Intrepid Travel vs TripMasters - 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 — 5.0
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.)
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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

This was a big trip for us

5.0 October 2019
N
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Having never used this company before I wasn’t sure what to expect. This was a big trip for us, and my daughter and son in law so I hoped I had chosen the right company to book with. After reading other reviews we decided to go with Tripmasters and were so happy that we did. The website is user friendly and the trip updates were helpful. What really blew us away was the personalized app they provided with all your itinerary information. We definitely will use Tripmasters again and will recommend them to others! Two thumbs up
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Tour TripMasters Company Reviews

I highly recommend

5.0 July 2019
G
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I highly recommend Tripmasters after completing a 15-day European vacation with my family. We traveled to 4 countries and 6 cities and all of the arrangements made through Tripmasters went smoothly. Our reservation included international flights, 6 different hotels, multiple train trips and one flight between Germany and Italy and everything was hassle free. I found their website easy to navigate and I liked the ability to add cities to my itinerary and adjust the number of nights spent in each city. One of our train trips required hard-copy tickets and we received a FedEx package 10 days prior to our trip with the required tickets. I also appreciated the Tripmasters App, which provided great information and push notifications; though be advised that they only allow you access to the app 7 days prior to your trip. I used Tripmasters following the recommendation of a friend and I am now telling all my friends about them.
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Tour TripMasters Company Reviews

It was a 5 star experience!

5.0 November 2018
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We just got back from our Trip to Italy which included Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan. I loved booking with Tripmasters. It offered so many Hotels and tours to choose from. I loved the app and while traveling utilized it to chat w/ tripmasters. They replied instantly and any questions and concerns I had were taken care of immediately. I would highly recommend Tripmasters. I have already told several people about how effortless it was to book online. My only issue was in the limited 8 hour window to save the trip. I would have liked to work on it over the course of several days and keep going back and adding to it. I would guess it has something to do with not being able to save hotel choices for a long period of time. At any rate, it was a 5 star experience!
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Tour TripMasters Company Reviews

Tours 1,185 Trips 3 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 193 $ 129
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Custom/Private Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • River Cruises
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
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • Asia
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
  • 18 - 35
  • Adventure
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Rockville, United States
Year Established 1989 1984
Solo Friendly No single supplement Good for singles
Tour Languages English English
Top Trips
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    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 TripMasters

    Tripmasters began in 1984 as a humble family business specializing in vacations to Peru. Since then, they’ve expanded to destinations all around the world, offering self-guided and tailor made trips.

    What Makes Tripmasters Stand Out?

    • Fully customizable multi-destination itineraries
    • Create your own itinerary (or follow their suggested itineraries)
    • Flights included

    You get to select however many cities you’d like, your mode of transportation, the number of days spent in each city, budget, car rental, activities, and hotel. You’ll even find discounted tours through their weekly deals, with departures from the US and Canada.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Tripmasters?

    Those who...

    • Know exactly where they want to go for vacation
    • Would rather only travel with their group
    • Don’t need a tour guide

    Tripmasters caters to everyone from the budget-conscious and luxurious traveler. You’re able to have full control over what you want to do, and decide what parts of the trip are worth spending more or less on. Travelers in the 18-35 age range will enjoy their services the most. Their activity options range widely from wine tasting and atving, to temple tours and spiritual ceremonies.

    Top Destinations

    Tripmasters offers trips to Europe, North and South America, Asia, Pacific Islands, and the Middle East. They cover an extensive list of countries from A to Z, and mostly focus on popular tourist cities.

    If you’ve been dreaming about a multi-country European vacation that doesn’t break the bank, have a look at Tripmasters for a wide range of cheap European vacations. Popular budget destinations in Europe that Tripmasters visits include:

    • Paris and Prague
    • Mykonos, Santorini, and Athens
    • Lisbon and Porto

    Tripmasters Stride Take

    Tripmasters Travel Style

    They’re willing to work with whatever your interests, budgets, and dream destinations are. Whether you’re interested in building a party tour around Europe, experiencing South America’s Machu Picchu, or relaxing on your honeymoon in Hawaii, they’ll take care of it.

    Tripmasters Stride Take

    They offer a wide variety of hotels and apartment rentals for you to pick from. Accommodations range from 3 to 5 stars depending on how much you’d like to spend. You’ll stay in places that are well-located and usually in the heart of the city. There's an expansive list of recommended activities and itineraries for you to follow if you’re unsure of what to do. 

    On the other hand, if you prefer having all your activities and day-to-day plans organized by someone else, Tripmasters might not be the right tour company for you. 

    Tripmasters Stride Take

    Steps to booking a tour with Tripmasters:

    1. Choose all of your destinations and decide how much time you want to spend in each place.

    2. Choose from your flight options that differ in time and prices

    3. Pick your hotels, activities, transportation, car rentals, and rail passes

    It should be noted that their initial tour prices include the flight, hotel, and the occasional ferry ride at an estimated price. Prices may fluctuate based on factors like your departure city, hotel availability, and number of activities you’d like to do.

    Why Choose a Tour With Tripmasters?

    Book a tour with Tripmasters if you’re looking for:

    • Fully customizable trips
    • Competitive prices
    • A site that does it all (flights, hotels, itinerary, transportation, etc.)

    On top of that, you can speak with them via phone or chat online 24/7. Know that they also give back by investing in children’s education in underprivileged countries.

    Once you book however, the plans are set in stone and you can’t change your options. You may want to look elsewhere if these are important to you:

    • Flexibility to change plans
    • Flight upgrades
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