It's never easy to pick a group tour, especially when they're all saying the same things. Are they actually as great as they're saying they are? Find out what their tours feature, whats their pros and cons are, and how they compare to other tour companies.
Traveling solo is quite difficult when compared to traveling in a group with friends or family. You have to tackle everything from planning the trip to navigating your way to conversing in a foreign language with locals. This is where Pilot comes in handy to aid you in the trip planning process and allow you to focus on making meaningful experiences. However, planning a trip alone all by themselves is not for everyone.
This is why tour companies are a good choice for solo travelers who also have less experience! They can help you optimize your travel experience better. But, as you might know already, there’s an endless list of options when it comes to tour companies. As if choosing from the endless possibilities of tour companies isn’t enough, the entire outcome of your trip depends on the tour company you choose.
Let us help you pick the right tour company for you. We’re here to review a popular adventure travel company, G Adventures.
G Adventures is a tour service that pledges to “Do the Right Thing” by offering travelers valuable experiences and supporting local communities at the same time. It is a company that supports ethical tourism, and we thought it is worth your attention.
If you're looking for more options, we've previously done reviews of similar tour companies like GetYourGuide so you might want to check that out as well!
Is G Adventures a good tour company? Read our review to find out!
What is G Adventures?
G Adventures, formerly known as Gap Adventures, was founded by Bruce Poon Tip in 1990. It is an adventure travel company that carries out guided tours in small groups of up to 16 people. They offer itineraries to destinations around the world, mostly with local tour guides to assist travelers.
Since its inception, G Adventures tour has earned fame as a tour operator that offers unique and off-the-beaten-path experiences for travelers, with a focus on sustainability and responsible travel.
Who uses G Adventures?
G Adventures tour caters to travelers aged 18 and above. Its main client base consists of young to middle-aged travelers, and some tours are restricted to independent travelers between 18-39 years. However, there are packages for older travelers and families as well.
G Adventure tours are mainly focused on adventure travel aspects, but they do provide other types of travel tours. They offer a standard tour service which is neither budget-friendly nor luxurious but somewhere in between. G Adventures is ideal if you need the support of a reliable tour company but with ample flexibility to do your own thing!
What does a G Adventures tour include?
Every trip has a Chief Experience Officer (CEO), otherwise known as a tour guide, to assist the group throughout the trip. They are mostly locals, although some can be expats with good knowledge about the destination.
G Adventures will take care of accommodation, transportation (within the destination), some meals (mostly breakfast), and the costs of entrance tickets for attractions and other major experiences included in the itinerary.
What’s not included in the pricing are visas, airfare (unless you book via them), border crossing fees, meals, additional activities, and tips. So, it's necessary to bring extra cash.
What are the types of tours offered by G Adventures?
G Adventures offers a long list of tours based on different travel styles, experiences, and age categories.
- Classic Tours: A mix of different experiences that include major attractions and activities, cultural sites, uncommon and local experiences.
- National Geographic Journeys: A high-end tour with close-up experiences of the best attractions and activities of the destination.
- 18- Thirtysomethings Tours: Fun, fast-paced, and adventurous tours ideal for the young. Expect a lot of partying and drinking.
- Wellness Tours: Tours focusing on yoga, meditation, nourishing food, and other experiencing focusing on self-improvement. Ideal if you are looking for a retreat.
- Active Tours: Action-packed activities like hiking, kayaking, biking, and other experiences that are ideal for adventure seekers.
- Rail Tours: Tours along famous rail routes in the world, experiencing different cities along the way.
- Marine Tours: Cruise tours exploring marine life and other attractions that are only accessible by boats or ships. Eg: G Adventures Arctic cruises.
- Local Living Tours: Tours that give you a good dose of local life in each destination.
- Family Tours: Tailor-made tours to cater to all family members with kid-friendly activities.
What's Great About G Adventures.
In a G Adventures tour, every major aspect of a trip is planned for you, ensuring you have a hassle-free experience. This way, you can focus on enjoying the trip without worrying about logistics, accommodation, etc. You also don’t have to worry about tackling a new language as your tour guide will help you.
- Better travel experience
Many guided-tour companies carry out tours in large, crowded groups, and it’s not a very comfortable experience. Most of the time, it feels like you are taken from place to place with less time to enjoy them. G Adventures tours allow for more interaction. They hire knowledgeable local tour guides to give you informative details! Their tours also focus on authentic and off-the-beaten-path activities, helping you derive more localized experiences.
Many G Adventures reviews praised the service for its reasonable pricing. There are tours available in varying budget ranges, offering a choice for everyone. Traveling with a tour company shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg, and G Adventures is a good example of it.
G Adventure’s “Ripple Score” shows the impact of your spending on local communities. This way, you know how your travel supports the livelihood of people and businesses that need support. If you feel like making an impact while you’re traveling, this is the perfect opportunity to do so!
If you are a solo female traveler, there would be a bunch of concerns, regardless of how safe a destination is. G Adventures is renowned as one of the best tour companies for female travelers. They pair you with a female traveler when sharing accommodation and will update you on tips to stay safe when touring around.
What's Not Great About G Adventures.
- Tour guides
Your tour guide can significantly elevate or hamper your experience. While most of them tend to be very knowledgeable and eager to help, there are instances where travelers have got stuck with unreliable guides who are just there for the money.
- The cancellation policy
Although G Adventures claims to have a flexible refund policy, it seems to be otherwise. Many customers had to go through a frustrating process and lousy customer service to cancel their trips and claim a refund. Some had to wait over a year.
Also, G Adventures had canceled many trips over the last year due to the pandemic and has refused to provide refunds, inconveniencing many customers. Keep reading to find out what other people have been saying about their experiences.
- Poor choice of accommodation (rarely)
There had been instances when travelers had to stay in subpar hotels throughout their tour. The complaints included lack of amenities, insect bites, and poor customer service. We think it’s important to provide comfortable accommodation so travelers can get a good rest before their next trip.
Although not really a con, we like to warn you about how extras can easily pile up your expenses. When traveling in a group, you are somewhat compelled to go with the rest – be it dinner at an expensive restaurant or a river cruise (who wants to be a party pooper?). You might overspend if you are not cautious enough, especially if you are on a tight budget.
G Adventures vs. Contiki tours - What’s the difference?
A popular question amongst travelers looking for tour companies to choose from is the difference between the G Adventures tour and the Contiki tour. Which tour company offers the better touring experience, and why?
G Adventures and Contiki are both adventure-based tours that cater to young adults. They’re both small to medium-sized tours that offer authentic and local experiences. If you’re a solo traveler, both tours will likely pair you up with one or more travelers of the same gender in shared accommodation.
In general, if you’re interested in socializing, making new friends, and partying, Contiki might be a better choice. If you’re interested in a slower-paced tour with more free time, then G Adventures might be the better choice for you.
As always, it’s a good idea to check the individual tours that you’re interested in to see what kinds of activities or people it would attract. If you’re not interested in strenuous activities, Contiki might be a better choice but there are always different tour options in G Adventures as well.
Contiki might be slightly cheaper and budget-friendly than G Adventures but keep in mind that different itineraries may vary in cost and you might also spend more during your trip on optional activities.
What’s up with the G adventures reviews?
As with every tour company, your experiences will vary from the people and guides that you’re traveling with. However, there seem to be a few G Adventures complaints that talk about the same points. We’ll summarize some G Adventures reviews here for you so that you can make a more informed decision on picking the right tour company for you.
One of the big complaints that many users experienced is the level of knowledge the “CEOs” have during their trip. Some “CEOs” will provide an excellent guide that goes above and beyond what you’d expect on a group tour, while others might not. With group tours, it’s very difficult to know who you’re going to get, but the majority of the reviews on the quality of their guides are quite positive.
Some G adventure reviews have mentioned that their dietary restrictions were not honored during the trip. This might be due to the lack of communication between the service and their caterers. If you have dietary restrictions, make sure to check up ahead of the trip to make sure that everything’s good!
Another complaint that travelers had with G Adventures was with the amenities that come with the accommodations. Some of the travelers found that there was no air conditioning, bedding, hot water, etc during their stay despite the trip description saying that they’re provided. A good rule of thumb is to always check up with the trip operator ahead of time to reconfirm and make sure all the amenities are there!
Is G Adventures worth it?
With over 30 years of experience, we think G Adventures is a great tour company that knows what’s good for its clientele. It takes the hassle of organizing everything by yourself and is a safer way to travel. There are downsides, of course, as with every other tour company. They also don’t offer tours for every country in the world, so make sure you check that. The choice also depends on your personal preference, and you can reach out to their support team and clarify your doubts.
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Adventure-based travel
- Local, real, and sustainable experiences
- Affordable tours
- Many positive experiences by past travelers
- Lacking amenities (sometimes)
- Varying customer service
- Frustrating cancellation policy
- Poor accommodation (sometimes)
Want to travel solo? You’ll need a plan.
If you’re still indecisive about joining a group tour, why not try traveling solo? While it is daunting to go traveling alone, the experiences and friendships you’ll gain on the trip is second to none.
Whether you’re going on a trip solo or with friends and family, you’ll need a good plan. Let Pilot take care of that for you!
Pilot is a social travel planner that makes planning group trips simple, convenient, and effective. You can have all your discussions right on the platform and decide on accommodation, transportation, attractions, and more. Did I mention that it’s completely free? Try it out now!