We hope we have convinced you that the Montana region, including Yellowstone and Glacier National Park, is one of the best vacation destinations in the country if not the world. But why take a guided tour – via a company like Travel Montana – for your Montana vacation rather than doing it yourself?
Montana Vacations Can Be Difficult to Plan
The flip side of the amazing aspects of the region is that it is difficult to plan a Montana vacation. The popularity of Yellowstone and Glacier National Park during the summer months means it is difficult to book hotels in advance and difficult to navigate crowds when you are there.
Conversely, the huge area and wide open spaces also present a challenge. Can you include Yellowstone and Glacier in one trip or is that just too much driving? Is it worth spending a night in Bozeman or should you just skip it and drive on past? If you want to see a small Montana town, should you visit Dillon, Red Lodge, or Whitefish?
Guided tours reduce your time planning, by a lot, and produce better results.
Your Vacation Will Be (More) Amazing
By taking a guided tour your Montana vacation will be even more amazing than it would be if you were on your own.
Our guides are experts. They know the best restaurants, the best times and locations to look for animals in Yellowstone, and the best alternative route to avoid a traffic jam. They can provide the history of a region, talk about how the ice age-era Missoula floods shaped the landscape, and explain the intricacies of Yellowstone’s geothermal features to a six year old.
Our guides are also trained on interpersonal dynamics and creating group fun. While this might not seem important for a small private group, the truth is our guides serve an invaluable role checking to make sure your vacation is meeting the needs of everyone in the group, making sure one person’s ideas don’t dominate, and even (it happens!) helping to stop the bickering among kids. All this creates a much better vacation that will be the highlight of your year.
You Can Relax
Someone has to be in charge of making decisions during a vacation and, since you are reading this, it probably often falls to you. Those decisions can include navigating backcountry roads when your GPS doesn’t have a signal; deciding whether to go straight or left at the intersection on your hike; choosing a restaurant that pleases the whole family; and figuring out how to find a parking spot in a crowded lot in Yellowstone.
Your stress on vacation can increase when something goes wrong, like if the hotel room you booked has the wrong number of beds, the restaurant you chose is booked solid, or there is construction on the route ahead.
But we actually find the role our guides play that is most valuable to the group is that of leader. It is your guide who will convince the kids of the value of walking on a trail in Yellowstone rather than sitting in the car. It is your guide who manages the varying interests and expectations of your group members. It is your guide whose job it is to tell stories and describe points of interest in a way that keeps everyone entertained. Heck, you will no longer be blamed by your kids or spouse for a bad vacation. We’ll take that risk!
Stay Safe and Explore More
Montana is not a wild west landscape where you need fear for your safety. But having said that, when you step out of the car and off the pavement, there are risks.
Our guides will help you ensure you don’t get lost on that wilderness hike, that you are “bear aware” in the bear territories of our two national parks, and that your kids don’t accidentally step into a bubbling mud pot in Yellowstone. What we find is that many visitors to Montana limit their activities simply because they are not familiar with them – wilderness hiking or river rafting, for example. Being with a guide not only keeps you safe but allows you to explore the world in ways you otherwise might not.
Worth the Extra Cost
So why take a guided tour? For all the reasons above, booking a guided tour for your next Montana vacation will help you maximize the experience.
But booking your vacation through Travel Montana obviously comes at an increased cost. Of course, the hotels, local transportation, national park permits, activities, and most meals are included. Plus, we have to pay our office staff to arrange your vacation details and have to pay our guides while they are with you. So is the increased cost worth it?
We survey our customers after each tour and – over and over – they tell us the value of a vacation with our company is high. For all the reasons above, booking your vacation with Travel Montana is well worth the cost. Let us help you create the highlight of your year.