Are tour operators selling your time? Travel Canada properly. Genuine experiences only.
Updated: Mar 14, 2019
I don’t know about you, but when we hear the word “tour”, the image of a large coach bus showing up at a mini tourist shopping outlet with cheap trinkets that are listed as locally made creeps in. A group of 100+ people going on a little walk. Sounds pretty terrible to us.
We want you to understand WHY this happens. These things are against our ethos, identity and what we believe.
They are selling my time?!
You know those tourist stops with the souvenirs, liquor for sale, and crappy canteen food? Notice how you and almost all of the travellers do not like them? Do you think that those companies don’t know this? They do. The guide doesn’t want to go there either! Then why? Why are you there? Why are you stopping for 60+ minutes instead of a quick bathroom stop (they do sometimes have excellent facilities)? They are getting paid! Your precious travel time is being wasted and diluted at these crappy places because they are making a little money. This is nuts! Your time is being sold.
This also happens with activities and add-on providers. Why do you think there are so many sub-par "recommended" add-ons. The more you spend, the more can be made. Are they choosing only excellent things to do and getting you the best price? Nope.
An accident might happen. Change everything!
Going to more adventurous places, and treating people like adults is scary. What if something happens? It is almost as though one accident or one overly concerned person has prevented people from providing the best experience that they could (and things you would do if you were on your own).
What happens is that you end up not really being allowed to explore on your own, or not being provided with the option for the longer and more adventurous experience, and of course not getting the option to go to more remote destinations! It’s scary.
So long as you aren’t oblivious, you should be able to do your own thing (e.g., have water, supplies, layers, shoes, positive attitude, no significant injuries). You are in charge of and responsible for yourself, aren't you?
Bucket lists, bucket lists!
Why do you think there are all those day trips to Niagara Falls? The bucket list spot is the one that everyone knows about and has to see. They market it, so you sign up – but guess what? There are lots of better ways to spend your time. Yes, some are definitely worth a visit, but there is so much more. Why design a trip solely around this one spot (when many times it is simple and cheaper to do on your own)? Shouldn't you have a broader experience, and not merely visit the places with the hordes?
Bigger buses! Even bigger!
Why do some travel companies use those big buses? More money! They can lower their prices by adding more people and increase margins. The experience is definitely diluted and can become pretty crappy. More people aren't better. Now, these tour companies are focused on popular places, the most prominent attractions and more. Just like everyone else. So you have to lower your prices! That means you need more people! Get a bigger bus. Bigger, bigger, bigger, bigger.
Driver guides do sometimes get a coffee or snack, this is legit.
You know those little coffee shops that you stop at along the road? The drivers sometimes get a free coffee or snack. This is a common courtesy thing that most places do. They know the drivers can choose lots of spots and since they are generally similar, they all provide it. No harm, no foul. They only really want you to have an unbelievable time. However, if there is ever a case of a free drink/snack for a driver or a great spot, the great spot should always win. Your experience should be as out of this world as possible.
Death by a thousand cuts.
Your experience is entirely compromised by behaviours like this. They cut into your meals, your rest stops, your activities, the places you visit, and the overall vibe.
No more we say. No more.
What we do.
Why are we sharing this? So that you understand why this happens. To help you imagine the difference if this wasn’t the case. And to let you know that what we believe drives our philosophy and trip experiences.
This is why we call what we do “adventure road trips” – to try and articulate the difference. While there is structure to our trips, we want you to feel more as if you were on a group road trip (with the added benefit of a local expert setting it all up).
We don’t sell you – or your time.
We won’t cheapen your experience. If there is a bucket list item overrun with tourists, we will only go if is it is really worth the visit.
We will treat you like an adult, so long as you behave like one. If you don’t, we will have a brief chat on the basics, like showering, wearing clothes, having water to drink, and not walking off a cliff.
We will take you to the “harder” places to venture to. Even though getting a flat repaired out there will be a pain, you'll have another great story to add to the long list.
See you on the road.
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