After spending the last 15 months or so taking virtual tours and hosting virtual parties, millennials are primed for some serious revenge traveling, and they’re turning to boomers for inspiration. According to Tripadvisor, Gen Y-ers are interested in group tours now more than ever before. (Because there’s nothing like a year spent locked up inside to make you miss the company of strangers, right?)
While group tours have previously had the reputation of being snoozefests that are attended by boomers rocking fisherman sandals, cargo shorts, and boonie hats with binoculars in tow, these travel experiences have recently been given an ultra-cool makeover. Group tours have become a great way for people to have personalized and culturally rich experiences, while gaining unique insight into a destination in a short space of time. Hence, the newfound interest from the younger gens.
But don’t take it from us. Tripadvisor recently found that 63 percent of millennials plan to book a group tour or activity on a trip this summer, compared to 41 percent of Americans of all other age groups (boomers, Gen Z, Gen X, etc.). In fact, nine percent were open to traveling and exploring places within a packaged group tour, compared to five percent of other age groups.
Ready to pack your bags and explore a new destination? Check out some of the coolest group tours and activities you can get into this summer below.
Editor's note: Please note that all listed tours are currently following individual health and safety guidelines, so be sure to confirm exact COVID-19 measures before booking.
7 Group Tours and Activities to Check Out
1. Vintage VW Hippie Tour with Wine Tasting in Malibu, California
If you’re looking for a tour with 70s vibes, then look no further than this four-hour excursion that departs from Santa Monica Pier. You’ll discover Malibu landscapes and wine culture, while cruising in a classic 1972 VW camper van. Your reservation includes one wine tasting with four different types of wines to choose from as well as a cheese, salami and baguette plate.
2. Shop Second-Hand and Vintage Fashion in New York
Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw (on a more reasonable budget) when you embark on this two-hour guided second-hand shopping tour in the city that never sleeps. You don’t have to worry about doing an extensive Google search on all the best vintage stores because your very own shopping expert will take you to the top spots in town where you can get classic pieces for a bargain price. If you still need to explore some more, you can either purchase additional time or take matters into your own hands with a complimentary mapped listing of more than 30 stores. Shop till you drop.
3. Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Tour with Local Wine and Cheese in Seattle, Washington
Get the perfect Instagram photo when you sign up for this colorful tour that guarantees an eye-catching background. Lasting a whopping 10 hours, this guided adventure gives you the works—including “skip-the-line" access to Tulip Town and Roozengaarde tulip viewing areas, as well as admission to the Tulip Valley Winery and Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Since the tour is so long, you’ll also have plenty of time to explore local cuisine in the hidden gem that is La Conner.
4. Epic Waterfall Adventure in Hana, Hawaii
Nature lovers, this one’s for you: This four-hour adventure takes you through a mystic jungle full of bamboo trees and exotic fruits in a beautiful setting. It also includes floating, swimming and relaxing in five of Maui's most breath-taking waterfalls. Optional opportunities for cliff jumping are also available for the daredevils out there, at various locations.
5. Ghost, True Crime, Voodoo and Vampire Tour in New Orleans, Louisiana
If you spent the majority of the pandemic binging shows such as Murder Among the Mormons or Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, you’ll enjoy this adults-only paranormal tour in New Orleans. Take a walk through the haunted French Quarter and see if you’ll be able to make it to the end of the 1hour, 45-minute undertaking.
6. Yoga on the Beach in La Jolla, California
Hey, vacations are for relaxing right? So why not get the maximum level of chill by loosening up those tight muscles in a yoga class on the beach. The best part is that no prior yoga experience necessary. The class will be tailored to your needs or experience levels, so you don’t have to worry if your warrior two is a bit off kilter. You’ll also be surrounded by palm trees and the soothing sound of ocean waves which are sure to bring you the tranquility and peace of mind that you need.
7. UFO and Star Gazing Tour in Sedona, Arizona
Fun for the whole family, this hour-long excursion will have your inner astronomer beaming with joy. Marvel at millions of stars, along with all the unexplained UFOs that frequent the Sedona night sky (you’re a believer, aren’t you?). State of the art night vision goggles, third generation and high-powered lasers, as well as blankets, hats and gloves will all be provided for the optimum experience. Note: This tour is at sunset and that time changes weekly, so if you choose to go, make sure you call and double check start time on the day of.