After a backpacking tour through Asia in 1990, Bruce Poon Tip founded G Adventures with his own credit cards and a dream to make adventurous, authentic, and sustainable tours possible for travelers. A top adventure travel company today, G Adventures sends more than 100,000 vacationers to over 100 countries every year, while still preserving its original mission. The operator established the Planeterra Foundation in 2003, invests in local businesses, and supports establishments like the New Hope Cambodia Vocational Training Restaurant in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which hosts five thousand G Adventures travelers every year.
Where You’ll Go
G Adventures offers tours to every continent. Bicycle through Karangahake Gorge and canoe the Wanganui River in New Zealand, or stay on a traditional felucca in Egypt. If relaxation is more your style, enjoy a comfort hotel in Delhi after your Land of the Maharajas tour or rest while your Journey to the Antarctic Peninsula cruises across the Antarctic convergence.
- Very cheap – This is one of the main reasons why I travel with G Adventures. The ratio of quality to price is superb! Plus, they have a good selection of promotions and tours for under $1000.
- More destinations – With over 1,200 trips, it is pretty sure that you will find a trip that suits your specific needs and wants.
- More departure dates – Tours depart every day, couple times a week, or couple times a month, depending on its popularity.
- Lifetime deposit – If for any reason you have to cancel your trip, your deposit is safe –for life. What’s even better is that it is transferable to another person, or you can donate it to their eco-friendly foundation – Planeterra Foundation.
- No single supplement – Traveling solo? No problem. There is no additional charge unless you want a room on your own. For me, as a solo traveler, this is a big plus.
- Variable local operator quality control – This is probably what hurts them the most. Many of their itineraries are subcontracted and operated by other local companies –even when their staff and vehicles are branded with the G Adventures logo. Sometimes the quality of some of these companies is not at the level of G Adventures, therefore affecting your trip’s quality.
- Guides are somewhat hit or miss – Following the previous point… Guides can easily make or break your trip. The destination might be excellent, but if the guide is a slacker (has no knowledge, is not around, not enthusiastic, etc), it can affect your entire trip. I just want to point that most G Adventures guides are well-trained guides that are totally fit for the job, but I’ve seen and heard about a couple inexperienced or lazy guides. This is hit or miss depending on your tour.
- Keep an eye on the “optional” – When selecting a tour, check the itinerary and look for optional activities. When you have an optional activity the choice is yours to decide whether you want to do it or not, but doing it comes out of your pocket. If there are many optional activities, try budgeting for them and keep track of how they add to your total tour cost.
Bottom line: Would I recommend a G Adventures?
That depends. How’s that for an MBA answer? 😉 But it really does depend on several things: who you are, where you’re going, your travel style, how much time you have, if you’re traveling with someone, etc.