What is a small group Adventure Tour?
While most people think of “adventure” as activities such as trekking and cycling, it can also be used to describe exciting or unusual experiences. In tourism, Adventure Tours are mostly cultural tours and Sustainable Travel . The idea of Adventure Tours is to actively engage with the people and places you visit in order to get a first -hand cultural experience.
There are different kinds of Adventure Tours. Some operators offer basic tours which use 2- to 2.5-star accommodations and local transportation which may include public transportation or even donkeys! It’s kind of like a small group of backpackers traveling around together.
Some operators offer more comfort, using 3-, 4-, or even 5-star accommodations and private transportation.
There are also overland camping tours where groups travel in special trucks which carry all the camping equipment they need, so that they can get “off the beaten path” and stay “in the middle of nowhere”.
There is no single supplement for single travellers. They will pair you up with a room of the same sex. So it’s safe, economical and fun way to travel. That is why there are many solo travellers on the tours. Exodus and Explore have Solo tours which means only solo travellers can book on that tour. This makes easier to mingle for some people. However Solo does not mean only for singles. Somebody who has a partner but he or she cannot travel this time can join this.
Many people think that if they are not very active people, such trips are not for them. But the trips are very well-managed, and are the best way to truly discover cultures and have new experiences. On the other hand, some people think that cultural tours are not active enough for them. Those people can find more active tours or even active side-activities with the same tour operators.
It’s all about the experience. Even “luxury” is an experience. You can be on a 5-star safari trip, staying in a luxurious tent with the best amenities, but the luxury is related to the time or space – obviously it would be a different kind of luxury than you would find at a beach resort! For this reason, your pleasure depends a lot on your perception. So when you sign up for an Adventure Tour, please remember it is an EXPERIENTIAL TRIP! Be open to new experience. Relax and absorb it.
Here are some sample Tour Operators and comparisons of their trips.
Intrepid Travel – Australian based company. They started in Asia. They used to work with GAP Adventures. Styles are similar to GAP Adventures. Famous for a grassroots style. They have Europe tours as well.
G Adventures– Canadian based company which has several trip styles. Start from Central & South America with a grassroots style and now they are one of the largest tour operators in South America, especially in the Galapagos islands. They charters and operates its own vessels so you can travel with other G Adventure passengers. They also have own expedition ship in Antarctica and Artic. They focus on Sustainable Tourism and Planeterra is thier a non-profit organization.
Peregrine & Gecko’s – Are the same company and based in Australia. Peregrine started from running tours in Nepal and best known for Himalayan trekking and also comfort tours. Popular for more mature travelers over 55 years old. They offer more inclusions in the tours and more active tours in Australia. The group size is usually smaller than Exodus tours and they only use local tour leaders. Gecko’s is their budget product and popular for 20-40’s. They use same operators, so the quality is good for a budget tour and they have great customer service.
Imaginative Traveller – Their tours are operated under the Peregrine and Gecko’s banner. They used to be popular in UK and had great tours in South East Asia.
Explore – Long Established British tour operator. They assisted in the well-known TV show and book “ Long Way Down “ the show about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s motor bike adventure. Similar to Exodus. Accommodations for regular tours are a little more basic than Exodus. They use knowledgeable leaders who specialise in the areas the travel in. Their cycling tours include bike hire. There are many one week hiking and cycling tours in Europe. They also have sailing tours around Mediterranean and South Pacific.
Exodus – A Long Established British tour operator, They started from overland truck tours but now their repeat clients are getting older so now offer a more comfort style tour with private vehicle and comfort accommodations with 3 -3.5 starts for regular tours and 4-5 stars for premium tours. They are well-known for trekking and cycling tours and have great deals on tours to suit people 35-55 years old with excellent guides and tour leaders.
Trek America / Grand American Adventures – Participating in camping tours with travel by mini-van in North America. Trek America for 18-38 year olds and Grand American Adventures is for any one over 18 years old . Grand American Adventures has more active and lodging tours. Hiking tours have two guides and use mini vans with a maximum of 13 passengers and travel off the beaten path. Trek America is very popular for young people mainly from Europe.
Adventure Tours Australia – Style is mix of Trek America and Grand American Adventures. Camping and lodging for all ages. ( From 7 years old) They have 1-4days short to 2-4 weeks long itineraries.
Drifters – South African overland tours. Budget style,. Their safari guides are excellent.
Dragoman – Overland camping tours across continents. Most of the tours are long. If you take a whole tour across continents it may take 6 months. It is for all ages and the average age is around 45 years old. Drivers and tour leaders are Westerners. Good for West Africa, Central Asia and South America.
Tucan– Australian based company known for budget, overland tours and longer itineraries that can also be taken in shorter tours. Starting from Central and South America but in recent years, their Middle East and Africa tours have greatly improved. They have 6 trip styles and lots of departure dates. All vehicles are owned and maintained by Tucan. Tours are run by Tucan directly except countries that require local guides.
World Expeditions – Well known for all-inclusive trekking, cycling and climbing tours based in Australia.
Summit Climb – Hard-core mountaineering tours and high altitude expeditions. Greg Mortenson of “Three cups of tea” fame went to his K2 expedition with them. They have well-known leaders such as Dan Mazur and Gavin Vickers.
Country Walker – American high-end all-inclusive hiking and walking tours. Group tours have two guides in a tour. They have many European tours.
African in Style – Small group, high-end safari tours.
Quark – Expedition cruises to the Arctic and Antarctic. Capacity of the boats is a 100 or less and the cruises are very educational. Some boats carry a helicopter for sightseeing in remote areas.
The Adventure company – Known for family adventure tours.
Timberwolf Tours, Outdoor Vacations in Canada – hiking and canoe tours with small groups.
Do you need more information or some help to find the right tour for you?