Group Tours Offer Value for First-Time Travelers

Group tour to Juifen Taiwan

If you know me, you know I’m no fan of the most group tours or package tours. I am a visual person and I consider the research the first leg of the tour. I like all the possibilities for intrigue, the flexibility to get off the beaten path, and getting to know the locals. However, packaged tours can offer you the best of both worlds. First, they present an assorted selection of travel experiences. Second, a good tour operator provides added savings and member benefits due to volume. Basically, group tours offer value for all kinds of travelers.

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Group Tours Offer Value

Professional Tour Guide

I hate traveling with a lot of people. I do not enjoy crowded buses, the gratuitous shopping stops. And I really abhor loud, disruptive gaggles of people. I generally avoid them at all costs, especially while traveling. And especially the loud American ones.

However, in the current climate of hostilities against America. having a professional tour guide makes sense. They are a safe, reliable, and cost-effective alternative for US citizens traveling abroad. Countries like Cambodia, Nepal, Vietnam, and China are safe enough to explore yet safer in the company of a professional tour guide who speaks the language– yours and theirs.

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Tour & Travel Service on Camp Walker

Package Tours

Mr. Yu is that person. He has been working at Tour & Travel Service on Camp Walker for 8 years and is a travel bug to the nth degree. And in September he will lead his 21st group to Beijing on mainland China for 4 days. We originally signed up for the trip in July, but it was canceled due to the MERS scare in Korea. Apparently Chinese officials weren’t too happy with visitors coming from Korea and made it known that visitors would face certain “inconveniences”. So the trip was canceled.

I received a call a couple of weeks ago from Mr. Yu that we had enough people signed up for the packaged tour.

“They are just like us, some poor, some rich”, he says. “And for the most part, they enjoy meeting Americans “, he added.

I asked him what’s his favorite country so far. He beamed and said “Korea”. Originally from Pusan, he loves Daegu and has no plans of leaving or slowing down.

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Tour of China

Package Details 

The package tour included the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square among other things with some free time to explore on our own. Yes, there are some scheduled stops at a silk shop and an acrobatic show and dinner that I’m sure are beyond touristy. I am not looking forward to the food because I heard from more than one person that the food is pretty greasy. More on that after the trip… trust me.

The tour is $870 per person and includes r/t airfare, visas, hotels, food, all transfers, and attraction fees. And you don’t even have t pay that all at once, you can pay as little or as much as you want until it’s paid off.

Your responsible for and upgrades, gratuities, souvenirs, and attractions not included in the tour. Depending on how this goes, I’ll consider the 10-day tour to Australia later this year. I haven’t been able to come close to the $1300 per person price which includes everything above as well. Airfare alone is ridiculous– making me rethink the whole group tour thing more and more. You know I asked if he needed an assistant before leaving the office.

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Additional Services 

Passport Services

I needed to bring in our passports. Mine had to have the SOFA stamp. Mr. Yu offers something the other travel company on Camp Henry doesn’t offer. Today we handed over our passports and Mr. Yu will go to Seoul and get the Visas for us. In addition, going through him, we get a discount on the tourist visa which normally costs about $135, only cost $100 when he takes all 12 passports at once.

“Your passport is good for 10 years now”, Mr. Yu adds. “The Chinese officials changed the length of the visa when President Obama came into office”. They like Obama, he adds. That’s a good thing because my mom is coming to visit next year and she really wants to go to China too.

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For More Information

Travel &Tour Services has a tour planned just about every month. Some of them are local cultural experiences like the recent Mud fight and cultural events and shopping tours. Mr. Yu can be reached at 010-4773-8421. Or you can stop by his office near the ATM machine. It’s located behind the car rental office just inside the doors to the Walker Exchange.

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