Tours for Villagers
Cruises are one way to see the world and tours are the other. Touring comes in many different flavors - escorted, private, and self drive.
Escorted Tours - have traditionally gotten a bad name - constantly moving (the "if it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium" syndrome), regimented, and lots of time on buses. The truth is 90% of the people who try them, love them. The people you meet become your good friends. Your guide makes the trip come to life with stories. The bus driver gets you where you are going with no parking hassles. The new trend in touring is "hub and spoke" - stay in one spot for two or three nights and tour in a different direction each day - which reduces the packing and unpacking problem.
Private Tours - have become very popular in Eastern Europe and the Orient where they often compete pricewise with larger group tours. They often include both a driver and a guide. The driver drops you off at an attraction and the guide gives you a tour. You miss the camaraderie of the group but the schedule is yours.
Self Drive - adds the adventure (or not) of finding your own way. Sometimes the memories created this way are more valuable than all the rest. There are tour companies that are in business to make the self drive adventure as comfortable as possible.
Just as the most common objection to cruising is the fear of getting seasick, people contemplating a tour are often struck with the "if its Tuesday, it must be Belgium" syndrome. An escorted tour is too regimented and constantly packing and unpacking. In actual practice, while there is an element of regimentation, 90% of the people who go become so comfortable with the group and the enjoyment they get from the group interaction that the packing and moving becomes a minor concern.
Touring as a group
Just as with cruises, we have great opportunities to go on a tour with friends and neighbors here in the Villages. Arranging a tour for a group is just as easy as setting up a group cruise. Touring with a group of strangers is often touted as a great experience - how much greater can it be if the group are your friends and neighbors.