Trafalgar compared to Insight

Mar 27th, 2002, 05:47 AM
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Trafalgar compared to Insight

Have any of you used either or both of these packaged tour companies, and have opinions about them - especially comparisons? My wife and I usually like to use a guided tour for part of our European visit, and then do a week or two on our own - we find we like some thinks about the guided-tour approach and some things about being on our own. Anyway, we are thinking of Trafalgar and Insight as being in the right price range and are wondering how they stack up. Thanks for any suggestions you have.
Mar 27th, 2002, 05:49 AM
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My parents took Trafalger and couldn't say enough nice things about it.
Mar 27th, 2002, 06:07 AM
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I took Trafalgar's London/Paris/Rome tour in 1994, as my introduction to Europe. It was great, in that it taught me that I can do this myself, and have ever since. You are given plenty of free time in each city to explore.
The things I didn't care for:
1. For London/Paris we had a tour guide the group dubbed "the guide from hell." Her name was Sandy and she had a terrible attitude. We skipped tours with the group and saw London on our own.
2. The London/Paris trip was via bus/ferry (and still is, I understand). This meant getting on the bus around 6:00 a.m. and not getting into Paris until around 5:00 p.m. Wasting an entire day on a bus was no fun and can be done so much faster now, since most other tours offer the chunnel.
3. They will spend bus time selling you on extra tours at VERY high prices. You pay by credit card on the bus. They didn't warn us ahead of time, however, that Rome tours had to be paid for in cash, since there wouldn't be time to verify credit card info as that was the last stop.

We booked the mid-priced hotel package and were very glad we did. Those in the lowest price were very unhappy with the location, breakfasts and condition of the hotels they were placed in. We were in excellent hotels and, in Paris, right next to the one the highest-priced group was in. We booked mid-priced to allow us to have a private couchette for the overnight train to Rome and were pleased that the hotels were also great.
Mar 27th, 2002, 09:13 AM
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We've taken Trafalgar Tours twice before. The first time we took a more independent tour of Italy and the second time took an escorted tour thru France. This summer we are again touring with them thru the alpine countries and Italy. With the exception of one hotel in Provence, we have always been pleased with their services and can't say enough about how nice, organized and very informative the guides are. The tour groups on our two previous trips included many couples and singles from Australia as well as couples from Canada, Phillipines, California etc. We had several young people on the Italy tour and an over 40 age group predominantly for France. We travel several times a year and we feel that we get a lot for the money. With Trafalgar, many optionals are offered; therefore, for some people that would be ideal as they may choose to have some free time. Some tour companies include extra activities/sights and the charges are built in. Insight is operated by Trafalgar and we are not familiar with them.
Mar 27th, 2002, 09:58 AM
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Recently returned from an Insight tour.Well planned, but not much time in important cities.Biggest prblm was little leg room on bus.Expect to get up early morning.Try to find out available optionals prior to trip as you have to make a quick decision when you're there.
Get on their discussion websites and ask your questions there.
Mar 28th, 2002, 06:08 AM
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Thank you for your thoughts on my questions. I have concluded from your input, and other sources, that Trafalgar and Insight Vacations are fairly similar, but that Insight might be a better choice in that they tend to have hotels that are more centrally located (like in the old town or city center area)and include more of the sites in the package (i.e. less pressure to buy optional excursions). Also, Insight has what they call "country roads" and "extended leisure" type tours where you get a bit more off the beaten path and stay a couple nights at many of the stops so that you don't feel quite as rushed. So, for now I would say that Insight fits our style better (but we will still want to combine some independent travel with our trip).
Thanks again, Jim
May 23rd, 2002, 02:46 PM
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May 23rd, 2002, 03:35 PM
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Hi Jim, have taken both, enjoyed both, but believe that Insight is a cut above. Would absolutely go with them again. I love tours. There are a few inconveniences but at least you know what you are getting. I usually take options and have never been disappointed. These tour directors know the territory and each other and are able to arrange the most convenient time to visit popular sites - very little waiting. From my experience the tour directors have all been experienced, well informed, and helpful.
Enjoy your trip! Helen

Jun 1st, 2002, 12:48 PM
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I have looked into the Trafalgar and Insight tours myself, one thing I am not clear on is how much time is actually spent on the bus (daily and overall).
We are considering the tour thru London - germany - switzerland - italy - france.
Thanks for your comments.
Jun 1st, 2002, 12:59 PM
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For those who want to be escorted on a tour, who want to spend significant time on a bus going from one spot to the next, and who want to be scheduled for activities and visits rather than planning their own independent trip, either of these tour companies (and probably at least a couple dozen others) would be quite acceptable. There are so many tour companies operating these days that it's difficult to know what's best. And although you are very wise to ask about personal experiences of others, you should remember that in the end, the tour is greatly dependent on the quality of the guide. Unfortunately, that's the only thing you can't control. You can opt in or out of extra excursions, you can decide to have an upscale tour with top hotels or a more down-home tour with smaller B&B's, and you can select a tour that has more or less bus and/or boat travel; but you can't control the selection of the guide. For that reason, and because I don't like to have my time scheduled for me, even when there's some free time outside the schedule, I don't take tours any more.
Jun 3rd, 2002, 08:49 AM
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I have only been on Trafalgar, and can give you my opinion which will hopefully help you with your choice. I went on a short Trafalgar Tour of England and Scotland and have many complaints. First of on a city tour all they did was dump us off and tell you to get around and back to where ever your hotel is without assistance, and for a first time traveler to a new country and city this was not appreciated. Secondly I signed up for the tour so I could specifically see items on the itenerary, and the tour guide passed these items up saying she did not want to see them because she was hungry and we would instead stop at a food market/tourist shop and be told we would not stop again so we would have to eat, with the tour agent getting a kick back on all food and items bought. Thirdly, the people on the tour kept getting angry, and there was open hostility between the tourists and the Trafalgar reps. The hours on the bus were long also, a train is much faster. Basically, after such a disasterous tour I will never do one again, you loose your freedom and can do much better and tailored to your interest on your own with a little bit of research.
Jul 14th, 2013, 12:27 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 39
considering trafalgar and insight. confused. we are going to see all of italy north and south and sicily, and insight seems to go to more places and little longer stay. Has anyone gone with either one of these tour companies and if so which one would be best for us. This will be our one and only time to visit italy. Please give us any input on your trip with them.
alarmist22 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2013, 01:21 PM
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Wow you must have looked long and hard to find this thread that's 12 years old....shows old threads never die.

Insight and Trafalgar are sister companies. Same ownership. One would call Trafalgar first class and Insight deluxe class (although many here will not be as kind in their evaluations).

They are tour companies and follow the same basic ideas. Hotels are better at Insight, more likely to e downtown in the middle of the various burghs although often an insighttour and Trafalgar tour stay at the same hotel. More is included on an Insight tour although you pay for optionals on the Trafalgar tour to see those very same sites. Includd meals are better on Insight and tours cap at 40 on Insight while they cap at 48 on Trafalgar.

But you'd have been better off starting a new thread. I haven't gone through this entire thread but I'm quite sure much of the information is dated.
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2013, 06:43 PM
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Have done both Trafalgar and Insight and they are pretty comparable. Look at the exact itinerary for each and compare them - they will do only what is stated in the itinerary, nothing more, unless they do it as an Optional Tour. Also, look at the hotels in each city. Google them and find out on a map where they are located. Compare all these things along with the price.
tom18 is offline  
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