Backpacker Tours Around the World
So, what’s it going to be? Road tripping through the Australian Outback? Island hopping in South East Asia? Bussing from one amazing European city to another? Hiking through the jaw-dropping national parks of North America? Scrambling to the mesmerising finale of the Inca Trail in South America?
The choice is yours. StudentUniverse have incredible backpacker tours in all of the world’s best locations – all you have to do is decide which life-affirming experience to join!
How to Find the Perfect Backpacker Tour
If you’re not quite ready to book a backpacker tour yet, we’ve listed a few questions to ask yourself to help you to decide on which one would be best for you.
Where do you want to go?
If you’re going to go somewhere you might as well go somewhere awesome. Think of a place that you feel would really enrich your life, somewhere totally different to where you are now, and if anything else, somewhere you can really show off about to your friends.
How much money do you have?
This is going to be a huge deciding factor in where you go and what you do on a backpacker tour.
What do you want to do?
Whether wildlife, fauna, people or sights are your thing, you should try and narrow it down to at the most two, if not one, things that you really want to be the focus of your tour.
Who are you going with?
If there’s a group of you, you may want to opt for a different tour than what you would if you were solo – just another thing to bear in mind.
What are you like?
We have some real party tours in our inventory that any keen revellers can make the most of. Or if you want to book a backpacker tour that’s a little more sedate just let us know. We’ve got all kinds of tours for all kinds of backpackers.
Just click here if you need more advice on planning your backpacker tours for your gap year.
Reasons for Booking a Tour and Popular Companies
Here are just a few top reasons to book yourself onto a backpacker tour.
Everything is organised for you
One of the best things about tours is that they allow you to literally sit back and enjoy the ride. You won’t have to worry about deciphering those bewildering local bus timetables. You won’t have to worry about finding a safe place to sleep for the night. You won’t have to worry about choosing a restaurant that won’t give you chronic diarrhoea. Sometimes it can be fun to challenge yourself and go completely independent, but other times it can be nice to just focus on the experience and not all those stressful practicalities. You’re in safe hands – enjoy it.
A tour doesn’t have to replace independent travel
An organised tour should be seen as a compliment to organised travel, not a replacement. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from travelling independently for a while, joining a tour for a couple of weeks, and then continuing to travel independently. There are so many more benefits to backpacker tours than ones simply concerned with practicalities. Such as…
You will share the experience with others
This is one of the best reasons to join a tour: not only will you make new friends and have a blast, but you’ll also create shared memories of incredible experiences, which can often create a bond for life. You will realise sooner or later that travel, at its heart, is about connecting with people, be they locals or fellow travellers: the magnificent landscapes just form a nice backdrop.
Tours offer great value for money
In the literal terms of distance covered, a tour will be more expensive than travelling the same route independently. But this is not to say tours are not fantastic value for money, and if you actually break down the day-to-day cost – often about £40 – it’s really quite amazing what you’re getting for that a local guide, food and drink, transport, accommodation, to name a few.
Most tours feed back into local economies
What’s more, the vast majority of tour operators do everything they can to ensure they are feeding back into the local economy. Most will go out their way to hire local guides, which creates fantastic employment opportunities, and to use local businesses and experiences wherever possible.
You will have a brilliant time
The most obvious reason to take tour – so obvious it is left out of most lists like these – is that you will have an absolute blinder. You will see incredible things and share incredible experiences with incredible people.
Which Tour Company?
The tour company you choose will really depend on what kind of experience you are looking for, and the manner in which you’d prefer to travel. We only work with tour operators who we know to be extremely good at what they do and completely reliable.
Contiki, Busabout, Stray
Companies like Contiki, Busabout and Stray are perfect for the younger backpackers (16-25), with the latter two offering hop-on-hop-off flexi passes around Europe and Asia respectively. A typical Busabout tour will take you to a variety of European festivals, be they music or cultural, in one trip, while a standard Stray ticket would allow you to explore South East Asia by bus.
Real Gap, i-to-i
Another great company for the slightly younger backpackers is Real Gap: their tours typically combine working holidays or volunteering placements with leisure travel (the split is usually 50/50). Similarly to Real Gap, i-to-i combine vocational and leisure travel, usually with a bit more focus on the former, which often takes the form of teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).
For younger backpackers (18-25) who are looking for a really adventurous experience, Tucan Travel is a great company; they specialise in South America adventure tours, such as overlanding through multiple countries, and offer great value for money. Tucan can also design tailor-made packages, though these will be more expensive.
G Adventures, On the Go Tours, Intrepid
For the slightly older travellers (25-40), G Adventures, On the Go Tours and Intrepid all offer fantastic experiences, with a greater focus on the experience of travel itself, rather than general sightseeing. The groups on these tours are also typically quite small – a maximum of around 15 – and the pace is slightly slower.
Backpacker tours are a great idea for first time travellers, or anyone wanting to get slightly off the beaten track with the assurity that there's someone there if it all goes wrong. Once you’ve decided on your gap year destination and what you want to do there give StudentUniverse a call and they can book the right backpacker tour for you.
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