Have you ever thought of going on a group tour?

Itching to go away but can’t find anyone with the time or money to go with you? Have you considered going on a group tour?

There are many tour companies offering you the chance to see the world!

Group tours China

China

Group tours Thailand

Thailand

Group tours Africa

Africa

Group tours Cambodia

Cambodia


Group tours are a great way to see a country or a region if you are short on time. You will definitely cover a lot of ground and see many things in the time given. One of the great benefits of group tours is that you don’t need to worry about how you will travel from one place to the next and finding accommodation as this is all arranged for you.

You will also have the chance to meet people from a range of countries, backgrounds and ages, all with a similar passion for travel. Group sizes tend to vary from tour to tour and company to company. Some companies will let you know how many people are on the tour, if requested. Some tours only run if a minimum number is reached so make sure the tour is guaranteed or you have a back up plan before booking your flights.


Group tours USA

Camping in Monument Valley, USA

Accommodation can vary with tours, tour companies and countries. You could be sleeping in a tent amongst the African wildlife or in a swag in Australia’s Red Centre, on a sleeper train through Thailand or in a monastery in China, on a boat in Halong Bay Vietnam or in a motel in Las Vegas, in an eco-lodge in Costa Rica or a hotel just minutes away from Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

One of the greatest benefits for solo travellers is there aren’t any single supplements as you will probably be sharing a room with someone else on the tour. If this doesn’t appeal to you then quite often there is the option to pay extra to have your own room.


Overland truck

Tuk Tuk

Modes of travel also vary. Overland tours, quite often in Africa and South America, provide a large vehicle which stays with you throughout the tour and will carry your camping equipment, food, etc.

Other tours will hire vehicles or use public transport – whether it’s a plane, bus, mini bus, train, taxi, boat or tuk tuk.


Preparing lunch in Africa

Meals depend on the type of tour you’re on. If you’re camping you and your fellow camp mates will probably cook most nights. Rotas are drawn up in which people take turns to cook in teams (other duties include washing up and cleaning the truck), unless there is a chef as part of the crew.

If you’re staying in hotels you will be eating in restaurants etc giving you the chance to experience the local cuisine, whether it’s Argentinian steak, phad thai in Thailand, guinea pig in Peru, kangaroo in Australia, sea food in Vietnam or Moroccan tagine.


Group tours Patagonia

Glacier hiking, Patagonia

Group tours Costa Rica

White water rafting in Costa Rica

Many tours offer optional activities so you can choose which activities you’d like to experience.

These can include anything from turtle watching to sand boarding, hiking a glacier to going to Universal Studios and kayaking in the mangroves to bungee jumping!

Tours may also include some activities and the levels of fitness required may vary, check the itinerary before booking.


Many tour companies have offers and last minute deals, have a look at their sites and pick the best tour for you 🙂

Here are just a few options to get you started…

G Adventures

G Adventures run over 800 trips across all 7 continents designed for all budgets, all interests and all ages and are led by knowledgeable Chief Experience Officers (CEOs)

G Adventures provides

  • trip pricing (ranging from £300 to £9,000) appealing to a range of travellers
  • up to 25% off last minute departures
  • guaranteed departures
  • socially and environmentally sustainable tours

Search for a tour online, order a brochure or sign up to their e-newsletter.

Current offers:

  • Last minute travel deals
  • Save up to 30% on river cruising
  • Save up to 25% on select expedition tours

Explore

Explore run small group and tailor-made adventure holidays around the world, mostly off the beaten track and always responsibly. With 500 trips available in 120 countries you are spoilt for choice. Run by award winning Explore leaders, adventure travel options include walking and trekking tours, cycling tours, polar voyages, family adventure holidays and much more.

Current offers:

  • Save £100 off 100 summer departures, offer ends 19 June
  • Save up to £200 on selected Explore trips
  • Last minute escapes
  • Save up to 40% off Polar voyages

Tucan Travel

300 small group tours with professional tour leaders on six continents exploring over 70 countries.

Current offers:

  • 30% off Group Tours, offer ends Tuesday 4th July
  • June Madness Sale ~ up to 20% off Worldwide Adventures
  • 10% off selected departures in North America

Intrepid Travel

Small group tours with a local leader offering 1,000 trips in a variety of styles across 100 countries.

Current offers:

  • Feeling spontaneous? Get 20% off Intrepid adventures departing in June, be quick though – the offer ends Saturday 17th June
  • Last minute deals
  • 10% off family holidays
  • Summer sale: up to £200 off Asia
  • Up to 35% off Antarctica

Dragoman

Whether you just have two weeks or four months, Dragoman takes you on overland adventures off the beaten track across Asia, Africa and the Americas on 319 trips in 55 countries.

Current offers: Discounts on selected trips, regularly updated


Tip: Subscribe to Wanderlust magazine and you receive a £50 voucher redeemable with many group tour operators, check the website for details.

Booking your flights couldn’t be easier

 

For other holiday ideas, see our Travel World page

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Coming up in London

There are plenty of events coming up in London in May and June, many of them free 🙂

Make the most of the longer days and warmer weather with the many outdoor events and activities taking place.

Sign up for Walk London and take part in one or more of the free Transport for London walks taking place on 20 to 21 May. Learn about London’s history, modern architecture, the River Thames and even find out about London in the movies!

Ballet and opera are being streamed onto big outdoor screens in the city or a watch live outdoor performance by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Catch highlights from your favourite West End Shows and be prepared to get enticed into watching new ones at West End Live taking place on 24 to 25 June. It’s a free outdoor 2-day event in Trafalgar Square!

coming up in London

coming up in London


May 

June 

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Easter in London

Have an EGGcellent Easter in London!

There is a range of great events and attractions in London this weekend including hunting for Easter Eggs, watching Easter performances, marvelling at the magnificent Tall Ships whilst they float by, seeing dinosaurs and butterflies close up and so much more!

We are so EGGcited 🙂 Here is just a selection of London events and attractions not to be missed this weekend!

butterflies london


Easter Eggs HuntsEaster in London

30 Things to do over Easter in London, up to 72% off!

Travelzoo’s deal experts have rounded up some of the best deals in London to help you make the most of your Easter bank holiday weekend (14-17 April 2017). Offers on indulgent Michelin-starred meals, toe-tapping jazz evenings, sightseeing Thames river cruises, entry to top attractions, relaxing spa days and more, with savings of up to 72%.

Check out our London Attractions and Activities page for discounts and offers on London attractions.

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Space Hop Your Way Into The Record Books

Have you always wanted to be a World Record Holder? Now is your chance! Join thousands of others attempting to space hop their way to breaking the World Record for the most people simultaneously bouncing on space hoppers 🙂

Space hop LondonUnfortunately this event has now been cancelled.

Organisers TickTheBucket and London Flashmob are planning to smash the world record which currently stands at 2,943 people simultaneously bouncing in one place on a space hopper.

Join in the fun! 🙂
The event will be held in London at King’s House Sports Ground, near Barnes Bridge, on Bank Holiday Monday, 29th May 2017 at 2.30pm. Doors open at 12pm.

Tickets are £12 for adults and £10 for children, which includes a space hopper.

Hop over to their website for further details and to book your tickets

space-hopper-challenge.co.uk

If you’d prefer to get involved in other ways, why not gain some interesting work experience through volunteering in one of the marketing, PR, fundraising and event day management opportunities.

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London ~ Top Destination to Visit in 2017

We always knew London was THE place to visit, but don’t just take our word for it.

London top destination

The TripAdvisor Top 10 Destinations of 2017 places London second in the world on the must-visit list, and who can blame them! London is a top destination due to its abundance of culture, history, art, fashion, food and a whole host of events and attractions!

Need more of a reason?

There are plenty of places to stay ranging from hostels to 5-star hotels, traditional to modern and corporate to quirky. It’s so easy to get around on public transport with the London Underground, buses and trains, or go on an adventure and explore on foot or hire a Santander Cycle.

London top destinationBut London is expensive, isn’t it? There are always free things to do in London, many of the museums and galleries have free admission or why not visit one of the many parks in the Capital. Take yourself on a tour of the iconic attractions including Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Big Ben, the River Thames, Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, Leicester Square, Oxford Street…

There are plenty of free events taking place throughout the year and lots of offers to be had on restaurants, theatre, shopping, attractions and activities.

And, if you’re visiting from abroad, then the weak £ means there has never been a better time to visit!

So what are you waiting for?
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Mother’s Day in London

Spending Mother’s Day in London? It’s the perfect place to treat your mum on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day falls on Sunday 26 March this year, but why not make a weekend of it? There are a whole host of things you can do to celebrate this special day…

 

Mamma Mia!

Treat your mum to a West End Show, including:
The Girls
Mamma Mia!
Phantom of the Opera
Wicked
Dream Girls
An American in Paris

 

Sky Garden, London

Sky Garden

Kyoto Garden

Kyoto Garden

Cruise the Thames on Mother's Day

Cruise the Thames

Indulge

 



Special Offers from attractiontix

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It’s Pancake Day!

Today is Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as Pancake Day 🙂

Shrove Tuesday is celebrated by eating pancakes which are a rich, fatty food before the fasting period of Lent begins tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. The date varies each year but it is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy Pancake Day in London!

Events taking place in London:

make pancake

pancakes London

Fancy making your own pancakes?

They are really simple to make.

See how by clicking on this link from BBC Food.

 Traditional pancake fillings include
  • Lemon & sugar
  • Banana & chocolate
  • Golden syrup
But have you tried?
  • Prosecco
  • Jaffa cakes
  • Chocolate chilli

Check out the GoodtoKnow and delicious magazine websites for new ideas.

 

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First time living away from home

For many people moving to London, this will be your first time living away from home.

Here are some tips for surviving…

Shopping
  • If you’re on a budget – go for the supermarket branded items, generally they are cheaper. Also, look for the reduced goods in the refrigerated and bakery aisles.
  • Use a shopping basket, not a trolley, to do your food shopping. That way you know you can carry your food home afterwards (yep, speaking from experience!)
  • Remember to take your shopping bags with you (bags cost 5p each at supermarkets)
Cookingcooking for yourself
  • Living off beans on toast? – check out youtube videos to expand your cooking skills
  • Cooking for yourself can be a lot cheaper than ready meals (and healthier) and doesn’t have to be time consuming
  • To avoid food wastage, freeze any perishable food you don’t want to eat straight away
Food hygiene… try not to poison yourself, or others!
  • Keep your uncooked meat on the bottom shelf in your fridge – your cooked meat must be on a different shelf
  • Don’t wash raw meat (e.g. chicken) before cooking as this risks spreading bacteria around your kitchen
  • Wash the knife, chopping board etc you used to cut raw meat last (have a separate chopping board just for raw meat)
  • Wash your hands, dish cloths, tea towels and worktops regularly
  • For more information, click here
Living with others
  • Make sure you have the phone number of at least one of your
    housemates first time living away from home– you might need to contact them if you lose your keys!
  • Keep communicating with your housemates, things can get difficult if you lose communication – maybe do something social together occasionally (e.g. watch a TV series together, share a meal, go to the pub) to maintain a friendly atmosphere
  • Have a joint agreement for buying toilet rolls, washing up liquid etc – maybe have a kitty for shared items?
  • One of the most common arguments/annoyances in a house share is when people don’t wash up – don’t be one of them 😉
  • Create a calm environment by respecting others – whether it’s their privacy, their belongings, noise levels etc
House things
  • Find out which days your rubbish and recycling are collected (check out your borough council website for free recycling bags)
  • If your bills aren’t included in your rent – when are they due? You may be able to save money if you pay by direct debit
  • Don’t get caught out – you now have to pay for a TV licence if you watch or record live TV programmes on any channel and download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer –  live, catch up or on demand. This applies to TVs, laptops, phones etc.
Missing home?plane 220x191px
On a tight budget
  • Check out www.moneysavingexpert.com – you can find financial advice, discounts and offers, money saving tips, etc
  • Travel in London can be expensive – walk where you can (maybe you can walk to the next travel zone to save money when getting on the tube) or get the bus instead of the tube if it’s possible. Have you heard about the hopper fare? – if you change bus/tram within an hour you only pay for the one journey (the second is free)
  • Make your lunch – buying lunch out everyday gets expensive
  • Check out our things to do pages for discounts and offers – sign up to discount websites



Explore your local area
  • You might find a short cut to the tube station or a bus stop you exploringweren’t aware of nearby
  • Find out the route of your closest night bus
  • There could be a park nearby you didn’t know about, a corner shop closer than you think or a lesser known attraction just moments from your door
  • Have a map with you or an app on your phone so you can find your way back after exploring

Click here for your BuddyLondon Information Pack 

This pack is designed to help you start your exciting new life in London, equipped with information and links to make things easier for you and saves you hours of searching for relevant websites and documents.

It is ideal for adults without children who are considering renting accommodation.

The pack includes: accommodation, work, studying, finance, healthcare, travel in London, leisure, shopping and helpful tips.

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Winter in London

It may be chilly outside but there are plenty of things to keep you entertained this winter in London.

 

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Celebrate Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster, on Sunday 29 January. Watch the parade pass through the streets of the West End and performances on the stage in Trafalgar Square.

Sky Garden 250H

Sunset at the Sky Garden

Spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one in London – watch the sunset from the Sky Garden 155 metres above the city, catch a theatre show in the West End or enjoy a romantic meal at any one of London’s international restaurants.

Visit the vast array of museums across the capital. There is pretty much a museum for anything, ranging from dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum to toys at the V&A Museum of Childhood and buses at the London Transport Museum to the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.

Exhibitions this winter include – the Fourth Plinth shortlist at the National Gallery, Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London at the V&A, Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Natural History Museum and Robots at the Science Museum.

Magical Lantern Festival1

Magical Lantern Festival

Brighten up the dark winter evenings by visiting one of the light festivals taking place this winter in London. These include a free light festival in Canary Wharf, with 30 light installations and interactive art throughout the wharf, and the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House.

You’re never far away from places to eat and drink. Sit back and relax somewhere with a great view, for example, the restaurant on level 6 at the Tate Modern or one of the many pubs and eateries along the River Thames.

 

If you are looking to take yourself off to a warmer climate, a new adventure, or just to dream, there are many travel shows taking place during January and February, including the Destinations Show. Meet tour operators, listen to talks from famous travellers, get inspired.

#LoveLondon

 

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Fun ways to spend Christmas Day on your own in London

Christmas Day on your own in London doesn’t have to be boring or lonely, here are a few ideas for you to have a festive filled day…

Santander CyclesMake sure you have comfy shoes for walking as London transport is not running on Christmas day. Some taxis will be in service or make the most of the quieter roads and hire a Santander Cycle. Golden Tours offer a One Day Hop on Hop off Bus Tour on Christmas Day.

If you’re awake early, make your way to Hyde Park to watch the ‘brave’ swimmers cross the Serpentine in the Peter Pan Cup. The race starts at 9am.

 

St PaulsChurch services will take place across the city, including St Paul’s Cathedral, St Martin-in-the Fields, Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

Most tourist attractions are closed on Christmas Day in London, but believe it or not, Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Piccadilly Circus is open Christmas Day!

 

 

Regent Street Christmas LightsEating out is likely to be expensive and many places that are open will require you to book ahead but Chinatown is a good place to head to as many restaurants will be open.

When it starts to get dark, check out the stunning Christmas lights around the city.

The Odeon is opening a select number of cinemas on Christmas day, these include Covent Garden, Greenwich, Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square and Wimbledon.

 

City Cruises River ThamesIf you don’t want to spend Christmas day on your own in London, why not go on a tour? Some walking tours still run on Christmas day or take a cruise along the river with City Cruises.

Golden Tours offer Christmas Day bus tours in London (some include a Christmas lunch) or you could go on a day tour out of the City to destinations such as Salisbury, Bath, Stonehenge or Oxford.

 

Christmas on your own in LondonCheck out meetup.com for any meet ups taking place on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Or book your Christmas Day at the International Student House for a traditional Christmas dinner, Christmas movie marathon and a walk in Regent’s Park (deadline for bookings 2pm Friday 16 December).

 

Maybe you have thought about helping others at Christmas?
If you would like to volunteer on or around Christmas day, try these websites:

Whatever you do, we Wish You a Very Merry Christmas!!

Happy Christmas 2016

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