Brendan Vacations vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
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Overall — 4.5
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Activities — 4.5
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Meals — 4.5
5.0 November 2018
Japan Cultural Odyssey
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!Read more
Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews
5.0 July 2018
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.Read more
5.0 July 2017
This trip was really superb, starting with the folks like Alex in the San Diego office to our tour guide in Havana, Orelvis (a perfect gentleman if there ever was one--and he seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Havana), and our driver, Boris (who was an extremely safe driver, and the SUV that was our transportation was a practically new Honda), and our friendly hostess at the casa particular (B&B).Read more
But at breakfast at the casa particular, keep in mind the CDC guidelines for healthy travel: cook it, boil it, peel it (yourself) or FORGET IT. So the bowl of fruit and the fruit juices? Pass them up in favor of coffee and toast. I know that sounds boring, but after I got home, I ended up in the hospital emergency room for dehydration due to e-coli--my fault for not following the CDC guidelines.
Also, to get up to my room at the casa particular, I had to climb a narrow, curved marble staircase--I took extra care not to fall either on the way up or on the way down.
The activities and attractions were first rate (but you must keep in mind that you're on "Cuban time," and not everything runs like a Swiss train). From the Hemingway house to the canon ceremony (which I loved even though it was a substitution for another event that was unexpectedly closed) to the jazz club (again, we went to one jazz club that for some reason didn't work out, but no problem--Orelvis took us to another jazz club recommended by his supervisor in Havana) to the art museum to the Malecon to the outdoor terrace at the Hotel Nacional and more, it was amazing how much we saw of Havana in about 72 hours.
There were only four people on the trip, and that was both a good thing and a bad thing--good because each of us received a great deal of attention from Orelvis and bad because two of the four didn't want to follow the itinerary and often went off on their own and then kept the rest of us waiting for them to return (highly frustrating--finally Boris said, "the schedule is the schedule," and we stopped catering to them). One of them spoke fluent Spanish--good for her--but I did wish that Orelvis had curtailed the lengthy conversations that she initiated with him, which the rest of us could not understand.
Two of my favorite activities were ones that I arranged myself: attending the world-class ballet at the gorgeously restored el Gran Teatro and then taking a yellow 1950 Chevrolet convertible with an Italian driver, who was an absolute hoot, back to the casa particular.
And the food at the private restaurants known as paladars was first rate. We even had lunch at one that Anthony Bourdain recently featured on his CNN travel show "Parts Unknown."
Just a small word of caution: sometimes there wasn't enough bottled water in the SUV in which we were riding, especially when we were dropped off at the casa particular at night. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water with you at all times. (The CDC even recommends that you brush your teeth with bottled water.)
I also wish I had brought another pair of shoes with me because with all of the walking in the heat of the Cuban sun, my feet swelled. Fortunately, I had brought some Band-Aids with me, which helped cushion the sore spots.
I highly recommend this trip--to my way of thinking, it's much better than taking a cruise ship that only docks in Havana for one or two nights--and the "Havana Weekend Getaway" is the most popular trip to Cuba that is offered by Discover Corps, as I learned from Orelvis.
|Tours||75 Trips||28 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 248||$ 399|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Regional Expert||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Anaheim, California, United States||San Diego, California|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||No single supplement|
Part of the TTC group, they offer traditional travel throughout Scotland and Ireland, and have a long legacy of excellence in the travel industry.
What Makes Brendan Vacations Stand Out?
With over 30 years in the guided tour industry, they know exactly what their travelers want and they deliver. Itineraries are designed to have a personal touch, making sure that you get the experience that you most want on your trip. Their focus in on Scotland and Ireland - and with such a focus, they are able to dedicate all their resources on crafting and designing unique luxury travel in these two countries year after year.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Brendan Vacations?
Brendan Vacations are great for anyone who loves traveling in the UK, are eager to explore the area in comfort, and expect a certain degree of comfort and personalized service. These tours are easy, slow paced, and mildly active.
Older travelers in the 50+ range, who have cultural curiosity and seek it in the realm of in depth guided history tours and chatting with locals in the village pub. Maybe catching a spontaneous evening of live music. If you are the kind of person who loves meeting new people, their group tours have an average of 40 people, so you’ll be sure to meet plenty of new friends who love traveling in the UK.
Because of their niche focus, you can easily customize your days to what you want to see, do, and experience, so travelers who enjoy having input and planning travel excursions will enjoy the openness of their Brendan guided experience.
The private chauffeured options are especially popular for older travelers and families. Younger travelers may also find experiences they enjoy, especially in their self guided options. Golf enthusiasts especially will love tours with Brendan Vacations, where they will have many opportunities to visit famous courses.
They focus exclusively on Scotland and Ireland. Trips visit castles, coastlines, stay with local families, and travel by rail.
Brendan Vacations Travel Style
The Brendan Vacations travel style is all about comfort and ease, whether you choose a guided group tour experience, or a fully chauffeured private tour.
Transportation is via large comfortable coaches, with high seats and big windows, offering wonderful wide vantage points of the countryside. Coaches are fully equipped with wifi and restrooms.
In addition to ample free time available during the trip to explore on your own, Brendan Vacations also offers numerous optional excursions throughout the itinerary. These do cost extra on top of the overall tour price.
Itineraries with Brendan Vacations use a few different words to describe the kinds of stops to be made - this can help you determine if the trips pace and activities will be well suited to you:
“Visit” - This means you’ll have a lot of time at the stop, learning from local experts and taking guided walks.
“View” - A quick stop for photos and to stretch your legs
“See” - No stops. Passing through via coach or rail
“Sightseeing Trip” - Experience the destination through the eyes of local city guides
“Orientation Trip” - Enjoy a self guided wander, stopping at points of interest for as long or as little as you wish
Why Choose a Tour With Brendan Vacations?
If you’re planning to visit Scotland and / or Ireland and are looking for a well designed, comfortable, and expertly guided tour experience, this is a good place to start. Their tours are great for older travelers who want the benefit of their experience and country knowledge.
San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.
What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?
They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.
With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.
Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?
These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.
The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.
Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.
Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Discover Corps Travel Style
Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.
Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?
If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.
Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.
“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.