Not all tours are made the same, just like most things in life. So, we chose what works for us based on our own personal needs and lifestyle. Obviously this will work the same way when choosing a tour to book for yourself but it in terms of a private vs a semi private tour, it isn’t always so clear which is the best option.
A private tour, is what you’d most likely assume. It’s you, your family or whoever you choose to bring along with you and your designated guide. Typically this is the most expensive of tour options to purchase but if you’re quick to think you wouldn’t want to waste your money. Let me make the case for why you should choose private.
You’re guaranteed to be going with a small group, which means you can easily hear your guide when you’re walking with them and you can ask questions that you may not have the time to do if you’re in a larger group.
You know who will be apart of your group so you won’t have to worry about that annoying family standing next to you who is talking throughout the whole tour, so you can’t hear a damn thing!
Also, since you know who’s a part of your group, you’ll automatically be at ease and feel more free to joke around and make friends with your guide.
Extra attention. When the tour is you and only you, there’s no need to worry if you’re running a little late (although we still encourage you to be on time) and missing out on your tour. You also can be sure that if you’re having trouble finding your meeting point, your guides will be doing their part to make sure you can locate them so you can get started. Something, a guide with a large group just wouldn’t be able to do.
All in all, you get what you pay for. So if you like being able to take your time, really interact with your guide and savor the extra attention you’ll receive from them, as well as hang with just the people you know and love a private tour is well worth the extra cash.
On the other hand, the Semi-Private is the more economical choice for some and typically the option most tourists will go for. While, a semi-private tour is an excellent option (and we’ll share some reasons why) we still believe that the Private tour can be the superior choice in many ways.
Unlike the private options, in a semi-private tour you will be accompanied by some people you don’t know. While this can be a really exciting reason to take a tour, the additional group members can make it harder to hear the guide. Meaning you’ll need to use an audio aid, which isn’t always the best quality.
Larger groups also means less time to both walk through an area, and most likely ZERO opportunity to ask questions to your guide. While you’ll still be getting more information than you’d get walking alone, this can make it feel as if you’re not really retaining much along the way.
Less time for photos! This is a separate issue because although you can still take the time to grab a quick snap shot, you won’t be able to linger and really capture cool moments with your friends and family if you don’t want to risk losing your group. Besides, there’s nothing cooler than being able to bring home beautiful photos of you and family on vacation. Not only the ones with your wife’s finger in the photo. I think all the professional & hobbyist photographers can agree.
Group chemistry is really important. If you’re guide is not really equipped to manage and play to a crowd then it can take away from some of the experience. Now, some guides absolutely kill at bringing a group together and making everyone feel like their a family, even for just one hour. So, if you’re guide isn’t able to make this magic happen, we’d say it’s a bit of a missed opportunity.
The larger groups on a whole can be somewhat of a letdown, if you don’t have an incredible guide who’s really attentive. It take a special talent to really be able to make a tour something more than a mundane experience, which is much easier to do when walking with a smaller private group. However, you’re far more likely to avoid the disappointment if you take the chance and try private.
Overall, a private tour just grants you the opportunity to relax, have fun, and be taken care of and who doesn’t want that? It may be considered luxury travel for some but I think we all deserve a chance live in luxury, even if it’s only for a few hours. You can’t regret it.
In the end, we just want you to get out there and see the world. Take a tour, talk to your guides and actually learn something about the city your in.