You, Me & Friends *** Big fun on small group hosted tours ***

The last decade could aptly be described as “The Golden age of travel”. It was a time when travel was easy. Easy to book, easy to find a tour to anywhere, and easy to afford. The whole world was open for the business of exploration.

Then from Jan 2020, all of that changed. Borders clamped down shut, and one by one, tourism operators around the world either pivoted, shrunk, hibernated or closed. “The Golden age of travel” had ended.

For the young, life now has more pressing issues than travel and exploration, with battling the housing market and job security being top of mind. For the middle aged, even for those that have endured the COVID crisis well, it is a bit of a waiting game. Taking some short trips and weekends away for now, and waiting the one, two, or three years until the world once again rights itself, and offers no risk to health or travel disruption.

For 70+ year olds however, the travel decision is not quite as simply. Relatively financially- insulated from the COVID effects, these serial travellers have had their wings clipped, and they really do not like it! The thought of waiting another 3-5 years until some semblance of “normality” resumes to the tourism world leaves them cold.

With the uncertainties of travel, the difficulties of making bookings, and the comfort that travel with friends has to offer, the relatively new trend of “Small Group Hosted Tours” exploring their own country, has become the vehicle to “scratch the travel itch” for many Gold Card adventurers.

Typically between six to sixteen in size, these groups are small. Unlike the tours of the 90s, with their big buses of 35+ tourists, the 6am “bags out” starts, and whirlwind itineraries, Small Group Hosted Tours really do cater to the needs of the experienced traveller. Travel can be by small minivan or mini-coach, which can easily navigate the back roads and byways. Small groups can be accommodated in local restaurants for authentic meals, whereas big groups must eat in large hotels or buffet style venues. Touring times are leisurely, and spontaneous stops and itinerary deviations are easy. A simple, “shall we stop for a look” requires just a quick consensus, that couldn’t be achieved by a vote from a group of 40.

Small Group Hosted Tours are essentially about having fun. You get to explore some new sights, see some new things, try some new activities, have some great food, meet some lovely people, but in the end it is about having fun – and much of that fun comes from the Tour Host.

The Tour Host’s job it to make sure it all works. Take the barriers to travel away, smooth the way, and make people feel at ease.

The themes and destinations that can apply to Small Group Hosted Tours are as limitless as your imagination. Nature & Outdoors, Fishing & Hiking, Art & Sculpture, Music & Theatre, Shopping, Big Cities & Small Towns, History, Science & Technology, Cars & Boats & planes, Culture & Dance, Gardens & Old Buildings, Modern Architecture, Food & all manner of beverages – you name it.

Small Group Hosted Tours are about taking people to see cool things and making it fun along the way!

Oh my gosh, we all had a fantastic day out. Thank you so much. I really didn’t expect to like all those weird and wonderful snacks during the "Curious Food Train" activity, and didn’t think they would all participate. The staff all keep thanking us for such a great day. Looking forward to next years event!