Intrepid Travel vs Back-Roads Touring - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
5.0 June 2018
Loved this trip. Camping in very nice places - usually had hot water and nice showers. Great itinerary - LOVED Namibia and the variety of the tour from the desert to the delta to the parks.
5.0 December 2017
Amazing Thailand Family Trip
Thailand Cambodia Trip. Nov 2017. For my 60th birthday I decided I wanted to take my family of 6 to Thailand and Cambodia. After my initial conversation with the Intrepid office, they pulled together a perfect 24 day custom itinerary for us. My Intrepid coordinator really listened. We set up a incredibly diverse trip, ranging from ocean front resorts to a primitive hillside village trek. From the minute we landed in Bangkok, to the day we flew home, all transfers went off with out a hitch. What really made our trip memorable was our local guides. Every single one of them were warm, professional, humorous but most importantly, had a deep knowledge of the geography, the plant life, dining, the history and government. We felt by the end of the trip, these guides had become a part of our family. The entire trip was amazing and we will definitely use Intrepid for our next adventure travel. Thanks so much.Read more
5.0 October 2017
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy
Tour Delhi to Kathmandu
5.0 October 2018
My husband & I were part of a small group of 11 who completed the Garden of England tour in August. A great bunch of people and our guide Tony helped make our journey enjoyable, even making a couple of detours to accommodate guests' requests. Fresh fruit & choices were a nice surprise. Thank you Tony & Backroads.Read more
Tour Back-Roads Touring Company Reviews
5.0 October 2018
Excellent tour!! Personal experiences from the members of the group and our tour leader. We did the WWI battlefields tour. Great hotels! Would highly recommend this company to anyone who wants small group experience! I will absolutely use them again.Read more
Tour Back-Roads Touring Company Reviews
5.0 September 2018
What a fantastic well organised trip we had. We look forward to another Back-Roads adventure.
Tour Back-Roads Touring Company Reviews
|Tours||1,123 Trips||6 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 203||$ 386|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Australia||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ Founded back in 1989 following an “intrepid” African adventure trip, Intrepid lives up to its name by offering up some pretty big adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea -- but is broad-based enough to also lead group trips to Hawaii, complete with sipping sunset Mai Tais on Waikiki Beach.
Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts
Founded in 1989
No Single Supplement (rare exceptions)
Small Groups - max 16 on most trips
Typical Age Range - 18 - 45
Travel Style - Cultural immersion, adventure, overland
Accommodation Style - Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels
Average Tour Price - $2,377
Top Regions - Asia, Africa, Europe, South America
Other Brands: Peregrine, Geckos
What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out?
Above all else, Intrepid strives to get its travelers off the beaten path and under the surface of the local culture. To accomplish this, group sizes average just 10 travelers each, with a maximum of 16 on most trips. This allows for more use of local transportation and lodging, along with fostering cultural immersion.
Intrepid also employs local English-speaking leaders who act more as a resource for local exploration than do typical ‘guides,’ shepherding groups from one place to another.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Intrepid Travel?
Intrepid is one of the early pioneers of the “adventure”-style guided trip. Despite its informal beginnings and emphasis on younger, highly adventurous travelers, Intrepid has expanded to a global company with a broad range of trips to fit all ages.
Intrepid divides its small-group trips into three separate styles of travel, all priced accordingly. “Basix,” for budget travelers, keep inclusions to a minimum and offer plenty of free time, “Original” journeys which offer more included activities and more hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles.
The kind of traveler who gravitates to Intrepid Travel is one who has a real sense of adventure - whether this means hard adventure, or simply going deeper off the beaten path. Interacting with locals is an important factor when you travel, as is gaining a unique cultural perspective. A sense of fun is also essential, whether it means going out at night with your tour mates or daring, ahem, encouraging each other to try strange new foods.
Originally focused on small group adventure tours to Asia, Intrepid has expanded rapidly over the years, while maintaining its classic, adventurous, and immersive style. Today Intrepid Travel offers more than 1,000 different experiences in over 100 countries, on all seven continents. Regions with the most trips include Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe.
Intrepid Travel Style
Intrepid enjoys using local, unique forms of transportation. You might find yourself traveling by felucca in Egypt, on a camel in Morocco, or in a tuk-tuk on the best Thailand tour of your life. Accommodations, which could range from guesthouses to home stays, are also locally owned, allowing a more authentic taste of the region while contributing to the local economy.
There are a few broad travel styles to choose from when deciding on an Intrepid tour:
1. Basix - Budget travelers who don’t mind, and in fact prefer, simple accommodations - camping and homestays with basic amenities, and crave a lot of free time for exploring independently will love these tours. Public transportation is used exclusively so pack light! These trips often attract a younger crowd who love the idea of throwing a backpack on, keep plenty of room for the unexpected in their schedule, and allocate their travel funds towards spontaneous bus tickets and street food instead of museum tours and 5 star restaurants.
2. Original - These trips take the backpacker spirit of local immersion, incorporating all the benefits that come with going with a planned itinerary. This style is called “Original” because it’s the type of travel that put Intrepid on the map...pun intended. Accommodations are still simple and budget minded - often homestays are used to give you a true sense of place, personality, and culture. Mostly public transportation is used.
3. Comfort - Intrepid is known for the active adventure style of travel and these trips keep that mentality, with a few more creature comforts thrown into the mix. You can expect higher end, more discerning, accommodations that include a wider variety of included amenities, transportation is mostly private, though you can still expect to use some public transport, as is the Intrepid way. More meals are included in the trip price, and more group activities - which means a bit less free time to explore on your own.
Why Choose a Tour With Intrepid Travel?
Intrepid is a good choice if you don’t mind foregoing some creature comforts for a truly authentic, local experience. If you enjoy meeting locals when traveling, sampling new and exciting foods, and traveling in mixed-aged groups of 10-16 people, Intrepid could be a good fit for you.
It’s important to note, sometimes “ample free time” can be a blessing and a curse. It sounds great on paper, but if you’re looking to maximize your dollar and your vacation time, be sure you understand the implications of having a lot of free time during your itinerary.
For some travelers this is an absolute requirement, but for others it can be tough to branch off and explore independently - you also need to make sure you allocate enough travel money for independent meals. The tour leaders are great resources of information for how to spend your free time, but if you like having a full day scheduled from breakfast to dinner, Intrepid may not be the best company for you.
Lastly, if sustainable and responsible travel is important to you, Intrepid has poured millions of dollars into local economies, and has a very strong emphasis on responsible travel. So you can feel good knowing that your money helps support some of the innkeepers, vendors, and communities that you’ll meet along the way.
Back-Roads Touring, rebranded as Blue-Roads in November 2018 for the North American market, offers boutique small group tours around the world.
What Makes Back-Roads (Blue-Roads) Touring Stand Out?
They stick to a very small group size, which allows them to offer truly authentic and local experiences. Their guides have extensive local knowledge and connection, and touring with them is like visiting a good friend who can’t wait to show you the best hidden gems and introduce you to their culture and history.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Back-Roads (Blue-Roads) Touring?
Travelers who feel adverse to large groups, and maybe aren’t sure if group travel is for them should definitely take a look through the itineraries offered by Back-Roads. Groups are kept very small - with a max of 18.
The age range often skews a bit older - catering to active and adventurous 50+ travelers eager for a relaxing yet invigorating trip. However travelers anywhere from the mid 30s and above will enjoy traveling with them. Especially if you’re the type of traveler for whom the more party-focused companies that serve the 18-30 range are not appealing.
Back-Roads offers itineraries around the world, though they are especially well known for UK and Europe travel. You can find trips throughout the UK and Ireland, Europe - including the Nordic and Baltic countries. They also provide some Asia tours, primarily in the southeast (Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia).
Back-Roads (Blue-Roads) Touring Travel Style
Groups are small, and the activities range from easy walks or hikes to visits to cultural and historical sites. They offer a few broad themes, such as battlefield tours, culinary tours, sailing tours, history tours, and nature tours.
Accommodations with Back-Roads are generally in local and traditional hotels or guest houses. These usually have stairs, and are sometimes old buildings - you may encounter funky showers and not have the luxury of an elevator. They advise that you should be able to carry your luggage up and down flights of stairs.
Why Choose Back-Roads (Blue-Roads) Touring?
The small group tour experience is at its best with companies like Back-Roads. They provide top notch customer service and guides, dedicated to showing you the best of what a country has to offer. For travelers who want a chance to experience a new place through local eyes, as well as learn the history and enjoy good food and company - within a wide age range - Back-Roads is a great choice.