I'm a seasoned traveler who's always shunned the canned group-travel experience in favor of wandering on my own. Yet recently, I was talked into a coach tour and discovered that there's actually a good place for it in my stash of ways to see a new place.
You know the feeling: You want to get overseas but don't have the time, knowledge, or inclination to plan (and pay) for every single transfer, hotel, and meal. I'd wanted to explore the northern coast of Spain for some time, but I lacked the resources to put together my dream tour any time soon. I was surprised at how satisfying and easy it was to take a group tour.
Thankfully, tours have changed. The days of being stuck on a coach as the wonders of the world blur by are long gone. Many tour operators understand that travelers—both with empty passports and bulging ones—want most of the major details taken care of with built-in free time to break away from the group. Here are nine tips to turn a guided tour into a more personalized journey.