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Tour Companies I've Travelled with and Who to Choose

30.12.2016

 

There can be both pros and cons to travelling with a tour group. There are also so many tour companies out there to choose from. Each company offers a different experience. For somebody travelling solo for the first time or if you are going to a country where you don't feel completely comfortable to explore alone, a tour can be a great option.

 

I have travelled with quite a few different companies throughout my travels and had different experiences. Although each experience with each company will be different depending on the group you have, the tour guide and the trip you choose, this is an insight into the trips and companies I have taken part of.

 

 

Busabout:

 

 

What Trips?:

Greek Island Hopper, Croatia Sailing, Giants Rocker

 

 

A few words to describe this company:

Flexible, Youthful, Nightlife, 

 

 

My Experience on these tours:

 

Greek Island Hopper:

The Greek Islands are stunning. The tour was a great amount of sightseeing, learning about the history and quite a lot of nightlife. The trip started in Athens and you get ferries between the Islands Mykonos, Paros, Santorini and Ios. This tour is great for flexibility as you can choose the amount of nights you want to spend in each island and you can choose where you want to stay (you can choose a cheap hostel of a five star resort). The guides were knowledgable and busabout offered a lot a great extra activities (I highly recommend the boat trip from Paros). 

 

 

Croatia Sailing:
This was a great fun filled week. The group was approximately 20 people and the majority of the group were aged in their early twenties. Your on a boat so you spend a lot of time with the people in your group. This tour is designed to be a lot of fun. The days consist of relaxing in the sun and swimming, seeing the new town you sail to each day then spending time having dinner, drinks and going out at night. The sleeping spaces are very small and can get hot if you are in Croatia in the middle of summer. I would recommend this trip if you love the ocean and love to party. Croatia is a beautiful country and a sail trip is a great way to see it.

 

 

Giants Rocker:

This tour was very quick but gave a great small taste of Ireland. It involved a mixture of visiting Irish cities as well as some of the beautiful Irish countryside. Even though it was a short tour I found this tour quite relaxing. Busabout offered some great optional activities and we had a great balance of learning about Irish history and legends, seeing the beautiful landscape and the Irish pub nightlife. The accommodation was basic, mostly hostels (shared with other members of the group) but a great way to meet fellow group member. 

 

 

 

 

 

Contiki:

What Trip?:

European Highlights

 

 

A few words to describe this company:

Youthful, Nightlife, Fast Paced,

 

 

My Experience:

My group for this tour was large, around 50 people and a full bus. This tour was very fast paced, It's great to get a taste of lots of European Cities. The group was of a younger demographic average of about 18-22 ( I did this tour in the university mid year break so it was mostly students). Contiki organised some great activities and the trip was very much about having a fun time. With this trip we didn't properly get to see the cities we visited but saw the highlights (hence the name of the tour). 

 

 

 

Intrepid Travel:

Vietnam Discovery, Classic Rajasthan 

 

A few words to describe this company:

Small Groups, All Ages, Cultural Experiences, Live like a local experiences, Local Tour Leader

 

My Experience:

 

Vietnam Discovery:

We had a very small group of 8 people in this group. The ages ranges from 18 to 70's but we all got along well. Our local tour guide was great and had a great knowledge on Vietnam as well as great English and communication skills. As I was in Vietnam at the time of Chinese New Year (which was an amazing experience) there were some problems with closures of attractions and business which our tour guide handled very well in finding us alternative activities. The accommodation was a mixture of hotels, local home-stay and over night trains (We also added an extra night on a boat in Halong Bay). I will say the overnight trains are not for everybody, at one point we were sharing a small room with 4 bunks with myself, my friend and two Vietnamese families of 5. Personally I think this added to my experience, although it's not for everyone. This tour was great and covered quite a few cities of Vietnam.

 

 

Classic Rajasthan:

As this was my first time in India I really wanted to do a tour as I had heard a lot about women's safety and was slightly nervous about travelling there (particularly being a blonde hair blue eyed girl). We had a great group all coming from quite a few different countries. The age range of this group was broad ranging from 20 to 70. The tour had a mixture of public and private transport, some of the public transport was very dirty and not air conditioned (and it was 45 degrees outside) but these experiences were great to do things as the locals do. We visited a lot of local villages around Rajasthan and learnt a lot about Indian Culture. Accommodation was a mixture of hotels and heritage buildings.  I very much enjoyed this tour and for my first time in India it was perfect to give a taste of the culture and the country covering some of the most famous tourist attraction of India. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gecko Adventures:

Nepal at a Glance

 

 

A Few Words to Descibe this Company:

Youthful, Adventurous, Local Expereinces, Local Tour Guide

 

 

My Experience on this tour:

We had a great group for this tour. The ages in the group ranged from about 20 to .This was a pretty full on trip physically as it involved a lot of rafting and hiking days. Although I am not the fittest person I found I could keep up quite easily (although some of the hiking days were tough). I would not let the physical aspects put you off this trip, it was a lot of fun and participating in the activities was great team building for our group. The tour included accommodation in a mixture of hotels, mountain teahouses, camping and a local homestay. The accommodation although basic was a great experience and the mixture of different experiences added to the trip. This tour was fast paced and was a great taste of Nepal. 

 

 

 

 

Topdeck:

Golden States

 

A few words to describe this company:

Youthful, Large Group, Fast Paced, 

 

My Experience on this tour:

 

This tour was a 10 day tour that ran from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Our tour leader was great, very fun, hilarious and very knowledgable about the USA and it's history. The trip was very fast paced and there was not a lot of time in each place we stopped at although we got a good taste of the cities visited (LA, Los Vegas, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco). The tour group was very large approximately 50 people although there was lots of activities with the whole group we also had free time to spend by ourselves or with small groups of people. The accommodation for this tour was hotels which were all great. As we were on this trip for Halloween we had a great time in Vegas all getting dressed up.

 

 

 

 

 

COMING SOON (SOUTH AMERICA) 

 

 

 

 

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