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10 Tour Companies That Offer Great Extras

Tours with Extras
(Photo: G Adventures)
SmarterTravel

“So you’re going to go here,” he said, circling on the map a small monastery tucked into a sleepy neighborhood in Venice, “and knock on the door. They don’t usually get visitors, but they’ll be happy to let you in. Walk to the back and you’ll find an incredible garden along the water.” I shook my head in amazement. In five minutes, Igor, my Local Guide—a standard feature on Monograms trips—had turned a common tourist map into a trove of unique and wildly off-the-beaten-path treasures in one of the world’s most explored cities. He had helped me find my very own Venice.

This experience got me thinking about how sometimes, it’s not where you go, it’s whom you go with. There are dozens of reasons to opt for a package or a tour rather than totally independent travel—among them access to places you can’t get to on your own, simplified planning, and the chance to join a group of like-minded travelers. But with hundreds of providers to choose from, it helps to know which companies are setting themselves apart with service-boosting extras and cool chances for personalized experiences.

From local experts to airport pickup in a private car, here are 10 great offerings from companies delivering services above and beyond what you’d expect from a tour operator or vacation packager.

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