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Best Tour Companies

Search all companies, read reviews, compare ratings and pick the perfect operator for your style and budget.

756 Travel Providers meet your criteria (Providers 1 to 20 shown)

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Trafalgar

4.5 | Great
91% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe
Total Trips 1,790 Trips
Average Price $ 265 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

Stride Review Trafalgar is a name many seasoned travelers will recognize. A branch of the Travel Corporation, whose brands all enjoy stellar reputations, Trafalgar has been offering classic and affordable journeys for over 70 years. What Makes Trafalgar Stand Out? Trafalgar is a budget friendly group tour operator with premium tastes. Their motto is “See the world from the inside,” - this is the place to come for culturally rich and immersive travel experiences that don’t break the bank or the back. Tours are comfortable, not too physically demanding, and offer the opportunity to meet, talk, eat and drink with locals. You’ll get to know chefs, artisans, craftsmen, historians, and farmers as you explore what makes each destination truly special. Trafalgar has a strong reputation, having been around since 1947 - putting them right at the pinnacle of when many premier guided tour companies were established. You’ll meet groups of like minded travelers, enjoy cultural experiences, expertly crafted itineraries with local touches and experiences guides, while traveling in comfort and ease. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Trafalgar? If you are an active traveler, perhaps recently retired, eager to explore the world in comfort, visiting a nice combination of unique local spots and classic sites, then Trafalgar could be a great choice. Possibly you are new to group tours and packages, having been used to creating your own travel experiences at a younger age - Trafalgar provides the perfect introduction to group tours. Or maybe you’re traveling with a family and interested in introducing a new generation of travelers to your favorite country - but don’t really have the time or patience to worry about planning out all the logistics. While they offer many trip styles, suitable for travelers of all ages, their classic touch is popular among older travelers. Classic doesn’t mean old fashioned or tired - simply a bit less on the active adventure and more on the historic sights and cultural experiences. They have a number of family focused tours, as well as tailored trips for special interests. Trafalgar trips are budget friendly, with most trips in middle to low range, including a “Cost Saver” feature that allows you to see more inexpensive trips broken down by ratings and cost clearly. They offer several deals throughout the year. Trafalgar is a British brand, so many of the attendees on your tour will be from the UK.   Top Destinations With Trafalgar, you can find trips to Europe, USA & Canada, South America, Asia, Australia & New Zealand. While the destinations are widespread, Trafalgar trips explore the culture and guides take you to hidden local spots without venturing too far outside the comfort zone. Tours in Europe and the UK are among the most popular itineraries. In South America, Trafalgar travels to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. In Africa, they go to Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa. In Asia, it’s Cambodia, China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. And in the Pacific, Trafalgar visits Australia and New Zealand. Wherever you go, you can expect high quality guides and accommodations, and smooth travels. They also have a number of religious themed tours, including trips that include excursions to Oberammergau, Bavaria. Once a decade this small town presents a Passion Play, and Trafalgar has had special access since 1970. The next time to experience this unique event is 2020. Trafalgar Travel Style The Trafalgar travel style is all about getting to know the culture through activities and connecting with locals. Their main tagline is “Discover the Good Life” meaning getting to experience the real thing, in a safe, escorted environment with knowledgeable guides there to help with the language and provide historical and cultural context. Discovering the Good Life encompasses perks like skipping lines and private access to classic sites; and unique experiences that bring you to places and among people you’d never have the chance to meet traveling on your own. This kind of travel is local immersion, but not in the same way a 25 year old might interpret that idea. Rather than bunking at hostels, going out late at night, and enjoying potentially questionable street food, you’ll stay in premium, centrally located and culturally significant accommodations - everything from bed and breakfasts in Ireland to hotels right on the banks of Norwegian fjords.  Learn cooking techniques in Italy, enjoy private winery tours at French chateaus, and touring a small olive farm in Spain are just a few examples of the kind of unique travel experiences you can expect with Trafalgar. Groups are large, typically between 40-45 travelers, a max of 52 on trips in the USA and Canada. Primary transportation during the tour is in large coaches, equipped with WiFi (with the exception of Alaska) and featuring large viewing windows - ideal for taking in the scenery as you head to your next destinations.   Most meals during Trafalgar tours are included. Trips often include free time during which you can explore on your own, with suggestions from your expert guides. Why Choose a Tour with Trafalgar? Trafalgar has a solid reputation, and they stick to what they’ve done well for over 50 years. They focus on the classics, providing a culturally rich perspective as you meet locals along the way. Their experience has allowed them to cultivate relationships around the world with local businesses - quality control you can trust for every stop along the trip. Niche tours based on specialized interests are also something they are proud to offer. Trafalgar is where you go to have the essentials and logistics take care of seamlessly while you sit back and enjoy. Do note that these tours can be quite large - 40 people traveling together in a tour group can be stifling for some. While they appeal to an older crowd due to their history and recognizable name, Trafalgar has an impressively well integrated social media presence. Trips on their site are accompanied by instagram posts from real travelers who have been on the same tour, using the hashtag #SimplyTrafalgar. Old or young(ish), couple or single, traveling Simply Trafalgar inspires confidence, comfort, and enjoyment.

Myths and Mountains

5.0 | Excellent
99% Recommend
Asia
Total Trips 57 Trips
Average Price $ 333 per day
Size Regional Expert
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Since it was founded in 1988, Myths and Mountains has endeavored – and succeeded – in immersing travelers deeply in the culture of destinations where they conduct both group and custom-designed trips. Each itinerary is focused upon one or more “core concepts” intended to provide unique insights into a destination. What Makes Them Stand Out? The concepts around which each trip is planned are not intended to limit participants’ experiences. Instead, they provide inspiration to explore a destination more deeply and fully, based upon the unique attributes of the local culture. For example, depending upon the destination, the “Culture and Crafts” focus might include learning traditional crafts or cooking local delicacies. “Natural Healing” and “Traditional Medicine” may visit a shaman festival or include a visit with indigenous healers in a rain forest. There also are itineraries that explore the “Environment and Natural History” of a destination, and “Religion and Pilgrimage Sites.” Who Travels With Them? Travelers with Myths and Mountains are seeking to delve below the surface of a country and its culture, and meet and interact with its people. People who travel with Myths and Mountains to Nepal, India, or Bhutan also have an opportunity to learn first-hand about the company-supported READ Global centers there. Those self-sustaining projects provide education and community development to residents of isolated villages. In the past two decades, the close to 80 READ (Rural Education and Development) centers that have been established continue to improve the lives of people in countless ways. Where Do They Operate? Given its goal of introducing travelers to life-changing experiences, it’s not surprising that Myths and Mountains steers clear of more tourist-trodden destinations. It offers guided trips to six countries in each of Asia, Southeast Asia and South America, plus recently added visits to Cuba. A “Customize Your Trip” link to each planned itinerary described on the website enables those who wish to do so to tailor a tour to their own interests and preferences. How Does it Work? Depending upon the location, Myths and Mountains augments familiar ways of getting around with modes of transportation that are indigenous to a destination. They include trekking through stunning landscapes, exploring caves in a sea canoe and hiking over lava fields to a volcano. Why Travel With Them? The Myths and Mountains approach to immersing travelers in the essence of a destination is a major reason why it attracts a very high percentage of repeat clients. You will return home with not only new understanding about a part of the world but also with memories of very personal experiences that will linger for the rest of their lives. For Myths and Mountains, the belief that “There is no such thing as one itinerary fits all” is not just a slogan. It’s the way the company does business. As a result, travelers benefit in ways well beyond only seeing a destination. They get to know and understand its history, environment, and especially the people who live there. They come away with an understanding of a new and different society that results from being a participant in its traditions and mores, rather than just an observer.

Butterfield & Robinson

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
North America South America Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe
Total Trips 38 Trips
Average Price $ 984 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Custom/Private Tour Operator

Stride Review Born in 1966, Butterfield and Robinson specializes in higher end guided and self-guided biking and walking tours to many of the world’s top destinations.  What Makes Them Stand Out? You can choose your own activity level, whether it’s a ramble through the Burgundy countryside in France or a more strenuous hike along the Inca Trail in Peru. On cycling trips, bikes are customized to fit the riders, and they have a high staff and support vehicle ratio per guest -- making them a top choice for travelers seeking a high-service biking adventure. Who Travels With Them? Guided bike trips average about 25-30 miles a day (longer for expert level), while walkers average six to ten miles a day. Activity levels vary with the terrain and there are several different activity categories that B&R offers for you to choose from. They’re open to people of all ages -- kids under 18 are eligible to go on special family trips -- and athletic abilities, but are geared towards 50+ cycling enthusiasts and active travelers with a taste for the finer things. On a B&R trip, it’s not unusual to find yourself in a renovated castle, chateau or other signature lodging. Where Do They Operate? Over the years, they’ve expanded to more than 100 biking and walking trips around the world, including Bhutan, the Baltics, Jordan and Colombia as well as favorites like Spain, France, and Italy. Wherever you are, you can expect to be showered with refreshments, route maps, and suggestions for interesting places to stop and explore. Why Travel With Them? Even for avid hikers and cyclists who choose the more expert options, B&R sees to it that all you’ll have to cope with is that next hill. You never have to carry your own luggage or purchases that you might make along the way -- the support van, which you’re likely to encounter several times a day on your route -- takes care of that. You also have plenty of flexibility in pacing your walk or ride; group members don’t have to stay together -- you can stop at cafes or museums along the way as you see fit. You can even take the afternoon off if you wish.

Topdeck

4.3 | Great
83% Recommend
North America Australia & Pacific Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe
Total Trips 357 Trips
Average Price $ 168 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Founded in 1973, Topdeck provides fun, adventurous trips around the world. What Makes Them Stand Out? Topdeck tour focuses on providing friendly and authentic guided group tours where like-minded travelers can have amazing group experiences. There are several trip types to choose from, from camping, to immersive, to multi destination, to sailing. Who Travels With Them? Topdeck is very much geared toward the 18 to 30-something age group. Trip details are fully taken care of, and include plenty of free time to explore. Where Do They Operate? Topdeck has tours throughout the world, in Europe, Australia & New Zealand, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Why Travel With Them? Their 40 years of experience in adventure travel have helped them create epic trips and they continue to provide adventure travel at low cost and high quality. If you are an adventurous 18 to 30 something and are not afraid of trying new things and love making new friends, then Topdeck would be your perfect fit.

SmarTours

4.9 | Excellent
100% Recommend
Central America & Caribbean South America Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe
Total Trips 40 Trips
Average Price $ 229 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

Stride Review Known For   50-Plus Travel Tours, Africa Tours, Asia Tours, China Tours Founded in 1996, SmarTours promises its customers the “Best Travel Bargains” by offering mostly all-inclusive guided tours throughout much of the world. What Makes Them Stand Out? SmarTours offers affordable tours along with great itineraries. Included in the price of all their tours is international airfare from the U.S., first-class hotels, sightseeing excursions, and English-speaking local guides. SmarTours draws a large repeat business, taking travelers to such far-flung destinations as Thailand, Morocco, Japan, Peru, Patagonia, India, and Australia. Who Travels With Them? SmarTours caters to all ages that are looking for good price. They are largely popular amongst 50+ travelers. Where Do They Operate? SmarTours travels all over the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Cuba, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. Diverse itineraries are available in each destination. How Does it Work? Except for its cruise offerings -- primarily river cruises as well as Greek Island and Galapagos cruises -- transportation is generally by bus. Group sizes may reach 40 and beyond, but may also be smaller depending on the popularity of the trip. SmarTours will design custom trips for groups with at least 25-30 travelers. Why Travel With Them? SmarTours is a complete bargain package for budget minded travellers. If you are looking for an unbeatable value, don’t mind a large group and want tours focused on exotic destinations, then SmarTours is a perfect choice for you. Commonly Searched Together: Compare Smartours with these other tour operators Smartours vs Trafalgar

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Road Scholar

4.6 | Excellent
90% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 85 Trips
Average Price $ 363 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Founded in 1975 as Elderhostel, Road Scholar took its new name in 2010. The name change was meant to better reflect the non-profit educational travel organization’s mission, which is to offer lifelong learning opportunities to adults. Besides it’s a clever play on words (the takeoff on Rhodes Scholar), “Road” stands for the journeys the group offers, while “Scholar” indicates the deep devotion to learning that participants possess. What Makes Them Stand Out?  Tours specifically designed for older travelers and a heavy focus on gaining deeper knowledge through educational activities, led by guides who are experts in a variety of fields. Instructors accompanying Road Scholar trips are experts in their fields, delivering lectures and leading field trips. Trip themes may range from history and culture, language study, and music appreciation to birding, bicycling, and baseball (proving that learning can be light-hearted, too). Who Travels With Them? Road Scholar runs educational trips for adults, primarily age 50 and above (often 65 or older). Group sizes vary, but many small group study tours are limited to 10-24 participants. Road Scholar has recently added special grandparent-grandchild trips and programs for three generations traveling together. Keep in mind that the focus remains on education, distinguishing Road Scholar trips from most commercial tours. Where Do They Operate? Road Scholar operates tours in 150 countries, as well as every state in the U.S. How Does it Work? Walking trips, train treks, small ship cruises, and riverboat voyages are among the options for trip style. Prices typically stay in the budget/value range consistent with the company’s roots. Why Travel With Them? The original Elderhostel grew out of the vision of the late Marty Knowlton, who spent four years backpacking around Europe while staying in youth hostels -- and wanted American adults to have access to similar cultural experiences. If you consider yourself a lifelong learner and want to spend your vacation amongst others who share your passion for travel and education, Road Scholar is the place for you. Commonly Searched Together: Compare Road Scholar with these other tour companies Road Scholar vs Myths & Mountains

World Expeditions

4.8 | Excellent
100% Recommend
Total Trips 137 Trips
Average Price $ 353 per day

Stride Review Founded in 1975, World Expeditions offers unique adventure travel itineraries around the world. They have a strong commitment to responsible travel and helping local communities. What Makes Them Stand Out? They have a strong emphasis on and commitment to sustainable travel and responsible tourism. They focus on maintaining as small as possible carbon footprint, contributing to local communities etc. They also have a local employment policy, and high standards of training ensuring that employees and guides greet travelers with unparalleled enthusiasm and experience. Who Travels With Them? Those wanting to support a sustainable and responsible travel style will enjoy a trip with World Expeditions. The average age on a World Expeditions tour is between 40-65, primarily women, groups of friends, couples, and solo travelers. A large portion of their tours have an element of “roughing it” so it you’re looking for a luxurious experience this probably won’t be it. all inclusive, no hidden cost policy combined with creative itineraries and the use of quality ground services attracts adventurous spirits who have high expectations of their travel experiences. Where Do They Operate? They offer more than 1000 adventure-focused itineraries around the world. For their community efforts they focus on remote areas and small local villages. They began as a Himalayan Trekking company and it is still their most popular destination, claiming the largest collection of itineraries in the Himalayas, exclusive campsites, and unmatched sustainable initiatives. In their own words “adventure travel is about pushing personal boundaries and taking on challenges. It’s constantly evolving. New trips, new destinations, new ways of experiencing destinations are all a part of what World Expeditions is all about.” How Does it Work? All of their group departures are fully supported with an expertly trained local group leader and a team of staff including a driver, cook, kitchen staff and porters to carry all the gear. Their commitment to responsible and community driven travel means plenty of local people are given meaningful employment. Private transportation is used on their trips, and quality accommodations are carefully chosen for their ambience, heritage, and location. The pace of itineraries varies greatly, and the World Expeditions team can help travelers choose the best option according to their needs. Why Travel With Them? From small group active adventures to expeditions to cycling and walking tours to cultural journeys, World Expeditions prove you can be a responsible traveler wherever you go. Trips with World Expeditions are all inclusive and represent exceptional value - with no hidden extras. They avoid having local payments and what they don’t include provides the flexibility to enjoy more of the local flavors. A ‘no single supplement’ policy is another example of their commitment to offering great value-for-money travel. One of their core values is to “attract people who have high expectations of their travel experiences.” Travelers with World Expeditions are treated to full meal service on their trekking adventures, as part of the trip price. This includes access to a full time cook and kitchen assistant who prepare creative menus and carefully manage the hygiene standard. Whether it’s an exploratory expedition with a world class guide or experiencing a destination differently, World Expeditions is always looking for innovative ways for our clients to experience a destination.

Contiki

3.9 | Great
75% Recommend
North America South America Australia & Pacific Asia Europe
Total Trips 1,127 Trips
Average Price $ 189 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Budget
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

Stride Review Since 1962, Contiki has been a leader in providing exceptional global experiences for 18-35 year olds. They call themselves 'the #1 travel company for 18-35 year olds.' What Makes Them Stand Out? Contiki offers a huge amount of options tailor made for younger travelers. They pride themselves on creating lifelong memories among international groups of like-minded travelers. They offer a comprehensive selection of trips, over 300 of them, all over the world.  Most trips are budget-minded with a mix of 3-star hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. Contiki uses a mix of private coaches and public transportation to get around. Their product range spans three different styles based on the pace of the trip: Discovery Plus, In-Depth Explorer, and Easy Pace. Make sure to read the details of each trip and choose the right one for your travel style.   Who Travels With Them? Contiki is definitely a youth-oriented tour company. All of their travelers are between the ages of 18-35, and having a good time is one of their primary reasons for traveling with Contiki. Groups are a mix of people from the US, Canada, Australia, and the U.K.   Where Do They Operate? Contiki offers 300+ trips in over 50 countries, including Europe, Asia, Latin American, Australia, and New Zealand. They are perhaps best known for their European bus tours.  Why Travel With Them? Contiki is a great choice for younger travelers looking to socialize with others during their trip. They have lots of experience leading cutural tours in different parts of the world and have a wide range of options to choose from.  Commonly Searched Together:  Compare Contiki with these other tour companies Contiki vs Intrepid Travel Contiki vs G Adventures Contiki vs Travel Talk

Exodus Travels

4.6 | Excellent
99% Recommend
Central America & Caribbean South America Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe
Total Trips 641 Trips
Average Price $ 262 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Exodus is an adventure-oriented tour company based in the UK that has been in business for 40 years. Adventure can take the form of serious and active adventures --  which may involve adrenaline-producing, off-the-beaten-path roughing-it trips -- or premium (five-star), family, or relaxed itinerary adventures, which involve more comforts and amenities. Who Travels With Them? As Exodus is a British company, many of their clients are from the UK. Exodus travelers are a diverse bunch, and average between 35-55 years of age. Trips typically range between $1,500 to $2,500 dollars with a focus on value.  What Makes Them Stand Out? Exodus offers a variety of small group tours, private guided journeys, family group holidays, self-guided activities, and trips for groups of solo travelers. Activities might involve cycling or walking, safaris, photography, winter activities (including polar expeditions), or a mix of activities. Exodus is perhaps most well-known for their range of cycling and hiking tours around the world. These active adventures vary by way of difficulty, attracting casual cyclists and hikers as well as enthusiasts looking to really push their physical limits. The majority of trips have a maximum group size of 16 travelers, with an average of 10-12. In short, Exodus covers just about all the bases for adventure-minded, ecologically sensitive travelers. Where Do They Operate? Exodus leads 500 trips spanning all seven continents. From African safaris, to the charming Austrian village of Trins, to trekking Patagonia, Exodus has built out their global presence and offers an active vacation for most everyone. How Does it Work? Mode of transport ranges from two feet, to two wheels to private van. All of Exodus’ cycling trips are supported by a SAG vehicle - short for ‘support and gear.’ Luggage is transported from point to point on all of their active itineraries, leaving travelers the freedom to relax and enjoy the experience. Accommodations are typically 2-3 star, with some premium departures available, and the company strives to offer unique accommodation experiences whenever possible.  Why Travel With Them? Exodus’ main strength is its range of active product. Exodus is an experienced operator when it comes to this style of travel and is quite well-known in the UK, if not yet in North America. Their trips have deep cultural components and are based on principles of responsible tourism. Before joining the company, team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland driver's, mountain guides, diving and ski specialists, and mountain bike gurus – so they know their stuff when it comes to traveling to the wilderness and the far reaching corners of the world, as well as providing the kind of expertise you need to truly come away with appreciation for what you've experienced.

ROW Adventures

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 89 Trips
Average Price $ 482 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Established in 1979, by ROW Adventures began as a whitewater rafting company, which now offers many different kinds of active adventure trips. Their award winning trips have been featured in National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” and Travel and Leisure has named them one of the “World’s Best Tour Operators.” Who Travels With Them? They cater primarily to families and retired-aged adults who are somewhat active as most tours involve self-powered transportation. Tours are available to those with a mid-range budget. What Makes Them Stand Out? ROW Adventures has grown over it's 30 years as a family owned business to include all sorts of adventure travel offerings. They have a high guest to guide ratio, and specialize in small, customized tours, highlighting history and culture with the help of authentic local connections. Most trips involve some camping, but lodge-based options as well - higher end lodging, motels, and ecolodges are available as well, depending on the location and type of trip. Where Do They Operate? Row offers trips on five continents, including North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Antarctica. Almost all trips take place on or around water, and many involve kayaking, rafting, or other multisport activities. Among some of the most popular activities offered are sea kayaking in Baja, kayaking with Orcas in British Colombia, and they are the world's only tour operator through which guests can beach camp inside of the Galapagos National Park.  How Does it Work? Choose from a multitude of specialized trips, which include a number of different activities such as biking, fishing, and hiking. Many trips utilize self-powered means of transportation, either sea kayak or raft. Others are cruise or yacht-based, hiking-based, or are supported by gear boats. All trips are accompanied by an extensive support staff.  Why Travel With Them? Whether you are a thrill seeker or just dipping your toe in the waters of adventure travel, ROW has the trip for you. With their focus on authentic local experiences, highly qualified guides, and intent to make each trip as special and personalized as possible, they are one of the best choices available for your next adventure trip.

National Geographic Expeditions

4.0 | Great
100% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 59 Trips
Average Price $ 711 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

Stride Review In 1999, National Geographic launched their own tour company component: National Geographic Expeditions. Since then they have expanded to offer trips on all 7 continents in over 60 destinations. Recently they partnered with G Adventures to provide even more variety to their devoted customers. What Makes National Geographic Expeditions Stand Out? With National Geographic, you can travel by small, expedition-style ships; classic train journeys; land tours; active adventures; photo tours; family-oriented trips; or private, independent expeditions based on your desires and budget. Wherever you go with National Geographic, which has been in the tour business for 15 years, you can expect doors to open: entry to research sites, archeological digs, private homes or special events. Many expeditions are accompanied by a National Geographic expert or expert team who share their knowledge and passion for a region and help make each experience enriching and unforgettable. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With National Geographic Expeditions? National Geographic is one of those special brands that has managed to successfully straddle the line between “your grandfather loves them” and “your eighteen year old sister loves them”. They cover a wide range of topics, themes, and travel styles, with the educational aspect always prevalent yet not overbearing. If you love feeling like an explorer and an adventurer when you travel, and love learning about the world from experts in a variety of fields, National Geographic is the perfect place for you. This is a company for those who want to dig deeper, like getting the inside story from multiple perspectives - historical, cultural, political, economic, scientific and more. These trips are great for families, and you can choose a private tour or a family friendly group, where hands on activities will widen your children’s worldview in innumerable special ways. National Geographic trips are also extremely popular with photographers - novice photographers will enjoy their photography-centric tours, while many dedicated hobbyists can be found on their other trip styles as well. If you’re the kind of traveler who sacrifices the space for a pair of shoes in your suitcase for another lens or photography accessory...you’ll be right at home on a trip with National Geographic Expeditions. In the same way that National Geographic magazine has always inspired and furthered conversation and discourse, so too do their trips. The spirit of learning about the world is intertwined in every itinerary, so if you consider yourself a lifelong student, you should definitely consider traveling with National Geographic Expeditions. Top Destinations National Geographic Expeditions go all around the world, and cover almost every travel style imaginable. One might think they have a favoring of the more “exotic” locations but an impressive number of United States and Europe tours are offered as well as farther reaching destinations. Regardless of where you travel, you will be sure to get off the beaten path and discover unique cultural landmarks, meet interesting people, and enjoy a sense of adventure. Small-ship expeditions, done in conjunction with Lindblad Expeditions, can take you to Antarctica, the Galapagos and points beyond. Classic train journeys include the Trans-Siberian and trains through India, Spain, and Switzerland. Active adventures might take you hiking in Bhutan or meeting Berbers in Morocco. Land tours could take you to Tanzania, Peru or the Grand Canyon. National Geographic Expeditions Travel Style The travel style with National Geographic Expeditions has an aura of old fashioned exploration with a modern twist. National Geographic Expeditions is a family friendly outfit, offering a wide range of prices and trip styles. Trips vary from mid range budget to higher. Physical level is usually light to moderate. By virtue of their longstanding presence in the world, National Geographic has a wide reaching global network to lean on for incredibly unique and authentic lodging options, knowledgeable guides, and VIP access to historical and archaeological sites. They have several broad travel styles you can choose from: Land Trips - National Geographic Land Trips are immersive explorations, often covering nature and wilderness points of interest such as national parks. They also dive into ancient cities and cultures, with trips exploring everything from monks in Burmese mountainside temples to the lives of nomadic Mongolian peoples. Most trips are around 11 days and physical level is between light and moderate, with some trips featuring moderately challenging hikes in various altitudes. River Cruises - a relatively new addition, Nat Geo now offers around 7 river cruises in Europe covering the Danube, Rhine, and Douro. Currently they also have 1 river cruise in Asia, along the Irrawaddy. These trips are typically between 7 - 11 days and feature wine tasting, history tours, and very light physical activity. Private Expeditions - If you and your family, significant other, or a few close friends are looking for a more intimate travel experience than a group of strangers, Private Expeditions are a great way to travel. These trips are customizable, and can be crafted to perfectly suit your interests and dates. Photography Trips - National Geographic has consistently featured award winning travel photography. They run regular contests for those inspired by the thousands of groundbreaking and historic photographs taken by journalists and travel photographers around the world. On National Geographic photography trips you can actually learn tricks of the trade from real-world photographers and improve your skills. Train Trips - Travel was revolutionized with the implementation of the railroad, allowing people to travel in what was then a rapid pace from destination to destination. Today this ideal has been flipped on its head, and train travel is a leisurely paced excursion allowing time to relax and appreciate the slower meandering through beautiful countrysides. National Geographic train trips cover the classics, such as the Trans-Siberian railway and the Rocky Mountain railroad. Accommodations are comfortable, around a premium level, with options to upgrade. Active Expeditions - For those who enjoy a bit more of an adrenaline pumping and active travel experience, National Geographic also has trips for you. These trips feature multiple active outings, such as kayaking, hiking, and caving. Expect to explore the outdoors covering unique natural phenomena and gaining insight into how and why the landscape has been shaped the way it has. These trips also feature cultural insights, just to a lesser extent. Family Expeditions - National Geographic is the perfect company to travel with when you have curious and adventurous youngsters eager to see the world. They will learn about other cultures, people, food, nature and wildlife from experts with “cool jobs” that might even inspire lifelong interests and perhaps influence a career. These trips are specifically designed to be hands on, allowing everyone to get involved and learn about how things work. Private Jet Trips - For a luxurious and more lengthy travel experience, nothing beats a Private Jet tour. A dedicated team will be with you, and you’ll experience all the best that National Geographic has to offer from local guides to premiere accommodation. These trips are in a very high budget range, but if it’s in your wheelhouse - it’s a superb way to travel and cover a lot of ground. Journeys - Part of a partnership with G Adventures, these trips are adventurous and immersive small group excursions imbued with the spirit of National Geographic. The best of two top travel worlds! Why Choose a Tour  With National Geographic Expeditions? When you travel with National Geographic you are participating in and contributing to a spectacular legacy. Over the years National Geographic has cultivated a reputation for being about cultural exploration, scientific advancement, and broadening perspectives. Their travel experiences are perfect for anyone wishing to get back to the roots of what adventurous, experiential travel really means and enjoy discovering the world from multiple angles. Really one of the best parts about traveling on a tour with National Geographic Expeditions is the sheer breadth of knowledge, personal and professional experience their guides bring to the table. They help provide richly detailed context, historical information, and dive into the details of local life, by showing and doing as well as explaining. You the traveler will have the true experience of getting to know a place from the inside out. If that wasn’t enough of a reason, proceeds from your trip price go towards supporting National Geographic’s ongoing nonprofit work in conservation, exploration, education, and cultural preservation.

REI Adventures

4.9 | Excellent
100% Recommend
North America South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 84 Trips
Average Price $ 413 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

Stride Review When you think of REI, you probably think first of stores that sell quality outdoor equipment and gear. But REI also has a travel division called REI Adventures, which has been leading active outdoor adventures around the world for the past 25 years. What Makes REI Adventures Stand Out? Known for their top quality outdoor gear, REI’s trips are specifically designed for the active adventure traveler. As a company they are dedicated to helping people see the world through the lens of nature and outdoor adventure. Even though this is their focus, they do also enrich their itineraries with cultural encounters, great meals with local touches, and exploring the destination off the hiking trail.    Aside from their many trip options, from women-only departures to family friendly outings, they also offer volunteering trips, for those travelers interested in making a difference through their travel. These are also outdoor focused and involve things like wildlife habitat restoration and trail maintenance. It’s clear that REI takes their role as an outfitter as well as travel provider seriously and strive to help protect the areas they explore to keep them as pristine and undisturbed as possible. Most trips are small groups, and are intended for those who are physically fit. Satisfy all your active adventure cravings on a trip with REI where you’ll meet like minded travelers and come home with stories to tell. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With REI Adventures? REI trips are very active adventure focused, with the emphasis is on getting outdoors and enjoying nature. If you are the kind of traveler for whom putting on a pair of hiking boots and hitting the trail for a several hour excursion in the wilderness is an ideal and really, crucial, aspect of your travel experience, these trips are for you. The space in your suitcase that might have been dedicated to makeup, ties, jewelry, or cufflinks is replaced with outdoor travel accessories. Getting out in nature with REI means anything from hard core activities like extreme whitewater rafting and trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro, to family safaris and cruises to Antarctica. The focal point is being outside, learning about nature, and being active. That said, this is travel after all, albeit adventure travel, but that doesn’t have to mean no time to slow down and get some cultural experiences in too. Simply that exploring culture and history is secondary to the outdoor travel aspect. Everyone from mild adventure travelers to hard core adventurers and adrenaline junkies will be right at home on a trip with REI. Trips are moderately priced, with several family friendly, solo traveler, and women-only options available. Because their core focus is in active travel, a certain level of physical fitness is expected. A wide range of ages are welcome, though the core age group is between 18-40. On Family Friendly trips it is recommended that children be no younger than 8 years old. Not all activities will be open to the younger travelers in the group, but these trips are specifically designed to make sure everyone has something fun to do! Top Destinations REI travels to destinations with an eye toward the outdoor activities to be enjoyed. Whether this means an African safari camping under the stars, a multi day hike through some of the world’s most incredible National Parks, or a trekking journey in Nepal. They offer departures on all 7 continents, with an impressive number of Antarctica tours available. they focus on National Parks, mountain regions, hikes, and popular safari and white water rafting locations. REI Adventures Travel Style Each of REI’s 150 trips -- which reach all seven continents -- is rated 1 through 5 for activity level. Trips rated 1(Relaxed) and 2(Easy Active) are ideal for families with younger kids, older travelers seeking some invigoration without, you know, climbing cliffs or barreling through whitewater, or completely novice active outdoor travelers. Trips that are rated Moderate are also great for novices, but those interested in a slightly bigger challenge physically. Those trips rated 4(Vigorous) and 5(Strenuous) often require a doctor’s note to ensure you are aware of the risk, and able to keep up with the physical demands of 10+ hours a day of extreme activity, dramatically changing elevations, and steep uneven terrain. Camping is a common accommodation style for REI Adventures trips - though you usually will not be required to do your own set up and break down, and in most cases (not all) hot running water is available. Other types of accommodation include rustic lodges, and basic hotels. Why Choose a Tour With REI Adventures? For an exhilarating and invigorating deep dive into nature and the outdoors, choose REI Adventures. This is their core focus and they do it remarkably well. Travelers who like to explore destinations through the lens of active travel will be right at home with REI Adventures. If you’re looking to expand your horizons and perhaps challenge what you previously thought you were capable of (such as learning to scale a mountain, or graduate from class 3 to class 4 whitewater rafting) these trips are for you. This is a also a great travel opportunity to make new friends with like interests! You are sure to meet many fellow outdoorsy, active travelers -- whether you’re hiking through Tuscany, trekking to Machu Picchu, exploring Utah’s Zion National Park by bicycle, or kayaking the South Island of New Zealand. These trips are not for you if the idea of being outside constantly, among elements, and pushing your physical boundaries is less than appealing. They also focus far less on museums, history, and classic tourist attractions, so if this is important to you, we’d suggest looking into other tour companies where this is more prominent in the itinerary. If you love the outdoors and being active when you travel, REI is the perfect tour operator for you. They specialize in active adventure travel, as evidenced by their outfitters, so if you love shopping at REI for all your outdoor needs you’re sure to enjoy touring with them. Frequently Asked Questions 1. Do I need to be an REI member to go on their trips? No, however if you are a member, you can receive substantial discounts! 2. Is airfare included? No, only ground transportation during the trip is covered by the trip price. You are responsible for purchasing your airfare to and from the trip start and end locations. 3. Does REI Adventures provide travel insurance? Travel insurance is required when traveling with REI. Due to the potentially dangerous and risky nature of adventure travel, REI has a partnership with TripAssure, and recommend all travelers purchase the “Adventure Protection Plan” which you can do through REI. Should you choose to purchase independently, know that certain events that can arise from active travel may not be covered, so do so at your own risk. 4. How difficult are REI Adventures trips physically? This will vary by the trip, but in general it will be good to expect some parts of the trip to be physically challenging, relative to the trip classification. REI separates their trips into five main categories: 1. Relaxed: These trips are ideal for new adventurers with no background in active travel. They usually involve easy hikes - expect to walk no more than 3 miles a day, and to be active between 1-3 hours a day. Elevation changes are rare, so most hiking and walking is relatively flat. Great for families with young kids looking to enjoy being out in the fresh air! 2. Easy Active: Another good option for families or slightly older travelers looking to push their limits. These trips are active and exciting without being extreme. Expect to be active between 2-5 hours a day, hiking up to 6 miles; cycling between 10-30 miles. 3. Moderate: Here’s where it begins to get more challenging - though REI states that these trips are perfectly doable for novices to outdoor travel. Expect to be active between 4-6 hours most days, and covering distances of up to 10 miles for hiking; between 20-40 miles for cycling. 3a. Moderate plus: Moderate plus indicates that some experience in active outdoor travel would be beneficial. These trips are a combination of Moderate and Vigorous activities. 4. Vigorous: These trips are best suited to those travelers with a bit of active travel already under their belt, and basic outdoor travel skills are recommended. Or at least willing to undergo some training to be ready and able to keep up with the group. You’ll be active for between 5-8 hours a day, hiking 12 miles most days; cycling between 30-50 miles. 5. Strenuous: This designation is reserved for long distance trekking, dramatic changes in elevation, and it is required that travelers be fit and able bodied. A doctor’s note is required for you to be permitted on these tours. Expect consistently uneven terrain, and long days of activity - hiking 12 miles or more, or cycling 50 miles or more. Prepare to be active upwards of 10 hours a day. Commonly Searched Together: Compare REI Adventures with these other tour companies REI Adventures vs Intrepid REI Adventures vs Project Expedition REI Adventures vs Exodus REI Adventures vs Butterfield & Robinson REI Adventures vs ROW Adventures

Intrepid Travel

4.6 | Excellent
98% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 954 Trips
Average Price $ 170 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

Stride Review Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ Founded back in 1989 following an “intrepid” African adventure trip, Intrepid lives up to its name by offering up some pretty big adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea -- but is broad-based enough to also lead group trips to Hawaii, complete with sipping sunset Mai Tais on Waikiki Beach. Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts Founded in 1989 No Single Supplement (rare exceptions) Small Groups - max 16 on most trips Typical Age Range - 18 - 45 Travel Style - Cultural immersion, adventure, overland Accommodation Style - Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels Average Tour Price - $2,377 Top Regions - Asia, Africa, Europe, South America Other Brands: Peregrine, Geckos Commonly compared with G Adventures » What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out? Above all else, Intrepid strives to get its travelers off the beaten path and under the surface of the local culture. To accomplish this, group sizes average just 10 travelers each, with a maximum of 16 on most trips. This allows for more use of local transportation and lodging, along with fostering cultural immersion. Intrepid also employs local English-speaking leaders who act more as a resource for local exploration than do typical ‘guides,’ shepherding groups from one place to another. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Intrepid Travel? Intrepid is one of the early pioneers of the “adventure”-style guided trip. Despite its informal beginnings and emphasis on younger, highly adventurous travelers, Intrepid has expanded to a global company with a broad range of trips to fit all ages. Intrepid divides its small-group trips into three separate styles of travel, all priced accordingly. “Basix,” for budget travelers, keep inclusions to a minimum and offer plenty of free time, “Original” journeys which offer more included activities and more hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles. The kind of traveler who gravitates to Intrepid Travel is one who has a real sense of adventure - whether this means hard adventure, or simply going deeper off the beaten path. Interacting with locals is an important factor when you travel, as is gaining a unique cultural perspective. A sense of fun is also essential, whether it means going out at night with your tour mates or daring, ahem, encouraging each other to try strange new foods. Top Destinations Originally focused on small group adventure tours to Asia, Intrepid has expanded rapidly over the years, while maintaining its classic, adventurous, and immersive style. Today Intrepid Travel offers more than 1,000 different experiences in over 100 countries, on all seven continents. Regions with the most trips include Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe. Intrepid Travel Style Intrepid enjoys using local, unique forms of transportation. You might find yourself traveling by felucca in Egypt, on a camel in Morocco, or in a tuk-tuk on the best Thailand tour of your life. Accommodations, which could range from guesthouses to home stays, are also locally owned, allowing a more authentic taste of the region while contributing to the local economy. Why Choose a Tour With Intrepid Travel? Intrepid is a good choice if you don’t mind foregoing some creature comforts for a truly authentic, local experience. If you enjoy meeting locals when traveling, sampling new and exciting foods, and traveling in mixed-aged groups of 10-16 people, Intrepid could be a good fit for you. Additionally, Intrepid has poured millions of dollars into local economies, and has a very strong emphasis on responsible travel. So you can feel good knowing that your money helps support some of the innkeepers, vendors, and communities that you’ll meet along the way. Frequently Asked Questions 1. Do I need Travel Insurance? Yes. Most tour companies require you to have travel insurance, which covers medical emergencies, cancellations, lost luggage, and other unforeseen circumstances. There are many options for travel insurance, and Intrepid recommends Travel Guard, which you can purchase through them during the booking process. 2. Are flights included? No, however Intrepid’s agents can help you find the best fares and routes to get to and from your destination. 3. Are kids welcome? Intrepid has several Family Trips, where children under 12 are welcome. The age minimum varies based on the kinds of activities included in the trip. On all Intrepid trips, the age minimum is usually 15 with a parent or guardian present. Overland tours require that travelers be 18 or older. 4. How much luggage should I bring? Bear in mind that on most Intrepid trips you will be required to carry your own luggage. So pack light - backpacks are recommended or an easily transportable small to medium sized suitcase. 5. Does Intrepid Travel have a loyalty program? Yes! If you take 9 small group trips with them (single day and Urban Adventures don’t count), you will be rewarded with $1,800 (USD or equivilent in your local currency) toward your next trip with Intrepid Travel.

Abercrombie & Kent

4.5 | Great
88% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 28 Trips
Average Price $ 732 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Co-founded by current CEO Geoffrey Kent in 1962, Abercrombie & Kent started out in modest fashion as an African safari operator, but quickly grew into one of the world's premiere luxury travel brands. Today they cover the globe, with 50 offices worldwide. What Makes Abercrombie & Kent Stand Out? Abercrombie & Kent is one of the world’s leading luxury travel companies. The emphasis is very much on luxury here -- whether it’s small-group travel (limit of 18 per group), tailor-made journeys, expedition cruises, train travel, African safaris, European barge cruises, or any of its many other offerings, just about everything A&K arranges is top of the line. They are specific in their travel style, promising superior and attentive service, comfort, and cultural exploration. While this may seem exclusionary - and the prices are quite a barrier to entry Luxury travel might have a reputation for being swanky and even perhaps a bit dull, particularly for those who travel for adventure, the image being a glass of champagne all day long, moving from meal to meal, sitting on the private deck of a cruise ship. This perspective is a misnomer however, as there is quite a bit of action available on tours with Abercrombie & Kent. Enjoy invigorating walks, hikes, get outdoors to remote locations, meeting local people and learning about their cultures; experience the thrill of getting up close to waterfalls, and poise your camera for the perfect shot on a safari. Then retire to your room for a cocktail before dinner. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Abercrombie & Kent? Abercrombie & Kent travelers embody an adventurous spirit, but enjoy the finer things as well. “Elegant exploration” is one way to put it. These travelers appreciate a slow pace and personalized attentive service. The age range tends to be older - baby boomers and seniors looking for a relaxing experience, with many cultural touch-points, but not overly “immersive” as their children and grandchildren might prefer. This is upper crest travel at its finest - though Abercrombie & Kent makes a concerted effort to be worldly and inviting, your experience is definitely a luxury version of any given destination. This is a travel company that offers Private Jet trips, some of which offering the chance to meet an Abercrombie & Kent family member. Think private after hours tours, exclusive outings with artisans, chefs, and winemakers; spectacular meals and accommodations that go a touch beyond comfortable. Imagine the civilized world of cocktail hour and dressing for dinner, but in the context of exploration. Perhaps you’re sipping your negroni on the deck of your private suite in Kenya, gazing out across the savannah with elephants silhouetted in the distance, against the dusty yellow sunlight of dusk. This is the wonderful travel world waiting for you with Abercrombie & Kent. The majority of A&K’s guests come from North America or Britain. A&K trips are definitely not for the budget traveler, but they offer deluxe lodgings and transport and exceptionally attentive service, which their customers value highly. Top Destinations Abercrombie & Kent made its name offering luxury small group and private safaris in Africa. Today they go around the world, but with the same luxurious approach. Luxury doesn’t mean same-old, same-old or unadventurous though. Groups head off on Antarctic expeditions or Uganda gorilla safaris, visit Tibet or Machu Picchu, join a European or Nile river cruise, or travel to India’s Pushkar Fair. You can ride deluxe trains or fly across Africa by private jet with Abercrombie & Kent. Or you can outline your own tailor-made journey under the guidance of an A&K consultant, then be accompanied by their guides throughout. Abercrombie & Kent Travel Style There could be a tendency to view Abercrombie & Kent as old fashioned when it comes to travel style. However there is a difference between old fashioned and appreciating a traditional travel style. Those who travel with Abercrombie & Kent do expect a certain kind of experience. From luggage handling to having the salad fork in the correct order, from short or non-existent lines to special assistance when needed. These expectations have become the blueprint for an Abercrombie & Kent travel experience. Transportation on an Abercrombie & Kent tour is almost always private and chartered. Exceptions would of course be rail journeys, but here you would have a private car and access to first class dining and viewing. Your journey may involve anything from helicopters, private jets, luxury coaches, and yachts. Walking is a common part of most guided tours, but you can expect simple and easy distances during your A&K itinerary. (Unless of course you are on a Gorilla Trek!). Accommodation follows a similar pattern. Luxury hotels, safari lodges, villas, you name it and it’s probably available. Why Choose a Tour With Abercrombie & Kent? Abercrombie & Kent promises to deliver an authentic, “insider” travel experience, such as seeing Machu Picchu under the guidance of its former resident archaeologist. You can even ride an elegant train to get there. In Tanzania, A&K runs its own luxury safari camps. From the time they first meet you at the airport until trip end, Abercrombie & Kent promises that your trip will go as smoothly as possible -- and that their entire global organization will be dedicated toward that goal. It may strike some as contradictory to see certain parts of the world in luxury. Some countries have luxury homes, but they are only available to tourists and travelers because the locals simply occupy a different social sphere. There is a unique dependency on tourism in much of the world. Abercrombie & Kent takes this seriously, doing their philanthropic part wherever possible, giving back to the local communities.

G Adventures

4.8 | Excellent
100% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Middle East & North Africa Europe Antarctica & the Arctic
Total Trips 735 Trips
Average Price $ 226 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Specializing in small-group, multi-day adventure tours and expeditions, Toronto-based G Adventures has been a pioneer in the field since 1990. Founded by entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip after a backpacking trip to Asia, the company fosters sustainable and environmentally sound tourism practices -- giving back to the communities they visit -- and considers its business “changing people’s lives,” not just offering a vacation. It’s since grown to become the world’s largest independent adventure travel company, with more than 1,350 employees, many of them professionally trained guides. What Makes G Adventures Stand Out? Trips with G Adventures are all encompassing, adventurous, exciting, and fulfilling. Since the beginning, G Adventures has maintained a strong message of engaging with local cultures, being a responsible traveler, and contributing back to communities. Their trips are designed to be life changing. G Adventures strives to create unique experiences for its travelers that start even before the trip itself. The company provides trip inspiration through their Looptail blog and you can connect with fellow travelers via the ‘Departure Lounge’, which is part of G’s ‘Watering Hole’ travel forum. Once on your trip, you will meet your ‘CEO’ or ‘Chief Experience Officer’ who is “responsible for enriching your journey, offering local insight, and pursuing great experiences as they happen.” Most groups average around 12 travelers, with a maximum of 16 on most trips. G Adventures has made a concerted effort to expand their offering beyond youth focused adventures, though this remains a core theme. You Danube River Cruise will be imbued with the same culturally immersive and adventurous touch as your trekking journey through the Himalayas. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With G Adventures? If you are the kind of traveler who packs running shoes before dress shoes, hiking attire before dinner attire, and a sense of adventure before playing it safe, then G Adventures is the perfect fit for you. You love engaging with locals, meeting new people, and being spontaneous. You also favor experiences over luxury accomodations. Most G Adventures tours have an active focus - expect to be on the move, packing a lot in. That said they do allot generous free time to explore on your own. There’s a chance you may not see every major tourist attraction in the interest of a more “real” experience. But the nice thing is if a particular site is not on the itinerary, you can use your free time to visit. If you are interested in a tour that plans every part of the itinerary down to the minute, G Adventures will probably not be the best fit for you.  While its target market has traditionally been younger travelers in the 18-39 range, G Adventures has expanded significantly, now offering a broad range of trips that appeal to adventurous-minded, culturally curious people of any age. Groups are geographically diverse, with a higher proportion of North Americans than some other operators. G Adventures also does not charge a single supplement, so solo travelers are very welcome on their trips. They offer numerous travel styles, some at a higher budget range, like their National Geographic Journeys. Most G Adventures trips are accessible to low to mid budgets and are ideal for travelers who like experiential small group active travel. Top Destinations   You can find G Adventures trips in most parts of the globe, including 32 countries in Europe, 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 21 countries in Asia, 10 countries in South America, 12 countries in Central America and the Caribbean, five countries in North Africa and the Mideast, plus the U.S., and Canada. A number of destinations are well off the beaten track, from Sao Tome and Principe in West Africa to Borneo in east Asia to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and both polar regions. Itineraries often focus on more off the beaten path locations; small towns, remote and rural villages, less touristy districts and sites. G Adventures Travel Style Pricing is competitive (cheaper), largely by using “grassroots” approaches: local transport and a mix of privately-owned accommodations, perhaps including homestays and camping. Efforts are made to focus on authenticity with both culinary choices (locally-owned restaurants) as well as transportation methods. G Adventures truly offers something for everyone. Trip styles include Classic, Active, Rail, YOLO (You Only Live Once - for 18-39’s), National Geographic Journeys, Marine, Family, Local Living, and Private Groups. Classic - Classic trips with G Adventures are designed for independent minded travelers who don’t want to miss anything. This is the perfect choice if you want a balanced mix of classic tourist sights and local cultural experiences. Active - Throwing it back to one of the things G Adventures does best. Kayak, walk, hike, trek; experience your destination through the outdoors. These multi-sport trips are great if you hate standing still and enjoy being out in nature. G Adventures Active tours are ideal for those who are relatively physically fit and like a challenge. Rail - A rail journey is a great way to dial it back. Take it slow and really savor the feeling of the journey. Take iconic routes and enjoy the ride. YOLO - “You only live once” is the acronym, and while G Adventures provides adventurous experiences for all, these trips are specifically designed for 18-39 year olds. Get cheeky, get wild, experience life unfettered, as you explore the culture and the local nightlife. If you have the stamina, these trips are once in a lifetime. Kind of like the age range. National Geographic Journeys - A more premium travel experience, these G Adventures trips, as part of a partnership with National Geographic Expeditions, involve the same culturally immersive approach and knowledgeable guides with an elevated level of accommodations and service. Marine - Love to be out on the water? Let G Adventures cruises take you to the far reaches of the globe via river and ocean. Experience incredible sights above and below the surface. Unpack once and enjoy the escape of being a part of the crew and passengers. Family - Adventure tours aren’t always especially friendly to younger travelers. G Adventures Family Friendly tours make adventure activities accessible for you and your youngsters! Trips often have an educational element, and are designed with multiple ages in mind. Local Living - Get to the heart of it with a homestay. These tours are designed to make you really feel at home and appreciate the feel and rhythm of living like a local. Private Groups - If you and your family, or a group of friends want the fun all to yourself, G Adventures can plan a private group trip just for you. Note: part of the culturally immersive experience when traveling with G Adventures is the use of public transportation. This means carrying your own luggage on buses, trains, etc - sometimes during commute hours! So pack light for your own comfort and the comfort of those around you. Why Choose a Tour With G Adventures? For those travelers seeking an exciting, professionally guided, and culturally immersive travel experience G Adventures is the perfect tour company to consider. Their trips are designed to be as authentic as possible - and they place much emphasis on giving back to local communities - so you’ll know your tourism dollars are going toward meaningful causes. Trips with G Adventures are not luxury by any means. But if unique experiences and active days appeal to you over a fluffy pillow then you’re in the right place. Departures are guaranteed once you’ve paid (barring significant weather or safety issues). And they don’t charge single supplements. In short, G Adventures wants you out there with them. You can find something for everyone at G Adventures; whether that’s sailing down the Danube with a glass of wine in hand, or traipsing through the rainforests of Costa Rica. FAQ 1. What kind of luggage should I bring? On many G Adventures trips it’s important to keep in mind that local public transportation is used frequently. Sometimes during commute hours! For your comfort and the comfort of those around you, it’s a good idea to pack light. Some areas will be very crowded, so take pickpocket precautions. 2. Do I need travel insurance? Yes! Travel insurance is required for all travelers on G Adventures trips. If you don’t have your own insurance already, you can purchase a plan for the time you’ll be traveling when you book your G Adventures tour. This is an easy and budget friendly option. If you’re interested in browsing more plans, check out the top travel insurance options » 3. Is airfare included? Unfortunately no. While G Adventures does not include international airfare in their trip prices, they can help you book flights. 4. Is there a single supplement? No. G Adventures does not charge a single supplement for their tours. Single travelers are very welcome. You will share with a same-sex roommate during the tour. If you wish to have a single room, there is usually an option to pay an additional fee for your own room. 5. Is there an age cap? While G Adventures trips tend to appeal largely to younger adventure travelers, all ages are welcome on the majority of trips. The exceptions include on their 18-39 tours, which are specifically designed for only travelers within that range. On most other G Adventures trips, children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian, and are open to kids 12 and up. Some family friendly trips are open to younger kids. 6. What size are the groups? G Adventures group tours are kept small and intimate. The max is 15, with the average hovering more around 10.

Insight Vacations

4.8 | Excellent
80% Recommend
North America South America Australia & Pacific Asia Middle East & North Africa Europe
Total Trips 361 Trips
Average Price $ 317 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise

Stride Review Located in London, and part of the sweeping family-owned Travel Corporation, Insight Vacations provides signature itineraries according to 7 specific trip styles. What Makes Them Stand Out? Insight does not skimp -- hotels tend to be centrally located, even if more expensive, so that guests can experience a destination at night and have more free time at their disposal. “Signature” experiences dot every itinerary: these may be interesting historic hotels, special activities (such as a private opera or orchestra performance),or authentic local restaurants. Most everything is included in the base rates. Who Travels With Them? Insight’s typical customers are upscale English-speaking baby boomers in their 50s and 60s. Where Do They Operate? Insight Vacations offers premium motor coach tours throughout Europe, North America, and increasingly, India.  Why Travel With Them?  Insight seeks to fill a “premium” niche that falls above first class and a notch below luxury. Customer comfort on the road is a priority. If visions of cramped bus tours come to mind, note that Insight coaches have been stripped down to 40 seats, compared to 49 to 53 for normal tour buses. Meanwhile, tour directors and local guides keep passengers entertained by delivering “insights” (in English) into local culture, history and politics.

Gate 1

4.1 | Great
76% Recommend
North America South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Africa Europe
Total Trips 731 Trips
Average Price $ 196 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Founded in 1981 with three employees and based in suburban Philadelphia, Gate 1 now employs more than 200 people worldwide with offices in 20 countries, ranging from Hungary to Cambodia, Argentina to Israel. What Makes Gate 1 Stand Out? Gate 1 offers a variety of tour packages and river cruises around the world, promising to provide exceptional value for the price. They focus on North American travelers who seek “high quality, yet affordable” guided trips, with accommodations ranging from superior tourist to moderate deluxe class. They have a lot of different choices when it comes to destinations, durations, and inclusions. Most tours have additional offerings for meals, activities, and excursions available for additional fees. Reviews for Gate 1 oscillate between 5 star and 1 star experiences. Those that have had an excellent time cite the tour pacing, guides, and extensive sightseeing opportunities as positives. Those for whom these same factors contributed to a negative experience may have had higher expectations than is available or offered for the prices that Gate 1 offers. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Gate 1? Gate 1 is the perfect travel choice for families, couples, and friend groups seeking a cost efficient journey. As Gate 1 is a strictly budget minded brand, it’s important to be fully aware of the trade-off when you choose to travel with them. Average tour price is around $2,000, often less. Keeping costs low is one of their main priorities so this means hotels will be basic, meals won’t be 5 star, and your coach will have fewer amenities. If you’re expecting a more premium experience you may want to consider a different operator. However, if you’re flexible, open minded, and are interested in maximizing your sightseeing above all else, Gate 1 could be for you. Knowing what to expect is key for enjoying the trip to the fullest. According to their reviews, they have strong customer loyalty. Travelers use them repeatedly over the years and report a wonderful experience each time. Top Destinations Gate 1 trips cover much of the world, including destinations in North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Itineraries focus on the top sights, historical attractions, and national parks. Gate 1 Travel Style In a nutshell, the Gate 1 travel style is “see a lot for a little”. Hotels and accommodations are usually 3 star hotels. Expect basic comforts, with fewer amenities available. However if you’re the kind of traveler for whom a bed and some coffee in the morning is a fine trade-off for busy days outside and tons of sightseeing, the trade-off will be worth it.   You will be met on the ground with a dedicated tour leader, available to assist throughout your travel experience. Escorted group bus tours are a big part of their business - between 24-42 people. These coaches are again, more utility focused than amenity focused, but you will be comfortable. And in general bus tours take frequent stops to allow for stretching legs and using of facilities.   Gate 1 also offers small group tours (with a maximum of 22 people), river cruises on two continents, independent city stays and fly and drive packages, rail packages, customized vacations, and combination bus/cruise tours -- something for almost everyone interested in a budget vacation. Why Travel With Gate 1? For the budget traveler, Gate 1 is a fantastic choice. They offer several types of trip package to choose from, including rail, river cruise, and small group tours, at competitive rates. Their escorted tours are extremely popular, and customers repeat trips with them regularly. While Gate 1 is the primary brand, and they are all about giving a positive and packed international travel experience on a budget, other brands associated with Gate 1 are more premium focused. These include the Signature collection, offering luxury tour options and smaller groups.

CIE Tours

3.0 | Average
50% Recommend
Europe
Total Trips 21 Trips
Average Price $ 192 per day
Size Regional Expert
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review New Jersey-based CIE Tours, in business since 1932, is one of the largest operators of escorted coach tours through the British Isles, Eastern Europe, Italy, and Ireland. Quick facts Founded in 1932 Travel Style: Large Coaches, not handicap accessible Single supplement required for those traveling solo Group Size: Average 35, maximum 48 Typical Age Range: Older travelers 50+. Children are welcome, minimum of 8 years old, so families are common as well. Average Tour Price: $2,233 Accommodation Style: 3, 4, and 5 star hotels, depending on the itinerary. 4 stars are the most popular, combining a decent price with comfortability.   What Makes CIE Tours Stand Out? CIE is a long-established company with extensive regional knoweledge in Ireland. They offers especially good value, with all-inclusive pricing. Also look for early-booking discounts as well as seasonal discounts for solo travelers. As part of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), CIE ensures that their company goes above and beyond when it comes to their client’s safety. They also offer a wide-range of itineraries depending on the client’s budget, interest, and schedule. Who Will Enjoy Traveling with CIE Tours? Travelers seeking all-inclusive group tours of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as a few destinations in Continental Europe. Customers tend to be aged 50-plus and have an interest in history and wish to stay in nice hotels (ranging from three to five stars) with a choice of budgets. The kind of traveler who enjoys a completely hassle free experience, with all activities, meals, and sightseeing planned out. Coach tours are generally enjoyed by travelers who like driving - daydream and gaze out large windows at the world passing by in comfort on your way to the next wonderful stop. If you love learning about history, culture, with your days full of ancient cities, churches, and historical information their guide style would be a good fit. And with the occasional spa day at your hotel thrown in these all-encompassing journeys take care of the mind and the body. Top Destinations CIE Tours are especially known for tours in and around Ireland, and this is their primarily focus. They also travel to Scotland and Britain, with a small number of coach tours offered in Italy, Eastern Europe, and the Balkan Peninsula. Occasionally, river cruises on the Rhine and Danube are also available. CIE Tours Travel Style Most of their tours are on large, roomy, comfortable coaches, in the premium - luxury range. Amenities on board are basic, and coaches make frequent stops to avoid the need for using the restroom on the bus. Group size is a max of 48, though 35 people is the average on the CIE Tours. Virtually all aspects of the trip – with no optional extras -- are included in the initial rate, which will not go up after booking, and departures are guaranteed. Itineraries range from 5 to 24 days, though the majority sit in the 8-10 day range. CIE will also set up self-drive trips and homestay and B&B vacations for you if you want to travel on your own, or arrange customized tours for groups of 10 or more people. Why Choose a Tour With CIE? With more than eight decades of experience, CIE Tours offers dependable service and regional know-how. The company estimates that the average traveler will save $550 per week by not having to pay for optional extras during the trip. Their all-inclusive tours alleviate the stress of planning a vacation by providing daily guided tours, hotels, meals, and airport transfers. CIE Tour guides are experts in Ireland and the other regions they travel through, so if you’re looking for comfort, inclusivity of price, plus a high caliber of knowledge and experience, this is a good place to start. Frequently Asked Questions 1. What is the CIE Travel Protection Plan? Travel insurance is required on all CIE Tours. The Travel Protection Plan is an easy, convenient way to purchase insurance at the time of your booking, covering cancellation. See other travel insurance options   2. Are there restrooms on the coaches? Yes, most CIE coaches have restrooms for emergencies. Safety protocol means they are not to be used while the coach is in motion. CIE Tours make regular stops for travelers to stretch their legs and use the facilities. 3. Are CIE Tours handicap accessible? No. Unfortunately the coaches are not equip to handle large wheelchairs or scooters. Walkers or foldable wheelchairs can be accommodated. Sightseeing tours require some walking over short distances, and some difficult stairs, such as when exploring castles. Uneven surfaces are common especially when exploring old sites and ruins. 4. What should I pack? One large piece of luggage is permitted, which will fit under the coach. Layers are advisable for the weather in Ireland, which can be chilly. You may also bring a small backpack or purse. On “Supreme” tours, men will require a dinner jacket, but on all other tours this is not necessary. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. 5. Are tips included? No, tips for your driver, porter, guides, and tour director are not included in the price. They are not required, but are a customary show of gratitude, especially if you enjoyed the trip! 6. What about airport transfer? If you choose to purchase airfare through CIE, complimentary airport transfer is provided for flights arriving before noon. You can choose to purchase airport transfer if you elect to buy your airfare separately.

Ker & Downey Africa

5.0 | Excellent
100% Recommend
Africa
Total Trips 18 Trips
Average Price $ 762 per day
Size Regional Expert
Service Level Luxury
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Ker & Downey is an award-winning luxury tour operator with more than five decades of experience in the travel industry. What Makes Them Stand Out? Ker & Downey is known for African Adventure Travel – primarily including Safaris and Gorilla tracking, but extending into all forms of adventure from bush walks to mountaineering. They offer private tours with a focus on experiential travel with VIP assistance, incredible guides, and fabulous properties for every itinerary. They’ll partner with every you to design the ultimate memorable, unforgettable, and even life-changing itinerary. They are the perfect company if you’re after “adventurous days and luxurious nights”. Who Travels With Them? Ker & Downey offers experiential luxury travel for all ages including families, couples, and solo travelers. Group size ranges - they are equipped to handle anything from solo travellers to groups of 100. Where Do They Operate? They specialize in luxury safaris to Africa. These tours go all over, but they are known for Botswana, South Africa, Victoria Falls, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, Namibia, Reunion Island and Malawi. And though Africa is their focus, they offer custom itineraries all over the world. Why Travel With Them? Ker & Downey designs each of its journeys to provide the traveler a worry-free experience. They have expertise in a vast list of destinations, with each of its luxury travel consultants traveling there on a yearly basis, if not more often. Its “white glove expertise” will recommend properties, transfers, guide services, and dining locations for any destination. Many clients might request destinations that are not on the featured list, but Ker & Downey will make special arrangements to create an itinerary matching travelers’ interests. Tweets by kerdowneyafrica

EF College Break (EF Ultimate Break)

4.3 | Great
82% Recommend
North America Central America & Caribbean South America Rivers & Seas Australia & Pacific Asia Europe
Total Trips 27 Trips
Average Price $ 229 per day
Size Global Operator
Service Level Standard
Operator Type Group Tour Operator

Stride Review Newly rebranded as ‘EF Ultimate Break’, EF College Break has been a leader in educational tours, language services, and study abroad experiences since 1965. What Makes EF Ultimate Break Stand Out? EF stands for “Education First”, and they have been offering educational travel experiences, exchange programs, work and teach abroad assistance, and language courses for over 50 years. They focus on making sure the often daunting and complicated process of planning an abroad experience, whether for pleasure or a career change, remains as simple as possible. Their travel experiences were named EF College Break, this name changed to EF Ultimate Break in 2017, reflecting a fresher more youth driven outlook, and seemingly placing less emphasis on the education aspect and more on the fun aspect. Their tours are about being completely immersed in your destination and appreciating all it has to offer with your tour group who are guaranteed to become your good friends by the end. This is like a study abroad journey with all the fun and none of the schoolwork. Who Will Enjoy Traveling With EF Ultimate Break? This is the kind of trip that active outgoing, social college aged adults interested in learning and having fun will enjoy. If you have a “work hard play hard” kind of mentality you will fit in well with their approach to traveling. EF Ultimate Break specifically caters to 18-29 year olds (though the broad spectrum of their educational programs are open to adults and working professionals). Their main target being 18-29, tours are designed to not be price prohibitive, itineraries include a lot of social activities, and the emphasis is on having fun and staying active, with a sprinkling of educational value thrown in for good measure. Enough for you to maybe convince a parent to put up some of the cost. Incredibly studious types who gravitate to history tours, archaeological sites, and long moments in each stop learning from a guide may want to check around first before settling on EF Ultimate Break. One of their mantras is “we don’t do boring” and let’s face it museums often fall under that category. The emphasis is on being active, seeing and doing a lot - both on the historically significant side as well as the locally immersive side (which in this case might mean your bunkmates are frequently sampling the nightlife). Top Destinations There is a strong emphasis on Europe for EF Ultimate Break, though they do offer group travel experiences around the world. In Europe they cover many popular countries in Western and Central Europe, including Iceland and the UK. In Central America, you can find trips in Cuba, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama, and in South America they have departures to Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina. In Asia, EF Ultimate Break has tours in China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Lastly you can also find tours in South Africa, and Australia and New Zealand. EF Ultimate Break Travel Style Tours are designed to be easy to pay for using installments; and they have a few different payment plans to choose from. You can choose from 1-2 week, 2-4 week, and 4+ week durations, and filter by a variety of trip type. While on your tour: Accommodations are standard and basic. Think multi-bed hostel rooms more than hotels. A variety of transportation modes will be used, from private motor coach to train to bicycle. Your Tour Director is a local, ready to introduce you and welcome you to their home - acting as a tour guide and friend. Why Choose a Tour With EF Ultimate Break? If you’re a college aged adult looking for a stress free and adventurous tour experience, EF Ultimate Break could be the perfect choice. This is for the type of traveler for whom backpacking through Europe sounds fun, but you’d rather do it with a little less stress, a little more companionship, and the guarantee of a hot meal and drinks with friends. But the adventurous backpacker spirit remains. Not only that, but they provide generous payment plans, and almost everything is included making it really hard for you to make the excuse that an awesome travel experience is out of reach financially. They want you to see the world, have fun, and provide many ways to make it happen.

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Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by:

  • National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure
  • Outside, The New York Times