Topdeck vs Outward Bound - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
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
Fast-Paced Tour of Western Europe that highlighted most Bucket List Sights. Awesome Company. Great Food and Tour Leader5.0 June 2019
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).Read more
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).
Tour European Wonder
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
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.Read more
Tour European Wonder
Winter Spirit around Europe!5.0 March 2019
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
most amazing experiences5.0 April 2018
One of the most amazing experiences of my life. In 2002, through the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, I hiked from Germany to Italy and sailed from Germany to Portugal. Receiving my pin was something I will never forget. I still think of my experience everyday as it guides me personally, professionally and spiritually through life. Always head in the right direction.Read more
Tour Outward Bound Company Reviews
Our group and the leaders were amazing5.0 March 2018
I went on a 14 day Outward Bound on the Pacific Crest in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. It was in August of 1986 and I was living in New York City. My father had died earlier in the year. Outward Bound was one of the best things I've done in my life: I was physically and emotionally challenged, but the beauty of the night sky, the variety of flowers and animals was unsurpassed. I loved the rock climbing and the solo. I likedRead more
Our group and the leaders were amazing. I'll never ever forget it!!!
Tour Outward Bound Company Reviews
best learning experiences a kid can have5.0 November 2017
I did the Southwest Outward Bound out of Santa Fe, NM in 1976 I think. Course S-56, with Jared Haynes as Course Director. We were in the Gila Wilderness and there was a "solo" section where we were put down near water, with a pencil and our little book, and we had to survive for a week - a plane flew over us every other day to see that we were ok -- we had orange bunting we were to set out if we were not. That week of "solo" was a pivotal time in my life, of introspection and of course of one-ness with nature. I saw a black bear drink from the stream I had dug my "cover" near and we just watched one another, each going our separate ways after an hour of mutual assessment. I'll never forget that time, or the team building (map reading and hiking exercises the OB leaders made us do for ourselves. It has stayed with me all my life and I think it is one of the best learning experiences a kid can have. I know contemplating all my adolescent issues to the backdrop of the Milky Way at night taught me the triviality of my concerns and the transience of our short human lives relative to the Universe. Thanks Outward Bound!Read more
Tour Outward Bound Company Reviews
|Tours||347 Trips||21 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 147||$ 212|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Chiswick, London, UK||Golden, Colorad|
|Solo Friendly||Good for singles, No single supplement||N/A|
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.
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!
Founded 75 years ago on the philosophy of education being used for the development of character and the intellect.
What Makes Them Stand Out?
Rather than a traditional travel company, Outward Bound’s focus is on outdoor education for all ages. These tours, which are essentially made up of classes and mini challenges help students develop technical outdoor skills, build their confidence, and create a supportive atmosphere where they can learn how teamwork and endurance contribute to everyday life. In keeping with their strong education focus, instead of choosing a tour, you choose a course.
Who Travels With Them?
A majority of their tours are specialized for younger student aged travelers between 18-20. Though many of their tours are also geared toward college aged adults and above. They also have tours specially created for veterans and middle schoolers.
Where Do They Operate?
Their classes take place primarily in the United States, but they also travel to India, South America, and Central America.
How Does it Work?
Outdoor education programs are offered in a number of different themes - from backpacking trips, mountaineering trips, whitewater rafting trips, canoeing trips, dog sledding expeditions, and sailing trips. Outward Bound is school based - they have 11 schools across the United States.
Why Travel With Them?
They are dedicated to providing “transformative learning experiences” that help build a strong character foundation in young teens and adults. For companies, schools, and parents who want to encourage leadership and confidence through healthy, positive, and active group activities this is the perfect company.