How About a Separate Forum for Tours?

Jan 5th, 2000, 06:24 PM
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How About a Separate Forum for Tours?

In the year and a half I've been reading and occasionally posting in this forum, I have noticed that people will periodically ask questions about tours or tour companies. These questions do not get nearly the responses that other questions do. I know that there are many in this forum who (I can't think of a more polite term) look down their noses at those of us who like to take guided tours. Yet we are a signficant part of the tourist population. Fodor has a separate forum for cruises; why not one for land tours and tour packages? If you agree that this might be a worthwhile forum, please respond and suggest a way that Fodor's Website could be influenced to have such a forum. Thanks for any input you can give.
Jan 5th, 2000, 06:33 PM
wes fowler
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This forum is frequented almost exclusively by travelers and tourists, not Fodors' employees. Fodors does monitor the forum for obscene postings but I doubt that it reads or digests the comments in most postings. Your suggestion is a valid one; while I am a firm believer in independent travel, I've cringed at some of the responses advocates of tours have gotten. I suggest you express your thoughts directly to Fodors. You can do so by going to and dropping Fodors a note there.
Jan 5th, 2000, 07:14 PM
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Well, if you've been reading the postings on this forum for a year and a half, surely you've noticed two things: 1) Tours are highly recommended for first time visitors and those who do not care to spend the time and effort to research and plan their travels themselves, or deal with the local languages; and 2) In general, the value of any tour package is proportionate to the price. While the seasoned travelers who contribute to this forum do, indeed, enthusiastically encourage everyone to travel independently, and some "not so politely" discourage folks from booking a tour, I would never describe the responses of anyone here as "looking down their noses". There are dozens of travel forums throughout the web. You may want to consider signing onto AOL, where the forums are full of those who have taken or are considering various tours. I think the reason questions regarding tours do not get nearly the responses other questions do is that the "seasoned veterans" who are generous with their expertise have more to offer to the more adventurous folks. I would wonder whether a separate forum would be of any value - if there are few responses here, it's doubtful a separate forum would generate more numerous responses. I would disagree that those wishing to take guided tours are a significant part of the tourist population. Anyone who's traveled anywhere (even stateside) once or twice and is paying attention quickly realizes that travel agents haven't a clue...and don't care. I'm guessing they book where they receive the best commissions. Go ahead and use one. Believe me, the person sitting next to you on the plane will have a ticket purchased for much less than you paid. Others staying in the same hotel will have paid much less. And, you'd find you could have stayed at a much more charming, better located, more comfortable and luxurious place, for much less. If you've really and truly been visiting this forum for a year and a half - you should know better!
Jan 5th, 2000, 08:19 PM
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Bill, relax there buddy, Rudy just made a suggestion. No need to be snippy.
Jan 5th, 2000, 09:22 PM
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Hi Rudy, I totally agree with you.
It is worthwhile to note that many people out there are 'inexperienced' travellers and might need some guides on the tours etc.
Let's hope that your suggestion will be implemented.
Jan 6th, 2000, 05:46 AM
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Bill, anyone who reads your response carefully realises that you have proved my point. I don't particularly care to join AOL. The last I heard, the Fodor's website was open to all and not the particular preserve of "adventurous"
travelers. I am suggesting a way that people like myself will not clutter up a forum of "seasoned veterans" like yourself.

By the way, Bill, my wife and I have spent a total of 12 years living and working in a rather primitive area of Africa, travelling extensively (and independently) in southern Africa and Europe, most of the time with two children. We are now in our sixties, and I have bad knees, and "adventurous" doesn't have the same appeal it used to.

Thanks to the rest of you for your understanding responses.
Jan 6th, 2000, 06:32 AM
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Dear Rudy,

i couldn't agree with you more. As one who enjoys travelling independently and on tours, I have found it extremely difficult to find tour companies which cater to the sophisticated traveller without breaking the bank. I will also contact Fodor's directly and support your suggestion. Perhaps they'll set up some hosted forums on tours, if not a separate forum.

And Bill--the key reason for a separate forum on tours is precisely the one you stated in your kinda snide comments about travel agents--they often don't have a clue about the kinds of tours I'm interested in, while I know Fodorites do!
Jan 6th, 2000, 07:07 AM
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Rudy, I think you made an excellent suggestion! In order to find information on Tours, one must sort through all the various groups and thousands of posts! However helpful it would be to know there is a special forum a traveler could acces for this information. I will also email Fodors with this request.

By the way, this is the second post I have read on here recently where someone referenced people who book tours as being "too lazy" or just not wanting to do their own research. I don't know about others, but I do as much or MORE research on any tours I book as I do for my independent traveling. I don't just throw a dart at the wall and go "blindly into the night" on a tour.

Also, as Rudy mentioned, many of us would love to be physically able to do the independent travel of our younger days when we could hop on and off all those trains and find our own way to our hotels etc. but we have to live with our limitations and travel the best way we can. Tours can be our chance to still see this beautiful Continent so I am grateful for them!

Thanks again Rudy for an excellent suggestion!
Jan 9th, 2000, 02:04 PM
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I agree with most of the sentiments above apart from Bill who seems to have exactly proved Rudy's point about looking down snooty noses.

I have done many many tours in my life, most with my parents and sister growing up and a few as an adult. We have toured Alaska, America on many trips, South America, Europe etc. We have travelled with the luxury companies such as Kuoni and with ye olde budget Cosmos. All had their very good points, even Cosmos.

And when my family books a tour believe me there is as much research as many independent travellers put into their trips.

I also travel independently a lot, these days this is mostly because I can afford to spend more on what I want, am very fussy about my accomodation and most of all have limited paid leave and want to use each single day exactly as I choose. Most of my trips are less than 5 days duration so tours often dont fit for me.

I do feel it is a shame that so many travellers have such a smug and superior attitude to those who choose tours instead of doing it alone.

Many people do not have the time needed to plan a trip as well as many tour companies do, or simply arent as interested.

My friends enjoy the independent holidays I plan immensely and love all the hotel choices etc, but show them a page of hotels or ask them which towns to visit and they go blank. Everyone isnt into arranging their own holidays, doesnt mean they enjoy good travel any less.

On another note, one of my favourite and most memorable holidays in terms of accomodation of charm and character and the best food ever was with Tauck Tours. Escorted. Fantastic.

Also, there are occasions when being part of a tour gives you access you couldnt get alone.

My sister did a group explore-trekking-camping escorted tour around Mexico. One day they trekked for an few hours from their campsite before sunrise in pitch black, through dense jungle bush to a remote and ancient mexican ruin. They climbed to the top and watched the sun rise surrounded on all sides as far as they could see by unbroken forest. The site was a newly discovered one still being checked out by the archeoligists. The tour company had managed to get special permission from them to bring small groups in to see it way before any but the most dedicated independent traveller will.

I have also chosen tours when I wanted to travel "alone" (without friends and family) but also to have companionship and safety in countries such as Morocco where I would have felt uncomfortable as a female alone.

Lastly, I know quite a few people who enjoy to coko. They cook fabulous gourmet meals and they do everything themselves from scratch and produce heaven on a plate. Never once heard them criticise anyone for choosing to go out to a restaurant instead.

Each to his own.

Rudy hope your tours are fabulous.

Kind Regards

Jan 11th, 2000, 08:02 AM
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Kavey--which Tauck tour impressed you so much? Thanks too for the spirited posting.
Jan 11th, 2000, 11:47 AM
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Hi Carol

It was a New England in the fall journey. Decided that Old England in the fall is just as good butt he tour was fabulous. Let me see, we went the year before I got married (coz I remember the tour guide had us celebrate our Minus 1 Wedding Anniversary) so that would be Sep 1993.

Each hotel was very special, all very luxurious but had something more, a real character and charm, the miles covered seemed just perfect, just the right number of stops, absolutely FIRST class meals all the way and one of the best tour guides I have ever had, wish could remember her name...

I keep meaning to do another one but these days I tend to do more trips but shorter ones focusing on smaller areas at a time...

Dec 14th, 2000, 12:16 PM
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This forum definitely poo-poos tours. I can understand this, I am aware of the downside of tours as outlined by previous posters.

I have read the solo women claiming the blast they have on their own. Personally, I can't see myself checking into a hotel for a single room. Is that so strange?

O.K, already. I've heard from the liberated womanhood. Isn't there anybody here who doesn't care to travel alone and so therefore does a tour?
Dec 14th, 2000, 01:20 PM
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If you scroll down the travel talk home page you will see that there is a special forum for tours. Also, check out the "special interest" forum. Last I check there were tours mentioned there.
Good Luck

Dr. Betty
Dec 16th, 2000, 05:21 PM
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Word to yo motha!
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