Topdeck vs Friendly Planet - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.3
Guide — 4.3
Activities — 4.3
Lodging — 4.2
Transportation — 4.2
Meals — 4.2
Overall — 4
Value — 4.0
Guide — 4.0
Activities — 4.0
Lodging — 4.0
Transportation — 3.9
Meals — 3.8
Recent Reviews

FUNNEST GAP TOUR EVER!

5.0 July 2018
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This Topdeck was so much fun, with it being the leaders last trip the chefs first trip and everyone else on the bus being 18 on a GAP year it was one to remember!
Unfortunately we missed out on Nice as we were in Paris heading to Nice on Bastille day, the day of the drive through attack. Topdeck took a good step forward and moved us to Switzerland earlier and we had an extra day there and in Florence instead! They had the best facts and took us to the best places. Our leader Amanda would tell us the most important facts of the trip show us where to party and where to stay safe and let us do our own thing at night!
Would highly recommend!
Check out my Topdeck here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB_uiN6dOOc&lc=z221j1nhwkfwfjgeaacdp4302urkdwx33xmfi0u45j1w03c010c
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Amazing Europe Trip

5.0 February 2017
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
There are so many great things to say about my European trip of a lifetime. The people that made it was my fellow topdeckers and of course the Fab Tour guide Matt Stewart. This is a trip that I will never forget, so many lovely memories I will cherish forever. We was very lucky with Matt because he really took time to talk to us and make us all feel relaxed with each other and asked us what we wanted to do. He was so knowledgable about all the places we went to, I remember thinking to myself this guy is pretty cool the fact he knows so well about the history and culture of each place especially the amount of cities we travelled to. Matt made the trip fun, interesting, exciting and I hope that if I was to ever do a top deck again one day he would be the tour guide or I think I would be disappointed. Have recommended top deck to so many people, memories I will have for a lifetime.

Georgina staines
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TopDeck Tours was awesome

5.0 January 2017
IAS
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Topdeck Tours was awesome, at the time back in 2005 I was traveling for 12 months, and wanted to see a huge chunk of Europe on a budget, so I found this company and it was exactly what I was looking for, the guides were very friendly, our cook was making really great meals on the side of the road, and the driver was very funny, and the accommodation was all good and I and all the other people had such and awesome time, and lots of us still keep in touch and will always remember our Topdeck experience.
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Tour Topdeck Company Reviews

A Taste of China

5.0 January 2017
CK
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 3.0
In 2012, my family and I took a 10 day trip to Xian, Beijing, and Shanghai. Our trip included all our transportation, hotels, and most of our meals. We stayed in 4 star hotels where a breakfast buffet was always included. They severed a lot of "Eastern breakfast" items, but most was "Western breakfast" style food. In Xian, we visited the Terra Cotta warriors, and a couple other sites around the city. The only downside was that our hotel was located in a part of the city that did not seem very central. Due to this, there wasn't too much to see and explore on our own once the tour bus brought us back. In Shanghai, we had a guided tour of downtown, and took a day trip to a nearby city that was known for their water canals. While we were there, we all took a boat ride down a canal. Our hotel was directly on the Bund, so in the evenings, we were able to explore a lot on our own. The city was amazing, and our tour guide was as well. Definitely one of the most amazing cities I've visited. Finally, our trip ended in Beijing. While there, we made a day trip to the Great Wall of China. We also went to see the Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, and the Temple of Heaven. Overall, the guided tour we went on was excellent. We had a great guide, and really got to see a lot of the most famous landmarks the country has.
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Tour Friendly Planet Travel Company Reviews

I highly recommend Friendly Planet Travel.

5.0 January 2017
C
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I recently returned from the Exotic Peru tour with visits to Lima, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes, and Machu Picchu. The first part of the trip went well, but mid-way in the tour, I lost my passport - a huge deal. My individual angst was then overshadowed by the travel challenges we all faced as a group - a railway strike, closure of shops and restaurants in Aguas Calientes, airport closure at Cuzco, affecting all travelers to scramble for lodging and transport home. Throughout both the individual and group issues, Friendly Planet and their local agents went above and beyond to assure the best accommodations possible. A special shout out to our tour guide, Jamie A. Caballero Perez, who maintained positivity, grace and poise throughout the circumstances that came our way. I was eventually reunited with my passport - wonderful news - but Friendly Planet was at my side every step of the way. A fabulous trip with challenges that were handled well.
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Tour Friendly Planet Travel Company Reviews

A wonderful experience!

5.0 January 2017
E
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I took Friendly Planet's Taste of China tour last month, with the Hong Kong extension, and had a wonderful experience. It could not have gone more smoothly. The Chinese tour guides were terrific - friendly and knowledgeable and open to answering all of our questions. This was my first trip to Asia and I loved immersing myself in the history and culture and cuisine. The Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, Victoria Harbour, every day was something new and amazing. I'd definitely recommend Friendly Planet.
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Tour Friendly Planet Travel Company Reviews

Tours 351 Trips 2 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 149 $ 376
Operator Type Group Tour Operator Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
  • Independent / Self-Guided Packages
Service Level Standard Budget
Regions
  • North America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Budget
Headquarters Chiswick, London, UK Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, USA
Year Established 1973 1981
Solo Friendly Good for singles, No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English
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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 Friendly Planet

Founded over 30 years ago, Friendly Planet is a small, family owned tour operator based in the United States. While they might be a small operation, they offer a wide range of affordable journeys to six continents. Their trips span across three categories: small group tours, value vacations, and independent packages.  

What Makes Them Stand Out?

Friendly Planet was one of the first tour operators to offer online bookings. While their trips will immerse you in local culture, they don't do so at the expense of comfort. 

They also have 24/7 customer service support, which gives peace of mind while traveling to far-flung destinations.  

Who Travels With Them?

Friendly Planet is ideal for active travelers, interested in culture, history, food, and nature. Their small group trips attract a wide age range, while their value vacations tends to draw a younger, perhaps more budget-minded crowd. 

Where Do They Operate?

Asia and Europe tend to be the most popular destinations. Friendly Planet was among the first US-based tour company's to offer licensed trips to Cuba, which remains a very popular destination. 

Why Travel With Them?

Friendly Planet has been in business for many years and has vast experience in developing immersive, authentic itineraries. They deliver lots of value and even include round trip airfare on many of their trips, saving you time and hassle in booking flights. 

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