Opinions needed on adventure tour group to Egypt

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Feb 15th, 2005, 07:59 AM
  #1
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Opinions needed on adventure tour group to Egypt

I'm considering traveling with a company called Imaginative Traveler to Egypt later this year. Below is a link to their itinerary for 2 weeks - comments, critiques needed.

http://www.imaginative-traveller.com...y=50&code=ETJW

Also, does the land only price quote of $925 sound like a good deal? Budget-wise, I wouldn't want to spend more than that for land only. Also, if anyone has suggestions for any other tour companies of comparable size and value?
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Feb 15th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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I've heard very good things about the company, and it sounds like a tremendous deal. Your trip will probably almost double in cost after you add in the airfare, though. I've been looking at Overseas Adventure Tours, an arm of Grand Circle Travel, and they offer 2 interesting 15-day trips that include airfare for about the same price (perhaps with a bit more comfort in accommodations), though their cheaper trip has you on a Nile cruise ship for about half the trip. You might also want to search my name; we have another thread started to cover the cost of an Egypt trip this fall.
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Feb 15th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Hi Doug, thanks for the prompt response! I was also looking at OAT and liked what they offered. My only concern was the average age of travelers - my husband and I are in our early 30's, and it seemed that we'd be the youngest of the group. Ideally we'd like to travel with at least a few people who were similar in age. However I'm not ruling out OAT..
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Feb 15th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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The age issue in an OAT group is one that's giving us some concern as well, though the ages of people in my group are spread out more. Still, my experiences in traveling with groups that are older have always been positive, and I think OAT groups will be fairly active people. Undoubtedly, the Imaginative Traveller group would definitely be younger, but I found more to like in the OAT itinerary. I was also looking at Travco, an Egyptian company that is really cheap, or we are still looking into the possibility of doing a private trip with a company like Egypt Magic.
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Feb 15th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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My husband and I have booked our Egypt trip with OAT. This will be my 3rd trip using them and their trips are wonderful. During our China trip--our daughter was the youngest at 21. But there also were 2 sisters in their 30's. The rest of us ranged from 40's to 70's. For our S. America trip there were 3 teens, their parents and grandfather, a recent college grad with her father, a couple in their late 50's and a couple in their mid-60's. Many of the people on the tour have done several OAT trips and are very experienced world travelers.
I can't say that I've been impressed with their customer service. You must be a very pro-active consumer. I've gotten to feel like a nag.
They also have trip options that are not on-line or in all the catalogs. Our trip has a Jordan pre-trip and a 3 night Nile Cruise. After you travel with them you recieve credit toward your next trip and the earlier you book the less expensive the trip is.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 03:23 AM
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Do we have an unstated tie-in here?

a "Fodor's Editor" obviously carries a lot of weight. Goes without saying that he/she knows what they are talking about. But only one alternative offered?

There are others.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 04:53 AM
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Well, I'm not endorsing OAT if that's what Alice13 is getting at, and having my integrity questioned kind of peeves me, so perhaps I should just bow out at this point. To be perfectly honest, except for asking some friends and doing my own research, I don't know any more about travel to Egypt than Mcat and am just planning my own vacation, like the rest of the Fodorites out there.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 06:50 AM
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Mcat--
Check the post "need help in calculating costs" by Roxby2613. There is a variety of information provided there which you might find helpful.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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Alice - Doug did mention some other companies he was researching, and said that Imaginative Traveler is also a very good tour company. I didn't see his positive comments about OAT as a personal endorsement, and I appreciate any feedback that anyone, Fodor's editor or not, has to offer.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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We have traveled with Imaginative Traveller (not Egypt but Japan) and we really liked their style of traveling. Like we would do on our own, which we have done throughout Europe, but with the language barrier in Japan. We stayed at small local places that would have been hard to arrange on our own, ate at small local restaurants, sometimes just the 2 of us, sometimes with our group. Logistics from place to place were public transportation but were well organized and included train, bus, taxi, bike. And our group was great. 8 people plus guide, 3 U.S., 3 Brits, 2 Canadians and a Swiss, very well travelled people who had used the company many times before, wide age range (about 28 to 70 but no one could keep up with that 70 year old!) I would highly recommend them.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 12:59 PM
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Mcat: We went on an OAT trip this Christmas to Thailand. It was the best guided tour we ever had despite the Tsunami down south. We experienced everything you could imagine from our Guide to all of our activities. We plan on the Egype trip with OAT next Christmas on the River Cruise and Cairo. We went last year 2003 on OAT to Peru and the Galapagos and was very satifified with all the accommodations. We have also been on 2 GCT River Cruises. Best buy for the Buck on all theser trips. Good luck
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Feb 17th, 2005, 04:32 AM
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We used IT for our first trip to Egypt many years ago. They did a very good job of moderate-level travel. Nothing spectacular, but guides and service was good. And, of course, the sights were as always.

The only problem was the Nile cruise boat they used at that time, The Doma. What a dump. I sure hope they have replaced it with something better.

On the last night we tied up to the riverbank within sight of Luxor ... my wife and I jumped ship, had the crew take our bags overland a bit to a road, had the Captain flag down a service taxi, and we spent the night at the groups next-night hotel in Luxor. THe following morning, after a great night's sleep and a good breakfast we were jauntily going out the front door to wander the city just as the group dragged themselves in. Over half said they wished they had abandoned ship with us!
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Feb 22nd, 2005, 05:16 AM
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We made a deposit for the OAT trip to Egypt in late September. I finally concluded that it offered (for me, at least) the best itinerary and value. I'm interested to hear from other travelers who have gone on this trip as well. Mcat, if you end up going on the Imaginative Traveler trip, please post on how things go with the planning and such (not to mention the trip). Thanks to everyone for the advice.
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Feb 22nd, 2005, 04:13 PM
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Don't bother booking with Grand Circle. They cancelled a planned trip and haven't refunded our $3000 for this trip after 1 month.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 09:58 AM
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My husband and I booked with OAT for a Jordan pre-tour extension and a trip to Egypt, in November 2005. I asked them 10,000 questions on the phone and they were helpful and patient. We are looking forward to the trip and from the packet of info they sent, I am completely impressed thusfar with the company. I have traveled with Tauck, Trafalgar, American Express and on my own. Have a trip to Italy in 5 weeks with Goahead so will report on that once it is done, but OAT seems like a great company from all indications. Thanks everyone for weighing in.
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Mar 29th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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If you are concerned about ages, run "adventure tourism" and "egypt" or "eco tourism" and "egypt." These types of agencies tend to get people who are younger.

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Mar 30th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Wanderlust, we have also booked with OAT in November, Egypt with a pre-Jordan tour. Could we be on the same tour? We leave from New York November 20 and return December 9. I'm so excited, as Egypt has always been my dream trip. I had put it off because of security concerns and finally decided to heck with it! I just booked last Wednesday and haven't received my booklet yet, but I'm already shopping and making travel plans.
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Mar 30th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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Drat, Bobbysue...we are leaving on the Jordan 6 pretour and the Nov 11 Egypt trip. We'll miss each other! That stinks! It would have been great to meet you. I am 47 and my husband is 39 (I robbed the cradle) and we love adventurous trips. It would have been fun.
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Mar 30th, 2005, 05:05 PM
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You are right--it would have been nice. Oh, well, I'm sure we'll both have a great time.
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