Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more

SmarTours

4.9 | Excellent
  • 100% Recommend
Service Level
  • Budget
Type
  • Global Operator
Established
  • 1996
Headquarters
  • New York City, New York, USA
Trips
  • 55

713
SmarTours Reviews & Ratings 100% Recommend

4.9 out of 5
Excellent 646 Great 65 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
Value:
4.9 Guide:
4.9 Activities:
4.9 Lodging:
4.9 Transportation:
4.9 Meals:
4.9

Tour Reviews

K

Recommends

Exceeded my Expectations! July 2019

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 5.0
For someone who usually plans every detail of my travels...going on a group tour was not something I relished. Plus, I knew that Smartours was considered a “budget” travel company, so my expectations weren’t that high. However, other than a few minor inconveniences, this trip exceeded my expectations. The magical African landscapes and its kind, welcoming people made this adventure one of the best vacations I’ve been on. Pros: Well-paced itinerary that gave us the opportunity for some free time to plan our own activities, smallish group (25) of lovely, considerate, fellow travelers (we were in the minority of “younger” folks and we are in our 50s), excellent included tours, mostly lovely hotels/lodges, amazing breakfasts/dinners, included porter services at all stops, Smartours CEO personally responded quickly to our inquiry regarding booking cost concern, and our delightful and attentive guide Jonathan. Cons: 6 hour scheduled layover, most uncomfortable 14+ hour flight ever via South African Airways, trip extension Vic Falls guide was very personable, but not very attentive, Smartours sends trip info only 2 weeks prior to departure (would love to have had this info sooner), several of the optional tours were mediocre. But honestly...if you’re a frequent traveler...these concerns are pretty minor. I will definitely be recommending the South Africa Tour to friends for value/quality and hope that ST keeps its word about limiting group sizes to under 25. I will definitely use them again in the future!
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R

Recommends

Wonderful experience, well-deigned by SmarTours May 2019

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
The Treasures of Portugal trip focuses on the highlights of the cultural and artistic heritage of this fascinating country. The chosen destinations and sites rarely disappointed, and there was always something awe-inspiring at each stop. The tour provides a great balance between programmed and free time, allowing you to see what you want or find time to explore on your own. The fact that few dinners and no lunches were provided afford you the opportunity to discover the places and tastes that intrigue you as you discover the variety of offerings available in each location.

The destinations chosen are smart and live up to the promise that these are the country's treasures. Our guide was brilliant - she knew well the backstory of the locations and the significance of the art and architecture. Each part of the tour was a lesson in history, presented with excitement and passion. Her adoration of the history and culture of her countrymen was palpable and infectious, and gave the touring experience much added value.

Well planned, organized, balanced, affordable, and utterly enjoyable. Very highly recommended.
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t

Recommends

Well worth the time and money, saw all the sights April 2019

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 3.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0
My husband and I enjoyed this trip a lot. The weather was perfect, the other travelers (33 including us) were companionable, and the sights were iconic. My only complaint was that our nice guide, Hanna, was too casual about instructions, times to meet, counting our group as we left a site, etc. She even left one traveler behind at night at the Luxor Temple! This has never happened on our many other escorted tours. And Smartours gave us three different boat names for the trip on the Nile and we almost got lost when they switched it again and we lost the group going to the ship! We also did not like that our group spent more time at buying opportunities(!) like papyrus work, rugs, marble statues, jewelry, etc. than we did at the sites! Prices were high so the guide could get a kickback. Other than that, all went well. Hotels and meals were great and in general, the value for money for the trip, with pleasant nonstop flights from New York to Cairo, was excellent.
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R

Recommends

Outstanding private group tour November 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We were a group of 34 seniors departing from JFK on 12 Oct 2017. The itinerary was the same as the standard 17-day tour and it was well-paced for our group. Mark Ma was our Tour Director, and he was very helpful, friendly and made sure that everyone was safe and enjoying the trip. My group has been on several guided international tours, and this was one of the best. smarTours helped us set up the tour, get our visas and got us first-class hotels throughout the trip. I recommend that you consider them for your travel group. Ms. Suzanne Anderson at their NYC office was specially helpful. Thanks to everyone at smarTours for this excellent experience.
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M

Recommends

18 Amazing Days in China November 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Julian and I are still talking and telling everyone we meet about the surprisingly wonderful trip we recently took. Our guide, Mr. Li Bo, Oscar, was our mother, father, savior, historian, bathroom locator and best friend throughout the entire trip. He seemed to have a second sense and was there when we needed him, either for a pharmacy, help with our luggage or credit cards and the ATM's. The local guides, especially Allie, in Shanghai were extremely helpful and knowledgeable. The hotels and Yangtze River rooms were excellent. All the shows, parks and extras and river cruises were wonderful. The food was pretty good but the hot pots and dim sum that we had when we ventured out on our own was sensational. It's an amazing country with beautiful and unusual sites. I look forward to more trips with SmarTours and I can only hope that they are as great as this trip was for us. Thank you Oscar.
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M

Recommends

Wonderful October 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Wonderful company! Travelled to China and Hong Kong with them and could not have asked for a better trip. Tour guide Jason was truly amazing!

Stride Review

Founded in 1996, smarTours promises its customers the “Best Travel Bargains” by offering mostly all-inclusive guided tours throughout much of the world.

What Makes SmarTours Stand Out?

SmarTours offers affordable tours along with great itineraries. Included in the price of all their tours is international airfare from the U.S., first-class hotels, sightseeing excursions, and English-speaking local guides. SmarTours draws a large repeat business, taking travelers to such far-flung destinations as Thailand, Morocco, Japan, Peru, Patagonia, India, and Australia.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling with SmarTours?

Travelers who love traveling and care about experiencing the destination above all else - tourist sites, history, and culture - will love the feel of a SmarTours trip. These tours are definitely for the budget minded - SmarTours offers numerous deals and specials throughout the year, and provides many other ways you can save money as well, including referring your friends and being a repeat SmarTours traveler. Trips are comfortable and well guided, if not luxury or especially “unique” in tone. Airfare is included, which is a major selling point for SmarTours travelers.

SmarTours is perfect for the traveler who wants to get the most out of their travel experience, in terms of inclusions and time spent exploring the sites, both with a guide and with free time. If you are looking for a more cultivated, personalized experience, the SmarTours focus on keeping costs low doesn’t always allow for this. That said, this is budget travel that strives to appeal to a wider range.

SmarTours caters to all ages that are looking for good prices. They are largely popular amongst 50+ travelers and families.

Top Destinations

SmarTours travels all over the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Cuba, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. Diverse itineraries are available in each destination.

SmarTours Travel Style

Except for its cruise offerings -- primarily river cruises as well as Greek Island and Galapagos cruises -- transportation is generally by bus. Group sizes may reach 40 and beyond, but may also be smaller depending on the popularity of the trip. SmarTours will design custom trips for groups with at least 25-30 travelers.

Accommodations are between value and premium, comfortable with a step above basic amenities. You won’t spend much time in your hotel, as SmarTours makes the focus about the travel experiences on the ground. They care about ensuring that you have as much time as possible to explore with the guide and on your own.

Why Choose a Tour With SmarTours?

SmarTours is a complete bargain package for budget minded travelers. If you are looking for an unbeatable value, don’t mind a large group and want tours focused on exotic destinations, then SmarTours is a perfect choice for you.

Visit SmarTours site >

From SmarTours

smarTours was founded in 1996 with one goal in mind: to provide high quality, exciting group tour packages to some of the most fascinating countries in the world at the lowest possible price.  The team at smarTours believes deeply that high quality international travel should be affordable, and we work tirelessly to deliver affordability.

At smarTours, most of our travelers in any given year are repeat customers – they had such great experiences with us before that they decided to travel with us again.  And many of our customers are so happy with smarTours that they have made traveling with us an annual tradition, reaching 5, 10, even 15 trips with smarTours!  In other words, we must be doing at least a few things right.

Unbeatable Value: We provide exceptional value for your money, and it does not take that much time visiting our website to figure that out.  However, it can be difficult to compare the value provided by different tour operators because the tours are so intricate and multifaceted.  If you take the time to really peel back onion and evaluate the tours offered by smarTours, we are confident that you would come to the conclusion that our loyal customers have – that smarTours provides unbeatable value.

Phenomenal Tour Guides: If you ask anyone who has been on an escorted tour, they will tell you that the tour guides are an essential ingredient to making the trip a success.  The importance of tour guides is not lost on us at smarTours, which is why we are relentless in our pursuit and retention of the very best tour guides.  We are proud to say with confidence that our tour guides are phenomenal, and many of them have become celebrity-like figures within the smarTours community.

smarTours Price Protection: We have had a price protection policy since we started in 1996, and we thought it was time to share it with you.  If you reserve a spot on a tour and we later lower the price, we will make up the difference for you!  We do not penalize you for booking early, so you can reserve your spot with confidence that the price will not get any better (lower) for that particular date.  Also, to be clear, if you reserve a spot on a tour and we later increase the price, we will not raise your price to match the new price!

Focus: Unlike most of our competitors, we focus exclusively on providing affordable group tours to foreign, largely exotic destinations.  In the travel business, it is particularly easy to get distracted by new trends and themes, but we have chosen to focus on what we do best.  We are extremely deliberate in introducing new tours because we have set a standard that our loyal customers have come to rely on, and we are committed to meeting and exceeding your expectations.

Associations:

United States Tour Operators Association

Awards:

Winner, Outstanding Achievement in a Group Travel Program (2015 Ubuntu Tourism Awards)

 

Winner, Certificate of Appreciation from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (2014)

 

Winner, Best Overall Provider of Vacation Package Deals to Europe or Asia (’12 Travelzoo Awards)

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Trips & Specials

$100 off any vacation package until 5/31/2019

(promo code: MEMORIAL19)

Save $250 on ThailandColombia, and Costa Rica until 4/12/2019

(promo code: APRIL250)

Save $350 on EgyptSouth AfricaIrelandCroatia&SloveniaCape TownPeruKenya, and more until 4/12/2019 (promo code: APRIL350) 


Highlights

  • Visit the Tiananmen Square (Beijing)
  • See the Great Wall (Beijing)
  • Learn about the Terra Cotta Soldiers (Xian)
  • See The Bund (Shanghai)
  • Enjoy an Yangtze River Cruise
  • Li River (Guilin)
  • See spectacular city view from Victoria Peak (Hong Kong)
More
13 days
Group Tour
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 2,599

Highlights

  • Hassan II Mosque (Casablanca)
  • Koutobia Minaret (Marrakesh)
  • Jemaa El Fna (Marrakesh)
  • Essaouira Medina
  • Ait Ben Haddou
  • Todra Palmeraie Gorge (Erfoud)
  • Erg Chebbi Desert
  • Camel Ride in the Dunes
  • Royal Palace (Rabat)
More
9 days
Group Tour
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 1,599

Highlights

  • Visit Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi in old Delhi
  • See the Red Fort (Delhi)
  • Visit Taj Mahal (Agra)
  • See the Agra Fort
More
14 days
Group Tour
Value - 3 star
Physical :
From: $ 1,899

Highlights

  • Buddhist Temples (Bangkok)
  • Floating Market (Bangkok)
  • Grand Palace (Bangkok)
  • Wat Mongkol Borpith Statue (Ayutthaya)
  • Elephant Camp (Chiang Mai)
  • Wat Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai)
More
 

See All SmarTours Trips >

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