Intrepid Travel vs Mayflower Tours - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.4
Meals — 4.6
Recent Reviews

Perfect Itinerary, Guide spoiled a lot of the trip

4.0 July 2019
S
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
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.

(I would recommend the trip, but only if I knew it was a different guide.)
Read more

Good experience - highly overpriced.

4.0 April 2019
MB
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
I just came back from a 12 day tour to
Egypt.

Pros:
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

Cons:
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.
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Tour Intrepid Company Reviews

It was so much fun!

5.0 April 2019
L
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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!
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Tour Intrepid Company Reviews

The trip was amazing

5.0 June 2019
Z
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just went on the Cruising the Adriatic and Dalmatian Coast tour through Montenegro and Croatia, the trip was amazing. The locations and the guided tours were exceptional!

Tour Mayflower Tours Company Reviews

the trip was amazing

5.0 May 2019
Z
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just went on the Cruising the Adriatic and Dalmatian Coast tour through Montenegro and Croatia, the trip was amazing. The locations and the guided tours were exceptional!

Tour Mayflower Tours Company Reviews

China 2018

3.0 October 2018
s
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 4.0
China 2018 - Recently returned from China 2018. It was an awesome trip. However the brochure listed it as a "3" activity level. It in no way was a three. The first day we walked almost 20,000 steps. The rest of the trip was 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day. The majority of those steps each day were on uneven surfaces, lots of steps and extremely steep inclines. Definitely not a "3" trip.
Read more

Tour Mayflower Tours Company Reviews

Tours 1,185 Trips 6 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 193 $ 282
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
  • 50+
  • Solo & Singles Travel
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Downers Grove, Illinois
Year Established 1989 1979
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
Similar Companies
Countries
About Intrepid Travel

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 »

Morocco homestay with Intrepid Travel

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.

Top Destinations

  • Asia
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Europe

Monk mediating in Myanmar on tour with Intrepid Travel

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?

Sample of many spices in Middle Eastern market

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.

About Mayflower Tours

Founded in 1979, Mayflower is an Illinois-based company providing consistent quality trips for great value. They’re here to bring you all the “must-sees” and “must-do’s” with 100+ itineraries and over 10 different travel styles.

What Makes Mayflower Tours Stand Out?

  • Mid-range budget tours
  • Group escorted and individual tours
  • “Specialty tour” options (eg. Thanksgiving in New York City, Calgary Stampede, biblical sites in the Middle East)
  • Discounts on your first tour and referrals

Holidays are designed for travelers looking for the fullest travel experience at a great price value. Since its inception, Mayflower Tours has consistently provided the ultimate touring experience in each destination always focused on the travelers’ budget. Each Mayflower Tour has a professional tour manager on board to ensure all details are taken care of.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Mayflower Tours?

Travelers who are...

  • Looking for the full tour travel experience without the big price tag
  • In reasonably good shape
  • Looking for a full range of activities
Mayflower Tours Stride Take

Mayflower caters to budget travelers of all ages, including families and seniors. Most tours are not physically demanding, though they do offer adventure tours these are mainly in the "soft" adventure range. Travelers with Mayflower should be able to walk - this includes walking up stairs or inclines, since some sites will not have bus access.

Top Destinations

white cherry blossoms in full bloom in washington dc

When they began, Mayflower offered tours in the United States only, but they quickly expanded. They now operate tours in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. They travel to a wide variety of places, from tourist hot spots to little towns off the tourist path.

Mayflower Tours Travel Style

A cruise ship in Alaska overlooking snowcapped mountains

Majority of their chosen hotels are in the 4 to 5 star range, well-located, and have first class service and amenities. For instance, you’ll get a geothermal spa on a tour to Iceland, or spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains on an Alaskan cruise. There’s a good balance between planned activities and free time. The number of meals vary depending on the tour, but most meals are included. They’re willing to help you arrange your flights as well, although it’s not included in the tour package.

view of the zion national park and highway in the day time

They have several different travel styles:

Autumn Foliage: An exploration of the stunning fall colors and scenic landscapes in large cities, quaint towns, and countrysides around the world.

Cruises: Large cruise ship sailing. Experience dramatic landscapes, historic sightseeing, cultural ceremonies, and charming villages. Destinations include Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada.

Holidays and Special Events: A range of unique and special tours in Canada, USA, and Europe. Experience the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race on a tour to Alaska, Christmas time in Colonial Williamsburg, the cherry blossom season in Washington DC, or the Passion Play in Oberammergau - which only happens once a decade! Many of these tours happen at very specific times of the year, so it’s important to plan these trips early on.

National Parks: Explore contrasting landscapes of mountains, luscious trees, glaciers, deserts, and more on a National Park Tour. These tours are largely focused on US and Canadian National Parks, along with trips to South Africa, India, and Sri Lanka. If you’re looking for a trip that simply bundles all of nature’s incredible feats, consider going on a tour with Mayflower to see Oregon’s Seven Wonders.

Natural Exploration: Tours around the world that combine nature, culture, and culinary into one trip.

River Cruising: The excitement never stops on a river cruise with Mayflower Tours. These ships travel through various parts of Europe and Asia. Many of these trips are made to coincide with special events and holidays. With a river cruise, you can visit Christmas markets in France and Germany, see the highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia, or make a stop in Germany to experience Oktoberfest.

Scenic Rail Experience: Sit back and relax as you pass by various breathtaking landscapes. You’ll be sure to see incredible views of mountains, lakes, oceans, countrysides, and vineyards.

Small Ship Adventures: Travel around in style as you hop aboard a yacht, luxury junk boat, or mini cruise ship. On top of experiencing all the history, culture, food, and nature a country has to offer, you’ll have beautiful views of blue ocean water.

Why Choose a Tour/Cruise With Mayflower Tours?

  • Professional tour guides
  • Budget-priced tours
  • Classic travel destinations
  • Quirky event and themed tours
  • Cruises and railway journeys

Attentive tour guides, and a strong attention to detail on the ground are part of what sets Mayflower tours apart. They are knowledgeable, understanding, and devoted to making your tours relaxing and memorable. There is something for everyone at an affordable rate, from the classic travel destinations to quirky themes and events. This is also your chance to partake in some of the most interesting cultural events and celebrations that the US and Europe have to offer. No matter what continent you decide to go to, Mayflower Tours will surely bring the fun.

They’re also a member of Tourism Cares, a non-profit foundation that takes responsibility in the preservation of historical sites around the world.  

As if that’s not enough - they’ll pick you up from your house on your departure day if you live in the greater Chicagoland area or Florida’s Sun Coast area!


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