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  • Guided vacation

    We’ve been talking about going on more vacation outside USA.

    Anyone here use certain websites or agencies? Suggestion would be helpful. It would be nice to have an agency/site that you could keep going back to for different trips as opposed to using different sources for different parts of the world. Open to some cruise, trains rides, even some that involve biking. I’ve seen Trek travels stuff - they tend to be pretty expensive but seem to focus mostly in the US.

    I don’t wanna spend too much time researching and planning. I wanna be able to just pay someone and have things arranged for us and just enjoy the trip.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Serendipity Costa Rica - Since 1991, Costa Rica's Respected Operator for Family Vacations

    Used them 20 years ago. We still remember the quality.

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    • #3
      https://www.intrepidtravel.com/us

      Used them 3-4 times. They are all over the world. Adventure trips or pampered trips. Can be very basic and inexpensive to much more comfort and more expensive. The groups have a good makeup of Americans, Canadians, Australians, and Europeans who also speak English.

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      • #4
        We've done multiple trips with Wilderness Travel and Mt Travel Sobek. These are small group tours that generally involve hiking and at times more remote locations. The groups have generally been fun to socialize with, the guides have been uniformly great, food and lodging have been good. They will arrange private tours at a premium. Have also used regional operators for specific locations.

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        • #5
          I have found several outstanding trip planners for international travel on Zicasso. They vet the trip planners and match you with two or three, who compete to plan your custom vacation. Of course, now that I have used them, I have planners for France, Italy, Spain/Portugal, UK, and Costa Rica that I deal with directly, rather than through the agent. If you are interested in cycling or hiking trips, Backroads is excellent (or you could model your vacation after theirs). I have been following Tauk for some time and hope to do a small riverboat tour on the Danube River with them one day (my wife says that we are still too young for these).

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          • #6
            If you are interested in Europe, Rick Steves tours are very active, fairly small groups, and focused on education as opposed to shopping. For a wider choice in destinations I can also recommend Road Scholar. I've also heard good things about Odysseys Unlimited and Smithsonian Journeys, although I've never used either. For (very expensive) nature oriented trips, Nat Hab is worth looking into.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by STATscans View Post
              We’ve been talking about going on more vacation outside USA.

              Anyone here use certain websites or agencies? Suggestion would be helpful. It would be nice to have an agency/site that you could keep going back to for different trips as opposed to using different sources for different parts of the world. Open to some cruise, trains rides, even some that involve biking. I’ve seen Trek travels stuff - they tend to be pretty expensive but seem to focus mostly in the US.

              I don’t wanna spend too much time researching and planning. I wanna be able to just pay someone and have things arranged for us and just enjoy the trip.

              Thanks.
              Abercrombie & Kent.

              Used for our honeymoon in Egypt. Phenomenal all around.

              Can do private, or small group.

              Expensive.

              Fits your bill for someone you can keep going back to for trips all over the world with no planning required though.

              They have land, sea, and air. Full-service, if desired. Add on special activities as you please.

              Set it and forget it. For a price.

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              • #8
                "I have been following Tauck for some time and hope to do a small riverboat tour on the Danube River with them one day (my wife says that we are still too young for these)."
                Edited this for you.
                I have a cousin that has used this about 15 times. 5 of which were taking a grandchild to any country in the world they chose for a high school junior year trip.
                Basically, London to Tokyo and places in between. Luxury tours tend to have a mature crowd, but it works with kids as well. Nothing but praises for the accomodations and tours.
                From her point, kid picks out the trip and she orders it. About as turn key as you can get. Just show up if you can get someone to pack for you.

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                • #9
                  Another vote for Tauck. We’ve been on multiple trips and all were well organized with excellent tours, accommodations and food. The most non-tourist activity on the trips were setting your luggage inside your door for the porter to grab on travel days. If traveling with kids, they have “Bridges” trips for multi-generational groups.

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                  • #10
                    Backroads. Had a friend who worked for them and loved it. Tbh I haven’t yet done it.
                    looks awesome but $$

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                    • #11
                      If you're looking for international "adventure" travel (sea kayaking, mountain treks, French barge cruises, cycling Croatia, Turkish gullet cruising, Galapagos camping), RowAdventures.com is a great outfit. They're not big, and that's the way we like it.

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                      • #12
                        TAUCK
                        TAUCK
                        TAUCK
                        We will only travel with Tauck.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bev View Post
                          TAUCK
                          TAUCK
                          TAUCK
                          We will only travel with Tauck.
                          This is a “complaint” 3 star review.
                          - Fair
                          Reviewed on Sep 21, 2021

                          We spent more money on this Tauck tour than a Luxury Gold trip to Spain and Portugal (top of the line) which required international travel and was for a longer duration. Also, I've said this before about Tauck. Although a good company, there is too much food offered and too much time spent sitting down to a meal when we could be sightseeing.”

                          Particularly with international travel, no plan ever goes off perfectly. When something occurs, they have backups. Any problem is solved with an “upgrade” not disclosed. If you want to complain about too nice of anything, feel free. Their solution is “better”.
                          You will not be grabbing a sandwich and drink and getting back on a bus.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tim View Post
                            "I have been following Tauck for some time and hope to do a small riverboat tour on the Danube River with them one day…
                            My family has used Tauck tours for multiple international trips (including the Danube river cruise) and highly recommend them. Another poster cited a complaint that the food was too good and the back up plans were upgrades. That’s the type of service that you pay for with guided tours. If you want cheap food and small excursions, then don’t use a high end tour guide.
                            Last edited by BruinBones; 03-15-2022, 06:25 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bovie View Post

                              Abercrombie & Kent.

                              Used for our honeymoon in Egypt. Phenomenal all around.

                              Can do private, or small group.

                              Expensive.

                              Fits your bill for someone you can keep going back to for trips all over the world with no planning required though.

                              They have land, sea, and air. Full-service, if desired. Add on special activities as you please.

                              Set it and forget it. For a price.
                              Bump. Went to Spain using this service. Excellent all around but expensive. Their website has itineraries and basic pricing listed for all kinds of trips, and you can customize as you wish. Worth the time to check out.

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