Photos: Where You Shouldn't Go Alone

Even the savviest travelers would benefit from booking a group tour to these eight must-see destinations.

By , Friday, Nov 30, 2012, 3:10 PM

Source Article: Photos: Where You Shouldn't Go Alone

Red Square

Bureaucracy and red tape can be huge obstacles for a trip to Russia, complicating trips to see iconic sites like Moscow's Red Square.

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St Pete

It is advised that travelers to Russia have a local contact, and tour operators have trusted contacts with local knowledge.

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Moscow River

Russia tours typically include a cruise down the Volga River, plus guided trips to must-see sites like the Hermitage and Red Square. 

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You'll want a naturalist guide by your side in the Galapagos, home to amazing creatures including the giant tortoise. 

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Getting around the Galapagos involves a lot of logistics since boat rides and even flights are required to reach the 13 main islands, some with special habitats, reserves, and research centers.

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The best Galapagos tours employ experts who will take you on hikes to see the region's signature creatures such as the blue-footed boobies.

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Having a trusted local guide in China can help you avoid being taken advantage of—and keep you pointed in the right direction—in cities like Shanghai.

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China's most appealing attractions, such as Xi'an and the famous terra cotta warriors, are spread out between the interior and the long east coast.

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The language barrier is large in China, making everything from dining in restaurants to navigating the sites frustrating.

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The volatile situation in the Middle East has not affected Jordan as much as other countries, but it is still advisable to visit spots like the ruins in Petra with a trusted tour operator.

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Groups led by someone who knows which areas to avoid and how to identify early warning signs of problems are key in cities like Amman, Jordan.

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Dead Sea

Many tours to Jordan include a side trip to the Dead Sea.

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Though Kenya isn't as big of a country as, say, China, you will still need to organize multiple flights to see animals like the reticulated giraffes in the Samburu Game Reserve.

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An expert guide in Kenya will help you spot the Big Five, including the African elephant, while on safari. 

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Most tours include international airfare into Nairobi, the jumping-off point for flights to the country's parks. 

(Jiří Kasal |

Taj Mahal

The immense size of India means you will need to organize multiple mini-trips to reach must-see sites like the Taj Mahal, something a good tour company can easily arrange.

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Galtaji Temple

Jaipur's temples are typically included in packages to India, and tours will give you insights into their importance. 

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Around 10 million travelers to India experience gastrointestinal distress every year, and a good tour leader will know the cleanest restaurants and, if the need arises, be able direct you to the closest reputable pharmacy.

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The political turmoil in Egypt forced many travelers to cancel their trips, and even when the situation calms it's smart to travel with a group that can navigate volatile situations and keep you safe. 

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Crowds have been thin even at Egypt's most amazing sites, including the pyramids of Giza.

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Nile River

A cruise down the Nile is an easy way to see Egypt's countryside and smaller towns, and is usually part of tour itineraries to the country.

(Jose I. Soto /

Machu Picchu

A guided tour of Machu Picchu is key, especially since there are no signs to help you uncover the secrets of the 15th-century civilization. 

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Inca Trail

If you decided to hike the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu, be aware that you must go with an organized group with a permit, which can be arranged through a licensed tour agency.

(Ralf Broskvar /

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