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Independent backpacking in Iran

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Hi there,

1) This is a question for those who have travelled without a tour groups or in their own car--are bus and train tickets easy to come by a day before departure? Anything that I should book in advance?

2) Any regrets with independent traveling? More in terms of less easy access to some great destinations.

3) My itinerary will closely mimic that of G Adventures' 14-day tour but with an extra day or two to spare. I.e. Tehran -> Yazd -> Kerman -> Shiraz/Persepolis -> Abyaneh -> Isfahan -> Tehran. Any suggestions in terms of alterations to this? Main interests are culture, architecture and history.

4) Also, if anyone has been on the G Adventures tour, what is your take on it? I've never traveled in a tour group before, and the price seems to be triple that of what I can do by myself. My other reservation is that I would continue to experience the country largely through the eyes of fellow Westerners when traveling in the group...?

5) For those who have been recently, with all the talk about sanctions being lifted etc, are credit cards still a no go for every day travel things e.g. tickets, accommodation?

Thank you!

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