It seems that people who enjoy travel or at least get pleasure from reading about travel pay for magazines or read travel articles online. I find that many of these sources are selling something. They write about tours and it seems the prices are in many cases excessive for the average "Joe" or "Jane" to allow regular overseas travel. Some are touted as "budget" and others "exclusive", but the bottom line seems to be that if one has a lot of disposable income, then go right ahead, travel based on offers and information from these sites.
If you are like me, your funds are limited...and...a trip abroad is not something that can be undertaken frivolously ...so...I offer the following advice...
Try travel on your own. Don't be afraid of language barriers and don't pay too much attention to fear mongers and bigots who either try to scare you with cautions about other cultures or or fill you head full of stories of pick pockets and other petty crime. It is more dangerous in many of our big cities than it ever would be traveling in Europe, for example. Over the years we have traveled, on our own, in Mexico (back roads, driving), and in Italy, as well as a few other less exotic places and we have but one (minor) negative experience, mostly of our own doing and only because we failed to understand the cultural norms of the country.
Travel on your own (no tour guide or tour bus, just you, a rental car or train or bus and your adventurous spirit) is much more fun and certainly more fulfilling than any tour one might take. My only caution, self guided tours...this is not for everyone! If you are used to being pampered, don't try travel on your own. If you expect others to figure out the next move, stay away, as well. But, if you want to save money traveling and have the gift of patience and a moderate spirit of adventure, try it...you might just really enjoy the challenge.