If you've ever been on a day tour, then you know day tours are the best. They're a great bang for your buck when you want to explore a place but either don't have a way to get there or are short on time. In other words, they are efficient and convenient. As someone who loves both of those things, I find day tours to always be a great option.
Over the years I've gone on countless day tours across many countries, including England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, South Africa, Mexico, the Philippines and more. All have been a great solution to a travel need. For example, when I was living in London, my mom came to visit me, and we did a day tour to Bath, Salisbury and Stonehenge. I know we could not have done all of that on our own in one day, so it was nice to be able to see these places via a day tour. Then there was the wine tasting day tour my friend and I did in Australia's Hunter Valley a few months ago. Prior to booking the tour, we briefly explored taking our own transformation but ultimately decided to book the tour due to the hassle of figuring out the logistics of taking a train (and since we were both drinking wine, getting our own car was not an option). It ended up being a fun day where we did things that I don't think we normally would have had we decided to go on our own (like feed wild kangaroos!).
There are many other day tours I've done over the years that I've loved. In fact, I can't think of a time where I returned from a day tour and thought, "that was a waste of time." It's usually been time well spent during which I've met new and fascinating people along the way. For those hesitant to book a day tour when you travel, here are five reasons why you should:
More often than not, I have found that the day tours I've been on have provided a certain level of local expertise that I couldn't access if I tried to see the same things on my own. These guides know the past, the present, the quirky things, the fun tales and all sorts of information that makes you feel more connected to the places you're seeing. I remember during a day tour of the Cape Peninsula, our tour guide took us to a quiet beach that was completely devoid of tour buses and other people. It was his favorite beach in the peninsula, and we were fortunate enough that he chose to share it with us.
I love convenience (in case you hadn't heard me say that yet), and for me, day tours are convenient. They usually require being at a certain place by a certain time for pickup, or the tour company comes directly to where I'm staying, which is even better. I am then driven to places I would likely never get to by myself because I hate driving and have no intention to drive in any foreign place. And while I know there is more freedom in going off on your own at whatever pace you'd like, a great day tour usually gives you some free time throughout the day to do a bit of your own exploring, so it's the best of both worlds.
Similar to convenience, there's a certain amount of accessibility one gets with a day tour that they may not get otherwise. When I think about my island hopping day tours in Palawan, there's no way I could have accessed those places without either a tour or hiring a private boat, and one of those options is a bit more economical than the other. My friend and I were fully reliant on these tour companies to get us from point A to B, and so on, and I was okay with that.
What I also love about day tours is that they truly are great for everyone. I've done day tours as a group, a duo and by myself, and all were inclusive to various types of travelers. As a group or duo, it's been a shared experience and an opportunity to bond while meeting other people. As a solo participant, I've had interesting conversations with others, met great people along the way and added to my list of solo travel experiences that will last me a lifetime.
More than anything else, day tours are fun! Yes, they can be long days but they're also full of amazing adventures and places that make those long days completely worth it. When I think about the most memorable moments from my travels and the ones that have been the most fun, many of them have taken place on a day tour. And who doesn't want to do something that's fun?
These five reasons are why I go back to day tours time and time again. And while I've loved all of my day tours, there are a few that stand out as favorites:
- Taj Mahal and Agra day tour from New Delhi, India - This was an amazing day tour with my family while we were in India for a wedding. Seeing the Taj Mahal was an unreal experience that we are grateful to have.
- Cape Peninsula day tour from Cape Town, South Africa - This was one of the most amazing and fun tours I've ever done. Our guide Robert was hilarious and crazy and drove us around in a sugar bus on what was a stunning day in Cape Town.
- Blyde River Canyon day tour in Mpumalanga, South Africa - I can't decide if it's a good thing or bad thing that so many people who go on safaris in Kruger National Park DON'T know about Blyde River Canyon. This place is a gem and a must-see.
- Capri day tour from Sorrento, Italy - This tour was part of a larger three-day tour of the Amalfi Coast and included a beautiful boat ride from Sorrento to Capri and an entire day for us to explore the island and its glamour.
- Island hopping day tour C in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines - I've said this before and I'll say it again: El Nido is a paradise, and this tour is one of the best ways to see it.
Have you ever been on a day tour? If so, what did you think?