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 — 4.7
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
Caravan goes above and beyond5.0 April 2019
After traveling around the world with a number of tour companies, my wife Fyllis and I assumed we had seen, and experienced, just about everything they have to offer. That assumption changed after we traveled with Caravan Tours to Panama.Read more
We were attracted to that company because of the very reasonable prices of its trips. Then we quickly learned that Caravan doesn’t hold down costs by scrimping on what it provides. In fact, in some ways the company goes above and beyond what participants might expect.
We experienced that even before our trip began, when we were told that the tour which we had booked had been canceled. Our dismay turned to delight when the Caravan representative informed us that a trip following the identical itinerary would be departing the previous day and that, if our schedule allowed us to take it, there was room.
We explained that we had purchased non-refundable tickets and would lose what they had cost. No problem, came the reply. Caravan would take care of our new flight arrangements so we wouldn’t lose any money.
Then came the proverbial icing on the cake. Caravan’s customer service manager said the company would pay for an extra night at a hotel in Panama which the schedule change required, and added that we would receive a “courtesy discount” for the inconvenience we had been put through.
That very positive pre-trip introduction to Caravan Tours was followed by a number of other welcome features.
Along with the usual information about our itinerary, what to pack and the like, the material we received included an honest word-picture of what to expect (possibly mosquitoes in some areas), what not to always expect (shower water not always hot, and air conditioning not as cold, as at home), along with an honest discussion of some delicate issues related to our destination.
The choice of accommodations, which ranged from a four-star beachfront hotel to a rainforest resort, served as an introduction to the diversity of Panama.
That also applied to the itinerary, which packed into our busy days activities that immersed us in much of what the country has to offer visitors: Seeing the sights of Panama City, including its collection of high-rise buildings that create a stunning and dramatic skyline. Learning all there is to know about the incredible Panama Canal, including a cruise through part of its length and into the intricate system of locks. Getting close up and personal with members of two of the seven distinct indigenous people who live much as they have for centuries.
As with virtually all trips we have taken with group tour companies, our guide Raquel was a real treasure. Not only did she provide a wealth of interesting information during bus rides, she invited and answered questions about her country completely and honestly; interspersed periods of commentary with quiet times, and handled requests for information or assistance by individual members of the group cheerfully and efficiently.
In addition to presenting the big picture of destinations to which it travels, Caravan pays attention to little details that can help make trips as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Examples: All meals throughout the tour were included in the cost, which not all tour companies offer. Each time we reboarded the bus after a stop, our driver offered each passenger a bottle of cold water.
Speaking of the bus, Caravan follows a policy of seat rotation, which has passengers moving once or twice a day. Not only does this result in “fair and equitable seating” for members of the group, Fyllis and I – and, we observed, the other passengers as well – liked the opportunity to chat with every person on the tour.
That practice was among the many reasons why every one of our fellow trip participants whom we asked said they plan to travel with Caravan Tours again. So do Fyllis and I
Great trip5.0 March 2019
My family and I went to Panama with Caravan Tours and Pedro Palma was our host. Panama is a beautiful country and there is so much to enjoy and explore it can get overwhelming. Pedro made enjoying every part of the trip easy of us. He was so detailed about when and where to give information. He thought ahead of any challenges we would face in order to prevent any mishaps and to keep everyone organized. I could tell how hard he worked on making all of us happy.Read more
After getting home from my trip I realized I had forgotten an item at the hotel. I contact Pedro and he took all my stress away by arranging to get my stuff back to me. Pedro is great. He stayed up around the clock for us to attend to any need and answered any question about the country we had. He definitely added to how much I enjoyed the trip and the next time I take a toured trip with Caravan I hope the next host is just as awesome as Pedro Palma.
Excellent, with a few minor exceptions.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 $150 on gratuities, even though staying in the lower range of the suggested amounts.
But we are glad we went, and will consider Caravan again when planning another trip.
The company provided an excellent pre tour service5.0 December 2016
The company provided an excellent pre tour service and the information sent was accurate and useful. I would definitely look at using them again and recommend them to any family.
Tour The Family Adventure Company Company Reviews
I was very impressed with the Family Adventure company in terms of the holiday5.0 April 2016
I was very impressed with the Family Adventure company in terms of the holiday delivered which was exceptional. The booking and pre-holiday experience was fine although it would be better to have a specific contact to email rather than just to phone the general number with queries.Read more
Tour The Family Adventure Company Company Reviews
Booking and customer service were good. From a child's perspective4.0 April 2016
Booking and customer service were good. From a child's perspective, FAC were not as welcoming. Another company we have travelled with sent a welcome pack with a travelling companion (soft toy) and activities to do while travelling. When on the holiday this company also catered more for families needs e.g. more frequent stops when travelling for food and toilets, without parents having to ask. The stops were also at more sensible times e.g. making sure there was a stop at lunch time (12.30ish), rather than early afternoon (1.30 onwards). Children (and adults) get irritable if they've not eaten making the journey more stressful.Read more
Tour The Family Adventure Company Company Reviews
|Tours||9 Trips||14 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 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.