Bureaucracy and red tape can be huge obstacles for a trip to Russia, complicating trips to see iconic sites like Moscow's Red Square.
It is advised that travelers to Russia have a local contact, and tour operators have trusted contacts with local knowledge.
Russia tours typically include a cruise down the Volga River, plus guided trips to must-see sites like the Hermitage and Red Square.
— Uatp1 / Dreamstime.com
You'll want a naturalist guide by your side in the Galapagos, home to amazing creatures including the giant tortoise.
— Noamfein / Dreamstime.com
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.
— Paul Van Den Berg / Dreamstime.com
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.
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.
— Amy Harris / Dreamstime.com
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.
The language barrier is large in China, making everything from dining in restaurants to navigating the sites frustrating.
— Cupertino10 / Dreamstime.com
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.
— Tomi Tenetz / Dreamstime.com
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.
— Yottaflops / Dreamstime.com
Many tours to Jordan include a side trip to the Dead Sea.
— Svetlana485 / Dreamstime.com
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.
— Anna Omelchenko / Dreamstime.com
An expert guide in Kenya will help you spot the Big Five, including the African elephant, while on safari.
— Maxcrepory / Dreamstime.com
Most tours include international airfare into Nairobi, the jumping-off point for flights to the country's parks.
— Jiří Kasal | Dreamstime.com
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.
Jaipur's temples are typically included in packages to India, and tours will give you insights into their importance.
— Rudolf Tepfenhart / Dreamstime.com
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.
— Nigel Spiers / Dreamstime.com
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.
— Sova004 / Dreamstime.com
Crowds have been thin even at Egypt's most amazing sites, including the pyramids of Giza.
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 / Dreamstime.com
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.
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 / Dreamstime.com
Even the savviest travelers would benefit from booking a group tour to these eight must-see destinations.