I’ve searched Any Port looking for an advice thread on tour companies, to no avail.
My sister has invited me to join her on a Go Ahead Tour to Peru. I’d never heard of Go Ahead, so looking for feedback from Any Porters. I have 72 hours to change my mind and cancel my booking without losing the deposit!
Never heard of them, but here are some things I'd be asking...Company...where based, how long in business, what is language (I spent a week in Burma with an all french group...difficult)Google the names of all the directors (have they just come from a failed business and are a bit dodgy. Tour...Same tour leader each day. How often have they done the tour, what other tours done. be a mother hen or allow lots of free time.. Guide ...same as leader.Tour Make list of what you want to see/do and check with company that it has them scheduled...is the itinerary too busy or rushed, time for shopping spa etc. Is there too much free time.. Meals, snacks..who provides these. Mostly common sense stuff.Main thing is to hit the Net and check the company credentials and philosophy
Sorry for brainstorming...going out. Good luck
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
"Go Ahead tours has been around for many yrs and does tours all over the world. There was a thread on Go Ahead on TA that ran for yrs with hundreds of postings. You can always find someone with a complaint but for the most part Go Ahead has good reviews."
"Go Ahead Tours has been around for years and is not a sham what so ever. Go Ahead Tours is part of EF Tours that has been used by schools throughout America and other countries for years. I and my wife have used them 5 times over the past 10 years."
Funny questa. I would ask the same questions and we found ourselves in Burma where our french speaking guides were all replaced by englishspeaking ones. 😂 We should have swapped. My other advice with tours is to go with the flow never complain but suggest when actually on the tour. The guides are what they are and by being nice we limit the potential or real problems. Last in Burma for example we had a total macho who would never address my wife or daughters. We got along well. On the surface.
I’m surprised I’ve never heard of them when they’ve been around for so long. I’m hearing mostly good feedback and my sister says they have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. (Doesn’t mean there are never problems, but does mean the problems are resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction most of the time.)
I’m pretty flexible, so will roll with any punches the trip throws my way.
Just found this thread and of course am thrilled that you'll be going to Peru, Kimby. It's also interesting that after all these years, this is the first thread about tour companies, as far as I know. Looking forward to hearing your experiences. Have you traveled with a tour in the past?
Thanks bixa! Yes, Mr. Kimby and I took an REI Adventures cycling/trekking tour of SE China in 1995, and a Rick Steves tour of Western Turkey in 1999. In both cases, we finished with a week on our own after the two-week tours.
Both tours took us to places we’d have had a hard time getting to on our own, but the Rick Steves tour was far-better organized and thus more enjoyable.
I have taken short tours in the Mekong delta and the northern Vietnamese highlands, as well as taking my parents on a photo safari in Kenya. No complaints. Some places/experiences are better with a guide.
We were the only ones booked for our dates for a Tanzanian safari, and were given a driver who spoke no English and wore the same smelly shirt for the whole 5 days. We felt that the company’s better guides got the bigger groups because… better tips.
We saw a fair amount of wildlife anyway because he stopped to talk with each passing safari vehicle about where the action was. But no narration. He was good at fixing “punctures”, though.
So EF Go Ahead put together a fantastic trip in July to Iceland for my sister and me and 17 new friends. Well planned itinerary with a good balance of nature and culture, fantastic tour director, very good hotels, excellent meals, a practically new tour bus with a whole seat (and window) for each of us and WiFi and USB charging at each seat, and a very skilled bus driver.
We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. They even arranged near-perfect weather for us and lighter than normal summer crowds! That last was due to COVID, no doubt…