Joiner Tour vs. Private Tour

What's the difference between a Joiner Tour and a Private Tour?

and what is the best option?

Travel agencies, tour operators, and event organizers have come up with budget tours so that more people would be able to afford traveling even on a tight budget.

What is a Joiner Tour?

A joiner tour, or a joined tour, is a type of tour where you or your group will be joined with other groups, so that all of the slots in a vehicle or a mode of transportation will be maximized, so that the cost per person would be lesser.  Some joined tours combine the “joiners” with other “joiners” in a room, and some don’t.  It would depend with the agency or the event organizer.  Here in Explore CamSur, each group have their own room/s.

Joiners share the floating cottage in Manlawi Sandbar


The main thing that the joiners share is the mode of transportation for the tour.  For Caramoan, the joiners share the van, boat for island hopping, and each joiner tour group is assigned a tour guide.

A joiner tour has a somewhat fixed itinerary, and the whole group will decide if they would want to go on a side trip.  This is usually decided by the majority.

What makes a joiner tour cheaper as compared to a private tour?

  • The cost is divided by the whole group (for example, 12 people), as compared to what the cost will be if there would only be two or three persons in one group.
    • Example:  Island Hopping in Caramoan: PhP 4,000 per boat.  If there’s only two persons in one group, the sharing would be PhP 2,000 per person.  As compared to PhP 4,000 divided by 12 persons, it would only be PhP 333.33 per person.  That is a difference of almost PhP 1,650 per person!
Joiners take their lunch at Cotivas Island


What are the cons of a joiner tour?

Joiner tours are usually scheduled during the weekends, or on long weekends or holidays.  Since you will be joining other groups, you need to be patient and considerate of the other groups.  You need to be cooperative and be punctual, so as not to cause delays in the suggested itinerary.

What are the pros of a joiner tour?

You gain new friends!  In almost every joiner tour that we hosted, it doesn’t seem that the whole tour is composed of different groups.  Even after their tour with us, they go on different trips, and have started to build new bonds.

Joiners from different groups.


What are the cons of a private tour?

One of the cons of a private tour, especially if you are only a couple, or there would be less than 8 persons in your group, is that it cost more than half of a joiner tour.  For example, our 3D2N Caramoan Joiner tour starts at PhP 3,900/person for a group of 4 or more.  For a private tour with the same inclusions, it would cost PhP 7,750.

What are the pros of a private tour?

You get to set your own tour date, pick up place and time.  You choose your stop overs, side trips, and who you will be with during the tour.  You won’t have to adjust to dealing with strangers’ caprices.

Which one is better?

It really boils down to you and your budget.  If you don’t want to go on a long trip with other people, then go for a private tour.  If you are on a budget and down with meeting new people and potentially gaining new friends, then you would fit in on a joiner tour.

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