Most frequent travellers consider themselves to be independent travellers. We love to plan our entire vacation on our own. We can all agree that’s what makes travelling so much fun. However, there will come a time when we are travelling to our ultimate dream vacation destination and everything needs to be absolutely perfect! This is the one time that we call in the experts to give us a hand.
Find the best tour company to plan a once in a lifetime getaway for you
Whether a solo traveller, a family, couple, senior or a traveller with a disability, or from the LGTBQ+ community, there is a tour company out there that specializes in what you’re looking for and they are waiting to help you plan your dream vacation. My fellow travel junkies and I have made the search for your ideal travel coordinator easy and we have assembled a list of the best tour companies to help plan your dream vacation.
BEST TOUR COMPANIES TO BOOK YOUR DREAM VACATION WITH
Abercrombie & Kent
Recommended by Lauren of The Traveling Moore
Country of Origin: England
Target Age of Traveller: All ages
Specializes in: Safari’s and Luxury Travel
Types of Tours Offered: Abercrombie and Kent is my go-to tour company for African safari’s and luxury adventure travel. They coordinate group trips for 8-20 people with set itineraries and dates. They also have tailor-made travel which is a sample itinerary that can be adjusted for independent tours.
Why I used Abercrombie & Kent: When traveling, I typically prefer to book my own trip and avoid tour groups. However, I always use a tour company when visiting developing countries or for more adventurous trips. I find tour companies very helpful when booking complicated international travel such as flights to private airstrips in Africa, as required for safaris. Another benefit of booking through a tour company for this type of travel is the opportunity to experience unique activities. On safari with A&K, I’ve met local tribes, artists, and business owners, which I would not have been able to plan on my own.
What I Loved About Abercrombie & Kent: The advantage of Abercrombie & Kent specifically is their level of luxury and service. The safaris are expensive, but offer true 5 star service. Each group is paired with an expert guide and each travel party is paired with a private driver who help the entire trip run smoothly. The hotels, activities, and transportation A&K book are always high-end and the best available. I will consistently book safari’s through A&K because I trust their quality of itineraries and execution of amazing trips.
Recommended by Dr. Morgan Fielder of Crave The Planet
Country of Origin: Germany
Target Age of Traveller: Under 30’s, middle aged, seniors
Specializes in: Responsible and self-guided adventure travel. Alpenventures Unguided operates self-guided tours so you can go at your own pace and travel by foot or bike reducing your impact on the environment.
Types of Tours Offered: Trekking, hiking, mountain biking, bike touring and via ferratas. Some of the best tours are available in the Italian Dolomites such as the famous Alta Via 1 Trail.
Why I used Alpenventures Unguided: I don’t always use a tour company or guide when planning my adventures. It depends on the situation and whether or not I have time to plan my own dream vacation. If I’m going to a city, there’s usually enough information on blogs or free audio tours to really get a sense of place and accommodation bookings are easy. However, when going into nature like the high Alps and staying in high elevation mountain huts things get more complicated and safety is more of a concern so I like to have expert guidance.
What I Loved About Alpenventures Unguided: Self guided tour companies have people go out and actually do the trek or bike ride and stay at the high elevation mountain huts to provide an honest report. I like that they do all the difficult logistics of booking the huts for me each night at a reasonable distance so that I don’t get stranded after dark in the mountains.
The maps and preparation ahead of time really help with safety as well as having an app that is GPS enabled so that I can always find my way.
Recommended by Linda of Muy Linda Travels
Country of Origin: Johannesburg, South Africa
Target Age of Traveller: Cashan Africa caters to small private groups and accommodates visitors of all ages.
Specializes in: Cashan Africa specializes in wildlife and wilderness tours and offer excellent city tours as well. Based in Johannesburg, their experienced guides have a wealth of local knowledge, and they can customize your tour to suit specific areas of interest.
Types of Tours Offered: Guided safaris for small groups, including families, couples, seniors, and solo travellers
Why I used Cashan Africa: As an independent solo female traveller, I was nervous about visiting Johannesburg alone, but I had a safe and exciting time with Penny and Chris who met me at the airport, took me to my accommodation and gave me practical, local safety advice. Penny helped me plan a fantastic itinerary that included a fascinating Johannesburg city tour, a cycling tour of Soweto to Nelson Mandela’s house, and a day trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Cradle of Humankind.
What I Loved About Cashan Africa: the highlight of my South Africa adventure was the wildlife safari with Chris Green and the spectacular hot air balloon safari in the Pilanesberg National Park. We saw giraffes, zebras, endangered rhinos, buffalo, lions, hippos, elephants and lots more. Chris Green was a friendly and expert guide. He kept us safe when a bull elephant became aggressive, and he knew the best times and places to find the wild animals.
If your dream vacation includes an African wildlife safari, Cashan Africa in South Africa can make your dream come true.
I can recommend Cashan Africa as an excellent tour operator in South Africa.
Recommended by Aisling G from Plane Beauty
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Target Age of Traveller: Travellers 18 – 35 years of age.
Type of Travel Specialized In: LGTBQ+ Community
What makes ChilliMix so unique is that they specialize in LGTBQ+, meaning that they only operate to destinations that are safe for people who identify as LGTBQ+.
Types of Tours Offered: Independent or Group Tours
ChilliMix offers a wide range of different tours, such as city breaks and cruises for people wanting to travel independently and not in a group – although there will be plenty of chances to meet others. They even arrange holidays to different pride events taking place around the world!
Why I Chose ChilliMix: I travelled to Berlin with my friend who identifies as gay, as he felt safer going through a tour operator, especially after he had experienced some issues with other tour operators before in more Conservative countries. Before then, I had never used a tour operator before and I was so impressed with how easy, simple and informative ChilliMix were. They took care of everything, and helped reassure my friend who was anxious beforehand. Due to them being so supportive and helpful, my friend and I have decided that every time we’d like to travel abroad together, we will book our vacation through ChilliMix.
What I Loved About ChilliMix: What I loved the most about ChilliMix, was that they have 24/7 support in case the worst happened. They thoroughly research the destinations they offer in order to ensure the LGTBQ+ community are safe at all times and can truly be themselves.
JOIN ME FOR MORE TRAVEL TIPS AND INSPIRATION 🙂
Recommended by Kelie From Vacations Planned
County of Origin: CIE Tours is a great tour operator to book an Irish vacation
Type of Travel Specialized in: CIE Tours started as an Ireland tour operator and has since expanded out to include the UK, and most recently Italy and Iceland.
Target Age of Traveller: CIE Tours accept all ages when it comes to clientele (plenty of multi-generational families have booked with them!), but they generally target middle-aged travelers
Why I Chose CIE Tours: The guides are locals and know the areas very well. They offer great insight into the destination and its culture. The guides are well equipped with great entertaining stories and anecdotes as well (and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a guide who can sing)! I don’t always book with a tour operator when I travel. But I liked the idea of traveling with a tour as I traveled solo. It just felt more reassuring to be with a constant group and to have someone check in with me each day.
Types of Tours Offered: CIE Tours works with all size tours (both large and small), guided tours as well as independent adventures and itineraries, and group travel if you have a group of your own
What I Loved About CIE Tours: You can also join the group trips as a solo traveler. I did this past summer and absolutely loved it! It was a full group tour bus style itinerary (but at that time the tours still weren’t booking at full capacity due to regulations). I had a wonderful mix of alone time and time to get to know others and make some great friends in the process.
Recommended by Paulina of UK Every Day
Country of Origin: Mexico
Target Age of Traveller: Under 30’s/middle age
Type of Travel Specialized in: Adventure Tours
Types of Tours Offered: Jeep Adventures, Buggy Tours, Snorkeling. Booking a snorkeling excursion in the second largest coral reef in the world is one of the best things to do near the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.
If you dream of seeing starfishes, Cozumel is one of the top destinations to choose from in Mexico.
Why I Chose Cucurumble Tours: Book a group tour with the local company Cucurumble Tours which will provide you with a great atmosphere. There is nothing better than exploring the shallow turquoise waters of El Cielo with tour guides who are residents of the island.
What I Loved About Cucurumble Tours: Booking a group tour in Mexico is one of the safest ways of visiting various places in the country. I always enjoy meeting new people from different parts of the world with similar travel interests. Moreover, there is always someone who can take a photo of you while tour photographers are busy. However, during an excursion with Cucurumble Tours, you will get plenty of professional photos for a very affordable price!
Recommend by Kristin of World on Wheels
Country of Origin: Spain
Targeted Age Bracket: Everyone
Specializes in: Wheelchair accessible travel in Europe
Types of Tours Offered: Private tour packages and private shore excursions
Why I Used Disabled Accessible Travel: Although I plan many of my trips on my own, using an accessible tour company comes in handy when you don’t have a lot of time to research and plan a trip by yourself, your research isn’t providing the accessible travel information you need, and you want a stress free vacation that allows you to see and visit the sites and places on your bucket list. Disabled Accessible Travel did a fantastic job at making my trip run smoothly and even provided an emergency number in case I had any questions or encountered any difficulties during my trip.
What I Loved About Disabled Accessible Travel: Disabled Accessible Travel was an excellent company to work with. They were always prompt in their communication and worked to provide an awesome trip that fit my budget. I used them to plan a short stay in Barcelona as well as for wheelchair accessible shore excursions for my European cruise.
Disabled Accessible Travel provides excellent service, and I would definitely use them again!
Recommended by Catrina from 24 Hours Layover
Country of Origin: American Company that services tours to multiple countries such as Portugal, Pakistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Iran.
Target Age of Traveller: Any adults who enjoy trekking.
Specializes in: Adventure Travel & Expeditions
Types of Tours Offered: Epic Backpackers Tours offers group tours. If you get a group of at least 8 of you together they can arrange custom itineraries.
Why I used Epic Backpackers: I don’t always book through a tour group when I am travelling solo, but when it is an expedition I will definitely book with a group tour so I can navigate myself safely.
What I Loved About Epic Backpackers:
If you just love adventure travel and expeditions, then book your dream trip with Epic Backpacker Tours! Their week-long or longer trips take you to some incredibly stunning and exciting less-visited destinations. Discover the lost world of Europe on the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira exploring hidden trails and wild canyoneering. Or go trekking to one of the world’s most remote and rarely visited locations in Tajikistan. Trek to the base of the world’s second highest mountain in Pakistan, or admire the magnificent architecture and mountains on a trip that takes you to some of the most beautiful places in Iran.
Epic Backpacker Tours thrives on visiting places that other companies don’t go to – places that are more under the radar than the usual destinations people choose to visit for their holidays. Their expeditions are incredibly authentic and focus on showing you a different side to the country.
I love how the company attracts like-minded adventure travellers who are keen to learn and explore unique places. Their tours are also incredibly environmentally sustainable and affordable, with a percentage of the cost going back into the community and funding important community projects. Not only that, but they pay their local staff higher that the industry standard. After all it is the local people that really make these tours and give you a true insight into their country! Epic Backpacker Tours leads the way in small scale adventure tourism. This is raw adventure travel at its finest.
Recommended by Daria of The Discovery Nut
Country of Origin: Toronto, Canada with 28 offices around the globe
Target Age of Traveller: All ages, including couples, families, and solo travellers
Specializes in: G Adventures is an adventure travel company that offers a wide range selection of affordable small-group land, sea and river tours in more than 100 countries.
Types of Tours Offered: The company offers small group tours and specializes on authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and works with local tour guides.
Why I used G Adventures: I don’t always book through a tour group when traveling but when I do always try to support local tour operators and make sure that my money goes to local communities.
What I Loved About G Adventures: When I took a tour with G Adventures in Costa Rica, I loved the personable approach of my guide, and the detailed explanation of the area we were visiting. I also loved the fact that the money I spent was benefiting locals and helped to educate tourists about what makes Costa Rica so special.
Recommended by Jina of byjinalee
Country of Origin: Iceland
Target Age of Traveller: Suitable for all ages. Free for 0-6 years old
Specializes in: Whale watching tours in Husavik
Types of Tours Offered: All tours are group tours unless you request a tailor-made excursion.
Why I used Gentle Giants: I rarely book a tour group when traveling as I prefer a DIY travel style. In order to whale watch, you must book through a tour company and I’m so glad we chose Gentle Giants.
What I Loved About Gentle Giants: Located in Husavik (the whale watching capital of Europe), Gentle Giants is one of the most popular tour companies in the city. They offer multiple tours throughout the day and offer a full refund for cancellations more than 24 hours prior to departure. If you do not see any whales on your tour, they will allow you to rebook another one free of charge. Most importantly, Gentle Giants deeply cares about the wellbeing of the animals and it’s clear that sustainable tourism is the beating heart of their operations. We saw multiple whales during our tour, all with minimal disruption to their natural behavior.
Recommended by Kelly of Just One Passport
Country of Origin: Canada, United States, Australia and Manila
Target Age of Traveller: All ages
Specializes in: Custom made tours designed specifically for each individual traveller.
Types of Tours Offered: Independent and group tours for solo travellers, couples, families, and seniors.
Why I used Goway Travel: This is the first time that I’ve used a tour/travel company to plan my vacation, but since going to Bora Bora is my dream vacation, and completely unknown to me, I chose to use Goway Travel. Each agent at Goway Travel is specialized in a specific destination around the world. Meaning that they have either lived there or have travelled to that destination multiple times, which provides the agent with personal knowledge of the destination chosen.
What I Loved About Goway Travel: Goway Travel organized the complete vacation for me, including insurance, flights, accommodations, tours, jet ski rentals, event connecting flights and ferry rides between various islands in the French Polynesia.
Hurtigruten Cruise Line
Recommended by Pamela of The Directionally Challenged Traveler
Country of Origin: Norway
Target Age of Traveller: All ages
Specializes in: Polar Expeditions
Types of Tours Offered: You can book a group for the cruise and for land excursions.
Why I used Hurtigruten: For my trip to Antarctica, I wanted to use a company that specialized in this area of the world. The Drake Passage, icebergs, and sea ice can make this journey difficult and scary. Hurtigruten specializes in polar travel (both Arctic and Antarctic) so I felt comfortable booking with them.
What I Loved About Hurtigruten: I loved the attention to detail and open communication. We consistently had updates about where the ship was and where we were going, what the weather was like, and what to expect when we got there. There were plenty of options for lectures to learn about Antarctica, including photography tips! The excursions were well planned so we got to experience all Antarctica had to offer – from the unique geography to kayaking with penguins! When we had the opportunity to follow orcas, the staff didn’t hesitate to give us the opportunity of a lifetime.
Madagascar Mosaic (Mosaique Malgache)
Recommended by Deirdre of Build and Board Travel
Country of Origin: Madagascar
Target Age of Traveller: All ages
Specializes in: Mosaique Malgache specializes in eco-tourism, wildlife, and adventure travel.
Types of Tours Offered: They specialize in trekking expeditions and many of their wide array of tours focus on the preservation of nature. Tours are fully customizable and can include food, transport, accommodations, local guides, and activities.
Why I used Madagascar Mosaic: My travel style is a mix of independent and local tours. If a country has excellent public transportation, I like to explore at my own pace. When tourism is underdeveloped in a country, I prefer to use a local tour operator.
What I Loved About Madagascar Mosaic: Madagascar is such a vast beautiful country, filled with amazing trekking opportunities and lovely people. The best way to discover it, in my opinion, is with a local agency that cares for its people and environment. Mosaique Malgache does exactly that. From excellent communication prior to the tip, to the final days, my experience with Mosaique Malgache was perfection. As a solo female traveler, I felt safe, even while traveling in the most remote areas of Madagascar. It was easy for me to put my trust in their exceptional staff and focus on enjoying my vacation.
Recommended by Shev of Shev Strolls
Country of Origin: Mexico and United States
Target Age of Traveller: open to all certified scuba divers, but mostly 25 +
Specializes in: Scuba dive travel
Types of Tours Offered
Mar Hosted Trips is a boutique travel agency that designs and leads unique trips for scuba divers around the world. Founded and managed by Maira Thomas, Mar Hosted Trips specializes in leading group adventures to unique destinations
Why I Used Mar Hosted Trips: A big part of her business is the Scuba Mar Maids, a women’s only dive community that Maira founded. Mar Hosted Trips plans special trips for this group and the bonds made are incredible! I only book diving trips with Maira because her expertise and ability to partner with dive centres and business owners ensures I never waste money or time on a mediocre experience. Plus you get to meet so many amazing people!
What I Loved About Mar Hosted Trips: I love diving with Maira because she chooses locations that have amazing diving but that are uncommon for divers either because of the logistics or language barriers. She plans every detail, both above and below water to ensure the best possible experience for her clients. I’m really looking forward to helping Maira plan a dive trip to my part of the world, I love diving in Huatulco and can’t wait to help her bring other divers to this beautiful part of Mexico!
Recommended by Jeanine of Let’s Go Wondering
Country of Origin: Germany
Target Age of Traveller: English speaking people of all ages (singles, couples, as well as small groups of families or friends).
Specializes in: Independent Travel Itineraries in Europe (Main focus Central Europe)
Types of Tours Offered: Whilst e-Europe doesn’t offer full group tours, there is a selection of full and half day tours, within their itineraries that are group tours and independent tours.
Why I used to-Europe: We seldom book through a tour operator when travelling as we prefer to have independence when traveling locally and abroad. However, to-Europe is a tour operator that offers a way of travel that suited the style of travel we enjoy most.
What I Loved About to-Europe: There were several benefits to us for using to-Europe when planning our dream vacation. I loved having an experienced team with local knowledge assist in the planning, whilst still having the freedom to travel independently of a group. With the bonus of being able to make minor alterations in the itinerary, such as adding days in towns or skipping a town entirely. Whilst they organized all our internal transport (at times of our choice), and some tours, which we were free to take part in or not. In addition to having city cards, tickets and accommodation information awaiting us at our first stop. ,
Throughout our time of the service, to-Europe was most attentive, contacting us if there were alterations that had to be made. In particular, when a rail strike disrupted one of our trains, they organized an alternative train for us. Whilst we chose to travel by train for our dream vacation. I also liked that if we had chosen self-drive, they would organize your rental car, with full comprehensive insurance.
Recommended by Min of Amsterdam Travel Blog
Country of Origin: Netherlands
Target Age of Traveller: Anyone is welcome, especially solo travelers, couples, and families with small kids.
Specializes in: Tours & Tickets offers famous tourist attractions tickets in Amsterdam and day tours to attractions around Amsterdam, like Giethoorn.
Types of Tours Offered: Tours & Tickets currently only offer group tours and do not arrange independent tours. A perfect option if you travel as a small family, couple, or solo traveler
Why I used Tours & Tickets: I love solo travel and public transportation, but if it’s too far away, I prefer to join group tours to save time and enjoy my trip more, especially when it’s cold (Autumn/Winter)
What I Loved About Tours & Tickets: Tours & Tickets is a very established travel agency in Amsterdam; they have over 35 years of experience. They have multiple offices in Amsterdam City Center, and you can ask them any questions.
Their website is user-friendly and straightforward. I remember I had questions about the tickets, and they replied to my emails in less than two days. In addition, I also got cheaper tickets with their combination deal. I was hesitant to book the tickets via their website before visiting Amsterdam, but I reserved them online once I went to their office in Amsterdam.
My trip to Amsterdam was a combination of a city walk by myself and a day tour to Giethoorn with Tours & Tickets. Giethoorn is far away from Amsterdam, a round trip takes up to four hours by train and bus. I saved a lot of time by joining their tour that day.
Recommended by Victoria of Guide Your Travel
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Target Age of Traveller: Under 30
Specializes in: Tru Travels focuses on South East Asia trips like Thailand island trips although they’ve expanded to Central Americas and Europe as well.
Types of Tours Offered: They focus on backpacker travel but with a more upscale approach where you don’t have to plan anything and can simply enjoy your trip. You can choose between travel styles like action, backpacker, sailing or classic so you’ll always have a trip that’S designed especially for you. Tru Travels arranges group tours so you can meet others even as a solo traveller
Why I Used Tru Travels
I don’t always use a tour company. It depends a lot on which destination I’ll be visiting. As a solo traveller it can be nice to visit a new place with a group which is good for safety and peace of mind.
What I Loved About Tru Travels: Tru Travels always ensures that your trip is exceptional and really pays attention to the need of each traveller.
Which Tour Company Will Provide You With Your Dream Vacation?
When you’re looking for the best tour company to plan your once in a lifetime experience, you will have many options to choose from. The tour companies listed here have been used by experienced travellers to help them plan their dream vacations. Do you have a favorite tour company that you use to help you plan that special once in a lifetime holiday?
Happy Booking 🙂
SAVE THE BEST TOUR COMPANIES TO BOOK YOUR DREAM VACATION WITH