Gate 1 vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.5
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Recent Reviews

Excellent

5.0 August 2019
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Have now had two excellent and affordable (one downright cheap) trips to Europe. Good basic hotels in safe and central locations, timely and reliable customer service. Would definitely recommend and use again. Was particularly pleased that on the trip alone, the single supplement wasn’t an exorbitant upgrade.
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Tour Gate 1 Travel Company Reviews

NO REFUNDS or CREDIT for Cancellations due to TERMINALLY ILL

1.0 June 2019
M
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
We planned what was going to be a "last" trip for my sister who was recently diagnose with a terminal Cancer. She had actually been doing fine until a few days before our trip planned in March 2019. My sister had an unfortunate reaction to a dye given to her for a scan, and ended up in what turned out to be a week hospital stay. I advised our planner from the very beginning that this was the reason for our trip!!! AND WE WERE NEVER ADVISED OF THIS FROM THE BEGINNING. AFTER THE TRIP WAS ALREADY PAID FOR AND BOOKED! We thought for sure that we would be able to postpone our trip, so we filed a claim. Unfortunately, we are now out of over $6k trip to Italy and cannot even make future plans.
I will never recommend GATE 1 to anyone and advise everyone on social media never to book with this travel agency. It doesn't even help to get the INSURANCE.
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Tour Gate 1 Travel Company Reviews

Great value/itinerary

5.0 May 2019
T
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
I was pleasantly surprised that in 9 days we fit in a lot of sightseeing in 4 countries. I ususally plan my own trips with a full itinerary but this was the first tour we've taken where I left the planning to the Gate 1. It did not disappoint. I feel like we saw everything that I would have planned for us to do on our own. I don't feel like I have to return to any location to see things we missed. Also the other people on the tour were fun and we all got along well even with the wide age ranges. I highly recommend this tour and Gate 1.
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Meaningful beyond words!

5.0 April 2019
Toal
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We experimented Tanzania through Discover Corps! Our trip included service and safari. We adored working with the children, being with the people and seeing animals on Safari. This trip was one of the best things we’ve ever done for ourselves!!!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Fun in Japan

5.0 November 2018
JCO
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Excellent

5.0 July 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.
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Tours 1,006 Trips 28 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 189 $ 399
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • River Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Volunteering
Headquarters Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, United States San Diego, California
Year Established 1981 2004
Solo Friendly N/A No single supplement
Tour Languages English English
Top Trips
Similar Companies
Countries
About Gate 1

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?

  • Escorted tours & river cruises
  • Good value 
  • High quality guides

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.

Traveler 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 competitive budget prices that Gate 1 is known for.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Gate 1?

  •  All ages 
  • Low to mid budget travelers
  • Those open to simple accommodation and meal plans

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.

You will see a lot, and be out and about visiting several sites - however keeping costs low is one of their main priorities. This means hotels will be basic, meals won’t be 5 star, and your coach will have fewer amenities. In addition tours with Gate 1 feature several optional add ons and sightseeing tours, not included in the base price. Average tour price is around $2,000, often less.

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.

Top Destinations

Gate 1 tours

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 Choose a Tour 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.

About Discover Corps

San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.

What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?

They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.

With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.

Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?

These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.

The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.

Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.

Top Destinations

Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Discover Corps Travel Style

Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.

Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?

If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.

Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.

“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.

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