I’m a big fan of independent travel, but there are times when group travel makes sense. The main benefits of group tours are:

  • You don’t have to plan your itinerary, make hotel reservations, book individual tours and guides, etc.
  • There is extra safety in being with a group.
  • You gain instant travel companions.
  • The ability to visit sites that would be difficult/time consuming to access on your own.
  • You can see a lot in very little time, which is convenient if your vacation time is limited.

If you decide to go with a tour, the next step is to find the best group tour for what you want to do.

So, what is TourRadar?

TourRadar is to group tours what Kayak or SkyScanner is to flights. In their own words, they’re the world’s most trusted online marketplace for multi-day tours, offering more than 1 million departures in over 200 countries.

What do you do when you’re looking to book group travel? Do you scour the websites of several of your favourite tour operators, scanning through long lists of offerings, switching back and forth between different browser windows or tabs while you try to figure out the best deal, itinerary, and dates? That’s pretty much what I used to do. But now you don’t need to; you can do everything in one place.

On the TourRadar platform, a series of filters lets you quickly narrow down your choices among the best tour companies. (They offer tours from 600+ carefully screened operators.) You can then sort the results according to different criteria.

You can also read travellers’ reviews on many of the tours, as well as all the details (availability, highlights, itineraries, etc.) to help you decide on the best tour for you. If you have any questions, you can fill out a short web form, and they promise to answer you within two hours, 24/7!

Last but not least, TourRadar has a best price guarantee and does not charge booking fees, hidden credit card fees, change fees or cancellation fees. That’s right, they offer the tours for cheaper than the tour operators themselves!



How to use TourRadar’s features to find the best tour for you

The TourRadar interface is very easy to use. Here’s how it works.

On the TourRadar’s homepage, enter your destination and (optionally) the month when you want to travel. The destination doesn’t have to be a country; it can be a city, region, or even an entire continent.

The search returns all tours that include that destination in their itineraries. This sometimes means hundreds of results. To narrow things down further, use the filters on the left-hand side of the search result page.

You can choose one or more departure months (or even a date range), a duration range, age ranges, travel styles, budget (total price), price per day, must-see cities, start & end cities, and tour operators. Be careful with the Regions filter though. I suspect that most tours do not specify that criterion, so filtering by region may eliminate some perfectly valid tours.

You can make more than one choice per category by clicking on all those that apply, for example Travel Styles of both “In-depth Cultural” and “Hiking & Trekking”. (Note: Making several selections within one category is the equivalent of an “or” not an “and”.)

TourRadar interface: how to choose a tour (best group tour)

Click on the image to see this particular example on a live page

The top of the left sidebar shows all the filters you have applied. Click on the X to remove a filter. The search result list updates automatically. You can also sort the results in different ways using the Sort by menu in the upper right corner. Choices include Popularity, Reviews, Biggest Deals, Price, and Duration.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to a reasonable number, click the blue “View More” button on individual tours to see all the details. If you want a PDF copy, click “Download Brochure” (although you’ll be required to enter your email address).

This page displays all the information about the tour, including a detailed itinerary, what’s included in the price, traveller reviews, availability, and the question box. You can also start a live chat with an agent.  (I tried it and someone answered my question immediately.)

If you don’t have a particular destination in mind, get ideas by using the Travel Styles or Deals menu at the top of every page to find trips that fit a certain travel style, or to see the current deals.


How to book a tour on TourRadar

Once you’ve decided on a tour, booking couldn’t be simpler. Next to each departure, in the Availability section, click the “Instant Book” or “Book Now” button. This will hold your spot for 10 minutes while you fill out the form and pay (by credit card or through Paypal). This is also where you can select the type of room you want: single, double, triple, or shared with another traveller of the same gender (offered by some companies to solo travellers who want to avoid the single supplement).

“Instant Book” instantly confirms your booking. “Book Now” leaves the booking as pending until availability for the requested departure date has been confirmed with the tour company, which normally happens within 24 hours. After full payment is made, you’ll even receive a $50 in travel credits to apply to a future TourRadar booking!

If you’re not ready to book just yet, you can also create wish lists and add trips to them by clicking the heart icon in the top right corner of their images. You will need an account on TourRadar to use this feature, but the system will prompt you to create one as soon as you click a heart.

That’s all there is to it. Judging from the TourRadar reviews, their customer service is great too. And they often have sales! Why don’t you go try it out now? 🙂


Full disclosure: I’m an affiliate for TourRadar, which means that I earn a commission when you make a booking on their site through one of my links (at no extra cost to you). I only become an affiliate for a company if it’s a business I would recommend anyway, and either already use or wouldn’t hesitate to use.

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