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In an industry where there's no such thing as 'try before you buy', it can be difficult to know where to start in finding a tour company that will deliver the experience you want and make the most of your hard-earned vacation dollar. Here are some key questions to ask in helping you make your decision.


  1.  international incident, pandemic scares, and, seemingly, the price of milk. Choose a company with a history you can trust-one that has shown the ability to ride the wave of global circumstance. Tour companies with longevity also have a deep knowledge well to draw from, have negotiating clout with their providers, and have had the experience to fine-tune their systems and deliver their product efficiently.


  1.  service expectations and its guides can provide interpretation for the inevitable cultural nuances that arise.


  1.  travel offers with the benefits of leaving the logistics to someone else. Particularly in less populated countries like New Zealand, tour accommodation in some of the best locations is only available to small groups of twelve or less, leaving larger groups to choose itineraries based on logistics rather than optimum experience.


  1.  planning and communication is required in running a quality trip and it is important to know who is in charge of your experience. We've all played the whispers game and know it doesn't take long before the original message gets well lost in translation. Choose a company that is in control of administering your trip from start to finish.



  1.  travel forums like those on and can also provide insight, but it is wise to also seek advice first hand to ascertain whether the person offering opinions has similar priorities to your own.


  1.  cheapest trip available, nor assume that more expensive means, well, more. Focus on the quality of the experience on offer. How much 'fun factor' is built into the cost of the trip-which advertised activities are included in the price and which are actually optional add-ons? What is the quality of the tour accommodation? You may prefer to put your money into a five-star bed, or you may only want a clean, comfortable place to lay your head in between adventures. What meals are included and how are they delivered-a la carte? Set menu? Cardboard box? When comparing companies, choose based on what's most important to you and on the potential take-home value of the experience. In the end, the cost of a life-enriching, quality travel experience is priceless.


Black Sheep Touring Company Limited. Formed in 1994, Black Sheep touring offers tours to New Zealand that offer a unique blend of luxury, adventure, cultural understanding, and interaction with our environment.


With one of the lowest guest-to-guide ratios in the industry, the Black Sheep travel experience is very rich and personalised. A travel group size of 12 or less allows us unparalleled flexibility and the ability to offer each and every one of our guests a unique experience that is enriching for years after. Talk to our tour company today.


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