Topdeck vs Encounters Travel - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Recent Reviews

Amazing experiences

5.0 December 2018
K
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I just completed the 28 day London to Athens tour and it was one of the most amazing experiences. Lloyd was an amazing driver and a really fun person to be around which really added to the trip. Nicole was an incredible group leader and knew so much about everywhere we were going. You could tell they were both so passionate about their job which just made the trip that much better. Would definitely recommend topdeck tours to my friends back home.
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Tour Topdeck Company Reviews

So grateful that they we’re our trip leaders

5.0 December 2018
N
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just finished my first time ever in Europe with an amazing Topdeck tour! Alex and Flozza were a great team and I’m so grateful that they we’re our trip leaders. Can’t wait to start planning my next trip!
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Tour Topdeck Company Reviews

Comfortable and like we were a little family

5.0 July 2018
E
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I’d just like to give a special mention to Nick our tour leader on the Meridijan Croatia sail. I’ve never met someone so organised, supportive and enthusiastic. He not only went out of his way to make sure we all had the best trip but he made us feel comfortable and like we were a little family. He was professional by being able to lead definitely the rowdiest bunch of people I’ve ever come across and at the same time have fun with us. I’ve been travelling all through Europe and that week was definitely the highlight thanks to him.
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Tour Topdeck Company Reviews

Tours 459 Trips 142 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 132 $ 196
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Year Established 1973 2011
Solo Friendly Good for singles, No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English N/A
Top Trips
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    About Topdeck

    Founded in 1973, Topdeck has been providing fun, adventurous trips around the world for 18-39 for over 40 years.

    What Makes Topdeck Travel Stand Out?

    Topdeck tour focuses on providing friendly and authentic guided group tours where like-minded 18-39 year old travelers can have amazing group experiences. There are several trip types to choose from, from camping, to immersive, to multi destination, to sailing.

    Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Topdeck?

    Sociable, adventurous, budget conscious 18-39 year olds are the kinds of traveler who will gravitate to Topdeck. Though they offer a few different distinct travel styles, there is definitely a sense of an ongoing party, with travel as the conduit and underlying shared interest.

    If the idea of being around a group of similarly aged people - many of whom may be exploring internationally for the first or second time - being spontaneous, and meeting locals (often in the environment of bars or clubs) is unappealing, then Topdeck may not be your cup of tea.

    Introverted travelers, or those for whom an extensively planned itinerary including many museums and historical sites is ideal, may want to hunt around before choosing a Topdeck tour.

    That is not to dissuade the more observational traveler - who may very well find a group they gel with perfectly on a Topdeck tour. Only to caution that you will be surrounded by several extroverted personalities.

    The bottom line is if you are game for anything, are traveling on a budget, and don’t mind fairly basic but comfortable accommodations and inexpensive meals - sometimes on the go - then you will enjoy the Topdeck tour experience.

    Top Destinations

    Topdeck has tours throughout the world, in Europe, Australia & New Zealand, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

    Topdeck Travel Style

    The Topdeck travel style is tied quite specifically to their audience. These tours are great for youthful and energetic 18-39 year olds looking for a good time and to make new friends.

    In the interest of keeping their tours affordable, travelers with Topdeck will need to make a few allowances. For example, hostels and hotels may be situated quite far away from the city centers. You can also expect some long travel days. The more of a good sense of humor and adventure you have, the more you’ll enjoy the experience.

    Why Choose a Tour With Topdeck

    Feeling the urge to connect with travelers in your age group, have fun, and make lasting friendships? Topdeck has over 40 years of experience in adventure travel, which has helped them create epic low cost trips for 18-30 somethings.

    These tours are certainly not for those who prefer to take things slow. You will be running around, moving between a lot of places - which in some cases means very long bus rides - going out a lot, meeting new people, and staying active throughout your tour.

    If your ideal travel experience is more methodical and planned out in nature, Topdeck may not be for you.

    But if you are an adventurous and social travelers eager to absorb a new culture and make new friends, then hop on board!

    About Encounters Travel

    Encounters Travel is a UK based travel company specializing in adventurous cultural tours. With over 50 years of experience, they have unbeatable knowledge and guarantee the best customer service. They offer a wide selection of tours that’ll take you around the world, catering to people of all ages, interests, and budgets.

    What Makes Encounters Travel Stand Out?

    They offer small group tours around the world, with an adventure twist. Their tours are about having an active and adventurous time, balanced with cultural activities. Encounters Travel creates innovative small group itineraries, as well as offering custom private tours. They focus on providing amazing experiences within a reasonable budget range.

    Who Will Enjoy Travelling with Encounters Travel?

    Travelers seeking adventure tours tied in with nature, wildlife, history, and culture will most enjoy their tours. Since they cater to people of all nationalities, it’s great chance to meet travelers from all over the globe.

    sunset over mountains

    Their tours offer great value for money, as they are focused on activities and authentic experiences. So whether you’re a budget traveller that’s trying to stretch their dollar, willing to pay premium for luxury, or something in between - there’s an adventure made for you.

    Their tours are primarily enjoyed by active travelers, in the 20-40 range. However, they do have tours made for families with children to enjoy as well.

    a book with an elephant and animations popping out

    Top Destinations

    They operate tours around the world, with a majority of tours in Europe and Africa. From a hike up the physically challenging trails in South America to discovering Egypt’s Pyramids of Gyza, they cover all your bucket list destinations.

    Tours with set itineraries will take you along the classic routes, where you will experience the highlights of the area. However their escorted and tailor-made tours are there for those seeking a more specialised trip.

    Encounters Travel Style

    Those who travel with Encounters will expect an adventure of their lifetime without cutting corners to save money or time. It’s all about getting to interact with travelers and locals, being immersed, and learning about cultures in an authentic and responsible way.

    friends with their arms around each other

    Accommodations are simple, but comfortable. Expect hotels in the 3-4 star range (for local standards), homestays, and camping. The places are always safe, clean, and comfortable, but will not be luxurious by any means. Transportation varies depending on what tour style you choose. For shoestring budget tours, you’ll be using more public transportation. Standard level tours will make use of private transportation. Majority of their tours are moderately physically challenging and will require you to walk, bike, or trek.

    Groups are small - the max is 20 but more typically you’ll travel with between 12-15 people. Custom designed itineraries are also an option for more independent minded travelers.

    They have six different ways of traveling...

    1. Small Group Adventure Tours: These tours are made for those traveling solo, with some friends or a couple, and enjoy being in a group setting. Small Group Adventure Tours are great for those that don’t mind meeting new faces and socializing throughout the journey. Build friendships with people of all different nationalities while going on an adventure of your lifetime. They’ll take you to exotic and exciting destinations - some you may have never even considered visiting!

    2. Shoestring Budget Adventure Tours: Maybe you’re trying to watch your spendings without sacrificing adventure. Or you’re a long-term traveler who would rather see more and can deal with discomfort. Encounters Travel is transparent and honest about how their budget tours will call for larger groups, use of public transit, and staying at 3-star hotels.

    3. Overland Tours & Safari Adventures: Made for young adults and seniors alike, Overland Tours and Safari Adventures are made for those looking for a cultural, scenic, and wildlife experience. See the key attractions in Africa, while exploring places off the beaten path too. Mid-ranged hotels and lodges are arranged for you. Or if you want to ramp up the adventure level, you can choose their camping option. Also you can decide if you want to do the whole trip, or only partake in one particular section.

    4. Family Adventure Tours: If you want some family vacation ideas that also cater to the adults, look no further! These itineraries are created to be enjoyed by everyone and make for a memorable family holiday. Trips can be tailored to suit your family’s particular requirements. Want child-friendly guides? To meet other families traveling with kids? More flexibility to move on when your kids are bored? They’ve got you covered.

    5. Escorted Group Adventure Tours: Reputable and specially selected experts will guide you throughout your entire journey, giving you in depth explanations and an educational tour experience. Depending on your destination, they’ll either lead the entire tour by themselves, or work with a local guide. This is the best way to go if you want a specialised itinerary, more talks, and workshops in your trip. Go home feeling like an expert yourself.

    6. Tailor-Made and Adventure Tours: These are made for people who want to have private tours and fully customized itineraries. Want to know the best part? These can made for both budget and luxury travelers! Focused on allowing you explore, learn, and appreciate the cultural heritage of your chosen country, itineraries are made for you to make the most out of your limited time. Have more free time to chat with locals, choose how much public transportation you want to use, and modify the suggested itineraries.

    Why Choose a Tour with Encounters?

    They strive to strike a balance and keep their tours focused on a good combination of fun and culture, regardless of the country. So if visiting important cultural icons and attractions is important to you, but you grow weary of non-stop sightseeing, Encounters Travel would be the perfect tour company for you.

    Reviewers have mentioned in the past that accommodations aren’t what you’d expect from a 4-star hotel in western countries. Be aware that local standards are different and may not be what you expect, but they use the best hotels at the level stated. Hotel breakfasts are also a hit-or-miss, and customers say they’ve had repeat meals. If an authentic culinary experience is important to you, you might want to take that into consideration.

    Overall, Encounters Travel is a great option for those looking for adventure around the world. A trip to Egypt, Morocco, or Greece is just around the corner. Just choose your destination and budget range, and let them take care of the rest.

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