Themed Travel – Love it or Hate it?

Bah! Easter Monday messed with my blogging mojo. How is it Wednesday already? Apologies for being a day behind.

So, what’s been on my mind lately is themed travel. Cooking tours of Italy. Cycling tours. Adventure tours. Museum tours. Harry Potter tours. Yoga retreats. Shopping tours. Safari trips. You name it, there seems to be a themed tour in whatever you destination of choice is. Some are short and sweet and can be over in half a day, but others are THE trip. The full twelve, fourteen, twenty one days.

NYC seems to be a hub for shopping trips. I'd see tourists, especially at Christmas time, laden with bags.

NYC seems to be a hub for shopping trips. I’d see tourists, especially at Christmas time, laden with bags.

Could you hack it? And if so, why?

Personally, I like a balanced trip, especially if I’ve never visited the destination. In my early twenties, Contiki tours were great for this. You see all walks of life on the tour, because it really caters for every type of traveler. Yes, there are the nightly parties, but you can choose to forgo them, many did. Your liver may thank you occasionally. But in the daytime, well if you were a culture vulture there were sites to see. Adrenaline junkie? Hmm, I think it was with Contiki that I did my first zip line and sky dive. Foodie? Ain’t nothing better than a good street stall, and your guide will know the best places to go with your limited amount of time.

Now, I’m a bit past my Contiki days (not on paper but in my mind), so it takes an awful lot more research to get a balanced trip on my own.

One of the more themed trips I've taken was an overland tour in Southern Africa. Four safaris in thirty days, but otherwise balanced in culture, adventure, etc.

One of the more themed trips I’ve taken was an overland tour in Southern Africa. Four safaris in thirty days, but otherwise balanced in culture, adventure, etc.

The merits of themed travel tours?

  • You have a pretty decent idea of what you’re in for
  • Food, accommodation and travel to and from cities within a country are typically managed for you
  • If you’re traveling solo, you have built in company. Whether you like them or not is another matter, but you’ll always have someone to talk to.
  • Following on the company, tours attract customers internationally, so you may be broadening your mind to more than just your chosen destination, but to the cultures of those joining you.

What about you? Themed travel – love it, hate it? Any good recommendations?

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One Response to Themed Travel – Love it or Hate it?

  1. dianacranstoun April 23, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Another option might be a ‘mini-theme’ day within a larger trip: When I travel with a particular friend in the UK, we arrange a surprise day for each other, based on something the other is interested in. My friend loves anything Elizabethan, so I took her on a day’s outing to Hatfield House where Elizabeth 1 was staying when she found out she’d become queen. I love anything to do with the movies, so she surprised me with a trip to the Cinema Museum in London – housed in what used to be the workhouse where Charlie Chaplin spent some time.

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