Private tours — where you enjoy personalised service to help you put together a fully customised itinerary — give you freedom of choice and flexibility of timing, allowing you to fully maximise your vacations.
Yet they are still a relatively new concept to Singaporean holidaymakers, most of whom are more familiar with package tours and free and easy holidays.
There are several reasons for this, the main ones being how package tours are perceived to be more cost-effective (with ready-to-enjoy itineraries featuring major attractions), how free and easy holidays are perceived to be cheaper or how both package tours and free and easy holidays are widely available.
At the same time, there is a general misconception that private tours are high-end luxury tours that only high-net-worth individuals can afford.
On the contrary, this is not the case.
Your holiday, your way
Private tours can cost below $1,000 per person for a China trip and go above $5,000 per person for Europe.
For a travelling party of four inclusive of air tickets on a regional trip, you can expect to pay from $1,900 per person for a 7-day Sri Lanka trip, or from $2,800 per person for an 8-day Korean trip.
Keen on Africa? A 10-day trip to Egypt starts from $3,900 per person while a 9-day getaway to Morocco starts from $4,500 per person.
Fancy travelling to Europe? You and your friends or family can expect to pay from $4,900 per person for a 10-day trip to Croatia or from $5,500 per person for a 10-day trip to Spain.
Ultimately, the cost really depends on your choice of destination(s), travel period, travel party size and travel requirements.
Costs may vary should you require customised conveniences such as good connecting flight timings on full-fledged airlines or centrally located hotels, tailored exclusive or extraordinary experiences such as Michelin-starred restaurant dining, overnight castle stay, behind-the-scene tour and private VIP access to attractions.
That's what makes private tours worth their price: their bespoke nature opens up more travel and lifestyle experiences to you and your family.
You can charter your own vehicle and driver, or hire your own guide conversant in your preferred language. You enjoy maximum flexibility because you can pick your preferred airlines, hotels, and restaurants. More importantly, you set the time and the duration for your activities.
Start the day at a later time, make adjustments to your itinerary on the fly, or call it a night at 5pm if you wish! Expenses can also be kept lower by staying at a lower-rated hotel or by scheduling one or two free-and-easy days at your destination(s) – especially if it's a city with a good transport system.
Either way, you get to travel on your own terms, enjoying quality time with family and friends without having to accommodate other travellers’ needs and wants.
Reimagine the world
According to a spokesperson at Chan Brothers Travel, some of today's most popular destinations include Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China and Australia. These destinations attract repeat travellers every year eager to look beneath the surface and delve deeper into the wealth of scenic, historical, cultural and gourmet treasures on offer.
At the same time, there is also a growing demand for private tours to the Arctic Circle to experience the Northern Lights. More adventurous travellers are also venturing further afield to explore exotic destinations like South America, Africa and the Baltic States.
When is the best time to plan your private tour? As soon as you have a destination and agenda in mind!
Allow for six months' advance notice to travel over peak or popular seasons, such as sakura season in Japan, Aurora Borealis or Midnight Sun season in Nordic countries and Great Migration season in Africa. This is to ensure that you avoid disappointment, like finding out that the hotel you wanted to stay at is fully booked. What's more, you will also chalk up more savings by locking in your choices early.
Left it till late and want to go on a last-minute getaway? No problem, get in touch with one of the personal travel advisers who will be happy to assist.