Topdeck vs Walking Connection - 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

wonderful moments

5.0 May 2018
G
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The Walking Connection is top notch and second to none. I’ve now been on three trips with them and each better than the last. Detailed planning, spectacular accommodations, fun activities, and food and beverages that perfectly compliment the events of each day. Gene and Jo Ann’s extensive experience takes traveling to a whole new level. Thank you so much for all the wonderful moments, and I’m already planning for my next trip!
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Tour Walking Connection Company Reviews

Walking Connection is your best sourceIf you are looking for walking adventure travel

5.0 August 2015
AL
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I met JoAnn and Gene Taylor years ago right after they conceived the idea of Walking Connection and started the program. I knew from the start they are special, caring people who want to make a difference in people's lives by helping them be more active and healthier. Walking consistently will do that...so will the Connections we make as we walk and travel together.

My husband and I traveled with Gene and JoAnn several times. Our favorite trip was to Ireland where the weather was perfect and the sights were thrilling.

We moved to Virginia in the late 90s but have kept the connection and friendship with this very special couple.

If you are looking for walking adventure travel, the Walking Connection is your best source. The trips are well planned, the walks are Taylored to everyone's level of comfort, the destinations are often only available through the Walking Connection and your traveling companions are fun loving and full of life.
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Wonderful!

5.0 August 2015
G
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Wonderful and accommodating hosts, and first class, fantastic trips. The Walking Connection with Gene and Jo Ann truly make traveling everything it is meant to be. I’ve been on two trips with them and am looking to book my next amazing adventure!
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Tours 347 Trips 39 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 147 $ 265
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
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
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Glendale, Arizona, USA
Year Established 1973 1989
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 Walking Connection

Walking Connection, established in 1989, specializes in inspiring individuals to take a healthy approach to life by being active through walking and hiking. 

WHO:

Around since 1989, it was founded by Gene and Jo Ann Taylor, who started gathering groups for local walks. It got promoted through the local media, and soon the company started getting corporate sponsors. Companies such as Safeway, IBM, and Honeywell have participated in their programs.

WHAT:

The tours are best enjoyed by those who are looking for an active trip and want to explore a new area by foot. If you're looking for a more independent group tour, this is it. You'll be able to have someone set a general itinerary for you and take you to new places, while also having time to relax and explore on your own. You’ll walk around 3-5 miles a day, but a van is available if a ride is needed. They also specialize in luxury travel tours with walking and hiking incorporated into the trips. Groups average in size from 12-14 people, but can go up to 16.

WHERE:

Explore North America, South America, Australia, Europe, and Africa through the tours. Tours are currently available in 16 countries and growing each year. A wide variety of activities are covered, including hiking, safari, walking/cultural, trekking, and summit trips.

HOW:

The Walking Connection pride themselves on being able to explore at a leisurely pace. Trips are moderately challenging to challenging, so you can pick the right one based on your activity level. You will travel by bus or car to get to destinations that are further away. Rest days can be taken if you need to relax for a day.

WHY:

While Walking Connection tours cater to all age groups, they are most commonly explored by the 40-60 year old age group. Couples as well as individuals will enjoy the tours. Those who have a positive outlook on life and love exploring new cultures will do well on these tours. They have a 90% returning customer rate! You can commit to several weeks for a longer tour, or just 2 nights for a shorter tour. The guides will take the time to see what you're interested in to give personal recommendations. A detailed packing list will be given specific to the trip you pick to ensure you are fully prepared for your adventure.

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