Once you have arrived at your destination, having successfully booked and arrived in time for flights, car rental hire and accommodation, you may feel, for a while, like doing nothing but sitting back and relaxing, satisfied with your achievement. However, travelling is more than just kicking back and unwinding for lots of people who look for something a bit different and more exciting. Sure, you can head out and try and find something yourself, but will you find the best pastimes available? Probably not. That’s where activities and tours sites come in useful. Offering thousands of options across hundreds of countries, activities and tours sites are the go to places for finding the ideal pursuit while on your travels, be it hiking in the mountains, jumping out of planes, snowboarding down slopes, finding out about the local history, or learning to dance salsa. Not only do they put all the activities around you in one easy to navigate place, they include more information than you would get from simply talking to the receptionist at the hotel, if they can even understand you.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the top six sites for finding and booking the perfect tours and activities, wherever it is you choose to go. Discover pastimes you never knew existed, find great discounts and deals not offered elsewhere and chat to experts in your native language, all by simply referring to the options on this carefully curated list. Each one was thoroughly assessed to ensure that only the best platforms were selected, with each review containing a brief summary of the service, its highlights, what makes it unique and its potential drawbacks, while the pros and cons of each one are listed in an easy-to-read set of bullet points below each review. There are hundreds of services all promising to offer you the best tours and activities around, however we’ve chosen only the ones that most suitably fit our criteria by considering a number of factors outlined below.
One of the first factors that was considered when reviewing each tours and activities site was its user interface and how easy it was to locate an activity that suits your preferences. A good, user-friendly interface with simple aesthetic is an obvious, yet often underrated, aspect of many websites, and something that can ultimately influence the entire experience for customers trying to find activities. While a website may offer a vast array of options and added features, an overcrowded and confusing homepage can make using even the platform’s most simple function difficult for many users. More often than not, the best sites are those with a simple, minimalistic aesthetic that make no attempt to over complicate the booking process by adding too many extra features, while they also seem to be the ones with the fastest loading speeds. Those that have an abundance of pop-up adverts and promotions can also make searching for an activity or tour a more stressful process than it needs to be. Therefore, we made sure that, when reviewing the various tours and activities sites, we considered the overall aesthetic and how easy it was to find what you were looking for before assessing anything else.
Another equally important feature that was taken into account when reviewing the websites was the presence of search filters and ‘Sort By’ options. Naturally, when it comes to finding the activity or tour, a number of different variables have to be considered, which can be as simple as size of group to more specific preferences, like duration or disabilities. The potential to quickly narrow these parameters down so that they match customers’ specific requirements is, therefore, a useful feature to have included, saving time in scrolling through activities in which you have no intention of partaking. ‘Sort By’ options, meanwhile, work in a similar way to filters, however as the name suggests, they sort the results once users have added the appropriate filters, so that they can view tours and activities in ascending order. For example, if you are on a budget, you may wish to view tours and activities in ascending order based on price, while if you were more concerned with convenience over price, you would opt to sort options by distance from your location.
A significant feature that was assessed was the level of customer service offered by the sites. Included in this was the range of options for actually getting into contact with customer service in the first place, as just one form of contact can feel limited, especially when abroad and making a phone call has the potential to be expensive. The presence of an live online chat was considered a great addition, where customers are quickly put in contact with a travel agent who is on hand to clear up any queries they may have without the need to login to their email or wait in line on the phone. Headout is one site that offers such a feature, with not only 24/7 support, but also the option to quickly get in contact with a ‘live expert’ via their live chat. Adventurelink, meanwhile, includes on its platform a personal travel planner that presents users with a series of multiple choice questions to help them get to the answer they are after more quickly. Once in contact, the level of attention is important, as there is little use in having instant messaging capability without someone quickly responding to your queries on the other end. Each one was therefore tested to see how prompt the agents were at replying and how fast they could get you a suitable answer.
Verified feedback from former customers was also factored in, as this can often be the most accurate and telling form of information about a platform or the individual tours and activities within it. As, unlike the company themselves, customers do not have a vested interest to promote the service as anything other than what it is, they can be a better reference than any other in attaining information on what to expect. On Viator, for example, each activity has a description of what it includes and what to expect, however it is difficult to know what they will be like in reality purely from that, especially as they are biased in the sense that they are selling you their tour. Having verified customer reviews from people who have paid and been on the tour, therefore, is a useful resource to have, and you can be sure that they are not simply friends or associates from rival competitors writing bad reviews to diminish the appeal of the tours on the site. Hence, we strived to look for those websites that included a good selection of verified user reviews when assessing the various platforms as they undoubtedly contribute towards making the service more transparent for customers.
Overall, this list provides the best selection of activities and tours sites from among hundreds, combining all of the above features to single out only the top six. While booking the flights, accommodation and transport between cities may feel like you have everything sorted, finding and booking tours once you are there can be a difficult experience, which means that the help offered by various websites with completing the process can be a great asset. For that reason, we’ve taken into account a number of factors in order to bring you only the top companies for finding and booking tours and activities so that you can quickly and easily discover the best one for you. Finding tours and activities when abroad does not need to be a time consuming or stressful experience, and with this list you have all the information you need in one convenient place.