Tours companies for tours of USA

Jun 20th, 2007, 01:03 PM
Original Poster
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Tours companies for tours of USA

My wife and I are thinking of doing a tour next year of the western United States. A friend of ours has taken a few tours with Trafalgar and has enjoyed them. I noticed in doing some research that there are other tour companies that do tours of the western US: Collette, Globus, & Tauck to name a few. My question is has anyone ever taken a tour with the above companies and recommends or not recommends them? Also, do the tour groups of each of the above companies have a varied age group or is it mostly the same age. My wife and I are in late 30's-early 40's and are looking for a group that is mixed in terms of age. Also, we are looking for a group that offers leisure time in each of the stops on the tour.
spb825 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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Are you Americans?
wliwl is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 03:57 PM
Original Poster
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Yes my wife and I are both Americans.
spb825 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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Friends of my parents have done several Tauck tours - a couple in europe and one here in the west. they are defiinitely upscale (you get what you pay for) and all of their tours were primarily seniors - 70+.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 09:22 PM
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If you are able to drive, it's not too hard to fly to one of the western cities and do a road trip. What are you interested in seeing?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 07:33 AM
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I would group them as thus:
1.) Tauck
2.) Collette
3.) Trafalgar, Globus
in terms of $$$

Trafalgar and Globus has budget versions of their bus tours.

I went on a Cosmos bus tour of the Canadian Rockies. Like with other bus tours I had taken in Europe, this one was not exactly "leisurely".

There are pluses and minuses with bus tours.

nyc10036 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 08:18 AM
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Check out Caravan Tours, they might have something you like.
MarthaT is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 11:24 AM
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Check out Grand Circle tours They have several US tours along with their other tours.
We have done 4 with them and are very pleased with GC. Nice hotels, good bus drivers, great guides...and yes, most of the people are over 50..and UP, but we have had younger ones on the tour too.

We just figure most of the 'non retired' people don't get 2 to 3 week vacations to spend traveling, like we do. Welcome aboard.
mamajo is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 12:17 PM
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oooooh, GCT looks great

My parents were looking for tours where you aren't packing/unpacking every day and where you stayed several nights at each location.
nyc10036 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 03:29 PM
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NYC10036...that's what we have liked about Grand Circle, we usually stay 2 or 3 nights every where they stop. We have done their Northern Mexico/Copper Canyon; Nova Scotia & the Maritimes;Discover South America and last year the Canadian Rockies...great trips all. Our next trip (if hubby stays well) will be their Great Rivers of Europe where we cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna on the same boat. If you want more info, email me @ jagrob1 @
mamajo is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Thank you for that information.
I will pass it along to my parents.

nyc10036 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 12:50 PM
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Mt sister has taken Grand Circle Tours of Eastern Europe, Peru, and this summer is going with them to Egypt. She LOVES their service.
schmerl is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 04:12 PM
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i have gone on several u.s. tours with tauck and have always found them to be first rate. good tour guides, accomodations etc. they are an upscale company but as the old saying goes you get what you pay for. have also gone on one tour with collette. the tour itself was fine but the tour director spent the entire trip blantantly telling the group how much he should be tipped. needless to say this was a turnoff and ruined an otherwise good trip. i would choose tauck anytime.
firebird3954 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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I have taken several Tauck tours in Europe and one in Canada. I would say the average age is closer to the mid 60s than the 70s. There have been a few couples in their 40s, but not many.

The main reason we take Tauck tours, vs. less expensive ones, is that Tauck uses hotels that are centrally-located and/or offer a special experience (a chateau with turrets, a former Franciscan monastery, etc.).

For national park tours, Tauck usually uses the lodges in the parks, which would be hard to book on your own unless done way in advance.

I once took a tour (Globus,I think) where our "hotel in Paris" was a several-mile subway ride from any interesting part of Paris and our "visit to Venice" meant staying in a separate town altogther.

More meals have traditionally been included in Tauck tours than in tours offered by most of its competitors, which also accounts for the higher price. However, Tauck usually provides one free night in each major city so you can pick a restaurant that matches your particular taste and gives you some time on your own. We like that.
And the food on Tauck tours is very good.

Also, with other tours, some excursions are optional, while with Tauck, 99% are included (rarely there is an optional helicopter or plane excursion). There is usually free time in the major cities, but not in every stop.

Another advantage of guided tours in general is that tickets for the museums, etc., are already purchased, so you know you'll get in and won't even have to wait in line. We have had friends who traveled on their own and couldn't get in to museums they wanted to visit because they hadn't known to purchase advance tickets.

And finally, with a tour, neither of you has to spend hours driving, and you can both enjoy the scenery. With Tauck, couples are rotated into different seats each day, so no one is stuck in the back of the bus for the whole trip.

Pick out a tour in which you are interested, than look at several company's itineraries, being sure to compare how the hotels rate on Fodor's and other web sites.
mscarls is offline  

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