Buying a tour package can be a great way to visit a destination, especially if solo vacations are more your style or you're on a budget.
Tours are your safest bet if you're looking for overseas adventure travel. Tours are a great way to meet other travelers, learn about your destination from expert guides, and visit more places. Whether you're getting ready for your first trip or are a seasoned traveler, joining a travel tour can be a memorable experience.
If it's your first time traveling with a group, try day trips before joining a multi-day tour. No matter how you approach this way of traveling, I'm here to give you some tips to find great budget travel tours. I'll also share some of the best travel tour companies so you can start searching for tours in your preferred destination.
How Do You Trip With a Low Budget?
I've traveled solo for over a decade and learned many ways to travel on a budget. But, one surefire way is to find budget travel tours. I picked up a few tips while traveling to Europe on a budget.
Not all tips will work in every destination, but they can help you find cheap tour packages in many places. Try a combination of these, and you'll find some great budget tours.
Choose Group Tours Over Private Tours
My first tip is to pick group tours over private tours. While these may give you a less personalized experience, you'll save money. Private tours are usually more expensive unless you travel in a big group and can share the costs. Group tours are also great for solo trips for women or, in general, for solo travelers. With group tours, you meet fellow travelers and make new friends. Just like I did, I met some great people on group tours.
Research Local Companies
Big companies can offer budget travel tours, but sometimes you have more luck with local companies. The benefit of choosing local companies is that they are often more experienced in the areas you want to visit and offer last-minute deals.
Booking with a local company also means you'll support local businesses and contribute to the economy of the place you visit.
Ask Your Accommodation
An excellent way to save some money is by booking budget travel tours. If you need help finding budget tours, ask at your accommodation. Accommodations often have agreements with local tour operators and companies, and they can offer good deals to their clients. This option may not always be affordable, so research before confirming your reservation.
Look for Early-Bird Prices
One way to find budget travel tours is to book ahead. Some companies offer discounts if you book several weeks or months before your trip.
If you already know the date of your trip, you can begin searching for tours to find early-bird prices.
Find Last-Minute Deals Online
The opposite of booking ahead may also prove convenient. Last-minute deals can be very convenient, but it's a risky option.
Waiting until the last minute to book a tour isn't always advisable, as you risk finding everything fully booked. But if you like spontaneous trips, you can always check out this option. Still, I recommend relying on something other than this for popular tours.
Find Tours On-Site and Negotiate the Price
On some occasions, you may even negotiate the price of the tour. If you're already in a location and want to join a short tour, like day trips or overnight tours, local providers may be open to negotiation.
Note that this option isn't always available, but it still can earn you incredible budget tours in some countries.
Travel During Off-Season
A terrific way to find budget travel tours is to travel off-season. Most people travel during peak seasons because that's when they have holidays. Traveling during the off-season can be very affordable if you have some flexibility.
Peak seasons vary depending on the destination, so research that in advance. For instance, if you're looking at European tours, they're more expensive in summer, so you could choose to travel in spring or autumn.
Book Tours During the Week
For short-term tours, book them during the week whenever possible. Weekends are always more popular, so that's when the prices tend to increase. Traveling on weekdays can save you a lot of money.
Best Budget Tour Companies
TourRadar is one of the largest and most famous travel tour booking platforms. Since its launch in 2010, TourRadar has expanded to include thousands of operators in over 160 countries.
TourRadar offers a variety of private and group tours, including many budget travel tours. It specializes in multi-day tours and adventure experiences. If you want a big pool of options, TourRadar is it.
TourRadar offers 3 types of tours:
For each of these, you can choose from a range of travel styles:
- Active adventure
- Festival & Events
- Hiking & Trekking
- River Cruise
- Food & Culinary
Exodus has been around for more than 45 years, so you can trust its adventures and tours. The company offers a wide range of itineraries in more than 100 countries.
Exodus Travels has a diverse selection, from trekking adventures to cultural trips and wildlife expeditions.
Exodus Travels is not among the most affordable travel tour providers. Still, you can find more affordable options, including last-minute deals.
Exodus Travels offers a variety of tour packages:
- Guided Small Group Holidays
- Solo Travel Holidays
- Self-guided Holidays
- Premium Adventures
- Short Break Holidays
- Small Ship Expeditions
- Family Adventure Holidays
- Private Group Adventure
Intrepid Travel is another travel company offering great tours, but the prices can vary greatly. The good thing about Intrepid Travel is that it focuses on responsible travel by partnering with organizations promoting sustainability.
Intrepid Travel offers various itineraries, from cycling tours and expeditions to wildlife tours and women's excursions dedicated to female travelers. For budget travel tours, go through their Basix itineraries.
Here are all the travel styles you can choose from:
Basix (budget tours)
Original (classic group adventures)
Comfort (relaxed traveling)
Premium (upgraded adventures)
You can also browse tour packages depending on the travel theme:
- 18 to 29s
- Adventure Cruising
- Food and more
G Adventures is an adventure travel company offering a range of small-group guided tours in many destinations worldwide. The company focuses on unique experiences, sustainability, and responsible travel. On the G Adventures website, you can browse tours by different categories, from classic tours to wellness tours, active tours, and marine tours, to mention a few.
Many travelers praise G Adventures for its affordable prices, so it's a great place to search for budget travel tours. Here are the travel packages you can book on G Adventures:
- Classic Tours
- National Geographic Journeys
- 18-Thirtysomethings Tours
- Wellness Tours
- Active Tours
- Rail Tours
- Marine Tours
- Local Living Tours
- Family Tours
Contiki is a travel company offering budget travel tours to young travelers. With hundreds of trips in more than 50 countries worldwide, Contiki caters to travelers aged between 18 and 35. Its tours are heavy on partying, socializing, and nightlife, so remember this before booking with them.
Contiki might not suit you if you're looking for cultural tours with small groups. But if you're a young solo traveler looking for a mix of overseas adventure travel, nightlife, and sightseeing, then this might be more your style. The company's Europe tours are top-rated, so you know you're getting good quality.
Contiki offers a wide variety of travel packages depending on your preferred travel style:
- African Safari Tours
- Beach Vacations
- Christmas Tours
- Detour Mini Adventures and more
Cosmos Tours is one of the best companies for budget travel tours. The company is known for its excellent organization, knowledgeable guides, and exciting itineraries. Cosmos Tours is also a great option for travelers looking to join multiple-day tours without breaking the bank.
On the Cosmos website, you can browse various travel styles, from undiscovered areas to religious travel and national parks.
Check their Affordable Dreams section for budget tours. Most are around Europe, but you can also find places like India or the Canyonlands.
You can choose between the following tour packages:
- Explore Tours
- Undiscovered Tours
- Small Group Discoveries
- Private Touring
- Go Parks
- Affordable Dreams
Viator is a TripAdvisor company known for offering an endless variety of experiences, from museum tickets to budget travel tours. Although the company is mainly known for day trips and local experiences, it also has multiple-day tours.
The great thing about Viator is that it aggregates a vast pool of activities from different providers. You can even check a box for deals and discounts to filter for special offers and deals in your chosen destination.
Given that Viator aggregates tours and experiences, the available options can range considerably. These include but are not limited to:
- Full-day Tours
- Half-day Tours
- Multi-day Tours
- Photography Tours
- Nature Walks
- Sightseeing Cruises
Similar to Viator, GetYourGuide is a tours and experiences aggregator website. GetYourGuide has such a diverse choice that you'll inevitably find excellent and bad tours, so be sure to research and read reviews before you book with them.
GetYourGuide is particularly good for Europe tours and experiences. Multi-day trips are not affordable, but you can find great day trips and many special offers and deals.
GetYourGuide has a wide variety of tours and experiences you can browse by destination. Once you choose your destination, you can browse by categories, traveler interests, attractions to explore, and type of traveler. The available categories are:
- Entry Tickets
- Guided Tours
- Day Trips
- Water Activities
- Workshops & classes
Plan Your Budget Tour With Pilot!
Now that you have a better idea of how to find budget travel tours, you can start to craft your ideal travel experience for you, your family, and your friends.