THE PERKS OF TOURING WITH TOPDECK
I recently went on a tour that took us to 10 different countries in 27 days. We started off in England and made our way through multiple locations within France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Greece, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and ended in the Netherlands.
Initially I was quite against the idea of an organized tour. I didn’t like the idea of someone else determining where, when and the duration of our stay in places. My original plans for the summer fell through and before I knew it I was (luckily) packing for Topdeck. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.
Now for those of you who are a bit weary of tours as I once was, here are a few reasons why it’s actually a really solid way to travel as a young adult.
1.) You pay a once off price and in return get everything organized on your behalf. Now I don’t know how brave you are, but planning and booking a 9 week holiday as a 19 year old can be slightly daunting. The tour doesn’t take up the entire holiday and so enables you to do some independent traveling before or after where you get to be responsible and plan everything yourself. However, it does take care of a massive chunk of the holidays and leaves you having to stress about a whole lot less.
2.) You’re in a big group. This has many perks. Not only does it give you the opportunity to meet many new people and share an unforgettable experience with them, but you have strength in numbers. In a big tour of 44 people, it doesn’t matter if there is no vibe wherever you’ve arrived. You have an instant festive party ready wherever you go. You always have people available for exploring and you don’t get as tired of the people around you because if you do, there are multiple others you can go and hang out with. It’s a pretty good deal.
3.) Your tour leaders know the places you’re traveling to. It helps having someone with the knowledge of a local around. They can advise you to the best places for an authentic local experience. As tourists, it’s not always possible to know of every place to go or which places might be a tourist scam.
4.) The chefs on tour ensure that you receive nutritious meals. Whereas, if you were traveling alone you’d most likely go for the cheapest option and often compromise in the health department. Of course, this might not be the case for everyone. However, this has often happened to myself and many other gaps I know.
5.) You’re safe, or at least whilst traveling between places. Tours enable you to experience stress free traveling. You escape the hassles of sleeping at random airports, delayed transport, late night missioning to go find your hostel in a foreign city or having to travel alone and being left vulnerable. It really is a major plus and something that has truly stood out for me personally.
Our tour was incredible. We had some bumps along the road that impacted our experience, but ultimately we grew closer as a group and ended up becoming an incredibly close knit family. I have a massive amount of love for everyone on our Topdeck and will forever think back to this ridiculously special month we spent together. We were able to see a whole range of Europe’s finest locations. We got to experience things like sky diving in the Austrian Alps, the Euro finals in patriotic Paris, hiking in the Swiss Alps, sailing around the Greek islands, an alternative walking tour through Berlin and crazy parties in some of the most famous cities. Ultimately, we learnt a vast amount about the history, people, architecture, cuisine and cultures that make Europe the ever interesting and breath-taking continent that it is known to be.
Word and photos by Letz Live gappies Zahn. Read more on her Gap Year adventures via http://zahndoesfilm.tumblr.com/