Even the most daring and adventurous travellers sometimes need to take a tour to get the best of a new place.
In my adult life, I've spent much of my spare time and money seeking out new places and experiences.
At the age of 21, I jumped on a plane as fast as you could say "disposable income" and it didn't take me long to become addicted to travelling solo.
I loved testing my limits and learning to trust my instincts. I loved deciphering a new language and customs, and being chuffed when stumbling through my first conversation in a foreign language.
However, I've come to learn that sometimes, it's just not so easy to do it all on your own. There are pockets of the world where you get more out of your experience by sitting back, relaxing, and letting a tour guide take you through the paces.
Here are some destinations where it's best to take a tour:
With America recently lifting its travel restrictions, everyone is wondering what will become of Cuba and its tourism sector. There is already a well-trodden track, but in the meantime, the country still lacks some basic amenities for tourists. Primarily, WIFI. Pre-booking accommodation is difficult, unless it's done months in advance. Guide books are indispensable in Cuba, but chances are, you won't get your first pick of the Casas (family-run hotels - the only type of accommodation in most of Cuba). This will leave you literally just asking anyone who will listen if they know where you can stay. Some people thrive off this type of last-minute planning. But a nice family home and bed to sleep in goes a long way here.
Try this: Cuba Libre with G Adventures.
2. Central Australia
To put it plainly, everything is a LONG way from something else in the middle of Oz. Many tourists - even some locals - forget the red centre is pretty barren. In this case, it helps to have a coach to shuttle you from point A to B. You will see a lot of people road-tripping in the region. However, it really helps to grab a guide whenever you can to explain the culture. It also pays to keep in mind that much of central Australia is sacred to the traditional owners - make sure you know your bounds and pay your due respect.
Try this: AAT Kings has a great range of tours for all budgets and time frames.
Ok, bear with me. Yes, Scotland is a modern, English-speaking country with all the necessary tourist services and amenities - so solo travel is a piece of cake. But literary fans need to get on a tour - even if it's just walking around Edinburgh. How else are you going to learn all the secrets that led to the creation of Harry Potter?! (Oh, and Scotland has an incredibly fascinating and proud history. Have a guide tell you about it. You'll end up addicted.)
It's always best to take a tour in any wildlife-rich area. Guides know which places the animals like to hang out and at what time of day you're most likely to find them there. So if you're heading to the Serengeti it's almost unthinkable to go without a guide for the very best photo ops.
Try this: Mark Thornton Safaris made the list of National Geographic's 50 Best Tours. The company specialises in walking tours.
5. Barossa Valley
Um, hello - wine? Make sure you get home responsibly!
Try this: Barossa Food and Wine Experience