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Private versus public tours – what is the difference, and which would be best for your vacation?

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Vacations are a true joy in life. They allow you to unplug, get away, relax, and experience many new and exciting places, people, and food. One popular vacation activity choice is to take a tour. A tour is a short excursion, usually no more than a day in length, where you experience a specific event or place with a knowledgeable guide. A vacation is a longer experience, typically multiple days in length, which includes accommodations, transportation, and much more. Tours are fantastic additions to any vacation, but why are they so popular?

Tours are typically more inclusive than other vacation activity options and can provide your transportation, accommodation, meals, and an itinerary already planned out. They are led by knowledgeable guides that give you the location’s history, culture, customs, insider tips, and other recommendations. Some tours provide access to places that may be difficult or impossible to visit on your own, such as exclusive landmarks, cultural events, or natural attractions. Tours offer a hassle-free and enriching travel experience, with learning, socializing, and exploration opportunities.

When looking to book a tour, you will run into various private and public group tours. What does that mean, and how does it affect your tour? Next to the per-person cost, the main difference between a private and public group tour is the level of exclusivity and customization you can request.

Private Tours

Private tours are typically designed for a single group of people who know one another and book the tour together, such as a family or a group of friends. The specific tour booked is not open to the general public. Private tours can be customized to meet the particular needs and preferences of the group, including the itinerary, pace of the tour, and level of activity. Private tours also offer more exclusivity, as the group has the guide’s undivided attention and does not have to share the experience with strangers. Private tours are often more expensive than public group tours, as the tour cost is divided among fewer people.

Public Tours

On the other hand, public group tours are open to anyone who wishes to join and are often organized by tour companies or travel agencies. Public group tours may offer a fixed itinerary and a predetermined schedule and may not be customizable to individual preferences. Public group tours are often less expensive than private tours, as the cost is divided among a larger number of people. Though, keep in mind that there are plenty of small companies that offer public tours that are a bit customizable and more personal.

Which is better?

They both have their positives and negatives, and it is best to consider your personal preferences and priorities when trying to pick between them. If you value exclusivity and customization more, a private tour may be your best option. If you’re more interested in socializing and meeting new people, a public group tour would be a better fit. Additionally, if you have specific interests or requirements, such as accessibility or dietary restrictions, a private tour may better accommodate those needs than a public tour.

What are your thoughts on tours? Do you prefer private or public ones? Let us know in the comments below!

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