If you’ve shunned escorted tour holidays in the past because you don’t think of two weeks sitting in a coach as much of a good time, it may be time to rethink your position. Many modern tour operators are now looking for ways to help their customers get in touch with the cultures they are visiting, and the first stop is a greater level of interaction with the local population.
As well as volunteering adventures to encourage visitors to help native communities, some operators are now looking into everything from “lunch with the locals” to homestay visits – take cooking lessons in a Mexican hacienda, have wildlife photography lessons in Kenya or take afternoon tea on a Peruvian llama farm. The range of interactions on offer range from the brief to fully immersive, letting guests tailor their experience to the levels they are comfortable with while still offering far more enjoyable experiences than simply squinting through a window all day.
Sharing meals with local communities is a great way to really experience a native culture as well as some new cuisine, and some places even offer the chance for you to learn how to cook their signature dishes too. Other skill-based trips are on offer, with enterprising travellers looking for a more activity based holiday learning everything from tai chi to canoeing to wine making and even how to track wildlife through the bush with an Aboriginal hunting party.
Even more ambitious are escorted tours based around public transport, such as crossing China by train to mingle with native transport users or trips by boat and public bus to move between hotels and resorts, offering the perfect mix between the perceived safety of an escorted tour with a guide who knows the area and the chance to get up close and personal with the local culture and people.
Finally, volunteering holidays are seeing a popularity surge as travellers elect to have fun helping others with a positive impact on local lives and communities. From teaching English to working farms or even helping to build new structures like hospitals and schools, a growing group of adventurous holidaymakers are starting to make a worldwide impression by helping native people with more than just their souvenir revenue.
For a wide range of escorted tours both mundane and adventurous, take a look at www.brochurebank.co.uk for plenty of inspiration when planning your next holiday.