Editor’s Note 2023: Adventures by Disney phased out its private tour offerings in mid-2023. For more information about guided tours, check out our story on the best guided tours for families or browse tour advice on our sister site TourScoop.com.
Vacation time is back, but as the world begins to emerge from a pandemic, many families are looking at trip planning in a different way, one driven by making the most of every moment while reducing hassles and tension. And as families and groups consider how to maintain a core travel bubble while adventuring, the idea of small-group tours starts to make more sense to more travelers.
In the last six months, private tour offerings by group tour companies has emerged as a trend, with Adventures by Disney leading the way for families. Last October, it debuted its Private Adventures with five country destinations: Costa Rica, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and Peru. Recently, the tour provider announced it would more than double its offerings with these additional itineraries:
When Disney debuted its Private Adventures in October 2020, it wasn’t simply a response to families and groups looking to travel in a way that felt safer. Private Adventures had already been in development for some time, according to Heather Killingbeck, Director of Trip Development for Adventures by Disney.
“We recognized a need to offer an Adventures by Disney trip experience that provides guests with the flexibility to choose their own travel dates and travel exclusively with their family or friends,” Killingbeck says. The private option has the added benefit of allowing families to travel with younger children, since there’s no minimum age for most Private Adventure trips.
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Even as kids get vaccinated and families start to make up for lost time on the vacation front, there’s a lot of appeal for the kind of small-group travel in which a family or a group defines the guest list. Many people used the pandemic as a way of rethinking an over-scheduled existence, and there are plenty of lessons about spending quality time with loved ones that translate well to the idea of small-group tours.
Outsourcing the planning, choosing the participants, and making the most of time together distills the joys of vacation. And after a year like 2020, we could all use more vacation joy.