Intrepid Travel vs Tours by Locals - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
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
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

Fantastic day trip!

5.0 January 2017
J
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Dario was our guide in Teneriffe , Cannary Islands! Wow! What a fantastic day we six had!! He tailor made our tour to make it possible for our traveler on scooter could see the island in marvelous fashion !! He took us places, explaining geology, culture and nature every step of the way!! Then we went to villages where no bus could go! To top is off he took us to a marvelous , authentic restaurant overlooking the coastline!!
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Tour Tours by Locals Company Reviews

Highly recommend!

5.0 January 2017
V
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I used Tours by Locals for a full day private tour while my family was in Italy. It was amazing! During our trip, we took numerous tours through a variety of agencies and Tours by Locals was by far the best! The local tour guide provided a different kind of perspective, a deeper understanding of the local history, customs, the best places to eat, and much more. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and clearly loved his job. I highly recommend Tours by Locals to anyone who wants a one-on-one local "friend" as a guide. You won't regret the choice!
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Tour Tours by Locals Company Reviews

Wonderful tour!

5.0 January 2017
ASB
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Had three wonderful tours with Walda and Jolign in Amsterdam. First morning it was Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum and along the Rembrandt Walk to his house and studio. Next afternoon it was Van Gogh's final ten years through a year by year history as reflected in his paintings and letters. Third day to the fabulous Maritime Museum of the VOC. Tomorrow windmills, cheese factories, and local fishing villages. Thanks for being our guides.
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Tour Tours by Locals Company Reviews

Tours 1,102 Trips 5 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 201 $ 455
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Custom/Private Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
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
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Vancouver, Canada, North America
Year Established 1989 2008
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
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 Tours by Locals

Vancouver based Tours by Locals was founded in 2008 out of a desire to connect travelers with true locals who could provide a unique point of view of their country, city, or region.

What Makes Tours by Locals Stand Out?

Many tour operators tout the opportunity to travel with “local guides”. Tours by Locals takes it a step further - actually offers the opportunity for locals to learn how to be guides, and earn certification to show off their town, city, and country.

Travelers will get a truly local view of the destination, from people who live and work there every day. Their guides go through a rigorous vetting and training process. All tours are private, so it’s just your group and your guide, making it the perfect day tour activity for families or couples. Tours are pre-existing but can be customized and tailored to your interests.  

Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Tours by Locals?

Travelers seeking an authentic view into a city or country through the eyes of a local will most enjoy this tour experience. Their tours are typically day tours lasting between 3 and 6 hours. They are an excellent option for arranging a day tour during a port stop on a cruise.

While you have some input over what you want to see and do - and will communicate with your guide prior to the tour, this kind of experience is best suited to travelers who really want a local and authentic view.

This can sound wonderful, but might be disappointing, especially since the term “local view” can mean a few different things. If you want to see classic sights and learn about the history of the destination, make sure your Tours by Locals guide can satisfy these interests.

Top Destinations

They have local guides around the world, covering almost every continent. Tours by Locals are especially popular for cruise destinations in Europe.

Tours by Locals Travel Style

The Tours by Locals travel style is your travel style! Part of the benefit of having a private tour is the ability to have input over your experience.

The guides are flexible and willing to help you see what you want to see.

Why Choose a Tour with Tours by Locals?

Spending a day with Tours by Locals is akin to meeting a friend or family member to show you around. Except instead of a potentially begrudging tour guide for the day, they’re actually excited to introduce you to their country.

You will be in contact with you guide directly to setup your experience, all the way through to when you meet them in country. It’s an excellent way to get to know a place from a local point of view.

Their guides usually speak numerous languages, and each guide has a dedicated profile page, ratings and reviews by travelers.

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