Family Tours - Guided vs Self Guided

By Kirsten McDonald, Family Travel & Tours

Tours are a great option for families, as it eliminates the need for hours of pre-holiday planning as the itinerary is already planned for you. The daily activities are organised so you will never hear ‘I’m bored’ while on holidays and you can relax in the knowledge that the tour leader has everything organised for you, and you can avoid those pesky holiday fights over directions!

Tours can also be very cost effective for families; accommodation, day tours, transfers, transport and guides are all cheaper when booked as a group than as individual travellers. Groups often have access to special deals, passes and skip the line options. Your guide can offer insider knowledge of your location giving your family a true cultural and educational experience.

Family tours can be chosen to offer your family activities you will all enjoy together. We know that keeping the kids entertained and involved during your holiday is sometime the biggest challenge, so choose tours that offer multiple activities they will love.

Tours should also recognise the importance of free time for a family; tours often include Free Days and can give options if they include Lunch or Dinner. This allow your family to choose how you would like to spend your day without extra time constraints. If the kids need a night in with pizza and a movie – you can do that.


  • Guided tours are great for families who do not what to worry about planning and organising while on holidays
  • Happy for someone else to organise your itinerary for you
  • Must-see highlights are usually included
  • Your guide will offer local insight and information to give a true cultural and educational experience
  • No need to follow maps and directions, the driver knows where to go
  • Your schedule is organised taking the worry out of what to do each day
  • Accommodation and activities are booked for you
  • Guides can recommend restaurants or activities that only the locals would know about.


  • Great for families that prefer to travel by themselves rather than a group
  • Itinerary is organised for you so no long hours spent pre-planning your holiday
  • Accommodation and some activities are pre-booked for your selected dates
  • Most leave on any day of the year, so you can holiday when you are free
  • Must see highlights are recommend at each stop, however you can choose which you would like to see and how much extra you would like to spend
  • Other than the accommodation booked each night, there are no time restraints; you can choose to leave early or later to spend extra time in the town of your choice
  • Car hire is usually not included, this allow the option of using your own car or hiring the car to suit your family needs
  • Easy to extend the holiday or travel onto other destinations
  • Very flexible, option to detour during the day to visit sites not offered on some tours
  • Breakfast usually included, Lunch and Dinner left up to your discretion and timetable

With this in mind, you'll never have to hear ‘I’m bored’ while on holidays, and you can have a relaxing holiday the whole family will love!

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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