Take comfort in the fact that today's guided holidays have been created specifically to capture the unique flavours and cultures of the destination you're visiting.

Cape Town - Travel is best enjoyed with friends, so bundle them up and embark on a guided holiday together.

And if they don't want to come along for the ride, go on your own and make new ones.

Whether you think group travel is your cup of tea or not, there are a number of myths about group travel that put people off - it's for 'old' people, there's no flexibility, it's a one-size-fits-all holiday.

We're debunking three of the biggest myths about group travel in the interest of giving you that extra option for your next trip; it may just be your best holiday yet.


You get cookie-cutter holiday instead of an authentic experience

If you believe joining a guided group holiday is like eating a lacklustre fast food meal instead of feasting on authentic local cuisine, take comfort in the fact that today's guided holidays have been created specifically to capture the unique flavours and cultures of the destination you're visiting.

Trafalgar South Africa managing director, Theresa Szejwallo, says “joining a guided holiday is one of the best ways to explore and discover a destination. Travellers will benefit from an insider's view to the places they visit, enjoy hand-picked experiences with local families with whom they will break bread and learn about the local culture, and gain priority access to attractions you would normally spend hours queueing to see.”


You're on the clock

A pre-scheduled itinerary means you cannot change your travel plans on the fly. This is true. But if you're short of time and you want to see a great deal during your travels, a guided holiday ensures that the best of that destination is yours to experience and it also doesn't mean you won't have time to explore it on your own and experience it on your terms.

“It often depends on the size of the group,” Theresa says. “Smaller groups are much more flexible and find more time for exploration and immersion in the locations they visit. But regardless of the group size, Trafalgar always works in free time and offers a bit of leeway for guests to spend some time doing what they want to do, independent of the group. Itineraries for all of the guided holidays are available long before these depart and guests can plan around these accordingly to get the most out of their travel.”


No local is lekker

One of the best parts of exploring a new country is spending time interacting with the local people and culture. Many people are under the false impression that, when travelling in a group, you tend to spend all your time with the group and lose out on that time spent making local friends.

“This really isn't the case at all,” says Theresa. “It obviously depends on the traveller. Some choose to stick with the group and that's perfectly fine. But if you want to spend time getting to know the locals, you'll have ample opportunity to do just that.

“Most of the longer tours spend at least two nights in one spot and this gives one plenty of time to interact with the locals and make new friends. Additionally, because you also have the group with you, you'll probably have a buddy or two willing to join you when you head out, which is always a good idea in a foreign country, particularly when venturing out at night and for women.

“We also have special Be My Guest experiences where a local host spends time with our travellers to teach them about the culture, cuisine and way of life. This can range from learning how to cook Italian cuisine with a Florentine chef, to hearing extraordinary stories of World War II rescues over Hungarian goulash.”

Adapted from a press release for IOL