Skydiving over the Swiss Alps, stepping over hot lava in Hawaii, snorkelling under the sea in Kona. Our Tour Expert Sandra Fernandes-Gagliano has been on countless adventures and has seen the world on 12 tours. Here’s why you can suspect that she’s already booked her lucky 13:
1. How many times have you been on an organized tour?
2. How many countries have you visited (total) while on an organized tour?
3. What makes travelling on a tour better than doing it on your own?
All of the guesswork is done for you! It’s great if you’re short on time, and you get great value for money! You get to see so much more than you would on your own.
4. What is the most common misconception about organized tours?
That there is no free time. There is actually plenty!
5. What surprised you the most about touring?
You get a lot more free time than I would have thought. You can opt to do whatever you want during the days, to tailor the trip to your interests.
6. What’s your favourite tour company and why?
G Adventures and Intrepid are tied for me! I love that they are small group tours with a maximum of 15 people. I love that they are both earth-conscious and ensure that our tourist dollars go back to the local businesses which give back to the country I visited. I also love that both tour operators allow the opportunity for local experiences: staying in locally owned/run accommodations, eating at local restaurants, and offering abundant amounts of opportunities to interact with locals!
7. What are your top 3 tips for a client about to experience their first guided tour?
- Get ready to make some of the best friends of your life! Opportunities to step out of your comfort zone will be endless, so get ready!
- Put everything you want to bring on your bed. Take half of the clothes… and double the money!
- You WILL be extremely sad when your tour comes to an end, so have your travel agent’s number on hand to get you booked on your next adventure right away!
8. What’s your favourite travel memory from a tour you’ve taken?
I have had many spectacular moments throughout my years of travelling, however, one of the coolest moments I had was recently in Hawaii. I was in Kona with Intrepid and was able to go night swimming with manta reys in the open ocean! These incredible creatures are HUGE! And somehow still manage to be so graceful! It is one of my top life experiences!
9. What made you fall in love with touring?
More than anything, I love the people I meet while touring. As a single female traveller, I love that I can feel safe as well as make incredible memories with new friends in incredible locations around the world!