escourted Tours

Does anyone know where the costs of escourted are divided up approximately. Such as on $250 per day what % is hotel, meals, entrances, tour guide, transportation etc.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10881 posts

Not sure what you are asking or why? That would be almost,impossible to determine because tours vary greatly.

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
471 posts

But you are still going to have a hard time trying to ferret out that information as related for instance, to wages for guides. Rick pays his guides and drivers a salary so they are not dependent on tips and in fact will not take tips. The guides have some sort of budget for the tour and are able to provide extras here and there (for instance, our guide gave us extra Metro tickets in Rome, paid for wine a couple of nights and footed the bill for bicycle rental in Lucca.) There are other tour companies where the guides do depend on tips and I am given to understand tour members are told how much to tip per day. I have not personally been on one of those tours since the early 1970's though whereas I have recently been on a RS tour. It seems like it would be difficult to compare different elements from different tour companies without a lot of research.

Posted by David
Costa Mesa
347 posts

I agree Pam. Trying to get some idea. Yeah I know it is not an east answer.

Posted by June
Edmonton, Alberta
250 posts

I would agree with others that it is difficult to figure out what your $$/day get you. On the RS tours, there were always extras included that were not on the website's description of the tour. For instance, on free days, in some instances, the guide either took us to a specific sightseeing location via train or bus, and gave us information about the return or one guide accompanied us for the whole free day. On the website, the day was "free" or "on your own". The RS guides did so much to plan our departure, for instance, ordering taxi's for everyone (grouped by their departure time), or looked up train connections for those continuing on, that was a definate extra that was well worth it on the last day of the tour. I myself did not do the calculations on my tours regarding the hotel or meal costs that were included on the RS tours. SInce I have done 4 tours, I feel I definately got my money's worth. Have a great trip.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8755 posts

I'm sorry, David, but this is a really vague question. What's your objective? Which part are you trying to isolate? Surely any percentages would completely depend on who is the guide, how many in the group, where the group is going, the costs of rooms where the tour is going (for example London is likely to be a bit more expensive than Skopje), the relative costs of food, and many other variables. Could you narrow your question so that it is answerable by people here? Or if you are comparing different providers perhaps if you contacted them and them directly?

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11274 posts

Well, my on-the-ground expenses in Europe average $100/day for accommodations, meals, transportation, entrances, misc, so I would say for a $250/day tour, 40% for those expenses, 60% profit.

Posted by David
Costa Mesa
347 posts

That is what I am kind of looking for. I understand a tour company has to make a profit and pay employees. Just trying to find out about how much that approx runs. I know there are no hard numbers - looking for approxmations

Posted by David
Costa Mesa
347 posts

Thanks June. I usually plan my own trips and do pretty well with it. Trying to figure if it is worth the extra cost to have an escourted tour and where those costs come in for the tour.

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
471 posts

I thought that might be what was on your mind. What is not calculable are the items June listed along with other things...such as efficient time usage and knowledge of specifics. I read somewhere (ok, it was probably hype on this site, but after having taken a tour I agree with it) that on a tour you can see up to 30% more since you are moved from place to place in the most efficient manner. Guide knowledge is also something you can't put a price on. I believe many of the guides we had from the RS guide to the specialty guides had PhDs in their subjects of interest. My nephew (age 20)has an interest in the Medici family. Whenever we were with a specialty guide, (ie Uffizi) I would look around and our RS guide would have my nephew by the arm towing him off to see something specifically related to the Medici. Her interest in his special interest impressed me. Yes, I guess we could have found that in a guide book, but to me that kind of service is priceless. I am sure you can go to the same places independently as a tour does but for less money. Only you can evaluate whether the experience will be the same. I am not sure you can get an accurate cost analysis to help you with the experience part.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

I just returned from my 11th RS tour. My wife and I gave up trying to pencil out all the individual costs a long time ago. We have enjoyed all of our RS tours, the guides, fellow tour members, drivers, lodging, transportation, not standing in lines, meals, and lack of having to do the planning ourselves. While RS tour costs may seem high, there are enough folks who take his tours every year that reinforces our belief the we are getting our monies worth and then some. Happy travels.

Posted by Grier
Carmel, IN
1056 posts

With all due respect, I think Lee's $100 per day would be difficult to match for most people, especially if you're visiting cities. $100 per day may be possible for small town Germany and a very experienced traveler but not for a less experienced tourist visiting cities.

Posted by David
Costa Mesa
347 posts

I agree too. $100 per day can be accomplished but I prefer morle and allow $175-180 approx. With escourted at $280 apprx without all meals just wondeing if worth it. Since the $180 included guided tours also

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
968 posts

@Grier - "I think Lee's $100 per day would be difficult to match for most people". I think you are absolutely right. I've not taken a RS tour but I have taken several escorted tours and I can tell you they usually put you up in 3 or 4 star hotels. They may not be as centrally located as an independent traveler would choose but they are definitely pricier than what I use when traveling on my own. Also tours usually include some (or even most) of your meals and while they may not be the dining experience of a lifetime, they are part of the daily cost when you are looking at a tour vs on-your-own. In addition, the private guides used on most included city/site tours are not something you usually pay for when traveling independently - if you do it ups your per/day cost too. When looking at the per/day cost of a tour you may observe that there's a high profit for the tour company but you also have to consider the 'cost' of the convenience they provide that you don't have when traveling independently. I have pretty much given up escorted tours in favor of traveling independently these days. I just can't seem to give up the freedom and spontaneity I have when traveling on my own - and the cheaper price tag. But when I took them they were a good choice and the per/day cost was worth it.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

If Lee's claiming a hundred bucks a day, he's padding some fancy women in there somewhere and not fessing up to it. Ninety-three to ninety-five is plenty for most regular people.

Posted by Rosalyn
Berkeley
1007 posts

Part of the difficulty in answering your question is the intangible pros and cons; e.g., how much you like the group experience and convenience vs. how much you dislike the regimentation. We looked at some escorted tours for our upcoming trip, and found the costs for a couple ($550/day for Road Scholars' Dalmatian Coast, for example) to be not worth the negatives for us. For a single traveler, a tour might actually be more cost-effective. It's also true that prices vary by country and season. Lots of companies offer discounts for very early or last minute booking. Then there's the question of what's included or is extra. $100/day for everything seems low to me, but are we talking about Norway or Roumania? If you travel independently, you can economize where and when you wish. You have the choice of a hostel or a 4 star hotel, picnic from a supermarket or Michelin-recommended restaurant.

Posted by George
Canada
822 posts

Just back from an independent holiday - 21 day/20 night. My in-Europe costs i.e. excluding return airfare from Canada, worked out to $260/day

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11274 posts

"If Lee's claiming a hundred bucks a day, he's padding some fancy women in there somewhere and not fessing up to it." Ed, please, give me your address book. Fancy women for $7/day? LOL. Seriously, though. I spend about 15% of my time in large cities, where I spend more on accommodations but less on travel. I find smaller places more difficult to find, but more rewarding and less expensive. If you are spending all of your time in big cities, maybe you should reevaluate your priorities. And, note, my normal trip, historically approx $100/day, is single occupancy. I'm currently planning a 21 day trip to Germany with my SO. So far it looks like about $86/person-day based on two of us. Rooms for two are less per person, and Länder tickets are less per person. Ironically, the most expensive days for accommodations will be in a small SPA town. Next most expensive days will be in Munich and two small towns. Least expensive accommodations will be in a FeWo in the Allgäu. Next least expensive is a small town near Füssen. I will visit Füssen for a day, but then go on to spend the night in a far less expensive town on my way to the next day's sites. With a few simple adjustments, you can cut costs significantly without compromising the trip.