"Group tours" Personal Observations Tip by Dabs
Personal Observations, Saint Petersburg: 46 reviews and 36 photos
After seeing a steady stream of buses pulling up to every major attractions, it seemed to me that the majority of travelers to Russia still opt for a tour group instead of independent travel.
We opted for a tour for convenience (not enough time to plan) but are normally independent travelers and I found the group tour had lots of frustrating aspects. I would encourage anyone who is a seasoned traveler to try to plan an independent trip instead.
Here's what I feel are the pros and cons:
-meeting nice people
-no hassling with train/plane/bus/hotel reservations
-at least in our case we had an excellent guide (but you can always hire a private one with independent travel)
-bypassing the lines (once again with a good private guide this is also possible)
-Waiting for other members, on our tour someone was late for virtually everything we did
-all those bathroom stops!
-noncentrally located hotels, the tourist class ones tend to be located on the edge of the city
-included meals tend to be what is easy to do for a group (ie buffets, mostly with cold food that should have been hot, stops at food courts and grocery stores)
-often inconvenient flight arrangements
-often not enough time to see the attractions so you can stick to the schedule
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