- Felt Ripped Off25 May, 2013
This is my experience with Intrepid Travel's Greek Islands Walking Tour from May 19 - 26, 2013:
Since I am in US they 'outsourced' me to their UK partner Exodus Tours which is fine but the communication was very poor. My only contact was Intrepid's US liaison. I was never given the name, email or phone# of the Exodus' trip leader. Intrepid's original trip description included a half day tour of Athens on the first day. Only after I arrived in Athens did I find out that there was no half day tour. So what was supposed to be a 7 days/8 nights tour was reduced to a 6 days/8 nights without notice, apology or compensation. I am not sure whether this was bait and switch or just poor communications and organization.
To add insult to injury I booked two extra days of hotel stay prior to the Tour at the same hotel in Athens where the tour began. Later on by checking the hotel's web site I discovered Intrepid had charged me 40-45% more than if I had booked the room directly. Upon protesting to Intrepid's US representative, his response was "The biggest reason is that Intrepid has a set rate contracted with the hotel for a full year... We contract with the hotels to hold a substantial number of rooms throughout the year. This is as a service to our passengers for their pre and post trip needs. For these hotels to be able to set aside such a large amount of inventory for our groups on regular basis, they do need to be sure that this will be financially sustainable." As if I the customer actually benefitted from being fleeced!!! And all along they tried to convince their customers that they would get the 'wholesale' rate when booking trip extras through them.
It was my first trip with Intrepid Travel and I can guarantee it will be my last.
Response from Intrepid Travel
Thank you for your comments, we are sorry to hear you did not fully enjoy the experiences on your trip. The hotel booked for you in Athens was at our Intrepid rate, which depending on the season and occupancy can be higher or lower than what you would find if you were to seek out your own booking. Essentially we partner with local hotels and agree on a set rate in order to guarantee availability on our trip departures. This ensures that even when we run trip in the heart of the tourist season, regardless of the destination, we know these hotels will have rooms blocked off for our travellers. As you may be aware, hotels often lower the cost of rooms at the last minute in order to fill rooms. This does not impact the rates Intrepid receives. We do, however, openly list the starting and ending point hotels in our trip notes so travellers are free to book these directly should they wish to secure a lower rate.
We understand your frustration that you did not receive contact details for your leader in advance of the trip, however this is company policy for both Intrepid and Exodus. We do list an emergency number in the trip notes should any assistance be required when you arrive at your starting destination. With regards to the half-day tour on day one of the trip, we have looked at both the itineraries listed by Intrepid and Exodus and cannot find reference to this in either. We do apologise if you were under the impression this was included in the itinerary. If you can provide more detail on where you saw this mentioned, we would be happy to look into this further. You can reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kind regards, Intrepid Travel
- For a seasoned hiker6 March, 2013
The reason we went with Intrepid was because they guaranteed their trail permit. We read some stories about some tours not being able to get a permit for all of their guests and decided it would be best to make sure we got one. As for the trip, make sure you do some training if you are thinking about hopping on this trip. I’d recommend this trip for a seasoned hiker. We hiked pretty much every day with the big day being the hike to Macchu Picchu. We walked close to 10 miles a day and this was on a hiking trail which made it much more difficult. Apparently there is the option to take buses so if you aren’t feeling totally fit, you may want to look into this route. Some of the hikes started as early as 4 AM and there were occasional breaks for lessons on Incan culture. I wished these were longer because for the most part the group was pretty burned out and tired on the trip. The highlight of the trip was definitely the food. The porters who’ve done this trip so many times would run ahead and set up camp and cook the meals so the food would be ready when we arrived. Most of the meals were restaurant quality and it was hard to believe that this food was made in a camping setting. Overall, this was a great trip, but I would caution anyone who does not feel “in shape” since I was exhausted by the end of the trip.
- Amazing14 January, 2013
My 15 classic Delhi/Rajasthan trip in December 2012 with Intrepid tours was amazing, we had a group of 12 and it was one of the best groups. We all just had a fantastic time under the guidance of our tour guide Mr D J (Digvijay Singh Jodha). I have never seen such a person with so much of patience, tolerance, humor, friendly, good knowledge of places, he was always there when needed, suggested good restaurants, shopping places and places to visit when we had free time. I would recommend Intrepid Tours to everyone, it was a life experience with an affordable price and we stayed at the best hotels and Forts and had a wonderful time and made good friends, something that I will always remember. The only bad thing was that tour came to an end. Aspi
- A great experience13 November, 2012
Hiking Mt Kilimanjaro has always been on my bucket list, but I had never been to Africa before so I also wanted to experience the 'big 5' while there. The hike was really difficult, I recommend training before you go, but it was incredible and an unforgettable experience. It was comforting to know that the hike was all organized well in advance. Intrepid ran a great tour, camping in the Ngorongoro Crater was a surprising highlight. The night in the hotel after the Kilimanjaro hike was the best, and a great way to wind down after the most challenging thing I have ever done.
- Great Experience in History30 September, 2012
My friend and I joined this group on 03/09/2012 and joined 11 others to complete these 15 days. Our Tour Guide- Burak GULCAN,was such an interesting and helpful person. We travelled for the 15 days throughout Turkey using so many different types of transport and seeing so many interesting and historical sights. Burak's knowledge of his country and its history was an experience to all of us. He was helpful, understanding and a real friend to each of us on the trip, and we were not a young group. We had so much fun, and I wish to personally thank the other travellers in the group and mostly Burak for this wonderful, interesting, exhausting but truly great experience. Many thanks to all. I recommend Intrepid to everyone I can. Anne Anstee.
- France & Italy24 September, 2012
This tour was amazing. Our tour leader Francesco was a great leader very caring and nothing was too much trouble. The group we travelled with were great and we became firm friends. The accommodation was perfect. Intrepid takes you to all the main places to see. The trains were on time and very comfortable. Loads of walking but that was part of the adventure. Intrepids the way to do your travelling.
- Wonderful9 September, 2012
This tour was simply wonderful. The lodges we stayed in were fantastic. We saw plenty of wildlife, and met plenty of locals. Intrepid was very good at creating an experience that made me feel like I did more than I could have ever imagined in 8 days. We purposely chose an Intrepid Comfort tour because I wanted to stay in nice places, but still make sure I didn't end up on a snooty glamorous tour with people who didn't want to get off the safari truck. My favorite part of this trip was visiting the Ngorongoro Crater. It was an unexpected highlight for me which was just incredible to see.
- never again9 September, 2012
The trip was extremely poorly run. Our tour guide assisted and enabled the locals tour guides in scamming the group and often reacted to our questions with a dismissive laugh or rolling her eyes. The trip is described as basic but this is an exaggeration. Many of the places we stayed the showers didnt work or would only run cold. Also a majority of the beds were either very dirty or best described as a plank of wood with a yoga mat on top. I would never go on a trip with this tour company again.
- I only book Intrepid30 August, 2012
Intrepid are the best tour operator around. Worth every penny in my opinion. Recently returned from a tour in Vietnam, and loved it. I have also traveled with them to China, India and Thailand. Yes they are all tours to Asia, but that is what they are known for. If you are like me and can only ever travel for short periods of time and hate making all of the travel arrangements, Intrepid is the perfect solution. A lot of my friends have told me I should try other tour companys, but why mess with a good thing.
- This tour is great15 December, 2011
This tour was great. I had never been on a tour before, nor done much travelling. I am in my 40's and was travelling with my cousin. I liked the ease being on a tour, and all of the great things I learned from our guide. There was a nice mix of different travellers in our group that were friendly and nice to travel with. We had a great time, and I recommend Intrepid to others.
- Very disappointed24 June, 2011
My sister and I took this trip in May and were very disappointed. The guide was most inappropriate, really bad language, nightly (I mean all night) drinking at the bars and suffering for it the next day. This might be a good adventure for some but definitely not with the guide, Thea.
- Good way to see South East Asia3 May, 2011
This trip travels to a lot of places, and is really worth price, but I was pretty worn out by the beginning of week three. It was a little too long to be on tour for me. The best part of the tour was the tour guide, and the accommodation. It wasn't necessarily the quality of the accommodation that I liked, but the fact that there was a lot of places that we stayed that were not just a hotel or a hostel. We didn't just check into a tourist hotel every night and lock ourselves away from what we came to experience. The trip was very well organised and very well planned, but if you don't like to spend too long on tour, I would recommend choosing something a little shorter (this trip is 30 days). Two weeks would be perfect, and I suggest doing the leg that goes through Cambodia and Vietnam the most.
- Loved the uniqueness5 April, 2011
Just before doing this trip, I did a Contiki trip through Western Europe. What a difference. Intrepid stayed in the coolest hotels and used public transport the entire way instead of a coach. I felt so much more in touch with the places I went to and the people I met, and it was totally different to being on the party bus I had just come from. I highly recommend traveling with Intrepid in Europe.
- Intrepid is the best31 January, 2011
Intrepid is my favorite tour company. I have done 4 tour with them, and I plan to do more! This trip in particular was my favorite. It hit all of the sights I wanted to see and more, and the organization of the tour, the guides, and the itinerary we perfect. I have traveled on about 12 different tours in my worldwide travels, and this one was my favorite. I highly recommend it, and I give Intrepid 5 stars for all of the trips I have done with them! If you like to travel on a budget and get your value for money, Intrepid is by far the best company to go with.
- Free time to spend with the locals23 August, 2010
This was a fantastic trip with great food and stunning architecture. I really enjoyed travelling with Intrepid. When we arrived in a town they would give us a tour of the highlights and the history of the area and then we were free to explore it for ourselves. I even got invited to a wedding in the small town of Orchaa, something they would have never invited a whole group to. It was the highlight of my trip and an experience I will never forget. I also appreciated Intrepids responsible travel policy. They provided us with hesion bags, as not to use plastic ones throughout the country, which I still use today. As a sole female traveller I found this trip style to be a perfect amount of free time with the comfort of being part of a group. Book it!
- The organisation was great11 July, 2010
This is the perfect way to see the Amalfi coast and be able to get away from the tourists for the day. The organisation was great, we never had any trouble with our bags arriving at our hotels. All of the accomodation we stayed at was beautiful. The coastline is spectacular but very steep and some of the walks were quite hard. I would definitely recommend you have a high level of fitness before you go. There were a lot more steps that I thought there would be and some of the trails are quite steep and rocky. The buses in this region are really good so if you need to skip a walk it is really easy to get to the next town via public transport. The trip notes were comprehensive and generally easy to follow. There are GPS points in the notes too. If you aren't good at following directions this would be very helpful. I was lucky, I just brought my husband! I thoroughly enjoyed myself on this trip and was blown away by the amazing view every single day.
- Loved the responsible travel style11 July, 2010
This was the first tour I have been on with Intrepid and for me it ticked every box for a great holiday. I loved the small group size, I felt it made the tour really interactive. I loved the responsible travel style. All the accomodation is locally owned and some of the places we stayed in were beautifully kept and the owners and staff were very friendly and accomodating. I liked travelling on public transport although some days the trips were quite long. The recommended guides were all excellent and this was balanced really well with a large amount of free time in each city we visited. I felt that the structure of the trip enabled me to experience the local culture and interact with the local people. One of the highlights of the trip for me was being able to talk to people that had experienced communism and the Balkan war. I learned so much in the 15 days of this holiday. The scenery is beauitful and made all the more special by the fact that most of the places aren't majorly overrun with tourists. My advice, if you want a tour without getting your hand held the whole time but with travel and accomodation sorted out go now! What are you waiting for!!
- Great way to travel11 July, 2010
Intrepid travel in itself is a great way to travel as an independent traveler. Local guides, local transport, local accommodation and small group size. This is far from your traditional bus tour. The Essence of China trip is possibly one of their best itineraries. China from Hong Kong to Beijing right through the middle of the country. A small group adventure trip is really only as good as the small group that accompanies you but in my experience... the travelers that choose Intrepid are always good company. Some young, some old, some couples but all travelers that want get off the beaten path, meet people and have a good time.
- I cannot recommend it more!11 July, 2010
If you ever get the chance to take this tour, I cannot recommend it more! This was my first experience in South East Asia and it was truly a live changing experience. Firstly, Intrepid is a responsible tourism company. The will take the utmost care of you while you travel with them, and if you let them, they will educate you on being a responsible tourist. They will give you all the free time that you want, so if you want to explore on your own â€“ go for it! But because of the unique opportunities and experiences they can offer you, I highly recommend that you take advantage of them! Like eating lunch at The New Cambodian Children's Life Association and then going for a visit to orphans that the association raises. Or experience the amazing hospitality of a Cambodian family for dinner after visiting the English school that they run downstairs. This may not sound like a â€˜touristâ€™ activity, but believe me the authentic Cambodian curry is worth it! Cambodia is both tragic and hopeful. You will be awed by the Temples in Siem Reap, horrified and saddened by the Killing Fields Memorial and absolutely smitten with the Cambodian people. The beer is cheap and a dollar goes a very long way. Intrepid uses clean and safe accommodations. The tour guides are experts in the area and are more than happy to recommend night clubs or bars, like the Heart of Darkness club in Phnom Penh or the Angkor What? Bar in Siem Reap. And they always know the best places for that yummy curry!
- I would definitely recommend this trip11 July, 2010
This trip was a really good introduction to south east Asia covering Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. We had an excellent tour guide named Hun who was Cambodian and not only was a great tour leader but gave us a really good insight into the people and culture of the areas we traveled through. Real highlights of this trip for me were our trip down the Mekong Delta which also involved crossing the border from Vietnam to Cambodia, and Phnom Pehn was also very memorable. A real benefit of this trip was having a Cambodian guide who, as we traveled through Cambodia in particular, was able to give an incredible and in some cases first hand insight into Cambodia's history. There were about 10 people in our group, all very easygoing. As i had never been to that part of the world before, it was really good to be part of a group of like-minded people as an introduction to travel in south east Asia. We mostly stayed in hotels which were surprisingly a lot nicer than i expected. Overall i would definitely recommend this trip for a first time traveller to the region or someone who doesn't want to travel alone.