The Best Tour Operators to Use During Vacation

Tours are the epicenter of your vacations. There’s no greater way to discover new cultures. Before planning your next vacation or staycation, check out your best tour operators to use during vacation.

A tour operator manages your vacation. They create personalized packages that include components like lodging, activities, restaurants, and tours.

A tour operator is not a travel agent. Most tour operators do not handle travel arrangements. Those are typical travel agent duties. Also, travel agents usually sell packages created by tour operators. Tour operators may sell their excursions directly to consumers.

Tour operators arrange a lot of single-day activities across the period of the vacation. Cycling, spas and massages, wellness, skiing, shows, amusement parks, transportation and more can be part of a package.

Here’s our list of the best tour operators.

Viator

Viator has almost two decades in the tour business with access to a wide range of attractions. There are kid-friendly activities, Broadway shows, and holiday-specific sites.

Viator offers airport transfers as well as opportunities for family visits to the best theme parks. Spa, tours, shopping sprees, and cruises are all easily accessible with this tour operator.

The site has VIP tours. You can get private viewings, behind-the-scenes access, and the extremely popular skip-the-line privilege.

The company provides access to 100,000 trips and 2,400 destinations. Viator accepts eight international currencies. It’s viewable in 13 different languages.

Pros

  • Viator has a user-friendly platform
  • Has 390 million monthly travel planners (if you include TripAdvisor)
  • Reliable and informative operators
  • 100% refund if you cancel seven days in advance
  • Almost 20 years in the tour business

Cons

  • Substantial commission
  • Cancel between three and six-day beforehand you’re only entitled to a 50% refund
  • Claims imply the company is over-saturated with the same activities and destinations

TourRadar

TourRadar consists of professional travel experts. This is a multinational grouping spread across the States, Europe, and Australia. Since 2010, TourRadar has helped customers navigate the complex travel map, initiating enriching travel experiences. They promote the understanding and appreciation of cultures and how they bring us together.

TourRadar offers a range of travel styles as well. The self-drive option is perfect for one-day excursions. Adventures include hiking and wildlife, in-depth cultural exploration, and solo travel. Tours are tailored to couples, young adults, and seniors. Grab a last-minute deal or one of the early bird specials.

Pros

  • Offers special discounts, such as 50% off on private safari tours
  • As advertised, they will match the price of competing tour operators
  • The loyalty program offers plenty of rewards
  • Year-round, all-day customer service

Cons

  • Online chat tends to be slow
  • Known to lack clear communication about the details of their offerings

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor may be the biggest tour operator in the world. It offers all sorts of tours as well as advice and support. The company has vacation rentals, Airbnbs, travel forums, things to do, restaurants, and more. You can get info on popular sites like Florida or little-known destinations like Kochi, India.

You should not note TripAdvisor no longer sponsors “animal encounters” tours. This is different from safaris, where you watch animals. We’re talking about swim-with-dolphins and elephant rides.

These activities take animals out of their natural surroundings and create undue stress on the creatures. It may seem like a drawback for travelers, but the company deserves recognition for considering how its footprint impacts global ecosystems.

Pros

  • Functionality added for booking directly on the site
  • Unique, timely, resource with reviews and photographs posted by satisfied customers
  • Hotel managers can respond to reviews, good and bad

Cons

  • Diverse opinions make it hard to evaluate a destination
  • TripAdvisor is wrongly used as a venue to express bad experiences
  • Bogus positive reviews confuse users

GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide is influencing how travelers connect to destinations and sites.

The company has a library of 30,000 tours and adventures in over 2,500 destinations across 11 countries. GetYourGuide offers a range of professional bus companies, tour suppliers, and attractions.

As niche tour operators, GetYourGuide simplifies what’s become a world of travel options. It can be hard to decide which operation to turn to. Appropriate to their name, the company offers valuable information for making better choices for safety about your outings.

The platform’s easy to use. Have an idea of where you want to go or explore. From there, connect to the range of activities available and check out reviews. All that’s left is to complete the booking.

Pros

  • The online app acts as referencing point to show you already paid for a service
  • Customized website and apps make for easy navigation
  • Customer service is very professional

Cons

  • As GetYourGuide only connects with suppliers, they lack control over supplier’s services

G Adventures

G Adventures focuses on single-day and short two- to four-day excursions. Explore the highlights of your city or nearby destinations. These mini-adventures create short, sweet itineraries letting you make the most of your limited time.

G Adventures has been in the travel business for 30 years. They use CEOs — Chief Experience Officers — who are locally based. With a mindset to build relationships, the company supports tours that foster local communities and businesses.

G Adventures encourage sightseeing lovers to turn from the beaten path. The goal is to create unique trips that celebrate individuality, diversity, and fearlessness. Travel styles include Classic, 18-to-30 Somethings, Wellness, and Local Living.

Pros

  • The ratio of quality and comfort to price is pretty good
  • Excellent selection of promotions and tours for under $1000
  • Expanded tour style selection for every traveler
  • Lifetime deposit is safe for life
  • The company focuses on sustainable travel, awareness, and wellness

Cons

  • Many itineraries are locally subcontracted and operated
  • Check itineraries for “optional.” These activities are not included expenses
  • Tour groups are bigger than most

Time to Tour?

Creating a tour package has never been easier. Choices like the ones here open up everyone’s chance to have the adventures of their life one day at a time.

The world of travel is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries and your tour operator is the key to having fabulous adventures in an exotic country or cross town.

Whether you are choosing to use a tour operator for a day trip, or for your entire vacation, it’s important to take your time, make sure your needs are met, and pick what you believe will satisfy you the most. All tour operators send out surveys upon the completion of your tour, so it’s their # 1 priority for customer satisfaction and safety.