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    Have any of you guys been on a tour with STA Travel? I'm thinking of booking one since I'm not very well travelled, and they show you the sites and essentially allow you to touch base quite comfortably; I'm worried, though, that you wouldn't get much chance to explore on your own... What to do! Advice needed, please.
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    I've never been on one, but why don't you go in store and ask them?
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    Because they've got a bit of a vested interest...
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    I've done one of their tours in South America - 'Reverse Southern Cross' - it was great! The only thing I'd say is that yes, you don't always have enough time at the different places, and since my BF and I had been travelling by ourselves for seven and a half months before that, it definitely came as a contrast. There are days where you basically have the day to yourself, though, which is good. Neither of us speak Spanish or Portuguese so it was a relief to have someone who could speak both fluently around!
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    (Original post by FormerlyHistoryStudent)
    since my BF and I had been travelling by ourselves for seven and a half months before that, it definitely came as a contrast.
    I second that. Me & my mate travelled round India & Nepal for 2 months on our own, spending days at a time completely aimless, pottering around the area admiring the scenery, with alot of time sitting around eating, smoking, playing chess etc; was bliss.

    Then we went for 5 weeks on a tour around SE Asia (Indochina Encompassed think it was called). And yeh the STA tours are structured to quite a constrained timeline. If the aim is to get up and leave at half 7 to get the bus, that's it, NOT A MINUTE LATER!!! haha. So it's quite fast paced, and you never have time to really relax, which kinda opposes one of the greatest benefits of travelling; relaxing, sitting back and enjoying yourself. Also, as a business enterprise, you have to fork out quite abit more to what you could organise perfectly well on your own (especially around Asia where it's easy to travel).

    For instance, 8 weeks in Nepal&India cost around £900 and that was carelessly spending money.

    While SE Asia does cost around 30% more than India/Nepal, we paid about £975 to begin with, then u pay a local payment (about £600 for us), then there's extra activities you have to pay for & food. Anyway I worked out it cost about £2300 altogether. Some nights I had no money left, which was ****!!!

    Having travelled around on our own for a while, going on a tour didn't really feel like travelling. Everything is done for you, and you basically remain pretty oblivious about where your going or what you're doing. I found because of that, we never really felt the need to plan, and we didn't read into all the places we were going to, whereas in India/Nepal it was quite abit of planning, finding out where to go, learning about everything, and that I felt was in many ways much more satisfying. Also all the headaches that you have to go through just make you more competent in the end.

    But still, the STA tours are definitely worth going on. Travelling in a larger group was pretty cool, would be good if you were travelling on your own. You do get really tight with your group aswell if it's a long journey, made some great friends on mine. But down to the overall feel, I find travelling Independently much more satisfying, being able to choose exactly where you want to go is nice, and being able to turn up somewhere and, in finding you like it, just having the freedom to crash there for a week or so is great. But as far as the tour goes, STA are really competitive so you will get good prices, but! just imagine how much further your money would go by travelling independently, could easily add on an extra few months if you had the time
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    Thanks for the advice guys! I was looking to take a couple of trips on my own, so as you say it might be worth going on tour with them for the company. But by and large, it sounds like it'll probably be better to travel independently, since I'm on a budget anyway and would appreciate the freedom!
 
 
 
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