Topdeck vs Black Tomato - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

Fast-Paced Tour of Western Europe that highlighted most Bucket List Sights. Awesome Company. Great Food and Tour Leader

5.0 June 2019
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I jumped on this tour with very little notice and planning, and I was thoroughly impressed. Our Topdeck trip leader was very knowledgeable, fun, and adjusted the trip to the group (34 people). The meals provided were delicious, and they worked hard to cater to dietary needs. Accommodations were good, typically with 2-6 people in a hostel room. Keep in mind they are hostels, not hotels (bring your own towel).

I loved the itinerary, as it highlighted the must-see places and had variety (ex. Paris, Rome vs. Switzerland). The optionals in each city were all wonderful. However, many were not presented in the Topdeck literature online and were not introduced on the trip more than a day in advance. All are paid for in cash (Euros). Because of how the optionals were presented, it was a bit harder to budget. I would recommend inquiring more about the optionals when booking and at the beginning of your tour via your trip leader. Don't feel pressured to do all of them and remember to keep your own interests in mind.

The solo travelers easily found others with similar interests to explore with. For many on this trip, drinking and going out to bars/clubs was a major component (as alcohol is often cheaper than water). Because of the shortness of this tour along with all the destinations, prepare for lots of driving and to make the most of the time you have in each city.

This trip provided am amazing sampling of Western Europe and opened my eyes to cultures and history I was unfamiliar with. Overall, I would highly recommend this itinerary and touring company, as it provided a good balance between budget and experiences.

P.S. Stay flexible with plans, but some of the popular sights need more pre-planning than expected, like the Eiffel Tower and the Anne Frank House (Amsterdam).
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Overall amazing value. Food, particularly by Topdeck staff, excellent. Spontaneous/flexible; be prepared to pay for lots of extra excursions, on and off your itinerary, in cash.

5.0 June 2019
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Food was excellent. Accomodations were better than expected: hostels, but usually with in-suite bathrooms and always only with other members of your tour of the same gender. Don't try to overplan; trip is quite spontaneous and flexible and you won't know much about the schedule/optionals for each city more than a day or so in advance. Optionals will be plentiful and paid in cash. Only do those that are right for you, even if your trip leader really encourages them and most other people are going. These trips are great for solo travelers, but make sure you find people interested in the same things as you...it will probably be easy to find groups to go to bars and clubs with in the evenings, but harder to find people who prefer other evening plans. Driver was excellent and bus was very comfortable and clean, but be prepared to spend a lot of time on it as there is no driving at night. Trip leader extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful. Overall, excellent value and a trip with plenty of time to see the bucket list highlights in each city.
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Winter Spirit around Europe!

5.0 March 2019
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I did the 24 day Winter Spirit around Europe! I would definitely recommend booking a Topdeck tour! It was the best experience ever. Doing my second Topdeck in July around New Zealand!

Tour Topdeck Company Reviews

Thanks Black Tomato!

5.0 January 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We had an excellent experience working with everyone at Black Tomato - especially Rob - in planning our trip to Cuba. They put together an outstanding itinerary for us, full of things we asked for and for some wonderful and unexpected surprises. They and their team on the ground were enormously attentive once we were traveling - even during the Christmas holidays. We will gladly come back to Black Tomato again in the future to put together our next adventure.
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Tour Black Tomato Company Reviews

Black Tomato experiences

5.0 December 2016
N
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I have used Black Tomato for all my major holidays in South and Latin America, South and South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa over a number of years. They have been exceptionally reliable both with the itineraries and operations on the ground. Highly recommended.
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Tour Black Tomato Company Reviews

Excellent experience

5.0 November 2016
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Working with James at Black Tomato was truly one of the best experiences. He made sure I had a the trip of a lifetime in India and especially since I was traveling alone, it was so comforting to know I could contact him anytime.
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Tour Black Tomato Company Reviews

Tours 347 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 147 $ 0
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Luxury
Regions
  • North America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Luxury
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK London, United Kingdom
Year Established 1973 2005
Solo Friendly Good for singles, No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
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About Topdeck

Founded in 1973, Topdeck has been providing fun, adventurous trips around the world for 18-39 for over 40 years.

What Makes Topdeck Travel Stand Out?

Topdeck tour focuses on providing friendly and authentic guided group tours where like-minded 18-39 year old travelers can have amazing group experiences. There are several trip types to choose from, from camping, to immersive, to multi destination, to sailing.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Topdeck?

Sociable, adventurous, budget conscious 18-39 year olds are the kinds of traveler who will gravitate to Topdeck. Though they offer a few different distinct travel styles, there is definitely a sense of an ongoing party, with travel as the conduit and underlying shared interest.

If the idea of being around a group of similarly aged people - many of whom may be exploring internationally for the first or second time - being spontaneous, and meeting locals (often in the environment of bars or clubs) is unappealing, then Topdeck may not be your cup of tea.

Introverted travelers, or those for whom an extensively planned itinerary including many museums and historical sites is ideal, may want to hunt around before choosing a Topdeck tour.

That is not to dissuade the more observational traveler - who may very well find a group they gel with perfectly on a Topdeck tour. Only to caution that you will be surrounded by several extroverted personalities.

The bottom line is if you are game for anything, are traveling on a budget, and don’t mind fairly basic but comfortable accommodations and inexpensive meals - sometimes on the go - then you will enjoy the Topdeck tour experience.

Top Destinations

Topdeck has tours throughout the world, in Europe, Australia & New Zealand, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Topdeck Travel Style

The Topdeck travel style is tied quite specifically to their audience. These tours are great for youthful and energetic 18-39 year olds looking for a good time and to make new friends.

In the interest of keeping their tours affordable, travelers with Topdeck will need to make a few allowances. For example, hostels and hotels may be situated quite far away from the city centers. You can also expect some long travel days. The more of a good sense of humor and adventure you have, the more you’ll enjoy the experience.

Why Choose a Tour With Topdeck

Feeling the urge to connect with travelers in your age group, have fun, and make lasting friendships? Topdeck has over 40 years of experience in adventure travel, which has helped them create epic low cost trips for 18-30 somethings.

These tours are certainly not for those who prefer to take things slow. You will be running around, moving between a lot of places - which in some cases means very long bus rides - going out a lot, meeting new people, and staying active throughout your tour.

If your ideal travel experience is more methodical and planned out in nature, Topdeck may not be for you.

But if you are an adventurous and social travelers eager to absorb a new culture and make new friends, then hop on board!

About Black Tomato

Tom Marchant, James Merrett, and Matt Smith met in the late 1990s and wanted to create a travel business that was unlike any other on the market. Rather than asking you where you want to go, they ask “how do you want to feel?” Whether it’s inspiration, a digital detox, or relaxation that you seek, Black Tomato experiences are unlike any other ordinary vacation.

What Makes Black Tomato Stand Out?

  • Unique and tailored travel tours
  • Attention to detail and high quality service
  • Travel beyond the classics
  • Fully customizable tours and itineraries

Black Tomato has every experience possible - going far beyond what you could ever imagine. Disconnect from everything (and perhaps everyone) as you get dropped off into the middle of nowhere, or get business inspiration from Viking descendants on a Black Tomato Iceland trip.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Black Tomato?

  • All ages
  • Standard to luxury travelers
  • All physical levels

Travelers who are looking for something special, or simply want their vacation to be the absolute best, will seriously love traveling with Black Tomato. There is something for every age, every group size, family, and couple to enjoy. They cater to your budget, with $2,000USD being the starting price, however, in order to enjoy their most unique packages, it certainly won’t come cheap.

However, if you prefer a more traditional tour with the classic activities and sights, or you’re working with a shoestring budget, Black Tomato probably isn’t the best fit for you.

Top Destinations

  • All around the world


Black Tomato travels all around the world - to every country imaginable. Even if a place isn’t on the list, they’ll take you there. You can travel to some of the most remote corners of the world, or experience the absolute best that a destination has to offer.

Black Tomato Travel Style

They may be a luxury tour company, but they still believe that it’s about connecting with the people and places more than Michelin-starred restaurants. No matter why you’re traveling - to relax, to be inspired, to eat… - they will find something just for you.

Accommodations and meals all vary widely, depending on your budget, idea, and destination. One thing is for sure though - accommodations are far from ordinary. Disconnect from everything and sleep in a tent in the middle of the desert, or stay with a local nomadic family in Mongolia.

Black Tomato is also incredibly accommodating towards requests for privacy - private hotels, private flights, remote islands, exclusive access - you name it, they’ll make it happen!

To book a trip with them, you tell them where you want to go and how you want to feel - Inspired? Energized? Creative? Disconnected? - once the destination is decided, you are wired to their local contacts and they build an initial proposal. You are welcome to tweak it as much and as many times as you like until you are 110% satisfied with the plan.

Why Choose a Tour With Black Tomato?

  • No two trips are the same
  • Full of creative travel ideas
  • Accommodate last minute requests and changes
  • Phone app to organize all travel documents

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