Intrepid Travel vs Odysseys Unlimited - 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 — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 4.9
Recent Reviews

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

Conditions was absolutely amazing

5.0 April 2019
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
During our Kruger National Park experience with Intrepid we had a guide called Ann. We were lucky enough to have her as our guide for 3 trips during our stay!
She’s a fantastic guide. Ann knows the animals behaviour very well and she quick to act on different potential sightings. We were on our way back to the lodge when a storm was approaching us. Ann was very calm, made sure the vehicle was safe and provided us with rain jackets! The storm was intense (thundering, lighting and hale stone) Ann made us feel very safe and secure, she warned us what to do if the storm got worse. How she managed to get us out of the storm and drive in such bad conditions was absolutely amazing and can’t thank her enough for getting us back safety! After a such a journey back I gave Ann a massive hug to say thank you but I feel that wasn’t enough, so I wanted to let Intrepid know how wonderful your lovely staff member Ann is! So Thank you, Abbey
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Tour Intrepid Company Reviews

Nice

5.0 May 2019
C
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We did the discovering eastern Europe tour as our first tour with odysseys unlimited in September 2017 . The tour Director (Ania) was terrific ,she was organized personal ,friendly , knowledgeable and caring she really tried to do her best to keep on top of everything and to make sure each and everyone of us was attended to. Local expert guides were terrific as well. The hotels were all city center located and everything was walkable because of that. There is a nice blend of tour time and free time.
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Tour Odysseys Unlimited Company Reviews

Patagonia was one of the most beautiful places

5.0 June 2018
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Patagonia was one of the most beautiful places I ever visited Oddessy did a superb job of arranging everything.our tour director Alex M was knowledgeable, helpful,caring and made us all his "familia". I look forward to our upcoming trip to Norway with Oddessy.
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Tour Odysseys Unlimited Company Reviews

We all absolutely loved it

5.0 May 2018
U
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My husband and I along with six close friends recently returned from the Portrait of Italy tour. We all absolutely loved it. The hotels were great and all different--a beautiful hotel on the Amalfi coast, city hotel in Rome, hotel in the clifftop town of Orvieto, Tuscan villa with exquisite views and finally ultramodern luxury on a Venice canal. The itinerary included just enough free time. The small group experience was a lot of fun. Individual tour guides in each city were superb. And then there was Mara, our tour director! She was the BEST! We can't say enough good things about her. I'm positive almost everyone in our group of 24 felt the same way. I would highly recommend Odysseys!
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Tour Odysseys Unlimited Company Reviews

Tours 1,135 Trips 50 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 192 $ 338
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
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+
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Newton, Massachusetts, United States
Year Established 1989 1989
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English English
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 Odysseys Unlimited

Since 1989 Odysseys International have created custom-designed tours for more than 100 of America’s most prestigious non-profit organizations, including Smithsonian Journeys, as well as many well-known college alumni associations. They now have expanded to offer their tours to the general public as well.

What Makes Odysseys Unlimited Stand Out?

Parthenon in Greece Odysseys Unlimited tour

Their tours are custom-designed specifically for small groups, with a balanced mix of sightseeing, traveling, cultural encounters, and free time. Guests enjoy a personal and authentic travel experience provided by knowledgeable guides. They focus heavily on ensuring a unique, and comfortable small group experience, with flexible itineraries.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Odysseys Unlimited?

Odysseys Unlimited is the type of tour for travelers seeking a well organized small group experience - tour attendance is strictly limited to be between 12 to 24 guests. If you’re interested in visiting the top sites, and maybe venturing into the realm of a funky bed and breakfast or two, and local meals vetted by your guide this company could be a good choice.

Older couple enjoying a Nile River Cruise in Egypt on Odysseys Unlimited tour

They present solid, easy itineraries, with an eye towards historic and cultural landmarks. Odysseys Unlimited might not be for you if venturing far off the beaten path is an important facet of your travel experience.

Travelers with Odysseys Unlimited are typically between the ages of 50 and 80 - and this age group is where they focus. Activities are not generally too physically demanding, accommodations are comfortable. Most tours involve a lot of walking, with slight elevation changes. Odyssey's does require that travelers be relatively physically fit and able. Wheelchair access is unfortunately not an option. 

UK Coastline Odysseys Unlimited tour

Free time is readily available for those wanting to explore a bit on their own, going shopping or visiting more local areas.

This is adventure and thrills recalibrated for an older audience. You might not be exploring too far off the beaten path, but that doesn’t mean boring and static. Odysseys is for those older travelers seeking African safaris, for example, that don’t require a 30 year old stamina to be in a jeep 8 hours a day, yet are maybe unwilling or unable to spring for a luxury safari. Odysseys fits comfortably in the middle. Don’t expect full private access everywhere you go, but you can expect a dedicated guide and a fun group of travelers to enjoy the experience with.

Under 50 and families are welcome as well (no children under 15), but the mix in your group will definitely skew older.

Top Destinations

Great wall of china walk tour odysseys unlimited

Odysseys Unlimited tours travel around the world, making seemingly exotic far reaching locations accessible and reachable, both from a cultural standpoint as well as a logistical standpoint. Think small ship cruises in Patagonia, premium history tours in Egypt, and first class hotels in China.

Because their tour directors are often from the destinations, Odysseys can claim destination expertise across the board. The focus is on quality tours rather than quantity, so they can continue to provide travelers with this expertise from their specialized guides.

Tours with Odysseys Unlimited travel to Europe, Asia, South America, Australia & New Zealand, North America, Africa and the Middle East. The largest number of tours are offered in Asia and Europe.

Odysseys Unlimited Travel Style

Amsterdam tour Odysseys Unlimited

The Odysseys Unlimited travel style is one of comfort and ease, but budget friendly. The sheets might not be silk, but you’ll have a comfortable bed and welcoming hosts.

Tours are fully escorted so if you feel like you want to venture beyond your comfort zone - perhaps a language barrier always got in the way, or safety concerns - Odysseys Unlimited is a great way to visit without having to worry. Your tour size will never exceed 24 people, allowing for many friendships to blossom among like minded travelers.

Their tours are around 10-20 days long; an ideal amount of time for getting to know your tour companions, visit tourist spots as well as enjoy more local and cultural activities.

Tanzania safari Odysseys Unlimited

Transportation is in large motorcoaches throughout the destination. During the trip you may experience other modes of transportation, such as ferries, trains, small planes, even motorbikes.

Your tour directors are professional and knowledgeable in the destination, able to provide interesting local and cultural context beyond the tourist sites.   

Why Choose a Tour With Odysseys Unlimited?

Whale breach sighting Odysseys Unlimited cruise tour

If you don’t think small group travel is for you, or you’re unsure about a certain destination whether for safety reasons, language barriers, or other factors - traveling with Odysseys Unlimited is a good place to start.

Their tours are specifically designed to be flexible - a good amount of free time is allotted for the more “independent minded,” yet if you’re more comfortable hanging out with the guide, that’s fine too. Traveling to the next destination is not just a bus ride; you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and explore local villages and historical sights.

And if that wasn’t enough, a special perk when traveling with Odysseys Unlimited is the inclusion of international airfare in the trip price!

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