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A Domestic Group Tour...But Why?

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Trust me, I thought the same thing before I signed up for a small group tour to Utah. At that point, I'd done a bunch of international tours and understood why they made sense for me. I was traveling to foreign countries where I didn't know the language and may not feel comfortable driving somewhere foreign so, by joining a tour, it provided some level of comfort and made it a little less scary than traveling solo.

But why would I want to join a tour in my own country, a place where those things aren’t an issue?

It was May 2021 and there were still a lot of restrictions around travel due to the pandemic which made travel challenging, but not impossible. I had planned a trip with a friend to Arizona in March 2021, but unfortunately, I had to cancel which was frustrating for me because I was so ready to travel and see something other than home. I had been lucky enough to travel with a friend to Savannah for a few days in December 2020, but for someone who takes trips a few times a year, I was getting restless.

Due to how travel was changing because of the pandemic, I noticed that tour operators I had used in the past were suddenly adding a bunch of domestic tours and heavily promoting them. There was one that caught my eye which was a tour called Moab Adventure. It was a 5 day trip that started and ended in Salt Lake City, had overnight stays in Moab including a stay at a ranch along the Colorado River, visited Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Deadhorse State Park and involved activities such as hiking, white water rafting and horseback riding. I had never been to Utah and all of this sounded very intriguing to me so I decided to sign up for the tour.

However, even after signing up for the tour, I doubted myself. I’d done these tours so many times, but always internationally and never in my own country that I almost felt like a loser signing up for it. Yes, it’s true that I couldn’t find anyone within my circle to travel with which is typically a reason I do tours, but this was a trip within my own country so couldn’t I easily navigate it on my own?

But something told me to just go on this trip and I’m so glad I did. Here’s why:

1) Yes, I could have easily done it on my own and traveling solo is great, but when you need to do things like rent a car and find lodging, it can be very expensive to do on your own and the costs can quickly add up. On this trip, I lucked out because I had opted to not pay extra for my own room and instead was willing to be paired with a roommate, but the other two girls on my trip had paid for their own rooms so by default I also got my own room at no extra charge. Score!

2) In comparison to the international tours I’d done, it was a smaller group with only four of us, but, nonetheless, it was still a group of like-minded individuals. They were also travelers so it was great to hear their experiences and get inspired by places they’ve been to that I have yet to visit.

3) Similar to all of the other tours I’ve done, we had an awesome tour guide (shout out to Chelsea!) who was with us the entire time and who also served as the driver of our sprinter van. The fact that we had a personal driver ended up being a major benefit of the trip. Visiting National Parks had become the thing to do in the States during the pandemic and their popularity had really exploded. Let’s just say I was not the only one with the brilliant idea of visiting Arches National Park.

The way the park is set up requires lots of driving within the park to see all of the different arches. The problem with this is that it means you’re constantly getting in and out of the car and having to look for parking at each of the different stop off points. But the beauty of having our guide who was also our driver is that she would drop us off in front of the path that would lead to the arch, tell us how long it should take and what we would see and let us know she’d be back to pick us up. This allowed us to make the most efficient use of our time instead of wasting it on finding parking and, as a result, we were able to see so many different sites within Aches NP and make it back to the hotel in time for a nap before our sunset Hummer tour.

4) You’re probably wondering why a nap would be necessary. Well, one of the highlights of the trip is that we did a hike to see the sun rise at the Delicate Arch, which is one of the most recognizable arches and the one found on Utah’s license plate. In order to be there for sunrise, we got picked up at some ungodly hour of around 4 am, but it was all worth it to be one of the first to arrive at the Delicate Arch, take in the site before the crowds arrived and get the most amazing pictures. The odds of me having had that experience if I had gone on my own are slim to none.

I hope this article got you thinking about domestic tours within the US and why one would be a good fit for you! Since taking my tour to Moab, the tour operators have added even more experiences so contact me today so we can explore all the options!


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