Self-Guided & Independent Tours & Trips 2020
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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.
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.
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 bustling Nakamise Shopping Arcade and Asakusa Kannon Temple, the oldest of their kind in Tokyo
- 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 Peace Memorial Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, to see the Memorial Museum and Memorial Hall, which memorialize the lives lost in the Wwii atomic bombing
- Visit Itsukushima Shrine, a Unesco World Heritage Site, known for its floating Torii Gate
- 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.
- Fully discover cappadocia, an extraordinary region that has bewitched travellers for centuries with its strange and fantastic spires, domes, pinnacles and gorges
- Explore the ihlara valley with a local guide and uncover thousands of dwellings and hundreds of cave churches that were carved directly into the rock
- Be part of an artistic expression that dates back over 3,500 years with a pottery demonstration in avanos
- Marvel at the incredible byzantine rock-hewn churches and their frescos in the ancient monastic settlement of the goreme open air museum
- Be treated to a feast at a local family's home as well as other oh so turkish pursuits: drinking tea, playing backgammon, and the indulging in the water pipe
- Reflect on battles fought and lives lost with a moving visit to the gallipoli peninsula, a place of enormous significance to australians and new zealanders for the role it played in during the first world war
- Discover the history behind the famous archaeological site of troy
- 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.
- 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.
- Sip sundowner drinks, dip in the infinity pool and dine under endless starry skies at this luxury lodge situated on the banks of the zambezi river.
- Spot elephants and hippos on the private verandah of your luxurious permanent tent – each with ensuites and a plunge pool overlooking the zambezi river.
- Go in search of africa’s iconic species and more on a morning or afternoon game drive or the elusive leopard on a night game drive – all with your personal guide.
- Get up close and personal to the area on a bush walk. learn about the native flora and fauna, spot the pearl spotted owlet from its distinctive call or track down a snake.
- With the zambezi river flowing through this east part of africa, it is no surprise that some of the best wildlife viewing on your zambia-safari will take place along the river itself on a canoeing trip or a boat cruise.
- Take in the faraway feel of one of the world's most remote populated islands
- Ponder the magic and mystery of the moai monoliths that weigh up to 50 tonnes
- Learn about the heritage of the rapa nui people, the island's native polynesians
- Enjoy the warm hospitality of the local people, born from a mix of ancient travellers that arrived here from the polynesian islands and from south america.
- There is plenty of free time to stroll along hanga roa's main strip, sample the delicious local seafood or explore the island by bicycle
- Visit the beautifully located orongo ceremonial village and ahu akivi for unparalleled ocean views
- Explore the colourful areas of san telmo and palermo with a local guide – all of which tell their own stories of romance – and discover the eerie and star-studded recoleta cemetery.
- Saunter your way to a local milonga and dance the night away as you learn from the professionals in a beginners tango experience.
- Source homegrown ingredients and prepare local dishes at a community cooperative in the lesser-known barracas neighbourhood, dedicated to promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
- Witness some of the most breathtaking scenery in africa, from table mountain to the rugged world’s end of the cape peninsula
- Retrace 350 years of cape town’s dramatic history on a three-hour walking tour with a specialist local guide
- Discover why cape town is one of south africa's culinary hot-spots, sampling its fine restaurants, wines and cheeses
- Traverse the south african landscape as the scenery changes from dry savannas to the great escarpment and winelands, all in the comfort of the plush blue train
- Embark on the ultimate south african wildlife adventure, exploring the country’s biggest reserve in a 4x4 with an expert local guide
- Make one of the greatest road trips on the entire continent, past incredible landscapes of mountains and valleys, waterfalls and canyons, on the spectacular panorama route
- This independent experience takes all of the hard work out of a city escape. all you need to do is show up at the right times, and you’ll be discovering dubai better than most.
- Tour through the narrow alleyways of heritage bastakiya, see the towering minarets of the imposing jumeriah mosque, and learn more about islam with a visit inside the only dubai mosque open to non-muslims.
- Experience dubai from the water on board a traditional dhow boat for a moonlight cruise past the towering skyline. you’ll see the city from all different angles!
- Admire the city from above with a panoramic view from the cerro san cristobal, looking across the mapocho river to the spectacular andes mountain range.
- See the palace guards at la moneda palace with a local guide – once the scene of dramatic events in chile's history and still today the country’s presidential palace.
- Head out of the city to visit a nearby winery, venturing deep in their underground cellars and sampling some of the region’s wine, worthy of its worldwide acclaim.
- This trip takes you to the heart of ecuador's amazon basin. set in the remote rainforest, sacha lodge is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers
- Caiman, otters, sloths, hoatzin, monkeys, capybaras, anacondas... the amazon is home to some of the most diverse wildlife on earth.
- As well as comfortable accommodation and luxurious meals, your expert guides will enhance your experience with their unique knowledge of the amazon.
- Explore the rainforest on various jungle treks, canopy walks and dugout canoe safaris, or relax in a hammock at the lodge. it's up to you to customise how active you'd like this trip to be.
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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
1,555 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.