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  • Trafalgar / Insight / Contiki guided tours

    Hi cotters,

    Has anyone joined this tour before?Would really like to hear your opinion.

    I & my DH had travelled to a few places before eg:some parts of Central Europe,Usa,Middle East,China etc. but sad to says that all of our tour is a guided tour organize by local tour agency.

    We are planning to try out something diffrent perhaps more adventurous like eg:bag packing but some how we are quite apprehensive so i'm thinking of why not try out some thing diffrent like joining a Trafalgar's tour

    Thanks,
    Irene

  • #2
    I have tried Insight on 2 ocassions- to italy, and spain. Both are pretty good. Here are some of the reasons that I can think of:

    1The guides are knowledgble.
    2They dont bring you to the factories, to get local products at supposedly cheaper prices.
    3They dont upright ask you for tips, and really trust you to give based on their services.
    4They dont bring to eat chinese dinners in chinatown.
    5 International crowd, get to meet ppl from different countries. A lot of Americans and Australians (in insight) and they are generally warmer and friendlier than Singaporeans.

    Of course all these comes with a price. That is the total amount is higher than if you opt for a similar tour with a local company.

    Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      i went with Trafalgar recently and didn't really like it.

      1. expensive especially since you end up paying alot more for optional tours not included in the itinerary.

      2. the tour guide was more interested in promoting the optional tours. he didn't provide alot of information for people not going on the tours. if you're a first timer, you wouldn't have appreciated his lack of info.

      3. going with trafalgar would really be similar to going with a tour. only difference is that you don't mix around with singaporeans all day long. i don't like it when a tour out of singapore brings you to eat chinese food all the time. can jolly well survive without rice for a couple of weeks. when i went on my tour, our group of 40 was made up of mostly americans (who kept to themselves most of the time), indians, koreans, japanese, south africans and australians. my family of 4 were the only singaporeans in the whole group.

      i don't think joining a trafalgar tour is going to be any different from a local tour except for the crowd. if you're not a first timer to the country you're visiting, i wouldn't suggest going with a tour. i'll vote for free and easy anytime. at least you don't have to follow schedules, wait for people and when you're on your own, you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want.

      i like planning for trips and i think that's half the fun in travelling. i would only join a tour if i'm visiting a country for the first time.

      on its feedback form, i gave trafalgar a so so review, partly because i felt the tour guide wasn't all that informative and he didn't bother to mix around with the group. at the end of our 8 days together, he still couldn't get my family name right.

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      • #4
        Re: Trafalgar's Tour

        Originally posted by irene
        We are planning to try out something diffrent perhaps more adventurous like eg:bag packing but some how we are quite apprehensive so i'm thinking of why not try out some thing diffrent like joining a Trafalgar's tour
        I usually travel independently, but my colleague went on a Trafalgar tour, and I used to see plenty of Trafalgar tour groups traipsing around town when I was studying in London. Trafalgar strikes me as a more family/retiree-oriented type of tour, a far cry from backpacking.

        Perhaps you could sign up for day trips or short tours with local tour operators when you reach your destination. The tour guides really know and love their native areas, and some are designed specifically for young people, who might want to fit a short guided tour into a longer independent backpacking holiday.

        I used Haggis Adventures when I went to the Scottish highlands and I really liked it! It was great, cos while you can do cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh on your own on foot, it's tricky to get around the highlands and islands unless you drive, which can be expensive.

        Comment


        • #5
          They are better than local tours, but given the choice I'd rather plan my own. I like to see things at my own pace and not be hustled from one tourist spot to another. I agree that the smaller tour operators are a lot better - you feel less like herded sheep! I used backpackers tour companies when I did the journey between Adelaide and Melbourne, and when I toured Tasmania. Even if I drove, I'd do it again with them. I like the relaxed pace, and their flexibility.

          Anyway, whether you plan your own thing, or join backpackers' tours, you don't really have to rough it! Pack light for convenience, but you can still have your suitcase and your decent hotels.

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          • #6
            I tried Contiki last year. Did the regional tour - "Simply Italy". It was fantastic!! The entire trip was relaxing - not much waiting... itinery was well planned and relaxing... the guide was experienced and friendly. All in all, I would say that it's an experience of a lifetime!!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by evillin
              I tried Contiki last year. Did the regional tour - "Simply Italy". It was fantastic!! The entire trip was relaxing - not much waiting... itinery was well planned and relaxing... the guide was experienced and friendly. All in all, I would say that it's an experience of a lifetime!!!
              Does any of them (eg. Insight, contiki, etc) organise trips to jus switzerland and italy for abt 12-15 days?

              Comment


              • #8
                Insight tour for Europe

                Hi

                yes, I can't agree more with michannat about these foreign tours. My husband and I went on an Insight tour to Europe last year. Felt so cheated cos those of us who did not want to join the optional tours were sent back to the hotel even though they could have left us in the city for us to shop around and then pick us up later when they finish their optional tours. The guide says it's for fairness so that those who pay will get the extra service. What crap! Imagine our anger and frustration when we travel for the whole day and then when we reach a country, we were sent to the hotel at 3 pm to spend the rest of the night.

                My husband went many years back with Chan Bros to Europe and he remembered that many of the things like Eiffel Tower, gondala rides etc. were part of the package whereas we had to pay for it as optional. Our package was not so cheap somemore. So our own local tours are definitely more value for money.

                Their optional tours also had a lot of wine, cheese, music thrown in...very westernized...8 of us in the tour group, of the same age range of 30-40, were not too keen to spend money every nite just sipping wine during dinner honestly. But the older group of Caucasians love it to be fair...i gave a very bad review to the tour guide at the end of the tour...told him this is one tour I would not recommend to ppl back home...did not tip him too cos I was so angry but we tipped the driver whom we felt was friendly, punctual and did nothing wrong.

                We signed up for Insight tours because we thought it would be a diff experience as compared to our local tours but it was a really disappointing experience. The only thing we like was that we made quite a few frens from all over the world. It was like any other organized tour honestly.

                Edit: Quote deleted
                Last edited by vixette; 24-08-2005, 07:45 PM.

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                • #9
                  Reviving this thread. I have been thinking of joining either Insight tours or Contiki for a trip around Europe. My staff had been on both tours told me that the crowd is slightly different; when he was with Contiki, his group was this crazy group of people, drink every night till they drop and were rowdy as well. With Insight, he said it's a more family orientation tour compared to Contiki. Although Insight is slightly more expensive, he said it's justified since he was on quite a number of tours to museums, cities which was within the package and for Contiki he got to pay for his optional tours. I just received my Insight Super Saver Europe booklet and will go through all their itineraries later.
                  If I plan for a 2 weeks to 4 weeks trip, how much should I budget for expenses excluding the package fees? The package already cost a bomb.

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                  • #10
                    anyone has joined their tours to italy? pls share! thks!

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