Topdeck vs Perillo Tours - 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 — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.5
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

Not worth your money

1.0 July 2019
J
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 2.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 2.0
My Mom and I had the opportunity to visit Italy this summer on the 9 day Rome and Amalfi Coast Tour. Italy is a beautiful country and everyone needs to see and experience it before they die. However, I would NOT recommend Perillo Tours (PT). Here’s why: Introductions of group members were not done at the orientation. There are still people on the tour that I did not meet or know their names. And, we were only given the first couple of days of our itinerary, which was VERY broad and lacking detail. I am still in shock that it was HAND-WRITTEN and lacking so much important information. For example, it would say that Breakfast was at 7 and we would depart at 7:30, we would tour the Coliseum and the Roman Forum, have lunch, and we would return to hotel at 5:30. I had so many questions: Where is breakfast located? Where do we meet to depart as a group? How long is each part of the tour? How long will we be on our feet/in direct sunlight? Will bathrooms be accessible on the tour? What time is lunch? Where is lunch? How long do we have to eat lunch? In my opinion, these are valid questions that should have been written down on the itinerary that was given. I will say that some of these questions were addressed verbally, but it would have been more relaxing for me to have at least had approximate plans written down on the itinerary. In our orientation, we were told that water was provided on every bus. NOT TRUE. I asked for a water bottle and was told that only the bus ride to Amalfi would have water bottles. So yes, you guessed it. My Mom and I went most of the day without water. This was frustrating knowing that we had perfectly good water bottles in our room and that we were misinformed during orientation. I think that it is also important to note that on the tours you don’t always get to jump the lines. At all of the tour sites, we still had to get in the “tour group line” and wait our turn to go. Most of the time, we were standing in direct sunlight for 30+ minutes. Specifically, while we were waiting to tour the Blue Grotto at the Isle of Capri, we had to wait in a rocky boat for 45+ minutes. Keep in mind the conditions. It’s hot, humid, loud, and the fumes from ALL the boats is almost unbearable. Then the captain of the boat randomly decided to jump out of line and move our boat closer to the cliffs for some reason. This area of the water was full of waves and not an ideal spot to anchor a boat. Accurate time frames or time estimates are almost nonexistent with PT. Not only is this confusing and not helpful, but this was a trend of the entire tour. No one knew any answers and it almost felt like we were being misinformed or dare I say lied to. My Mom and I decided to do one of the optional tour add ons. We understood that it was at an additional fee, but thought it would be worth it. Long story short, it was not. This tour started at 2, so we had a short window to rest, eat lunch, and regroup. We were told the walking tour would be 2 hours. It ended up being 3.5 hours in the heat of the day, direct sunlight, with no bathroom breaks, and only two stops at fountains to refill our water bottles, per my requests. At this point, my Mom becomes ill. She is light headed, nauseated, and no longer able to walk at the pace of the group (probably due to the heat, lack of water, and fast-pace of the tour, but that’s just a wild hunch). I informed the tour guide of this and he responded loudly in front of other group members, “Well, what do you want me to do?!” I suggested that my Mom and I end the tour early and head back to the hotel in a cab. He told me that this was a pedestrian only part of town and that we would have to walk to find a cab pick-up area. He also made it very clear that PT would NOT pay for the cab ride. I was shocked to say the least that he did not seem to care that my Mom was sick and did not offer to help us in any way. When we arrived back at the hotel, we were given less than an hour to rest and get ready. So at this point, we had been up and moving in direct sunlight, with very little water for about 8 hours. Sounds relaxing and fun, right? My Mom was still feeling ill and was not able to go out for dinner with the rest of the group, so I asked PT to please send a meal from room service, so she could have dinner. PT would not accommodate this request because hotel room service was too expensive. Instead, they sent up a bucket of ice to our room. Confused about this? Yeah, we were too. At the restaurant, I was handed a to go bag of food to give to my Mom, but we didn’t arrive back to the hotel until 10 PM and in my opinion, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto was the last thing my Mom needed to eat that late. If a person cannot go out to dinner because they are ill from the tour, then room service should be provided by PT to help them feel better. I have so many more things to add, but not enough character space to do so. In summary, do NOT book with PT!
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Fantastic

5.0 May 2019
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved, loved, loved our "South & Sicily" tour! Fantastic, knowledgeable and informative professional guide (Lorenza). My only regret is that my trip is over! Also, I would have liked to have stayed another day/night in beautiful Taormina. Thank you Perillo for taking care of everything for us resulting in a trip of a lifetime that we shall never forget!! We had a wonderful time.
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Tour Perillo Tours Company Reviews

Never again! Perillo is sliding downward quickly.

1.0 February 2019
M
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 1.0
No on-site management. The staff has no supervision.
Hotel is moldering and crumbling. Serious personal safety issues of several kinds. Doors are left unlocked all night, my room door bolt was broken.
I had some very unsettling experiences in a hotel and Perillo tried to ignore me and make me go away.
Extremely inept, defensive, inexperienced and unprofessional staff.
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Tours 347 Trips 8 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 147 $ 260
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • North America
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, USA
Year Established 1973 1945
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 Perillo Tours

Founded in 1945, and headquartered in New Jersey, Perillo was a pioneering company in the guided travel industry. 

What Makes Perillo Stand Out?

  • Well-balanced itineraries
  • Generous and satisfying meals
  • First-rate hotels

Perillo has been a name in the tourism industry since the 1940s, known for operating tours of Italy. Today Italy is still their main focus, though they have expanded to offer limited departures in Hawaii, Greece, and Costa Rica.

They provide well thought out and classic itineraries, showcasing the traditional sights, nicely augmented with local insider knowledge. Perillo is a classic tour company, offering several trip options including custom tours, destination weddings, and traditional escorted group trips. On the trip, you’ll benefit from their extensive experience and destination knowledge.  

Montepulciano Italy Tuscany tour Perillo

They have a dedicated Italy brand, “Perillo Italy Tours”, which expands on their long legacy providing Italy guided experiences, as well as a “Learning Journeys” brand. Their learning journeys travel to many more destinations, and cover a very wide range of interests, including certification classes for certain skills.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Perillo?

  • Older travelers 
  • Solo female travelers
  • Those interested in classic, custom, and themed tours

All ages are welcome on Perillo tours, however their type of travel may be more enjoyed by older travelers looking for a calm, fully managed tour. Perillo is a bit old fashioned. They do one thing and do it well, and haven’t changed much in the 60 years that they’ve been around. So if you’re looking for a traditional guided tour, busy but not with too many bells and whistles, Perillo is a great choice.

One unique offering through Perillo is their faith-based journeys. This was one of the first types of tours designed by Perillo. You can visit Greece and the Holy Land, as well as several important religious destinations in Italy. For travelers seeking an authentic religious-themed travel experience Perillo’s extensive experience leading and planning these kinds of tours is nearly unmatched.

Leaning tower of Pisa in Italy

Custom trip options are also available through Perillo. These custom group experiences cover a wide range of interests including yoga / health and wellness retreats, festivals, and learning tours geared toward universities. If you’re planning a destination wedding or honeymoon they have services dedicated to this as well.

Their Learning Journeys are perfect for solo female travelers and enthusiastic life learnings passionate about learning new skills, languages, or diving deeper into the history of a certain destination and culture.

Top Destinations

Venice Italy with Perillo tours

Perillo is known for, and primarily focuses on, Italy tours. Here their breadth of knowledge is impressive as they began operating Italy tour packages in 1945. Perillo Italy tours cover the whole country, including Sicily, with special emphasis on classic sights and local eats.

Perillo also offers escorted tours in Hawaii, Greece, and Costa Rica.

Their “Learning Tours,” focus on niche educational travel and classes around the world, including Africa & the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.

Perillo Travel Style

Tried and true is Perillo’s style. They may have the most flashiest or easily navigable website out there, or the most unique itineraries, but they know guided tours, they know Italy, and they stick with the classics. Hotels, meals, and activities have been personally vetted and experienced by the founder, and they have everything down to a science.

Local village in Italy

Itineraries are between 9-10 days on average, often focusing on cuisine and historical sights. Groups tend to be between 20 and 40 people, and they often arrange private departures for large groups such as families or wedding parties.

Special interest tours are another popular kind of itinerary offered through Perillo. In Italy, they offer a number of golf tours, faith-based tours, and culinary tours. Learning tours often focus on cooking, as well as art and history, science, and wildlife.

Why Choose a Tour With Perillo?

Colosseum in Rome Italy lit up at night

For an experience in Italy like no other, Perillo operates tours from the major cities to the charming hill towns off the beaten path. Their itineraries are carefully crafted for a thoughtful balance of sightseeing, free time, optional activities, and relaxation.

They are not the flashiest of tour companys, and their website is somewhat difficult to navigate to find all the options available - of which there are a good number. But they certainly have laurels to rest on given their extensive background and long historic legacy in guided tourism.

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