Intrepid Travel vs Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours) - 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 — 4.7
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.4
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.4
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
4.0 April 2018
Our guide and group were wonderful. Most of the sites visited fascinating and worth it. I especially loved the visit with the monk and the Hakone Outdoor Art Museum.Read more
It broke my heart that the one day in Tokyo was such a waste of time. Please, taking us to a mediocre mall and a car exhibit, what were you thinking? There should of been two days allotted to that fabulous city to see the real sites. Also, I am an adult and making sushi for four year old was a huge insult and should be skipped at all costs. Also I believe that the trip to Nari should be included as part of the trip and not an optional tour.
Except for breakfasts, the food was cafeteria grade at best and repetitive. You could do better. The best food was that which we picked ourselves.
I would never recommend going in cherry blossom time. There were 80 buses lined up to get into the outdoor sites. Buy a postcard and put it on your wall, or better yet, visit Washington DC. I would recommend this trip if modifications were made.
5.0 February 2015
As a travel photographer and organizer of a number of photography tour groups over the years, I have a good sense of what discerning travelers demand of tour companies. And there aren’t many travelers more demanding than photographers in my experience.Read more
I had heard many good things about Overseas Adventure Travel on several occasions from some very well traveled members of my groups who encouraged me to give one a try. While OAT tours are not tailored specifically for photographers or any other particular interest group, they do offer “flexibility with structure” as one couple from Louisville that has traveled with them on Patagonia and Japan tours put it. They felt this is due to OAT employing “superior guides” who are “especially enthusiastic, knew the areas very well and made every effort to engage all participants depending on their needs and desires.”
When my wife and I went on OAT’s Route of the Maya tour not long ago, we felt that our high expectations were met and frequently exceeded, especially in the way the guide made efforts to engage our group with the local people in a way that immersed us personally in the culture. This included visiting homes, farms, and as a special treat, a couple of schools where the group was able to contribute some school supplies at OAT’s suggestion.
OAT groups are kept small -- maximum size is 16 – which makes it possible to explore local transportation options, such as a Buenos Aires wooden subway and Japanese bullet trains for the Louisville couple and horseback and a “chicken bus” for our Maya tour. It also permits independent exploring, such as the full day my wife and I spent in Antigua, Guatemala, during the Easter Holy Week, Semana Santa, which was certainly a highlight for this photographer.
I believe the best testimonial for OAT comes from another of my photo tour friends, a couple from Denver. Veterans of 75 international journeys to all continents, this couple has experience with several small group travel specialists. But OAT has become their preferred tour operator with 14 OAT tours to multiple destinations on four continents to their credit.
In addition to praising the guides, they cited the pricing and excellence of the inclusive itineraries and felt that OAT provides “personal care, attention, and safety.”
“In our experiences, OAT leads all companies… We think they are a winning combination and our loyalty to them will continue.”
Tour Overseas Adventure Travel Company Reviews
5.0 January 2015
As a travel writer, I have traveled with a fair multitude of tour companies and for the tour experience as well as for value, OAT wins every time. Not only are the itineraries exciting and well thought out with just the right amount of free time provided, but what really sets OAT apart is their philosophy of Learning and Discovery, which they take very seriously. Which means there are a number of surprises and unexpected stops not mentioned in the itinerary that add a whole new dimension to the trips. Ironically, in the post-trip evaluation form from other tour companies, I often make suggestions of things I've experienced on OAT trips.Read more
Tour Overseas Adventure Travel Company Reviews
|Tours||1,123 Trips||23 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 203||$ 290|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Mixed Land & Cruise|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Australia||Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||No single supplement|
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.
First established in 1978, Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) is now part of the Boston-based Grand Circle Corporation, which also includes Grand Circle Travel and Grand Circle Cruise Line. Generally speaking, OAT serves the more adventurous travelers in the Grand Circle realm.
Founded in 1978
Very welcome to solo travelers - Free or low single supplement
Average Tour Price - $4,538
Average Tour Duration - 15 Days
Small Groups - between 10 and 16 travelers, max of 24 on small ship cruises
Travel Style - Culturally immersive and local experiences. Walking between 3-6 miles a day
Age Range - Primarily 50+
What Makes Overseas Adventure Travel Stand Out?
Cultural immersion is a big selling point at OAT: visits to local schools, churches, and homes (where you might be treated to a home-cooked meal) are central to their philosophy. Experienced guides -- all fluent in English -- lead groups off the beaten path when possible. Accommodations are comfortable, not deluxe. And a portion of all proceeds goes to the Grand Circle Foundation, which supports cultural and educational programs in the countries visited.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Overseas Adventure Travel?
OAT specializes in small group tours around the world serving Americans aged 50 and older. They appeal to the old fashioned - the fact that they still offer a physical catalogue is testament - and their travel style reflects an appreciation of the classics coupled with an adventurous spirit to explore each destination deeper and from a local perspective.
Overall, prices fall into the moderate range, and are especially a bargain for solo travelers, who can save substantially by not having to pay for single supplements. Accommodations are designed to be both comfortable as well as unique and in keeping with the local spirit of the destination. If your hostelling days are over but you feel too adventurous for a standard hotel, OAT will be a great company to travel with.
Overseas Adventure Travel might be a good fit with experienced travelers who maybe are trying out guided tours for the first time. Because their focus is very much on highlighting the benefits of what small group, pre-planned travel can provide, both in convenience and in the immersive local and cultural discoveries that become available.
If you’re feeling like your time for experiential adventurous travel is up because you’re getting older, look no further than OAT. And for those for whom a long, stimulating hike is attractive, this is a common activity on their tours.
OAT operates tours all over the world, specializing in remote, off the beaten track areas. African safaris are an especially popular offering, though you can also travel to Japan, India, Peru, Iceland, Vietnam, Albania, or Morocco, to name just a few of its far-flung destinations. OAT also runs small-ship cruises through the Galapagos, on the Amazon, and along the Turkish coast.
OAT Travel Style
With Overseas Adventure Travel you’ll find a combination of transportation and accommodation styles, but all with an element of comfort. Groups are small, with a max of 16 (24 on small ship cruises).
Accommodations vary, but generally favor being local and non-traditional over a basic centrally located hotel. Their exact words are “emphasis on authenticity, rather than amenities”.
Their style is all about unique and meaningful cultural interaction. While you’ll learn the history and see the famous sights, their true focus is about people and connections. This means you’ll enjoy meals with local families, like you’re just a friend over for dinner; visit schools and see the amazing work being done in small communities.
The visceral understanding and perspective that comes from learning to cook traditional meals and make traditional crafts is what you’ll find on an OAT tour.
Why Choose a Tour with OAT?
OAT offers a unique up close and personal experience, guaranteeing that its groups will never exceed more than 10-16 travelers. A spirit of spontaneity is part of what makes traveling with OAT special, as they strive to take advantage of every interesting opportunity during a trip.
Small ship cruises and land tours are available, and they are very friendly to solo travelers.
Traveling with Overseas Adventure Travel allows for an in depth cultural travel experience in comfort. Many opportunities exist for travelers to find deals, and it’s a great way to meet new friends in a similar age range.
If you traveled extensively in your youth and are not ready to slow down, but perhaps are looking for a few more logistical ducks to be taken care of for you, OAT could be the perfect fit. They offer a variety of options for more independent minded travelers, as well as ample free time to explore and plan your own adventure during cruise port stops and on their group tours.
Alternatively, if this is your first travel experience, OAT will be a great starting point. You’ll gain cultural insights, meet locals, as well as hit on all the best tourist sites that provide cultural and historical context to your destination.