Are you looking for a reliable tour operator to help you plan your next trip? With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose. The best tour operators stand out for their in-depth knowledge of destinations and guides who go beyond the ordinary. This year's list of the best tour operators includes five companies that weren't on last year's list, including two women-only tour operators. When it comes to selecting a tour operator, it's important to consider the size of the group, the type of activities offered, and the cost.
Most guided tours include accommodation and some meals, and they take most of the complicated planning out of the equation, allowing you to simply focus on enjoying your vacation. Trafalgar is one of the most well-known tour operators, offering trips to almost every corner of the planet, except Antarctica. They offer guided tours year-round, including to popular destinations such as New Zealand and Africa. The number of guests on tours varies by destination, with Africa tours having a maximum of 20 guests and tours to the United States and Canada having up to 52 guests.
G Adventures is another popular tour operator, offering small group trips that cover the whole world from Croatia to Tanzania. The number of travelers per group is usually between 10 and 15 participants. Eco-conscious travelers may want to consider a group vacation with Intrepid Travel, which is known for its active stance on climate action and sustainable travel. Intrepid offers family-friendly tours, as well as more strenuous walking and cycling tours.
Exodus Travels offers tours that work for just about any budget, with options that range from affordable to premium. Lindblad Expeditions partners with National Geographic to offer adventure experiences at sea that offer guests close encounters with wildlife and marine life amidst an unseen natural environment. Tauck operates group land trips on all seven continents (as well as river tours in Europe and small boat tours around the world). Backroads is a great option for travelers with an active lifestyle who want to take a group tour.
They offer walking and cycling tours as well as family tours, tours of local life (with rooms in private homes) and tours focusing on well-being. For travelers interested in wildlife or local food and drink, Classic Journeys is a great option. Tour guides focus on local history and discovering the hidden gems of each destination, such as a cruise on a falucca (a traditional wooden sailboat) on the Nile or a bike trip through Provence in the south of France. When it comes to an itinerary, Travel+ Leisure readers want more than just a series of photo opportunities, and the right tour operator makes all the difference when it comes to creating the trip of a lifetime rather than one that simply bookmarks a list of places of interest. Name a travel style or preference and there will be a travel company that will take care of it.
If you're ready to try tour groups, consider one of these guided tour operators that are among the best in the world.