3. Tours teach you how to travel
Tour guides are old hands at travel.
They can teach you to spot scams, illustrate the best ways to find food on the road and much more.
The skills they impart will likely inform a traveler's future trips.
On a tour I led in Paris, I had to save one of my tour members from falling for a common local scam.
We were outside the Louvre when he was asked to provide a signature and donate to "charity," an old ruse run by Paris con artists.
He had his hand in his pocket just as I came up to him.
I'm sure he hasn't made that mistake again.
Guides make new travelers better travelers.
4. Tours ease fears
Traveling alone can be a scary proposition, particularly when you haven't done it before or don't speak a local language.
A tour provides a support system that allows travelers -- even experienced ones -- to feel more comfortable taking a chance on new experiences.
Tours are floaties for world travelers -- they allow you to dip your toes in the pool without the fear of getting in over your head.
5. Tours get you places you can't get yourself
While independent travel is great, many places in the world can't be accessed by solo travelers due to license and government restrictions.
Many big destinations -- the Galapagos, Antarctica, African safaris -- need to be explored as part of organized trips.
There are many exciting, once in a lifetime activities you won't be able to experience if you don't take part in a licensed tour with a guide.
6. Package tours can be cheaper
While this may seem counter-intuitive since traveling alone allows you more flexibility, many tour companies are able to secure bulk rates and other deals.
Small group operators can be cheaper for mid-range travel than if you were to price out the same trip for yourself.
One diehard independent traveler I know wanted to visit the wild but scattered Solomon Islands.
Lack of infrastructure and traditional tourist services meant going to all the obscure places he wanted to see -- including some historic World War II battlefields -- would have cost upward of $10,000 for charters and services.
Instead, he spent $3,500 on a package tour, enjoyed every minute of it and remains in touch with several members of the tour, including a still-active World War II vet.
What's more, saving on the cost of excursions means you'll have more money to splurge on a memorable dinner with your new friends or a ridiculous souvenir for your family.
7. Tours provide safety