While we each appreciate different aspects of travel, many people assume travelling with a tour group is not for them. They associate tour groups with older people or a lack of flexibility.
While this may sometimes be the case, there are times when joining a tour group is a great fit for nearly every traveller.
Travelling on your own and discovering sites along the way, can be a romantic idea, but as Leonora Paetkau, who recently led a TourMagination tour to Israel/Palestine, notes, “There are countries in the world where you very much appreciate having an experienced guide to help you safely negotiate the intricacies of language and culture.”
Herb Epp always planned his own holidays, but when he decided to explore his roots in Russia, he joined a tour to benefit from the expertise of tour guides who knew the country and spoke the language. When he fell ill on tour, he was particularly glad to have someone else negotiate the medical system on his behalf.
A recent TourMagination tour to Egypt was described as “going behind the veil,” because, in addition to visiting major tourist sites, tour members enjoyed the opportunity to worship with, and visit in the homes and workplaces of, local Egyptian Christians. During an upcoming tour to Portugal, tour members will visit with Portuguese Mennonites over lunch and will tour Habitat for Humanity sites.
TourMagination tours balance activity with leisure. While most days will be spent being expertly conducted to important sites, tourists also have the opportunity to follow their own interests and to explore at their own pace on free afternoons. Many times, tour members can customize tours to include personal interests like antiquing, exploring museums, mountain climbing or relaxing on the beach.
Travelling with a tour group is also an excellent opportunity to strengthen relationships. Families travelling together leave arrangements to the experts and instead focus on enjoying time together. Single people enjoy the companionship of a larger group. A strong bond of friendship develops as tour members get to know one another.
Founded in 1970 to share the Mennonite story in Europe, TourMagination has now led faith-based tours to more than 50 countries on every continent.