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Ask the experts

Ask the experts. 

Dan Sullivan Jr, President and CEO of Collette, has worked in the travel industry for over 35 years. He runs us through what to look for when buying a guided tour.

 1. Inclusions

Always check what the tour inclusions are. For instance, air travel to and from the destination; which meals and for how many days; guides, fees for access to cultural venues and parks, activities, local taxes and transfers.

 2. Exclusions

It is just as important to carefully check what the tour exclusions are, as fuel surcharges, credit card fees, immigration and visa costs, departure taxes and customs fees may not be included and can significantly change the total cost of your trip.

 3. Activity level

It is particularly important for seniors to enquire about the activity rating or walking-difficulty level on a tour. Some of the world’s most exotic or remote destinations and sites are difficult to access by vehicle and require a certain level of fitness. For the more intrepid senior traveller, trips with high activity ratings may be the perfect fit, while less mobile travellers may need to consider things like accessibility in accommodation (for instance, some hotels do not have lifts).

 4. Tipping

It can be difficult for travellers to gauge how much they should be tipping, when and where a tip is expected and also how much local currency to keep on hand at any one time. Destinations such as the US and also many developing nations like those in Africa, the Middle East, South and Central America rely heavily on tipping cultures that can be subtle or complex. A tour operator can assist you with what is expected.

 5. Location of your hotel

It’s useful to know where your hotel is situated, as being centrally located is very important. This cuts down travel time to and from key sites. It also gives travellers more free time to check out shops and other attractions on their own.