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Has anyone done a tour with Intrepid?? PLZ say someone has!?

Travel Forums General Talk Has anyone done a tour with Intrepid?? PLZ say someone has!?

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1. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 5y

Hey fellow travellers can anyone tell me if they have done a trip with Intrepid travel?

Im interested in doing a trip to India with them. I thought as im travelling alone this would be a good way of offering security. Might also consider doing a trip to China? Is it worth it as they are expensive or would it be better to organise my own travel. Im thinking safety first though though i might be cheaper to organise the trip myself??

I need advice to make up my mind. I would really appreciate any advice i want to book soon.

Thanks

Annie

2. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1946 posts) 5y

Honestly, I have never been on an Intrepid Tour (although I have also thought seriously of doing so in the past - I'm also interested in seeing India). On my recent trip to Vietnam, I was at the Hai Au Hotel in Hoi An, and Intrepid was there at this hotel with several backpackers. This was the scene: 90% of the tour group was under 25, and the rest were over 50! The younger group totally ignored the old guys, leaving the over-50's alone to suffer (eating alone and swimming alone). The Hai Au was a mediocre hotel (not terribly bad and not that great either). The lasting impression I now have of Intrepid is a tour company that tries very hard, but I really believe these folks would have had a far better vacation had they done it all themselves! (just my 2 cents) The younger crowd looked quite happy, and the old guys looked miserable (no tour guide in sight).

Note that Intrepid is more or less forced to use certain hotels (not necessarily the best in any location - I prefer the small, intimate, inexpensive places that could never accommodate these tours needing 10 or more rooms). Why settle for such mediocre accommodation on your big trip?

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Mar-2009, at 14:47 by Daawgon ]

3. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 5y

Quoting Daawgon

Honestly, I have never been on an Intrepid Tour (although I have also thought seriously of doing so in the past - I'm also interested in seeing India). On my recent trip to Vietnam, I was at the Hai Au Hotel in Hoi An, and Intrepid was there at this hotel with several backpackers. This was the scene: 90% of the tour group was under 25, and the rest were over 50! The younger group totally ignored the old guys, leaving the over-50's alone to suffer (eating alone and swimming alone). The Hai Au was a mediocre hotel (not terribly bad and not that great either). The lasting impression I now have of Intrepid is a tour company that tries very hard, but I really believe these folks would have had a far better vacation had they done it all themselves! (just my 2 cents) The younger crowd looked quite happy, and the old guys looked miserable (no tour guide in sight).

Note that Intrepid is more or less forced to use certain hotels (not necessarily the best in any location - I prefer the small, intimate, inexpensive places that could never accommodate these tours needing 10 or more rooms). Why settle for such mediocre accommodation on your big trip?

Thanks Daawgon

Im not that interested in the accommodation mediorce sounds fine to me! Wondering why they are forced to use certain hotels?? I like the idea of the tour being low key as i dont want a totally structured trip. Surpose what sold intrepid to me was the idea that they have done the ground work re organised transport, accommodation and the safety of numbers rather than doing it alone!

Thanks for your 2 cents much appreciated
:)

4. Posted by 7055 (Budding Member 28 posts) 5y

I can't speak about India because I've no been there yet. However, with China, unless you really go into the remote areas (i.e. mountainous regions of the west), finding accommodation or purchasing tickets for transportation is not really an issue. I went into one travel agency and they made it out as though traveling China would be difficult solo, saying that purchasing train tickets would be a nightmare.

Having already traveled in China, I can tell you that it is not. As long as you're willing to pay your hostel/hotel a fee, they will happily arrange train tickets or bus tickets. Many hostels on the backpacker circuit will even offer free pickups from the train stations if you arrange this in advance with them. That said, Chinese train stations can be a bit full on, but the Chinese in general are quite helpful and if you show them the ticket they will happily point you in the direction of the platform etc.

Another good option in China is asking your hostel to write down in Chinese directions to the airport, or whatever you need. Then you can hand this to taxi drivers or station officers thus removing the language barrier (most Chinese will speak limited in English so long as they are involved in the tourist sector, but don't expect anyone else to). Really, I haven't traveled with Intrepid, but from my experiences traveling alone and having to deal with challenges is part of the fun.

5. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1946 posts) 5y

Quoting 7055

I can't speak about India because I've no been there yet. However, with China, unless you really go into the remote areas (i.e. mountainous regions of the west), finding accommodation or purchasing tickets for transportation is not really an issue. I went into one travel agency and they made it out as though traveling China would be difficult solo, saying that purchasing train tickets would be a nightmare.

Having already traveled in China, I can tell you that it is not. As long as you're willing to pay your hostel/hotel a fee, they will happily arrange train tickets or bus tickets. Many hostels on the backpacker circuit will even offer free pickups from the train stations if you arrange this in advance with them. That said, Chinese train stations can be a bit full on, but the Chinese in general are quite helpful and if you show them the ticket they will happily point you in the direction of the platform etc.

Another good option in China is asking your hostel to write down in Chinese directions to the airport, or whatever you need. Then you can hand this to taxi drivers or station officers thus removing the language barrier (most Chinese will speak limited in English so long as they are involved in the tourist sector, but don't expect anyone else to). Really, I haven't traveled with Intrepid, but from my experiences traveling alone and having to deal with challenges is part of the fun.

Exactly!

6. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 5y

Quoting Daawgon

Quoting 7055

I can't speak about India because I've no been there yet. However, with China, unless you really go into the remote areas (i.e. mountainous regions of the west), finding accommodation or purchasing tickets for transportation is not really an issue. I went into one travel agency and they made it out as though traveling China would be difficult solo, saying that purchasing train tickets would be a nightmare.

Having already traveled in China, I can tell you that it is not. As long as you're willing to pay your hostel/hotel a fee, they will happily arrange train tickets or bus tickets. Many hostels on the backpacker circuit will even offer free pickups from the train stations if you arrange this in advance with them. That said, Chinese train stations can be a bit full on, but the Chinese in general are quite helpful and if you show them the ticket they will happily point you in the direction of the platform etc.

Another good option in China is asking your hostel to write down in Chinese directions to the airport, or whatever you need. Then you can hand this to taxi drivers or station officers thus removing the language barrier (most Chinese will speak limited in English so long as they are involved in the tourist sector, but don't expect anyone else to). Really, I haven't traveled with Intrepid, but from my experiences traveling alone and having to deal with challenges is part of the fun.

Exactly!

Thanks for advice.

7. Posted by sambo123 (Budding Member 45 posts) 5y

hi annie,

i've booked an intrepid tour from hong kong to bangkok this yr and it all seems pretty good and not overly expensive. to be honest i didn't fancy doing it all myself through vietnam and cambodia being a first time traveller so happy to let someone else take charge for a change. doing all of the other travelling independently so will get the experience everyone else says is crucial to being a backpacker (hahaha) but wanted abit of time not to care! After looking at the tours the longer ones seem better value for money than the shorter ones and the feedback all seems good. I don't think STA travel would recommend them if they weren't kosha.

cheers,

8. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 127 posts) 5y

Quoting sambo123

hi annie,

i've booked an intrepid tour from hong kong to bangkok this yr and it all seems pretty good and not overly expensive. to be honest i didn't fancy doing it all myself through vietnam and cambodia being a first time traveller so happy to let someone else take charge for a change. doing all of the other travelling independently so will get the experience everyone else says is crucial to being a backpacker (hahaha) but wanted abit of time not to care! After looking at the tours the longer ones seem better value for money than the shorter ones and the feedback all seems good. I don't think STA travel would recommend them if they weren't kosha.

cheers,

Hey Sambo123 thank god someone has booked with them hahah I want to do the independent thing too but i thought the likes of India and China i would go with intrepid and yes the longer the journey it appears cheaper and id say i would just pay as much independently travelling. As a female travelling alone i thought this would break the lone factor and be good safety option. Im a little worried about my safety im a safety freak hahaha

Anyways thanks for your reponse

9. Posted by sambo123 (Budding Member 45 posts) 5y

Hi Annie,

I know how you feel about the safety thing! although i'm going with my boyfriend i needed that little bit of reassurance before kicking off independently. if i tell you my itinery it might help...maybe?

i'm heading for Hong Kong and staying with a friend then meeting up with intrepid for the trip across china, vietnam, cambodia and into bangkok. then once in bangkok we're going it alone- heading up by train to chaing mai and then down to the islands. once staying in thailand for a month we're getting a train down to singapore and flying out of there for perth ready to start working for a yr. i think if i was travelling on my own (i'm a girl too if you hadn't guessed- sam doesn't give much away!) i'd still have the same ideas i think.

we were going to bejing first and getting a train down which looked so easy but couldn't afford it in the end. i've asked around and it looks like the main trainlines in china (bejing, shanghai, hong kong) are all pretty good so i don't think you'll have a problem doing them on your own. this site is fantastic for advice so I'm sure everyone will help you out as much as poss!

10. Posted by hayzjb (Budding Member 8 posts) 5y

HI!
I am travelling with intrepid at the end of april. I am so excited. I have never been outside the EU before and am going it alone so felt that i needed a bit of organisation first! The intrepid tour probably takes up about a quarter or fifth of my time travelling so i will still have loads of time to be independant.
Alot of people have said....just do it on your own, not worth money, etc but to be honest if you want to do one to get the hang of things first like me then go for it!!! Theres plenty of time to do other things by yourself and i think if your not an experienced traveller (like me!) it just makes the enormity of your first trip that little bit easier and you can concentrate on being excited!!!!
on the other hand i cant wait to wing it under my own steam but personally i am not quite ready.:)