When it comes to travel companies, people tend to have very extreme opinions. Some claim it’s the “wrong” way to travel and that all these organised trips are overpriced, a waste of money and the wrong way to see the sights. Others claim that they are the ultimate way to get an amazing travel experience: you often get a driver and vehicle organised for you, activities booked and experiences guided so that you’re never at loss for what to do – plus you are guaranteed an awesome group of people to share every experience with.
To help you figure out which park you sit in (I’m definitely in team #YesToTourCompanyTravel, fyi), I’ve picked out some of the most popular travel companies that either I or friends of mine have had experiences with to tell you about.
My #trekfam in Austin last summer
If you know me (or even if you don’t) you’ll know that Trek America has given me the best travel experience of my life. It’s so, so good that I’m doing it twice and doing my summer trip with them this year. Founded in 1972, Trek America has created a world of epic American-based adventures and experiences, ranging from super cool Canadian national park tours to East-To-West USA road trips and stunning sights in South America. If you’re looking to travel the Americas, these guys are the one.
Designed for young international travellers, you get a group of humans around the same age as you and an awesome guide (hey Kaley! Miss you!) to spend your time with. I have made some of the most amazing friends on my trip, and we have shared some incredible memories – like our Monument Valley jeep tour, getting wasted on New Orleans’ Bourbon Street and watching the sun rise at the Grand Canyon – and some very silly ones, like the time I nearly lost two fingers in a car door and our group singalongs in the van. They have different styles of trips, including Basic Lodging Tours (BLTs) and camping tours, meaning that there’s something for everyone.
STA are helping me plan my next adventure to Australia. These guys are the go-to for organising travel and trips. They can help you organise round-the-world trips, flights, visas, working holiday arrangements and even tours through other companies. With over 2 million travellers a year using them and with 200 stores around the globe they have a lot of experience in making your adventure the best it can be.
Contiki are another big one. They run trips all over the world – a friend of mine recently did a trip with them to Vietnam – and they function similarly to Trek America, in that they take care of all the organising and travelling arrangements and take you from A to B leaving you to concentrate your energy on having the best time ever.
Similarly to Contiki, G Adventures stokes your wanderlust with a range of tours and trips that are catered especially to you. Split up into travel styles – Classic, Family, Active, Marine, YOLO and National Geographic Tours – they have an amazing range of destinations and adventures for you to experience. They’re perfectly made for young people travelling solo for the first time, or want to do a holiday that’s a little (read: massively) different from the two weeks in the Costa Del Sol.
I grew up doing Explore trips so this company is very close to my heart. From South Africa to Thailand, Laos & Cambodia as well as Peru, Namibia and Borneo, Explore have given me the experiences I have always dreamed of. They have a great range of trips, styles, places and experiences, so whether you’re into camping, rock climbing, sunbathing or hiking, they have a trip that will suit your needs perfectly.
Disclaimer: I have not been sponsored by any companies mentioned. All views my own.
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