Caravan Tours vs The Family Adventure Company - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 4
Value — 3.9
Guide — 3.9
Activities — 3.9
Lodging — 3.9
Transportation — 3.9
Meals — 3.9
5.0 August 2018
We just returned from a Caravan tour of Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, and Grand Tetons. Although there were just a couple of things we did not like, overall it was a very enjoyable seven days. The tour director was superb, very helpful, always available, friendly, and a pleasant person. The driver was very good at his job, extremely experienced and knowledgable. The trip was well planned, most of the hotels were above average in quality, the bus was comfortable, the included meals were good.Read more
Financially, it was a good buy overall. However, it did cost somewhat more than expected based on the advertisements. Although Caravan advertises that "most or all" meals are included, in this particular tour only nine of the twenty meals were included, and of these, only one of the seven dinners. In addition, there was heavy emphasis on gratuities, with too-frequent reminders. Suggested amounts were given, and even the minimum suggested amounts seemed rather high to me. We were given to feel obligated, rather than left to decide on our own based on the quality of the service. Caravan stated that the only gratuities not included in the price were those to the tour director and driver. However, gratuities to hotel maids and local guides, and shuttle drivers were also not included, and suggested amounts for these were given by the tour director. Overall we spent about $150 on gratuities, even though staying in the lower range of the suggested amounts.
But we are glad we went, and will consider Caravan again when planning another trip.
5.0 March 2018
Panama Tour with Pedro and David
We went on the tour with Pedro the tour director and David, our driver. We departed on the 15th and were there for a week. We toured the canal top to bottom. I'll be honest- if you're looking for lots of nature time, this isn't your tour. HOWEVER, we knew that going in AND we still picked up over 80 species of birds, lots of monkeys, etc. We toured Panama City for a day and a half, spent two days in Gamboa, 2 days at the beach and then one last day in Panama City.Read more
The entire trip we were well cared for. The food was really good (though if you're bringing kids on the trip, the Gamboa Resort is the only one that has more typical kid fare) David and Pedro kept us well hydrated, educated on all things Panama (historical, ecological, etc). Pedro also went out of his way to be sure our 5 year old was well cared for including time in the captain's cabin during the canal transit, telling them jokes, etc. He says he doesn't get to see many kids on this tour, so he seemed as excited as our son!
The accomodations are great with the exception of the Intercontinental Miramar. The food there is average and the rooms need updated. However, The Westin was an all inclusive day and amazing. The Gamboa resort is something out of a magazine - and the pool there is fabulous (though their bartenders need a little extra motivation it seems).
On our free day, Pedro even helped us organize a tour out to the Pipeline so we could get some extra birding in. He called a few different locals that were trustworthy and affordable so we could get more time in the rainforest.
Overall, it was worth every penny and we're excited to take other Caravan Tours!
3.0 February 2018
Does Not Recommend
My husband and I just returned from the guided tour of Panama with Caravan. This was the first time and the last time we have travelled with Caravan. We go away twice a year and like to take guided tours and have travelled with many tour companies including very large and prestigious travel company such as Trafalgar. Many companies we travelled with have a Tour Director/Bus Driver tipping recommendations - but those are only recommendations and not the expectations of a tour director. Pedro - our Caravan Tour Director expected to get $8/day/person - so for the bus of 41 people (this was the number of people on our tour), for 8 days he should get $2,624 - well if you make this kind of tax-free cash in one week - please go ahead and give him his $64/person for one week. My husband and I do not know anyone who makes this kind of tax-free cash, hence we decided to give him less generous tip. Pedro was so cheeky that he opened the envelope (that he himself provided to each couple on the bus) as he received it and checked the amount of money given to him by each couple. It become quite clear to us that Pedro did not appreciate our tip as he returned the envelope with cash to us. SHAME ON YOU PEDRO! SHAME ON YOU CARAVAN FOR HAVING PEDRO WORKING FOR YOU!!!! I wonder if Pedro did this because both my husband and I are of Polish descent and have an accent? I guess to Pedro having an accent is equal to being stupid and English language illiterate, hence being unable to complain and/or write a review. Well - Pedro - we just proved you wrong!Read more
Throughout entire trip Pedro was hinting how great he is and how he made very special arrangements for us and how this trip would have been a totally insignificant without him. He made a point of telling us that Caravan build stairs and washroom facilities , so that Embera Village can be visited, he also claimed that because of Caravan, there is now ramp to access Kuna Indian Marketplace. Yet, Caravan was not powerful enough to ensure that we get take-out breakfast on the last day when we were being transferred to the airport at 5:00 a.m.! Interesting!!! No matter where we travelled to, if we had to leave early to the airport - every hotel has provided us with a "take-out" breakfast - after all we paid for this. But not at the Intercontinental Miramar - no breakfast, no apology, no explanation! Well - having travelled with many travel companies the hotels, food, services provided by Caravan and Pedro were average. We certainly had better Tour Directors, better hotels, better food and much better experience with other tour companies then with Caravan. We had much better caliber of Tour Directors then Pedro but no one was ever so cheeky as Pedro and did not return his/her tip to us - this was a hit below the belt - disgusting!!!
Maybe inexperienced travelers find Caravan and Pedro great - but we did not.
5.0 December 2016
The company provided an excellent pre tour service and the information sent was accurate and useful. I would definitely look at using them again and recommend them to any family.
Tour The Family Adventure Company Company Reviews
5.0 April 2016
I was very impressed with the Family Adventure company in terms of the holiday delivered which was exceptional. The booking and pre-holiday experience was fine although it would be better to have a specific contact to email rather than just to phone the general number with queries.Read more
Tour The Family Adventure Company Company Reviews
4.0 April 2016
Booking and customer service were good. From a child's perspective, FAC were not as welcoming. Another company we have travelled with sent a welcome pack with a travelling companion (soft toy) and activities to do while travelling. When on the holiday this company also catered more for families needs e.g. more frequent stops when travelling for food and toilets, without parents having to ask. The stops were also at more sensible times e.g. making sure there was a stop at lunch time (12.30ish), rather than early afternoon (1.30 onwards). Children (and adults) get irritable if they've not eaten making the journey more stressful.Read more
Tour The Family Adventure Company Company Reviews
|Tours||9 Trips||14 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 158||$ 160|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Regional Expert||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois||1 Cross & Pillory Lane, Alton, England|
Caravan Tours, founded in 1952 and based in Chicago USA, provides escorted group tours to countries in the Americas.
They are one of the oldest group tour operators and focus on value vacations with a no-frills approach to group travel.
What Makes Caravan Tours Stand Out?
Caravan fills a specific niche for travelers looking to see the major sights in North and Latin America on a budget. Most of their tours focus on natural wonders, such as Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks in the US or the rainforests of Costa Rica.
A trip with Caravan offers accessibility for travelers to experience the Western Hemisphere’s most amazing natural attractions without needing to book an active, adventure experience.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling on Caravan Tours?
Caravan is not the most flashy or inventive tour company. Tours visit standard sites, groups are generally large - transportation in comfortable yet basic motorcoaches. If you are looking for an immersive cultural experience, you will probably won’t find what you’re looking for with Caravan.
However if you are looking for an affordable trip to some of the most incredible natural attractions and national parks in the USA, Canada, and Latin America - this could be a great fit.
Caravan’s tours tend to attract a slightly older crowd, primarily Americans. They are a well known budget brand for 50+ and senior travelers. Families looking for an easy, relatively comprehensive, and inclusive tour will also enjoy the Caravan experience.
Caravan Tours operates exclusively in North and Central America, including trips to the American west, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Canada. They offer 10 tours total.
Caravan Tours Travel Style
Flights are not included in the price of most trips, but Caravan does provide resources to popular airlines with affordable airfare to the destinations they travel to. Accommodations are in basic lodges and hotels, often with large national chains such as Hilton.
Meals are included on most trips although some excursions offer flexibility for dining out at restaurants of your choosing. In Latin America, Caravan includes airport transfers in the tour price.
Why Choose a Tour with Caravan?
Caravan has many years of perfecting their itineraries to specific destinations, such as Yosemite National Park, the California coast, and Costa Rica.
Their escorted vacation packages truly offer great value for the money and you are assured to see the highlights in any destination you visit. You might choose Caravan if you want an all-inclusive tour experience and don’t mind traveling with a larger group.
Founded two decades ago and based in the UK, The Family Adventure Company specializes in small group family adventure vacations. The company is now part of the global adventure travel operator Intrepid Travel, and trips are offered through Intrepid as well, allowing them to greatly expand their range.
What Makes Them Stand Out?
With more than 20 years’ experience, The Family Adventure Company helped pioneer the concept of small-group adventure travel for families with young children. Activities are wide-ranging, from river rafting and kayaking to cycling, sailing, camping, and wildlife viewing, all geared to the ages and interests of the family travelers.
Who Travels With Them?
A wide variety of families, including solo-parent, single-child, multi-generational families -- parents, children, and grandparents traveling together -- and families with teenagers. The latter have dedicated trips of special interest to teens.
Where Do They Operate?
Much of the world: Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas.
How Does it Work?
No matter where you travel, The Family Adventure Company provides an English-speaking, family-friendly local leader. Lodging, transportation and activities are also included. Tours typically consist of three or four families with kids of similar ages or interests. (You can also put together your own trip with just your family or other families you’re friendly with.) Children 14 and under get a ten percent discount off adult prices; large families (over two kids) get another price break.
Why Travel With Them?
The award winning company offers a wide range of trips for a wide variety of families. Because they only cater to families, they know what kids like – and as any parent can tell you, nothing is more disastrous than a family tour not geared in any way to kids. The company also supports responsible and sustainable travel practices and gives back to local communities.