With the news that Intrepid has introduced short retreats such as an urban escape in Porto & the Douro Valley in Portugal, a 3 day walking retreat in the English countryside in the Peak District, and 5 days on the Greek island of Syros, plus many others including Italy, Iceland, and Turkey; I wanted to highlight this fantastic tour company and why I believe they are solo friendly. If you are considering take a group tour then this article will help. Just click on the relevant section or read the whole article.
- Why Take a Tour?
- Positives and Negatives of Taking a Tour
- Why Book an Intrepid Tour?
- Are Intrepid Holidays Good Value?
- Who Are These Trips For?
- Intrepid Trips
- Intrepid Travel Reviews
Why Take a Tour?
Tours allow you to see many destinations in one trip and takes away the overwhelm of planning a route and budget. All you need to do is just turn up and everything is organised for you. Plus you’ll have new people to meet and share your experiences with.
Travelling to a destination that has recently opened up to tourism or poses a greater risk than others is much easier on a pre-organised trip. Certain countries such as India and places within the Middle East, can be more challenging than others and local tour guides will know the best places to go, and the ones to stay away from.
It will also give you a peace of mind. Even using local guides and companies can eliminate the apprehension if you get to a country and are not sure about doing a certain area alone, especially for jungle treks or wanting to go off the beaten track.
Positives and Negatives of Taking a Tour
Pros of Taking a Tour
Even if you’re not a ‘group tour person,’ you may have to succumb to one at some point. Depending on which country you are visiting, some areas are only accessible on tours. Travel to Chile overland from Bolivia and you need a 4×4 and an experienced driver for some of the tough terrain and salt flats. A guide will know the area, the people and the local dialect in areas it would be difficult to visit alone.
You don’t have to stick to just overland tours either. Taking a sailing trip with a group of others is a great way to experience life on the open seas without worrying about knowing how to sail. If it’s a specialised activity you’re looking to do then tours are a great way to share your passion with others and offer experiences which could be hard to organise alone.
All you need to do is turn up (or get picked up) and they organise everything for you. You don’t need to worry about knowing the language and all the logistics are planned for you so you can relax and learn from the knowledge of the local leaders.
If you want to see the highlights but still have the freedom to explore the world your own way then Intrepid could be the right company for you. There’s also the added security of knowing that someone is on hand should you need any help. There’s no dining for one and there’s always someone to talk to and share travel memories with. You may even find a travelling partner to join you afterwards or make plans to meet at a later date.
Cons of Taking a Tour
Although the price of a group tour may seem like a great price, make sure you know what’s included in the price. Generally your airfare isn’t included and some meals or additional activities won’t be either. You will need to share with someone else too (unless you pay for your own room).
You may have to eat in chosen restaurants and have limited time in places that you want to stay in longer. Being on a tight schedule and with the same people 24/7 can be exhausting so by the time your tour is over you may even be glad to be back on your own. Check the demographics of the tour before you travel to ensure that you’re not about to embark on a tour with couples or an older or younger crowd. You can even find out the nationalities too.
You can just travel on a small sector then when you have a feel of the country and improved your confidence you’ll be ready to go it alone.
Why Book an Intrepid Tour?
Intrepid Travel are one of the leaders in ethical travel and in this current COVID-19 climate, they are committed to insuring that your safety is their priority by adhering to new health and safety guidelines. Their average group size of 10 people means that you can avoid large crowds but still have the security of small group tours.
They offer flexible bookings so you have the flexibility to change your travel plans and the assurance that you can rebook when the time suits you better. You can change your travel plans up to 21 days before your departure with no fee.
Over 50% of people who book their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation. You can share a room with someone of the same gender or if you prefer your own privacy, there is the option to pay a single supplement for your own room.
Intrepid have been leading tours for more than three decades and in addition to more than 1000 worldwide tours, they also run women only tours and expeditions so you can experience a full immersion within certain countries on a trip that is tailored especially for women. Your leader is female, and if you choose to go hiking, your crew will be all female too, allowing for that true cultural immersion. * Discover women only expeditions here
You can spend 8 days exploring Israel and the Palestinian Territories, two weeks on a women’s expedition to Pakistan, or discover what life is like for women living in Rajasthan, India on a twelve day tour. The best thing about the women only tours is that you have a chance to visit a country that you may not feel comfortable travelling to alone, such as Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, Kenya or Iran. And they employed the first ever female driver in East Africa.
All off their trips are carbon offset, meaning that any carbon emissions from the trip from accommodation, transport and waste is offset by buying carbon credits associated with renewable energy projects to help.
They also have their own foundation! The Intrepid Foundation supports more than 50 non-government organisations in the destinations that Intrepid visits. They contribute to health care, human rights, education, child welfare, the environment and sustainable development and wildlife protection.
Are Intrepid Holidays Good Value?
Yes, all the logistics and activities are designed for a grassroots travel experience for a diverse range of travellers and budgets.
Every Intrepid tour includes a group leader, who is local and knows the country and acts as the communication bridge between you and the locals. They know the local dishes, the stories behind the cities and help immerse you into a country the local way. Accommodation and transport is also included as well as some group activities and meals (depending on the style of trip that you choose).
Many of the trips also include a homestay experience so that you get the chance to share a meal with a local family and enjoy a cultural exchange. What’s not included is your flight to and from your home country.
Their Basix tours are for those on a budget. These trips use simple accommodation that is centrally located including camping, homestays, guesthouses and budget hotels. There is plenty of free time and optional activities so you can spend what you can afford. Meals usually aren’t included so you have the flexibility to eat wherever you choose. Transport is mainly local transport with some specialist overland vehicles in some areas.
The original tours can also include some camping and use local guesthouses and homestays as well as standard tourist-class hotels. There is a good balance between activities that are included and free time. Some meals are included and the transport is a mix of local and private options; whichever is the best way to get around.
Or if you have more money to spend and prefer to do your trip in complete comfort, the comfort trips include comfortable hotels with private amenities, as well as some homestays and unique accommodation. Many of the activities are included but there is still some free time to explore by yourself if you want to. There are more meals included than the original tours and private transport is generally used unless local transport adds to the experience such as a camel in the desert.
If you have any dietary requirements, unless you’re going completely off the beaten track they cater for you. Trips range from 3 days to a 365 day trip, and cost from £350 (US $440) depending on where you want to travel in the world.
Who Are These Trips For?
Intrepid offer a range of tours on all seven continents. There are more than 1000 adventures in 100 different countries to choose from. Their tours are tailored for different types of travellers and range from cycling, walking and trekking adventures, food holidays, adventure cruising and retreats. Anything you’re looking for whether it’s an active adventure, a polar experience, wildlife tour, festival, short break or a trip with more comfort than an original tour, you can find. They also offer Lonely Planet Experiences and tailor made trips too.
What I really like about Intrepid is that they have tailored some of their trips especially for solo travellers! They’ve picked some of their most popular trips and scheduled solo-only departures so that you can travel with only other solo travellers. Find out more about Intrepid solo travel here.
If you are part of the LGBTQI community it’s important to look at Smart Traveller or Equaldex to be aware of the laws in the destination that you want to travel to before you choose and book your trip.
If you’re under 30 and prefer an adventure with the same age, they also offer specific 18 to 29s adventures. Asia is a popular continent with this age group and Intrepid Tours Asia range from a 7 day Phuket sailing adventure in Thailand, a 9 day Cambodia: hike, bike and kayak, to an epic 30 day South East Asia loop travelling through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos exploring the heart and soul of the region. Here are some of their popular Asia tours for all ages.
Examples of Intrepid Trips
Intrepid Travel Myanmar – 9 Days
If you’re short on time, the Myanmar Highlights tour takes you to all the main sites in the country and ensures that you don’t miss out. This 9 day journey begins in Bagan and ends in Yangon. See the amazing Bagan temples on bicycle, witness the Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset, and canoe along Inle Lake past its floating islands and village industries.
You also have the opportunity to learn how to cook like a local and support a community library initiative at the same time. This tour is a great starting point to Myanmar but they also have a Best of Myanmar trip for 15 days if you have longer.
Intrepid Bangkok to Singapore – 15 Days
Fly into Thailand and out of Singapore on this 15 day trip, starting in Bangkok and travelling through Malaysia. This trip is perfect for foodie Girl about the Globes as you’ll be cooking authentic Thai dishes, and discovering a different side of Kuala Lumpur amongst the street food and the city’s cuisine. For nature lovers you can hike through Khao Sok National Park and take a traditional long tail boat along its lake.
Kayak through mangrove forests at Ao Thalane, and wander past colonial buildings and street art in Penang. You’ll be travelling overland on this trip so there are some far distances to cover including an overnight train but it’s a great way to see the best of this region in a two week trip.
Intrepid Best of Vietnam Cambodia Tour – 18 Days
If you have longer than two weeks, explore the best of Vietnam and Cambodia on their 18 day tour. Beginning in Hanoi in Vietnam this comprehensive tour takes you past the limestone karsts of Halong Bay on a boat tour before losing yourself in the charm of Hoi An, and learning more about this country’s history in Hue.
You get to travel on the back of a motorbike past historical pagodas and rural farms to meet local producers, and see the wonder that is Angkor Wat on a guided tour before ending in Bangkok. The tour includes all hotels, an overnight boat and sleeper train and daily breakfasts as well as some other meals. It’s a great way to see the best of these two countries.
Intrepid Travel Reviews
"I have done two solo trips with Intrepid. They are excellent." - Sheila Cahill
Intrepid Travel are a solo female-friendly company. This well-known tour company has many recommendations and glowing reviews from our solo female community. Here are some more reasons why to travel with them.
“I’ve traveled with intrepid through turkey and Southeast Asia on 3 separate trips. I loved the small groups; they’re a great way to meet people without being overwhelming! Everything was always well organised with great leaders but without feeling too rushed. We always had plenty of free time, so you were never being herded around like a typical tour group. The company also has some great values in terms of the environment, animal welfare, and supporting the communities they travel to. I can’t recommend them enough!” – Rhiannon Hayhurst
“I just did an Intrepid Bali tour and it was great. I’m going to do Thailand in December!” – Laura McCo
“Intrepid!!! I travelled Cambodia and Vietnam with them and they were fab! Most people were mid 20's-30's. I'm 30 and it was a perfect mix.” – Charlie Hogg
“I’ve been on a number of Intrepid trips including Burma which was good with Intrepid.” – Debi Slinger
“I would highly recommend Intrepid for booking a tour if you're worried about travelling solo! I did one last year around SE Asia and there were a lot of other solo travellers on the trip!” – Holli Bennett
“I did Intrepid and it was amazing!” – Rachel Castro
* This article includes affiliate links. These are of no extra charge to you and we donate 10% off all profits from Intrepid Travel to War Child, an organisation helping children affected by war. Thanks for helping. Lisa x
Have you travelled with Intrepid Travel? I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments.
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