G Adventures vs Gate 1 Travel - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
5 | Excellent
Gate 1 Travel
4 | Great
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
Overall — 4
Value — 3.8
Guide — 3.8
Activities — 3.8
Lodging — 3.8
Transportation — 3.8
Meals — 3.8
Excellent0.0 August 2019
Have now had two excellent and affordable (one downright cheap) trips to Europe. Good basic hotels in safe and central locations, timely and reliable customer service. Would definitely recommend and use again. Was particularly pleased that on the trip alone, the single supplement wasn’t an exorbitant upgrade.Read more
Tour Gate 1 Travel Company Reviews
Cancellation Create a Mess0.0 August 2019
Does Not Recommend
If you cancel the tickets, it would be messy. You won't get a refund on time. You just have to chase the customer service for weeks and weeks.
Tour Gate 1 Travel Company Reviews
I really enjoyed0.0 July 2019
I really enjoyed our 12 Day Kaleidoscope of Scotland Tour. Special thanks to tour manager Paul and driver Malcolm for knowing those special locations and local events that added extra touches to our experience.Read more
Tour Gate 1 Travel Company Reviews
|Tours||648 Trips||779 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 68||$ 296|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Toronto, Canada||Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||N/A|
Specializing in small-group, multi-day adventure tours and expeditions, Toronto-based G Adventures has been a pioneer in the field since 1990.
Founded by entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip after a backpacking trip to Asia, the company fosters sustainable and environmentally sound tourism practices -- giving back to the communities they visit -- and considers its business “changing people’s lives,” not just offering a vacation.
It’s since grown to become the world’s largest independent adventure travel company, with more than 2,000+ employees, many of them professionally trained guides.
What Makes G Adventures Stand Out?
- Small group size
- Well-balanced, all encompassing, and adventurous trips
- Strong engagement with local cultures
- Emphasis on being a responsible traveler and giving back to the community
- Trips that are made to be life-changing
G Adventures strives to create unique experiences for its travelers that start even before the trip itself. The company provides trip inspiration through their Looptail blog and you can connect with fellow travelers via the ‘Departure Lounge’, which is part of G’s ‘Watering Hole’ travel forum.
Once on your trip, you will meet your ‘CEO’ or ‘Chief Experience Officer’ who is “responsible for enriching your journey, offering local insight, and pursuing great experiences as they happen.” Most groups average around 12 travelers, with a maximum of 16 on most trips.
G Adventures has made a concerted effort to expand their offering beyond youth focused adventures, though this remains a core theme. Your Europe River Cruise will be imbued with the same culturally immersive and adventurous touch as your trekking trip through the Himalayas.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With G Adventures?
- Adventurous-minded and culturally curious people
- Moderately active people
- Ages 18-39 (but all ages are welcome)
- Solo travelers (no single supplement charge!)
- Those who favor authentic experiences over luxury
If you are the kind of traveler who packs running shoes before dress shoes, hiking attire before dinner attire, and a sense of adventure before playing it safe, then G Adventures is the perfect fit for you. You love engaging with locals, meeting new people, and being spontaneous.
Most G Adventures tours have an active focus - expect to be on the move, packing a lot in. That said they do allot generous free time to explore on your own. There’s a chance you may not see every major tourist attraction in the interest of a more “real” experience. But the nice thing is if a particular site is not on the itinerary, you can use your free time to visit.
If you are interested in a tour that plans every part of the itinerary down to the minute, G Adventures will probably not be the best fit for you.
Groups are geographically diverse, with a higher proportion of North Americans than some other operators.
You can find G Adventures trips to most parts of the globe, including 32 countries in Europe, 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 21 countries in Asia, 10 countries in South America, 12 countries in Central America and the Caribbean, five countries in North Africa and the Mideast, plus the U.S., and Canada.
A number of destinations are well off the beaten track, from Sao Tome and Principe in West Africa to Borneo in east Asia to the Maldives in the Indian Ocean and both polar regions.
Itineraries often focus on more off the beaten path locations; small towns, remote and rural villages, less touristy districts and sites.
G Adventures Travel Style
Pricing is competitive (cheaper), largely by using “grassroots” approaches: local transport and a mix of privately-owned accommodations, perhaps including homestays and camping. Efforts are made to focus on authenticity with both culinary choices (locally-owned restaurants) as well as transportation methods.
G Adventures truly offers something for everyone. Trip styles include Classic, Active, Rail, YOLO (You Only Live Once - for 18-39’s), National Geographic Journeys, Marine, Family, Local Living, and Private Groups.
Classic - Classic trips with G Adventures are designed for independent minded travelers who don’t want to miss anything. This is the perfect choice if you want a balanced mix of classic tourist sights and local cultural experiences.
Active - Throwing it back to one of the things G Adventures does best. Kayak, walk, hike, trek; experience your destination through the outdoors. These multi-sport trips are great if you hate standing still and enjoy being out in nature. G Adventures Active tours are ideal for those who are relatively physically fit and like a challenge.
Rail - A rail journey is a great way to dial it back. Take it slow and really savor the feeling of the journey. Take iconic routes and enjoy the ride.
YOLO - “You only live once” is the acronym, and while G Adventures provides adventurous experiences for all, these trips are specifically designed for 18-39 year olds. Get cheeky, get wild, experience life unfettered, as you explore the culture and the local nightlife. If you have the stamina, these trips are once in a lifetime. Kind of like the age range.
National Geographic Journeys - A more premium travel experience, these G Adventures trips, as part of a partnership with National Geographic Expeditions, involve the same culturally immersive approach and knowledgeable guides with an elevated level of accommodations and service.
Marine - Love to be out on the water? Let G Adventures cruises take you to the far reaches of the globe via river and ocean. Experience incredible sights above and below the surface. Unpack once and enjoy the escape of being a part of the crew and passengers.
Family - Adventure tours aren’t always especially friendly to younger travelers. G Adventures Family Friendly tours make adventure activities accessible for you and your youngsters! Trips often have an educational element, and are designed with multiple ages in mind.
Local Living - Get to the heart of it with a homestay. These tours are designed to make you really feel at home and appreciate the feel and rhythm of living like a local.
Private Groups - If you and your family, or a group of friends want the fun all to yourself, G Adventures can plan a private group trip just for you.
Note: part of the culturally immersive experience when traveling with G Adventures is the use of public transportation. This means carrying your own luggage on buses, trains, etc - sometimes during commute hours! So pack light for your own comfort and the comfort of those around you.
Why Choose a Tour With G Adventures?
For those travelers seeking an exciting, professionally guided, and culturally immersive travel experience G Adventures is the perfect tour company to consider. Their trips are designed to be as authentic as possible - and they place much emphasis on responsible travel and giving back to local communities - so you’ll know your tourism dollars are going toward meaningful causes.
Trips with G Adventures are not luxury by any means. But if unique experiences and active days appeal to you over a fluffy pillow then you’re in the right place.
Departures are guaranteed once you’ve paid (barring significant weather or safety issues). And they don’t charge single supplements. In short, G Adventures wants you out there with them.
You can find something for everyone at G Adventures; whether that’s sailing down the Danube with a glass of wine in hand, or traipsing through the rainforests of Costa Rica.
Covid-19 Update and New Policies
In response to Covid-19, G Adventures has crafted a new style of trips called their "Travel With Confidence" collection, designed around social distancing protocols and other safety considerations. These trips utilize private transportation, allow for private accommodations, and the max group size has been reduced from 16 to 12.
They also have more flexible booking and cancellation policies in place to help travelers book with confidence in these uncertain times.
Founded in 1981 with three employees and based in suburban Philadelphia, Gate 1 now employs more than 200 people worldwide with offices in 20 countries, ranging from Hungary to Cambodia, Argentina to Israel.
What Makes Gate 1 Stand Out?
- Escorted tours & river cruises
- Good value
- High quality guides
Gate 1 offers a variety of tour packages and river cruises around the world, promising to provide exceptional value for the price. They focus on North American travelers who seek “high quality, yet affordable” guided trips, with accommodations ranging from superior tourist to moderate deluxe class.
They have a lot of different choices when it comes to destinations, durations, and inclusions. Most tours have additional offerings for meals, activities, and excursions available for additional fees.
Traveler reviews for Gate 1 oscillate between 5 star and 1 star experiences. Those that have had an excellent time cite the tour pacing, guides, and extensive sightseeing opportunities as positives.
Those for whom these same factors contributed to a negative experience may have had higher expectations than is available or offered for the competitive budget prices that Gate 1 is known for.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Gate 1?
- All ages
- Low to mid budget travelers
- Those open to simple accommodation and meal plans
Gate 1 is the perfect travel choice for families, couples, and friend groups seeking a cost efficient journey. As Gate 1 is a strictly budget minded brand, it’s important to be fully aware of the trade-off when you choose to travel with them.
You will see a lot, and be out and about visiting several sites - however keeping costs low is one of their main priorities. This means hotels will be basic, meals won’t be 5 star, and your coach will have fewer amenities. In addition tours with Gate 1 feature several optional add ons and sightseeing tours, not included in the base price. Average tour price is around $2,000, often less.
If you’re flexible, open minded, and are interested in maximizing your sightseeing above all else, Gate 1 could be for you. Knowing what to expect is key for enjoying the trip to the fullest.
Gate 1 trips cover much of the world, including destinations in North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Itineraries focus on the top sights, historical attractions, and national parks.
Gate 1 Travel Style
In a nutshell, the Gate 1 travel style is “see a lot for a little”. Hotels and accommodations are usually 3 star hotels. Expect basic comforts, with fewer amenities available. However if you’re the kind of traveler for whom a bed and some coffee in the morning is a fine trade-off for busy days outside and tons of sightseeing, the trade-off will be worth it.
You will be met on the ground with a dedicated tour leader, available to assist throughout your travel experience.
Escorted group bus tours are a big part of their business - between 24-42 people. These coaches are again, more utility focused than amenity focused, but you will be comfortable. And in general bus tours take frequent stops to allow for stretching legs and using of facilities.
Gate 1 also offers small group tours (with a maximum of 22 people), river cruises on two continents, independent city stays and fly and drive packages, rail packages, customized vacations, and combination bus/cruise tours -- something for almost everyone interested in a budget vacation.
Why Choose a Tour With Gate 1?
For the budget traveler, Gate 1 is a fantastic choice. They offer several types of trip package to choose from, including rail, river cruise, and small group tours, at competitive rates. Their escorted tours are extremely popular, and customers repeat trips with them regularly.
While Gate 1 is the primary brand, and they are all about giving a positive and packed international travel experience on a budget, other brands associated with Gate 1 are more premium focused. These include the Signature collection, offering luxury tour options and smaller groups.