Question on Intrepid Travel

Mar 8th, 2007, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Question on Intrepid Travel

I'm just back from a winter vacation and need something to distract me from my boring job!

There are a lot of places I want to travel, but I'm starting to think of taking a trip to Asia next year, possibly Vietnam and Cambodia. We're quite experienced travellers, but apart from stopping off in Hong Kong on the way back from Australia, we've never been to Asia. I'm a little nervous about it, for some reason. I'm wondering about taking a tour rather than going on our own. We're usually more 'budget' travellers and I'm wondering about something like Intrepid Travel. They seem to offer a fair amount of free time, small groups, etc., but I'm wondering about the age group they target. I'm 55 and my husband is 59. I don't want to go with a group of senior citizens, but nor do I want to feel that we're the senior citizens in the group!
SusanInToronto is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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Hi Susan, i haven't travelled with Intrepid, although have considered them...however i have travelled with other small grp. tour companies such as Imaginative Traveller and G.A.P...

In most cases there is a wide range of ages...could be from 20's ...right til 70's or 80 year olds...

My husband and i are in our 40's, mid to late...We have never felt old or young as when we seems like we are all the same age!!

I have never been on one of these tours with only senior citizens..Don't worry.

You may want to take a tour to get comfy with Asia, and then do it on your own..

I have had only good experiences and met some great people on our tours that i still keep in contact with from all over the world.

The one nice thing about these tours, is alot of them there is only up to 12 people and sometimes less..

Anyhow...that is my opinion..Sometimes we take tours and sometimes we don't..I just find it fun to tour around with people other than my husband (he is boring lol)...On the other hand, sometimes would rather travel independently!!
TracyB is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Thanks Tracy. We've never 'done' tours, other than the odd day tour, and I've always enjoyed planning our trips on my own. (My husband leaves the planning up to me.) But I have to admit that I am intimidated with the idea of travelling in Asia!
SusanInToronto is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Hi Susan,
Have you thought about getting a tour company to put together an itinerary just for you and your husband? We do this, you can get picked up and dropped off at all airports, they book internal flights for you, book your hotels, and set you up with car, driver and guide for each day. It really makes travel easy - you can still "plan" - tell them where you want to go, when, for how long, and what hotels you want to stay. Price is still good, Asia is a good value. We used Asianventure Travel, and we were very satisfied. I got the recommendation off of this board (of course.)
Cookiepuss is offline  
Mar 8th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Hi Susan - I've done four Asian tours with Intrepid, plus time on my own. See for links to info on Intrepid. I was a little younger than you when I took the first tour with them, and the age range was late twenties to eighties. Asia is very do-able on your own, but taking a tour the first time can make sense - maybe do Cambodia with a tour and then Vietnam on your own, unless you only want to visit Siam Reap and Phnom Penh.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 05:30 AM
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Thanks for all the replies!
SusanInToronto is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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Susan, I nearly always travel and arrange trips on my own, OR with operators IN the area I want to visit. It makes travel much less expensive, as it takes out the middle man costs. Asia is actually one of the easier areas to arrange your own trips to.

Ive arranged Iran over the Internet, for instance, and it was a private trip for the two of us. Our trip leaving March 24 to Camodia and Thailand, with a few quick aunts to Borneo and Sumatra, again, planned over the internet by doing research. Of course, Ill have post trip info mid April, so you'll read the highs and lows of things in a month or so.

Still, of the 1/2 dozen trips overseas Ive made, to Asia and Europe, all private or semiprivate, overall, the experience has been positive and rewarding..with the occasional worry...of course.

lastly, I am only a moderately travelled person, especially when compared to others right on this board...Kathy, Rhkkmk? , etc...but I manage to travel on a small to moderate budget.
zengeos is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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Hi Susan. I haven't traveled with Intrepid but have a friend who has used them a lot(with and without partner. In terms of fellow travellers she has had mixed experiences, some very good groups and some very bad - but you have no way of guaging this pre departure. A good leader will make a huge difference in managing the groups interactions etc.
If you are concerned, a private tour for teh 2 of you will only cost a little more thatn a group tour (Intrepid themselves will organise a private tour). We usually go independently but have have done a couple of private lour where, beacause of time constraints or remote loctations, it was more practical. You have the benfit of a local guide (rather than one from your home country) which is better for the country you are visting and usually provides you with a much better insight into the local culture etc.
crellston is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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As I said, lots to consider. I'm all over the map in terms of where I want to go - I guess my first decision will be to figure out where we want to go! Thanks for all the replies.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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Hi Susan,
We did the exact trip you're asking about with Intrepid last year, Dec, 05, for 9 days from Cambodia to Vietnam. We are in our late 50's and our friends are in their 60's.
The group was all ages, the youngest being in their early 30's and the oldest in her late 60's, I think, from all over the globe.
My husband and I are not tour travelers, so this was a first for us. Our friends had used Intrepid in India, which is how we chose this group.
If you're doing a tour, I highly recommend Intrepid. They take you to places you might not find or see otherwise. Examples: the landmine museum, which was out in the country and worth the trip, not just to see, but to be able to donate to their cause and buy wonderful handmade souvenirs; restaurants which support the children of Vietnam, one for an orphanage, which we visited the next day (not a sad situation--the kids were amazingly happy and warm) and the other a place that takes kids off the streets and teaches them how to operate a restaurant. The have teachers who oversee every job the kids do. The food at this last place was the best we had anywhere!
We experienced the long bus rides, but also a boat into Vietnam on the Mekong Delta. We had plenty of free time and were able to escape the group for most meals in the evening and often in the afternoons as well.
I think they have 2 or 3 quality-type packages, and we took to middle one. The hotels were basic, clean, and well-located. Another thing about hotels--they prefer to book in locally-owned hotels and not large, foreign-owned chains filled with tourists.
I hope that helps answer your questions.
patt711 is offline  
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