Intrepid Travel vs Insight Vacations - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.3
Guide — 4.4
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.3
Perfect Itinerary, Guide spoiled a lot of the trip4.0 July 2019
The perfect itinerary allowed us to efficiently visited all the top sites with great lodgings. Unfortunately, the guide cut short stops at the Bahai Gardens, Acco, Tel Aviv, and Jerrico on days when we got to our hotel room in the early afternoon--all group members were upset by this. This Palestinian Christian guide emphasized unimpressive churches and minimized all sights that were secular, Muslim, Jewish, ancient, or other faiths. He made bizarre strident political comments about how great Mao Zedong was, praised Putin, said Palestinian people "had never done anything wrong in their history," talked about the Jews killing Jesus--all with a lot of anger. He knew a lot of about Christinaity, not much about anything else. He did a lot to make what could have been the perfect trip, mediocre.Read more
(I would recommend the trip, but only if I knew it was a different guide.)
Good experience - highly overpriced.4.0 April 2019
I just came back from a 12 day tour toRead more
1) extremly very well organized
2) excellent customer service
3) lots of information on the site
4) very knowledgable and personable guide with excellent English
5) people on the trip were great
1) HIGHLY OVERPRICED - one accomodation was ok, the other ones were very cheap, shabby ans dirty.
2) Our guide was no different to guides in less reputable companies. Before I travel, I asked and was told by Intrepid this trip had no "kitty". However, the guide asked on day one for it (a total of $576.09 USD which is a fortune in Egypt), took the group to "Intrepid pre-approved venders", etc.
3) Options of things to do outside the itinerary could have been better explained.
The trip is a good choice if you like to take it easy during your vacation: visit the main sites but also have time at the pool, have drinks with friends and have lots of free time to chill out. And very important: you must like to shop. Keep in mind in Alexandria you spend 3 hours at the shopping mall instead of visiting a Museum, the only activity on day 11 was a visit to the Bazaar and, as I said, you will stop at shops endorsed by Intrepid (according to the guide).
If you, like me, prefer to be on the go when you are on a trip so far from home, this might not be the trip for you. Unless, like I did, you are comfortable with doing your own thing and leaving the group to explore on your own since you will have plenty of time to do so.
Personally, I won't travel with them again. The bad points override the good ones. But again, depends on what you are looking for... and how much you are willing to pay for it.
Tour Intrepid Company Reviews
It was so much fun!5.0 April 2019
I have just finished The Real Cambodia tour, the 18-29 youth tour. It was so much fun! Our guide Channy was fantastic - he always had good places to take us, advice on everything, lots of local knowledge. The accommodation was generally good, the travel was good, and we did a lot of fun activities. This is my first time travelling with intrepid and I definitely recommend it. I’m already thinking of where I’d like to travel with them again!Read more
Tour Intrepid Company Reviews
Milan, Venice, Firenze and Rome were beyond anticipation,...Absolutely Wonderful!!!! You can leave off Pisa.5.0 April 2019
Francis Touscheck was fantastic. Very informative and knowledgeable on the history. Christine was also fantastic in Rome, Vatican.
Tour Insight Vacations Company Reviews
Well thought out journey. Am very pleased I went.5.0 April 2019
Excellent guide, who went out of his way to show us places not on the official tour. Tour was educational and well worth while. However, some of the buffet meals were below your standard.
Tour Insight Vacations Company Reviews
Absolutely everything! I would book any tour with Howie - Howie Geib is the 'best of the best' Tour Director.5.0 April 2019
It certainly pleases us to learn that your overall experience with Insight Vacations in Canada and the United States of America was a successful one. Furthermore, we are especially delighted to know that you thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary and services provided by our staff and we truly look forward to welcoming you back soon for more amazing destinationsRead more
Tour Insight Vacations Company Reviews
|Tours||1,185 Trips||755 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 193||$ 317|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Mixed Land & Cruise|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Australia||London, United Kingdom|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
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
What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out?
- Small group sizes
- Travelers from all walks of life
- Well-balanced itineraries (group and free time allotted)
- Guides are travel experts or friendly locals
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?
- All ages (seniors included)
- Adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts
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.
- South America
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.
There are a few broad travel styles to choose from when deciding on an Intrepid tour:
1. Basix - Budget travelers who don’t mind, and in fact prefer, simple accommodations - camping and homestays with basic amenities, and crave a lot of free time for exploring independently will love these tours. Public transportation is used exclusively so pack light! These trips often attract a younger crowd who love the idea of throwing a backpack on, keep plenty of room for the unexpected in their schedule, and allocate their travel funds towards spontaneous bus tickets and street food instead of museum tours and 5 star restaurants.
2. Original - These trips take the backpacker spirit of local immersion, incorporating all the benefits that come with going with a planned itinerary. This style is called “Original” because it’s the type of travel that put Intrepid on the map...pun intended. Accommodations are still simple and budget minded - often homestays are used to give you a true sense of place, personality, and culture. Mostly public transportation is used.
3. Comfort - Intrepid is known for the active adventure style of travel and these trips keep that mentality, with a few more creature comforts thrown into the mix. You can expect higher end, more discerning, accommodations that include a wider variety of included amenities, transportation is mostly private, though you can still expect to use some public transport, as is the Intrepid way. More meals are included in the trip price, and more group activities - which means a bit less free time to explore on your own.
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.
It’s important to note, sometimes “ample free time” can be a blessing and a curse. It sounds great on paper, but if you’re looking to maximize your dollar and your vacation time, be sure you understand the implications of having a lot of free time during your itinerary.
For some travelers this is an absolute requirement, but for others it can be tough to branch off and explore independently - you also need to make sure you allocate enough travel money for independent meals. The tour leaders are great resources of information for how to spend your free time, but if you like having a full day scheduled from breakfast to dinner, Intrepid may not be the best company for you.
Lastly, if sustainable and responsible travel is important to you, 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.
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 Insight Vacations 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 Will Enjoy Traveling with Insight Vacations?
Insight’s typical customers are upscale English-speaking baby boomers in their 50s and 60s.
The kind of traveler who appreciates the finer things, loves the idea of a day out in the fresh air followed by a private dining experience with high caliber food and wine, will love the exceptional service that comes with an Insight Vacations tour.
If you enjoy meeting new people in a small group setting, the group travel experience with Insight is all about creating the intimacy and opportunity to meet new friends and make lasting connections. And they provide a few different ways to make this possible, from groups of around 32 people, to special interest trips.
However if you prefer the idea of traveling in a private setting, Insight will customize the travel experience to what you and your friend group or family group want to see.
Foodies will definitely enjoy traveling with Insight Vacations as well! They make food and dining a focal point of interest on their itineraries, in a way that really stands out.
Insight Vacations offers premium motor coach tours throughout Europe, North America, and increasingly, India.
Insight Vacations Travel Style
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. This allows for double the leg room, and a truly upscale coach travel experience.
Meanwhile, tour directors and local guides keep passengers entertained by delivering “insights” (in English) into local culture, history and politics.
They also take your dining experience into account. Insight offers several different ways to make food a highlight during your trip. These include fine dining options at innovative local restaurants, unique farm to table meals, cooking demonstrations, and even learning to make local dishes yourself.
Similar attention is paid to selecting the hotels and accommodations you will enjoy throughout your Insight Vacations tour. Lodgings are chosen for their central locations as well as significance to and representation of the destination.
Why Choose a Tour with Insight Vacations?
The Insight Vacations tagline is “the art of traveling in style”. They take this idea seriously both pre trip and while you’re on the ground.
If you’re looking for luxury beyond the silk sheet stereotype, consider Insight Vacations. Everything is planned out to the letter, groups are small, and you experience personalized service and passionate travel guides every step of the way.