G Adventures vs Young Pioneer Tours - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Amazing trip through Antarctica5.0 March 2019
I just had an amazing trip through Antarctica - I would recommend it to anyone - great staff - exceptional food - amazing people - and great experiences :)
Tour G Adventures Company Reviews
Best Tour Operator!!5.0 March 2019
G Adventures is the best tour operator I have ever been with. Even if my trip was 2 years ago, their hospitality and adventures will always remain with me. 10/10
Tour G Adventures Company Reviews
G adventure does great on multi sport for multi ages5.0 March 2019
We have done 2 previous G Adventure trips that went really well. This one did not let us down. G Adventure does a great job to get your ready with your To GO packet. Coordinator/CEO did an excellent job throughout! Meet and great hotel was upgraded and having stayed at both their change was a good choice. Day 2 Bike ride through Karangahake Gorge was lovely and mostly down hill, and easily manged by most anyone and followed by night at Maori lodge ,culture experience and cookout - a highlight! Our group was diversified in ages from late 20's to active 70's with activity options and pace to meet every age or risk factor. Itinerary of activities as described and delivered was very good to excellent; and well enjoyed. For my husband and myself Day 5 - the time at Duck Station/ Whanganui River Station and canoeing on the Whanganui River was the highlight. Our excellent CEO at times needed to multi task too much as both bus driver, tour guide and guide/ booker for off days i.e. as in Rotorua - ideally G Adventures should have both a bus driver and tour guide. She did an exceptional job but having seen how it works when both guide and bus tour driver are supplied - feel G Adventure should supply both. Tongariro National Park hike Day 4 was cancelled due to weather but again our CEO came up with exceptional and meaningful tour option of supplemental Maori village tour. Jet boating on Whangagui River at end of Duck Station stay as part of return trip from river canoe and kayaking was fun but not quite life memory or overly physically stressful. Transition day 6 - drive on way to Wellington with night at Snowy Lodge was fun evening following an ad hock tour arranged by CEO on way. Day 7 - off day in Wellington was very much on our own time and a bit of a filler as CEO having to focus on next group welcome and start up and we shared our good bye dinner with their meet and great - my opinion not ideal? Overall events were graded at an 8. People on the tour and our Ceo made it an 9! No trip is perfect but this one was very good and we will be back for more of G Adventure.Read more
|Tours||807 Trips||4 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 197||$ 177|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Canada||Xi'an, China|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
Specializing in small-group, multi-day adventure tours and expeditions, Toronto-based G Adventures has been a pioneer in the field since 1990.
Founded by entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip after a backpacking trip to Asia, the company fosters sustainable and environmentally sound tourism practices -- giving back to the communities they visit -- and considers its business “changig people’s lives,” not just offering a vacation.
It’s since grown to become the world’s largest independent adventure travel company, with more than 1,350 employees, many of them professionally trained guides.
What Makes G Adventures Stand Out?
Trips with G Adventures are all encompassing, adventurous, exciting, and fulfilling. Since the beginning, G Adventures has maintained a strong message of engaging with local cultures, being a responsible traveler, and contributing back to communities. Their trips are designed to be life changing.
G Adventures strives to create unique experiences for its travelers that start even before the trip itself. The company provides trip inspiration through their Looptail blog and you can connect with fellow travelers via the ‘Departure Lounge’, which is part of G’s ‘Watering Hole’ travel forum.
Once on your trip, you will meet your ‘CEO’ or ‘Chief Experience Officer’ who is “responsible for enriching your journey, offering local insight, and pursuing great experiences as they happen.” Most groups average around 12 travelers, with a maximum of 16 on most trips.
G Adventures has made a concerted effort to expand their offering beyond youth focused adventures, though this remains a core theme. Your Danube River Cruise will be imbued with the same culturally immersive and adventurous touch as your trekking journey through the Himalayas.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With G Adventures?
If you are the kind of traveler who packs running shoes before dress shoes, hiking attire before dinner attire, and a sense of adventure before playing it safe, then G Adventures is the perfect fit for you. You love engaging with locals, meeting new people, and being spontaneous. You also favor experiences over luxury accomodations.
Most G Adventures tours have an active focus - expect to be on the move, packing a lot in. That said they do allot generous free time to explore on your own. There’s a chance you may not see every major tourist attraction in the interest of a more “real” experience. But the nice thing is if a particular site is not on the itinerary, you can use your free time to visit.
If you are interested in a tour that plans every part of the itinerary down to the minute, G Adventures will probably not be the best fit for you.
While its target market has traditionally been younger travelers in the 18-39 range, G Adventures has expanded significantly, now offering a broad range of trips that appeal to adventurous-minded, culturally curious people of any age.
Groups are geographically diverse, with a higher proportion of North Americans than some other operators. G Adventures also does not charge a single supplement, so solo travelers are very welcome on their trips.
They offer numerous travel styles, some at a higher budget range, like their National Geographic Journeys. Most G Adventures trips are accessible to low to mid budgets and are ideal for travelers who like experiential small group active travel.
You can find G Adventures trips in most parts of the globe, including 32 countries in Europe, 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 21 countries in Asia, 10 countries in South America, 12 countries in Central America and the Caribbean, five countries in North Africa and the Mideast, plus the U.S., and Canada.
A number of destinations are well off the beaten track, from Sao Tome and Principe in West Africa to Borneo in east Asia to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and both polar regions.
Itineraries often focus on more off the beaten path locations; small towns, remote and rural villages, less touristy districts and sites.
G Adventures Travel Style
Pricing is competitive (cheaper), largely by using “grassroots” approaches: local transport and a mix of privately-owned accommodations, perhaps including homestays and camping. Efforts are made to focus on authenticity with both culinary choices (locally-owned restaurants) as well as transportation methods.
G Adventures truly offers something for everyone. Trip styles include Classic, Active, Rail, YOLO (You Only Live Once - for 18-39’s), National Geographic Journeys, Marine, Family, Local Living, and Private Groups.
Classic - Classic trips with G Adventures are designed for independent minded travelers who don’t want to miss anything. This is the perfect choice if you want a balanced mix of classic tourist sights and local cultural experiences.
Active - Throwing it back to one of the things G Adventures does best. Kayak, walk, hike, trek; experience your destination through the outdoors. These multi-sport trips are great if you hate standing still and enjoy being out in nature. G Adventures Active tours are ideal for those who are relatively physically fit and like a challenge.
Rail - A rail journey is a great way to dial it back. Take it slow and really savor the feeling of the journey. Take iconic routes and enjoy the ride.
YOLO - “You only live once” is the acronym, and while G Adventures provides adventurous experiences for all, these trips are specifically designed for 18-39 year olds. Get cheeky, get wild, experience life unfettered, as you explore the culture and the local nightlife. If you have the stamina, these trips are once in a lifetime. Kind of like the age range.
National Geographic Journeys - A more premium travel experience, these G Adventures trips, as part of a partnership with National Geographic Expeditions, involve the same culturally immersive approach and knowledgeable guides with an elevated level of accommodations and service.
Marine - Love to be out on the water? Let G Adventures cruises take you to the far reaches of the globe via river and ocean. Experience incredible sights above and below the surface. Unpack once and enjoy the escape of being a part of the crew and passengers.
Family - Adventure tours aren’t always especially friendly to younger travelers. G Adventures Family Friendly tours make adventure activities accessible for you and your youngsters! Trips often have an educational element, and are designed with multiple ages in mind.
Local Living - Get to the heart of it with a homestay. These tours are designed to make you really feel at home and appreciate the feel and rhythm of living like a local.
Private Groups - If you and your family, or a group of friends want the fun all to yourself, G Adventures can plan a private group trip just for you.
Note: part of the culturally immersive experience when traveling with G Adventures is the use of public transportation. This means carrying your own luggage on buses, trains, etc - sometimes during commute hours! So pack light for your own comfort and the comfort of those around you.
Why Choose a Tour With G Adventures?
For those travelers seeking an exciting, professionally guided, and culturally immersive travel experience G Adventures is the perfect tour company to consider. Their trips are designed to be as authentic as possible - and they place much emphasis on giving back to local communities - so you’ll know your tourism dollars are going toward meaningful causes.
Trips with G Adventures are not luxury by any means. But if unique experiences and active days appeal to you over a fluffy pillow then you’re in the right place.
Departures are guaranteed once you’ve paid (barring significant weather or safety issues). And they don’t charge single supplements. In short, G Adventures wants you out there with them.
You can find something for everyone at G Adventures; whether that’s sailing down the Danube with a glass of wine in hand, or traipsing through the rainforests of Costa Rica.
1. What kind of luggage should I bring?
On many G Adventures trips it’s important to keep in mind that local public transportation is used frequently. Sometimes during commute hours! For your comfort and the comfort of those around you, it’s a good idea to pack light. Some areas will be very crowded, so take pickpocket precautions.
2. Do I need travel insurance?
Yes! Travel insurance is required for all travelers on G Adventures trips. If you don’t have your own insurance already, you can purchase a plan for the time you’ll be traveling when you book your G Adventures tour. This is an easy and budget friendly option. If you’re interested in browsing more plans, check out the top travel insurance options »
3. Is airfare included?
Unfortunately no. While G Adventures does not include international airfare in their trip prices, they can help you book flights.
4. Is there a single supplement?
No. G Adventures does not charge a single supplement for their tours. Single travelers are very welcome. You will share with a same-sex roommate during the tour. If you wish to have a single room, there is usually an option to pay an additional fee for your own room.
5. Is there an age cap?
While G Adventures trips tend to appeal largely to younger adventure travelers, all ages are welcome on the majority of trips. The exceptions include on their 18-39 tours, which are specifically designed for only travelers within that range. On most other G Adventures trips, children under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian, and are open to kids 12 and up. Some family friendly trips are open to younger kids.
6. What size are the groups?
G Adventures group tours are kept small and intimate. The max is 15, with the average hovering more around 10.
Founded in 2008 by Gareth Johnson, Young Pioneer Tours was created after his years of living as an expat in China. He realized there weren’t enough tour companies catering to the young adventurers, nor at a budget rate. With his friends - who also have a love for being on the road - they’ve created an opportunity for young people to see just how much fun you can have in outlandish and exotic parts of the world.
What Makes Young Pioneer Tours Stand Out?
Young Pioneer Tours strive to challenge the media’s perception of controversial destinations. Their travel theme is to bring you to places that are considered “dark tourism” - destinations associated with unsettling politics, saddening history, eccentric celebrations, and the like. Visiting a “Dictator’s Playground” or camping beside a fiery crater in the Middle East are not uncommon parts of the itinerary for Young Pioneers tours.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Young Pioneer Tours?
These tours typically attract young adults in their 20’s who are interested in exploring places and cultures that are typically labelled as dangerous, weird, or off the wall. If a day wandering through bazaars in the Middle East before partying all night with your newfound friends sounds like fun, then Young Pioneers will be right for you!
They also aim to keep all tours at a low budget rate, making it possible for more people to join their tours. Those on a shoestring budget who don’t mind staying in a hostel will fit in perfectly. Think of it like a backpacking trip - without having to organize the activities yourself.
Most Young Pioneer tours require you to walk approximately 1-3 hours per day on mostly flat terrain. Unless you’re booking one of their ski trips, your days will be spent walking through museums, cities, and markets, so it generally isn’t too strenuous. Just be sure not to wear flip flops!
Young Pioneer Tours takes you to unique destinations that they like to refer as “countries your mother would rather you stay away from”. They specialize in tours to North Korea, but also have trips to China, Middle East, Africa, Soviet Europe, and Central Asia.
As they continue to expand, they’ve also added tours to some of the least traveled countries in the world (that you’ve probably never heard of). Many of these countries are difficult to get into due to the visa process, but Young Pioneer Tours make it possible!
While they do cover some of the main attractions in some of these destinations, don’t expect your day to consist of photo-taking at tourist spots. Their itineraries are generally a blend of sightseeing and dark tourism. An afternoon of exploring the grand city of Ashgabat might be followed by wandering around a completely deserted beach resort. Or a visit to Persepolis, a UNESCO heritage site, after posing with an AK47 in the sacred town Lalesh.
Young Pioneer Tours Travel Style
These are “group tours for people who hate group tours.” With a large focus on having fun, they cater to those who find tours to generally be too dry or educational. Their definition of fun ranges widely from exploring natural landscapes, brewery visits, and historical monuments, to cultural immersion, photography, and high adventure. Whatever it is, you’re guaranteed to have an incredibly unique and wacky adventure to tell your friends back home.
Since many of their travelers come alone, the tours tend to create a social atmosphere, where you’ll soon find yourself amongst friends. Groups are a max of 24 people, but they mention that they like to keep it at 10 people on average.
Expect accommodations to be at hostels, 3 star hotels, and homestays with local communities. This means very basic amenities, no elevators, and a simple mattress. You’ll be driven around in jeeps and vans. If you’re a simple guy or gal that isn’t too picky, and don’t require luxury for getting from point A to B, then you’ll fit it just fine.
Why Choose a Tour With Young Pioneer Tour?
If you want to be at the forefront of all the action in lesser known destinations, you’ll love traveling with Young Pioneer Tours. As they continue to expand, they remain true to their travel style in the search for all the weird and wonderful things to exist around the world.
You get to first-hand experience what these places and people are really about. With Young Pioneer Tours, you gain a better understanding and appreciation for places before writing it off as a danger zone.
You may have heard of Young Pioneer’s incident with an American citizen while traveling in North Korea, where a young man was detained for stealing a propaganda poster. It is true that unforeseen circumstances do occur, and the fun can get out of hand when alcohol is involved.
Be sure to do your own research ahead of time, and understand that these destinations do come with risks. If you decide to travel with Young Pioneers, you are responsible for respecting the do’s and don'ts that your tour guide tells you to follow. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum, be aware of your surroundings, and don’t abandon the group during your trip.