Group travel is fun because you are traveling with like-minded people that enjoy the same things that you do. One of the biggest benefits of group travel is that you don’t have to worry about planning an itinerary, finding a hotel or restaurant or how you will get from place to place.  On a group tour, all you have to do is enjoy the experience.  One of the hallmarks of group travel with Tours of Distinction is that there is enough free time built into each tour that allows people to experience a destination on their own and at their own pace. 

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How you decide to spend your free time on any group excursion is up to you - but we thought we would suggest five travel tips to make your “on your own” time the best that it can be.

1. Rise and shine - early.  If you want a postcard-perfect photo wake- up early for the chance to have an iconic scene or attraction all to yourself (or almost all to yourself!).  Early morning shots can be magical because the light is soft and diffused at this time of day.  Don’t be afraid to interact with other early risers and locals as you both begin your day.

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2. Slow down, watch, look, and listen.  There is so much you can learn about a place, people and culture by slowing down and watching life swirl around you.  When you pay attention to the details of daily life, the sounds, the colors, the sights, and the people, you will find that you will notice things that you might otherwise have missed. Slowing down is an unforgettable way to immerse yourself in the heartbeat of local culture.

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3. Take lots of pictures.  The days of lugging around a heavy SRL camera and tons of lenses is over. Smartphones have paved the way to make travel photography easy and with the right apps, images look professional.  Photos of places you have visited are one of the best souvenirs so be sure to take lots of them!  After getting your shots, remember to put the camera away and enjoy what you are actually seeing and experiencing!

4. The beauty of foreign phrases.  If you are traveling internationally it is always a good idea to learn a few phrases in the local language.  Hello, thank-you, can I take your photo, how much is this item, good morning, and good night are a few handy phrases to learn.  Learning a few phrases can improve your travel experience because it creates a bond between you and the people that live there.

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5. Read a book.  If you are traveling to a new state or country a good book on the destination will give you a glimmer of what to expect before you arrive.  It could be a popular novel, travel log or a guide book, whatever your choice is, it will give you a foundation to start on.