Intrepid Travel vs YMT Vacations - 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 — 4.5
Value — 4.3
Guide — 4.3
Activities — 4.3
Lodging — 4.3
Transportation — 4.3
Meals — 4.3
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 September 2017
4 island Hawaii tour was great. Our guide Kalili was very informative, professional and was extremely patient with people who was on our group who never paid attention to his instructions. We enjoyed time on our own so we could explore. Thank you Kalili for making us feel like ohana. Again look us up if you make it back to Kentucky you are welcomed here anytime cousin.Read more
Tour YMT Vacations Company Reviews
4.0 August 2017
Took the National Parks of the Golden West tour and it was great. Al the bus drive was excellent and was a very safe driven taken precautions and ensuring our trip was safe. The Tour Guide, Linda was very detailed in keeping us informed on what was to happen that day and the next. Providing information on all the tour locations and routes. Giving us information on where and where not to eat or shop. I have been on many tours and she was the most detailed and prepared guide I have ever had on a trip. Had plenty of at each site we visited and stop at many extras. There was one hotel that in Bakersfield, CA that was not as good (Maybe a 3 star) as the others but acceptable. Over all a great vacation tour.Read more
Tour YMT Vacations Company Reviews
5.0 June 2017
We went on the Road to Hana tour today with Saley as our tour guide. He was a skillful driver and an engaging guide. This was by far our favorite tour and favorite driver!
Tour YMT Vacations Company Reviews
|Tours||1,123 Trips||10 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 202||$ 199|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Mixed Land & Cruise|
|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.
Standing for “Your Man Tours” YMT Vacations, or just YMT, was founded in the late 1960s - as a pioneer guided tour company, responding to a rapidly emerging travel industry.
What Makes YMT Vacations Stand Out?
One of the main things to note about YMT is their breadth of experience in conducting guided tours. Starting in 1967, as a small local operator in the US - they have grown practically right along with the guided tour industry. This gives them the knowledge and expertise necessary for the kinds of tours they operate.
Today they offer three styles of travel: guided tours, river cruises, and ocean cruises (which include a land portion).
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With YMT?
Mature travelers in the 50+ range seeking a comfortable and easy all-inclusive travel experience will love the YMT approach. You’ll find a good balance of cultural activities, an easy going pace, and frequent breaks for photo stops and leg-stretching.
YMT tours are geared toward the budget conscious traveler.
These tours are fully escorted, and involve transportation in large coaches, or via cruise. You will be around the same people and guides for the tour’s duration. Older travelers who are concerned about the opportunities to stretch their legs needn’t worry. Coaches stop every two hours, and cruises are large with plenty of room to walk around comfortably.
YMT is about classic packaged travel - don’t expect to get too far off the beaten path during the itinerary. Additionally if having some free time to yourself to explore is important, you may want to look into other options first. The appeal of YMT is in their low prices and package deals; nearly everything is included other than meals.
If you are the kind of traveler who likes culturally immersive small group, thematic tours, you may find the YMT approach a bit underwhelming. YMT Vacations are ideal for first time travelers, or travelers for whom relaxing on a large cruise ship sailing through Europe on a sundeck with a pool is the perfect travel experience.
Currently YMT offers tours around the globe. They are especially popular for Europe travel, including large cruises plus land tour portions. Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, Asia, and The Americas are also offered.
They have their roots in the US however, and are well known for their Hawaii, Alaska, and California tours (some specifically dedicated to the Rose Parade).
YMT Travel Style
Tours are designed to fall into 5 broad activity levels, the lowest being “Relaxed” and the highest being “Active.” In their case “Active” refers to longer itineraries and less leisure or free time. Groups are small to large. Trips are affordable and certain customizations are available.
1. Relaxed - You’ll travel at a leisurely pace, with very little walking. You should be able to navigate stairs or gangways to board cruise ships.
2. Easy Going - These tours usually include walking tours. Be prepared for very slight gradations and some stairs. You’ll also encounter uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones, on some tours.
3. Moderate - More activities are included on these tours, and you may be standing a lot as well as walking for longer distances.
4. Active - These trips may visit more exotic destinations where you could experience dramatic changes in temperature and altitude. You’ll also be expected to be able to climb several stairs and walk long distances.Travel days may also be longer, with a lot of climbing up and down from the bus.
5. Very Active - Expect limited free time and a very busy, jam packed tour schedule.
Why Choose a Tour with YMT?
YMT has a long history in the travel industry - their guides and planners have everything down to a science. You know you’re in incredibly good hands when traveling with them. They are attractive to older travelers so you’re sure to meet good friends in the same age range. Trips are fun, easy, and all about seeing wonderful sights in comfort and ease.
If you are new to international travel and don’t want to miss the classics, this could be a great place to start. You don’t have to do any of the planning, and can enjoy many amenities available aboard large cruise ships, river cruises, and wonderful hotels. It’s a great combination of cultural and historical travel with all the best that comes from a vacation package.