You could hop on a tour bus, but why should you when the world is full of incredible walking tours?
All around the world, on-foot exploration is becoming quite a popular travel trend. Not only does it give you more freedom to explore, it’s also good exercise. Plus, in many cases, self-guided options are even free or cheap.
In either case, whether guided or not, you’ll be able to choose an intensity that suits you best. Not only are there simple, casual walking tours, there are also those that involve more intense hiking.
From short, day trips to multi-day or even multi-week treks, the options vary. Just be sure to bring your most comfortable shoes. We’ll explain what you can expect.
Booking with a Tour Operator
While some walking tours may seem a bit pricey, in many cases they’re worth the expense. That is, of course, if you’re fit enough to enjoy them.
A tour company will not only plan and guide your walks, they’ll also organize your meals and accommodations. Additionally, they will also transport your luggage and are able to assist if you become injured. Plus, you’ll typically have a knowledgeable local guide for the duration of our trip.
Lodging and other accommodations vary widely depending on the type of tour you join. However, group size often tends to remain relatively small.
The least expensive way to take a walking vacation is to travel independently. Instead of signing up for a packaged tour, you’ll have more control over where you go and your expenditures. Typically, this involves selecting a destination and then either planning your own routes or booking short, individual tours.
You’ll likely find guided walking opportunities and city tours available just about anywhere you go. If you plan to go hiking, especially in rural areas, we suggest hiring a guide or joining a small tour.
Types of Walking Tours
The best tour(s) for you will depend entirely on your interests as well as your fitness level. Some walking tours involve strolling around at an average pace with numerous breaks. Others may be more challenging, like hiking in the mountains.
The more casual, easy tours tend to offer a mix of sightseeing or other activities in addition to walking. This means you won’t constantly be on your feet unless you want to be. Culinary tours are quite a popular option in this regard.
More intense trips tend to involve longer jaunts and/or other physical activities. These may also be described as “trekking” as opposed to walking.
Additionally, many tour companies offer trips for different types of adventurers and travelers. In some cases, it may be a good idea to seek out a senior-specific trip. Alternatively, there are tours and trips that focus on specific interests.
Prepping for Your Trip
Regardless of your approach, you’ll want to be well prepared. This means ensuring you’re in good shape and can handle the walking. It also means having a good pair of broken-in shoes you know will serve you well. Keep in mind, you may also be carrying a day pack for much of your trip.
Not only should you consider purchasing travel insurance, you may also want to talk to your doctor beforehand as well.
As for what to pack, it will depend on your destination and itinerary. However, in addition to good shoes, we also suggest having a quality pair of waterproof socks. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, sunglasses, and your camera. A walking stick is also quite handy, especially when traversing uneven terrain.
Have you been on a walking tour before? Have tips or suggestions for our readers? Share your experience in the comments below!