Intrepid Travel vs Odysseys Unlimited - 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 — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.8
Recent Reviews

Loved camping with Intrepid

5.0 June 2018
LR
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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.

Intrepid did an incredible job

5.0 December 2017
ATFT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
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.
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great tour

5.0 October 2017
k
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 3.0
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy

Very pleased with Odyssey's trips.

5.0 January 2017
H
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
After two trips, both to Turkey, I proclaim Odyssey Tours to be the only travel agency which I shall patronize. As promised, the number of clients is limited, although I would really love to have no more than 8 companions, as it is so difficult to see everything when there are so many persons crowding around the guide and the site or art work being visited. It also helps to have less competition during toilet breaks. I would say that the choice of places to stop is quite good, especially since Odyssey often chooses out of the way destinations, such as a visit to local villages that tourist hardly ever go. I especially loved the gulet excursion. Truly charming and restful on the yacht with some very athletic hikes included in the neighboring islands. The hotels have been extremely comfortable, with the exception of the very dreadful Swissotel Grand Efes, a malevolent, modern maze in which I was lost while looking for my room more than once, thanks to their insane numbering system. As for the food, some was excellent, some mediocre. I would have liked to have had more occasions to sample traditional fare in local restaurants. The hotel breakfasts were excellent but I cannot say the same for the dinners, which were too often mediocre. Kudos is due to the guides. I shall always remember Mustafa from my 2012 Turkish Treasures tour and Hassan of the 2013 Legendary Turkey visit. They were well informed (although I did catch several blunders, due to my background in history, mythology and archaeology), personable, extremely good humored, patient, helpful, always ready for that extra attention that some tourists require. I have signed on for the Egypt tour which is this coming October. It has been 15 years since my last visit, which was with Insight Tours. From my two experiences with Odyssey, I am anticipating a magical journey.
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Tour Odysseys Unlimited Company Reviews

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

5.0 January 2017
R
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Recently took the Portrait of Italy Tour with Anna Scrocca as our tour director. What an amazing adventure.
Every detail was handled with grace and proficiency. (Any aspect of travel that is potentially anxiety-provoking was handled by Anna, allowing the travelers to relax and fully immerse themselves in the experience.)
Fantastic guided tours, amazing informal walks and additional guidance for maximizing free time. The accommodations were wonderful and the company, A+
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Tour Odysseys Unlimited Company Reviews

Enjoying a great tour in Italy!

5.0 January 2017
AG
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We are currently in Italy and loving it! Our tour guide Anna is unbelievable and so informative. We are discovering so much more about each city than we would have on our own. Our group is only 23 and by now, we have all bonded and are having a wonderful time! highly recommend Portrait of Italy if you want to get a taste of all over Italy.
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Tour Odysseys Unlimited Company Reviews

Tours 1,071 Trips 42 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 187 $ 338
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
  • 50+
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Newton, Massachusetts, United States
Year Established 1989 1989
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English English
Top Trips
Similar Companies
Countries
About Intrepid Travel

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

Commonly compared with G Adventures »

Morocco homestay with Intrepid Travel

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.

Top Destinations

Monk mediating in Myanmar on tour with Intrepid Travel

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?

Sample of many spices in Middle Eastern market

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.

About Odysseys Unlimited

Since 1989 Odysseys International have created custom-designed tours for more than 100 of America’s most prestigious non-profit organizations, including Smithsonian Journeys, as well as many well-known college alumni associations. They now have expanded to offer their tours to the general public as well.

What Makes Odysseys Unlimited Stand Out?

Parthenon in Greece Odysseys Unlimited tour

Their tours are custom-designed specifically for small groups, with a balanced mix of sightseeing, traveling, cultural encounters, and free time. Guests enjoy a personal and authentic travel experience provided by knowledgeable guides. They focus heavily on ensuring a unique, and comfortable small group experience, with flexible itineraries.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Odysseys Unlimited?

Odysseys Unlimited is the type of tour for travelers seeking a well organized small group experience - tour attendance is strictly limited to be between 12 to 24 guests. If you’re interested in visiting the top sites, and maybe venturing into the realm of a funky bed and breakfast or two, and local meals vetted by your guide this company could be a good choice.

Older couple enjoying a Nile River Cruise in Egypt on Odysseys Unlimited tour

They present solid, easy itineraries, with an eye towards historic and cultural landmarks. Odysseys Unlimited might not be for you if venturing far off the beaten path is an important facet of your travel experience.

Travelers with Odysseys Unlimited are typically between the ages of 50 and 80 - and this age group is where they focus. Activities are not generally too physically demanding, accommodations are comfortable. Most tours involve a lot of walking, with slight elevation changes. Odyssey's does require that travelers be relatively physically fit and able. Wheelchair access is unfortunately not an option. 

UK Coastline Odysseys Unlimited tour

Free time is readily available for those wanting to explore a bit on their own, going shopping or visiting more local areas.

This is adventure and thrills recalibrated for an older audience. You might not be exploring too far off the beaten path, but that doesn’t mean boring and static. Odysseys is for those older travelers seeking African safaris, for example, that don’t require a 30 year old stamina to be in a jeep 8 hours a day, yet are maybe unwilling or unable to spring for a luxury safari. Odysseys fits comfortably in the middle. Don’t expect full private access everywhere you go, but you can expect a dedicated guide and a fun group of travelers to enjoy the experience with.

Under 50 and families are welcome as well (no children under 15), but the mix in your group will definitely skew older.

Top Destinations

Great wall of china walk tour odysseys unlimited

Odysseys Unlimited tours travel around the world, making seemingly exotic far reaching locations accessible and reachable, both from a cultural standpoint as well as a logistical standpoint. Think small ship cruises in Patagonia, premium history tours in Egypt, and first class hotels in China.

Because their tour directors are often from the destinations, Odysseys can claim destination expertise across the board. The focus is on quality tours rather than quantity, so they can continue to provide travelers with this expertise from their specialized guides.

Tours with Odysseys Unlimited travel to Europe, Asia, South America, Australia & New Zealand, North America, Africa and the Middle East. The largest number of tours are offered in Asia and Europe.

Odysseys Unlimited Travel Style

Amsterdam tour Odysseys Unlimited

The Odysseys Unlimited travel style is one of comfort and ease, but budget friendly. The sheets might not be silk, but you’ll have a comfortable bed and welcoming hosts.

Tours are fully escorted so if you feel like you want to venture beyond your comfort zone - perhaps a language barrier always got in the way, or safety concerns - Odysseys Unlimited is a great way to visit without having to worry. Your tour size will never exceed 24 people, allowing for many friendships to blossom among like minded travelers.

Their tours are around 10-20 days long; an ideal amount of time for getting to know your tour companions, visit tourist spots as well as enjoy more local and cultural activities.

Tanzania safari Odysseys Unlimited

Transportation is in large motorcoaches throughout the destination. During the trip you may experience other modes of transportation, such as ferries, trains, small planes, even motorbikes.

Your tour directors are professional and knowledgeable in the destination, able to provide interesting local and cultural context beyond the tourist sites.   

Why Choose a Tour With Odysseys Unlimited?

Whale breach sighting Odysseys Unlimited cruise tour

If you don’t think small group travel is for you, or you’re unsure about a certain destination whether for safety reasons, language barriers, or other factors - traveling with Odysseys Unlimited is a good place to start.

Their tours are specifically designed to be flexible - a good amount of free time is allotted for the more “independent minded,” yet if you’re more comfortable hanging out with the guide, that’s fine too. Traveling to the next destination is not just a bus ride; you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and explore local villages and historical sights.

And if that wasn’t enough, a special perk when traveling with Odysseys Unlimited is the inclusion of international airfare in the trip price!

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