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Customized, Escorted, or Hosted Travel Tour? How to Choose the One That’s Right for You!

So you’ve finally decided to go ahead and take that well-deserved Italian vacation that you have been thinking about for so long. You’re already daydreaming about how awesome your trip would be, and how much fun you’d have sharing stories about your trip with your friends and family once you get back (not to mention how fabulous your photos on Facebook are going to look). You’ve made up your mind. You are now presented with the options to go on a customized, escorted, or hosted travel tour.

… and you’re not quite sure what that all means.

Planning a big trip like this can get a little overwhelming, so we here at Tour Italy Now are going to help you in taking that first and most important step in the entire process of making your dream Italian vacation happen: deciding what type of tour you would like to take. Determining whether you want a customized, escorted, or hosted travel tour is vital, as this is what helps to ensure that you get exactly the experience that you want from your trip. Here are some explanations on the differences between those three types of tours:

Customized Tours

custom tour honeymoon in VeniceAs the name suggests, a customized tour is one that is tailored to your exact needs, preferences, and specifications. Do you want to spend an entire week beach-hopping in Sardinia, then stay a weekend in Venice, then take a day trip to Florence, and then attend a wine tasting in Milan? Do you want to plan a super romantic getaway? Do you want to spend your vacation immersed in Renaissance art? No problem. All you will have to do is tell us what types of activities you would like to participate in and/or  if there are any particular points of interest that you would really like to visit, and we can help craft the perfect itinerary for you, complete with flights, hotels, restaurant, and transport recommendations, all of which can be booked in advance. Do you want to see a play at the La Scala or visit all the museums in Pisa, too? Again, just let us know, and we can help you get the tickets for those as well. We’ll take care of everything ahead of time, so that all you’d have to do on your travel dates is show up.

The Tour GuideEscorted Tours

Escorted tours are probably the most popular types of tours in the entire travel industry. Normally, an escorted tour is thematic (food, wine, art, historical, religious tours, etc.), has a predetermined set of destinations and points to visit, and follows a rather rigid schedule. It is done in groups (a great chance to meet new friends!) and is conducted by a tour director, who then guides the entire group from start to finish, from place to place, and is always on hand to assist travelers within the group in case anything needs smoothing over. All transport, accommodations, entrance fees, and oftentimes even meals, have already been booked well in advance, so all you’ll have to do is follow your tour director. Escorted tours are highly recommended for first time travelers, and for those who prefer to be guided during every step of the way.

Hosted Tours

Though often mistaken as similar to escorted tours, hosted tours actually have several key differences when compared to the other two types of tours mentioned above. First, hosted tours are facilitated by a local “host” who is usually a local tour professional or a representative from the company that you booked your travel with. Your host will then greet you at the airport and transport you to your accommodations, but other than that, you will be pretty much free to do as you please with your time, unlike with an escorted tour. You won’t be entirely on your own, though, so don’t worry. You can contact your host if you need recommendations, and they will also assist you in case you require anything else, such as additional transport, ticket bookings, and so on. Hosted tours are perfect for visitors who prefer to explore on their own while still maintaining peace of mind in knowing that they’ll have someone they can call on, should anything come up.

Those are the three major types of travel tours that you need to know about, and now that you’ve heard about it, we will now ask you: So how do you want to have fun in Italy this year?

tourists on vacation in Italy

Post By Priscila Siano (223 Posts)

+Priscila Siano is the Marketing Director of Tour Italy Now, an online tour operator specializing in Italy travel. She's a respected expert on making dream Italy vacations a reality for clients.

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