Topdeck vs ElderTreks - 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 — 4.9
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 4.9
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

Amazing

5.0 March 2018
OA
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
It was our first time using Eldertreks and we were not disappointed. Our guide Olie was amazing, passionate and engaging. We experienced Costa Rica fully because of his professionalism, his good humour and his dedication. Our driver Esteban was the best.

This trip is activity filled: we went hiking, horseback riding, skylining and skywalking, met children in school, shared a meal with a family, visited an animal rescue centre, saw many animals in their environment, to mention only a few things.

I highly recommend this trip

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Tour ElderTreks Company Reviews

Amazing itinerary and fantastic

5.0 February 2018
M
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just finished the Grand South East Asia trip 2018. It is a 5 star trip in five different countries with an amazing itinerary and fantastic leadership from Roger.

Tour ElderTreks Company Reviews

Exploring the world

5.0 April 2017
N
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Eldertreks has some amazing destinations that really give travellers an experience of a life time. I have been a leader with Eldertreks since 2007 and love exploring the world with them

Tour ElderTreks Company Reviews

Tours 347 Trips 10 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 147 $ 528
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Photography
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Year Established 1973 1987
Solo Friendly Good for singles, No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English English
Top Trips
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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 ElderTreks

Don’t let the name “Elder” fool you -- elder in this case means travelers who have reached age 50 and above, and adventurous 50-and-overs at that.

Founded in 1987, Toronto-based ElderTreks was the world’s first adventure travel company that limits its guests to ages 50 and over (exceptions are made for younger companions over 18). ElderTreks trips span the globe across more than 100 countries on seven continents, and also include expedition-style sea journeys.

What Makes ElderTreks Stand Out

  • Tours for active seniors
  • Exotic, off the beaten path destinations
  • Small group sizes
  • All-inclusive packages
  • Great value
 

Travelers on an ElderTreks trip will find themselves among others of a similar age, providing an immediate connection. They offer a large array of trips, all with an effort to remain sustainable and responsible. They are also known for having extremely knowledgeable tour guides, well versed in each destination and catering to the needs of the over 50 age group. Some trips also allow for visits to local schools or orphanages. Close contact with local residents is encouraged.

 

Who Travels With ElderTreks?

  • Guests ages 50 and over
  • Active and adventurous travelers

The largest number of participants in an ElderTreks land-based group is 16, allowing for plenty of personal attention from your tour guide. Their tours are especially welcoming to single travelers over 50 as well - no single supplements or penalties here (other than sharing a room).


senior couple holding hands walking on the street

Eldertreks tours are designed for active seniors that like to be on the move. If you’re the kind of traveler for whom a pair of hiking boots are an important suitcase item and you’re eager to stretch your limits, Eldertreks may be just what you’re looking for. You are energetic, adventurous, and excited about meeting other active 50+ travelers.

Tours are decently priced for the somewhat budget conscious, but willing to spend more for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The prices come across as higher than most other tours, but keep in mind that it’s because they are all-inclusive.

Top Destinations

  • Africa
  • Americas
  • Asia & Pacific
  • Europe/Mid East
  • Polar

Trips are offered all over the world in a wide variety of locations, including the polar regions. ElderTreks trip options also include expedition-style sea journeys and active hiking trips to places like Europe, Africa, and the Galapagos Islands. They also offer tours to Cuba, and have been for over 20 years - if you're older and wanting to visit Cuba, consider Eldertreks for the vast experience they have running people-to-people tours in Cuba.


Eldertreks Travel Style

They aren’t your average adventure nor senior travel company. They take you to places off the beaten path that are diverse and exotic. Travel to Uganda and spend time with the rare mountain gorillas. Or visit Rwanda, home of the golden monkeys and Volcanoes National Park. Eldertreks goal is to help older travelers get outdoors to experience the wildlife, new environments, and explore new cultures.

a lion cub sitting on a tree branch

Hotels are chosen for comfort and location and most come with private washrooms. They try to use accommodations which reflect the local culture rather than big hotels. The goal is to aim for a “5 star” experience, not necessarily “5 star” accommodation. Note that this means you will often be dealing with narrow staircases, no elevator, and very basic amenities.

Transportation on all land itineraries are described as “private, comfortable, and a little wild”. While you’ll be using a minivan or bus most of the time, you might also find yourself riding elephants, camels, on a riverboat safari, sailboat, or even a helicopter. And just about everything except international airfare is included in the rates, which -- while not the least expensive tours out there -- offer good value for the money.

Eldertreks Physical Level

Eldertreks tours are rated on an activity level from 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging). It’s best to choose an activity level suited to your tastes for any given trip. It’s a simple guideline of what physical condition you should be in to enjoy your adventure.

group of seniors hiking in a park with backpacks

At the minimum, be prepared to walk through varying levels of rugged terrain and various slope grades - be prepared for weather conditions that may make the surfaces slippery or muddy. You’ll be going through archeological sites, towns/cities and/or rainforest that call for 1 to 5+ hours of walking, depending on the activity level of the trip.

Trips with Eldertreks are categorized into 5 different activity levels:

  1. Easy: Walk up to 1 to 2 hours; at least 1 mile (1.6 km) per day.

  2. Moderately Easy: Walk/hike up to 3 hours; at least 2 miles (3 km) per day.

  3. Moderate: Walk/hike up to 4 hours; at least 3 miles (5 km) per day.

  4. Moderately Challenging: Walk/hike up to 5 hours; at least 4 miles (6 km) per day. Recommended for those looking for a trek.

  5. Challenging: Walk/hike 5 OR MORE hours; at least 5 miles (8 km) per day. Recommended for those looking for a trek.

The majority of their tours are at an activity level of 2 or 3. If you prefer a trip at an activity level 1, then Polar tours and Sea Journey Tours would be right for you.

On the other hand, if you want something even more adventurous than the regular trips, look for trips labelled “Exploratory Trips”. These are designed with active travelers in mind who enjoy exploration and less itinerary structure.

Why Choose a Tour With Eldertreks?

For older travelers seeking a fun group of adventurous like-minded peers, a trip with ElderTreks is ideal. They focus on small group sizes and have a variety of trip types to choose, from easy to challenging. ElderTreks prides itself on offering high caliber journeys at affordable prices.

Eldertreks tours are mostly meant for seniors that are physically active and relatively fit. It should be noted that if participants can’t complete the trip on their own without assistance, the tour leader has the sole right to dismiss you from the trip - to avoid compromising the safety and enjoyment of others in the group.

Also, ElderTreks trips might not be suitable for those who prefer to have ample free time during the tour, -choosing their own meals or accommodations. Since everything is included in the tour price, there isn’t much room for the itinerary to be modified.

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