Subject: Re: Tours vs Non-Tours
I know that we've had this discussion before, but I have one thing that I want to add. I would never (well, I say never, but who knows) take a tour per say. BUT, three years ago when I wanted to go to Belize but couldn't find anyone who wanted to go with me, I found out that the Sheed Aquarium here in Chicago was doing a tour down there. The price was a little high (around $3K or so), and I was going to spend the $1,500 extra for the single supplement, but boy was it fun.

There were 6 of us on the tour, plus the Director of Mammals from the aquarium, 1 guide, 1 guide in training and a driver. 10 people in total, with 3 of them Belizean. We had a big blue van that we traveled in every day, and pretty much a set itinerary, except that with such a small group, we were very flexible. We spent a week and a half traveling through the country and seeing a good number of spots. All the food was included, and all of it was superb.

Could I have done it all on my own - sure. Would I have had such a good time - probably not. It was 2 married couples, a 73 year old nun, and myself (at that time) a 33 year old single female. We all got along great, laughed, shared stories, and totally enjoyed each others company. All of us had our own rooms, so there wasn't too much togetherness, and in the end we became friends. The one married couple that was closest to my age, and I still get together every couple of months or so and have dinner/drinks/playing, etc.

So I guess my point is... No I don't particularly like tours, but with the right group, they can be a lot of fun. Try to think of it as an extended GTG. You're hooking up with people you've never met before but with whom you have a strong shared interest, and who knows, you might make a friend or two.

Just an opinion,

Cat in Chicago