Golden Roof in Innsbruck, St. Mark's Square in Venice, the ancient sites in Rome, the Chapel Bridge in Lucerne and the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris
- SEE the Lorelei Rock, the vineyards of Burgundy
- SCENIC CRUISE along the canals of Amsterdam and the Rhine River
- Discover six types of lemur including the ring-tailed and verraux sifaka.
- Stroll the paths of berenty reserve on your own and delight in the discovery of the fascinating wildlife.
- Enjoy a two-night stay in the berenty lodge in comfortable, authentic accommodation.
- Spend a night overlooking the indian ocean in the former french colony of fort dauphin in your feature stay property
- Enjoy independent, fuss-free travel with all the details taken care of.
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Top Self-Guided & Independent Experiences
Sampling culinary delicacies in Tuscany
Ascending the terraced hillsides to reach upper Ghandruk that offers a fine view of Annapurna mountain range
Strolling through the cobblestone streets of Trinidad and enjoying the sight of colorful houses
Enjoying a self guided walking tour at your own pace
Enjoying the hospitality of a local host
Having a local guide that shows you around town
Volunteering at a rehabilitation and conservation center of wild animals
Exploring the Amazon jungles with local guides
Hitching a lift on a cargo boat to Timbuktu
Taking a train journey through Europe with suggested stops planned out by a travel expert
Learning some of the local language when staying with a family in Nepal
Self-Guided & Independent Trip Reviews
2,284 Self-Guided & Independent Tour Reviews - Summary 97% Recommend
All Self-Guided & Independent tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Self-Guided & Independent trips.