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Guided vs. Self Guided

By Bob Williams, Beer & Bike Tours

We get asked all the time if we offer self guided tours. The answer is not a simple yes. We do offer them but honestly we prefer the guided option because we are able to help you craft a more complete adventure. Here is a list of some of the differences between the too.

Before starting the business I was a solid self-guided adventurer, and had a blast. As I travel more and more I find I seek out the expert advice of locals and local tour companies, I do not want to miss anything.

Self guided adventures are great! Some of the benefits of self guided adventure is the freedom to change and adapt your plans to the conditions and the environment. If you are loving a particular place you can stay longer and soak it all in. They are often times more at your pace, sometimes this is good and others not so much depending on you. Self guided tours cover the full range of amenities. You can plan and go it all alone or you could have a company plan the route, book the lodging and shuttle your bags. Some even offer sag support for your adventure, although this is crossing the line into a fully supported tour.

Guided tours generally start at a semi guided level with cue sheets and chalk marks and range all the way to on the road guides support and pampering. In my opinion guided tours should include a GUIDE. The amount of support from the guide will vary from company to company and based on the size of the groups. Larger companies often have a higher guide to group ratio than smaller, often 2 guides for 20+ people. Our common ratio is 1 guide for every 6 people. This allows us to really cater the trip to you. Just because a trip is guided does not mean that things are set in stone. We have had many a guest take side trips and wander. The thing to remember is that no matter what you choose it is YOUR vacation.

I think the best way to decide what trip and company is right for you is to call and ask some questions. We are hear to answer what we can and will gladly refer you to an expert if we do not know the answer. Our trips are generally guided but we do offer self guided services on all of our standard routes and love to make custom trips.

Oh and never plan a vacation without a beer in hand, Katy usually plans with a Rum and Coke but I prefer the beer.

If I had to pick which to do I would pick YES! Either way you are going to have a blast. I would love to have you along with us on either type.


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