Intrepid Travel vs G Adventures - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 5
Value — 4.8
Guide — 4.8
Activities — 4.8
Lodging — 4.8
Transportation — 4.8
Meals — 4.8
|Tours||949 Trips||693 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 302||$ 52|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Group Tour Operator|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||Melbourne, Australia||Toronto, Canada|
|Solo Friendly||No single supplement||No single supplement|
Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts
Founded in 1989
No Single Supplement (rare exceptions)
Small Groups: max 16 on most trips (10 max during Covid-19)
Average Age: 48
Travel Style: Cultural immersion, adventure, overland, sustainable, and active
Accommodation Style: Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels, locally owned
Average Tour Price: $2,377
Top Regions: Asia, Africa, Europe, South America
Other Brands: Peregrine
Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ With a name meaning fearless and adventurous, Intrepid offers nothing less than big travel adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea. However, Intrepid is broad-based enough to offer varied experiences such as food tours in Greece, complete with a visit to a Kalamata olive grove.
What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out?
- Responsible travel
- Industry experts
- Authentic experiences
- Small groups
Intrepid believes that with great travel experiences comes great responsibility. They are focused on responsible tourism which includes not only treading lightly but also making a positive impact on the destinations they send travelers to. As a Certified B Corp since 2018, Intrepid donates to grass root projects around the world, are a carbon-neutral business and are committed to animal welfare.
Travelers can rest assured when they travel with Intrepid because they will be in the hands of industry experts. Intrepid partners with local leaders to be guides for travelers. This gives travelers first hand experiences from someone who knows the area well.
Above all else, Intrepid strives to get its travelers off the beaten path and under the surface of the local culture. To accomplish this, group sizes are small, maximum of 16 on most trips. This allows for more use of local transportation and lodging, along with fostering cultural immersion. Intrepid also employs local English-speaking leaders who act more as a resource for local exploration than do typical ‘guides,’ shepherding groups from one place to another.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Intrepid Travel?
- All ages
- All types of travelers
- Cultural enthusiasts
Intrepid is one of the early pioneers of the “adventure”-style guided trip. Despite its informal beginnings and emphasis on younger, highly adventurous travelers, Intrepid has expanded to a global company with a broad range of trips to fit all ages.
Intrepid divides its small-group trips into three separate styles of travel, all priced accordingly. “Basix,” for budget travelers, keep inclusions to a minimum and offer plenty of free time. “Original” journeys offer more included activities and hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer luxury experiences that include the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles. No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is a style right for your specific desires.
The age range on Intrepid tours varies widely from tour to tour, and they are welcoming to all ages. The only exception to this are their 18-29 themed tours which are specifically for that age group.
Intrepid travelers have a real sense of adventure - whether this means hard adventure, or simply going deeper off the beaten path. Interacting with locals is an important factor when you travel, as is gaining a unique cultural perspective. A sense of fun is also essential, whether it means going out at night with your tour mates, trying new foods, or exploring the local markets.
Which is better? Intrepid Travel or G Adventures?
Commonly compared, both G Adventures and Intrepid Travel specialize in culturally immersive and off-the-beaten-path experiences. They are top companies to consider if you enjoy local & authetic travel and value having lots of free time during the itinerary. See our ultimate guide to decide which is right for you: Intrepid vs G Adventures, full comparison »
Originally focused on small group adventure tours to Asia, Intrepid has expanded rapidly over the years, while maintaining its classic, adventurous, and immersive style. Today Intrepid Travel offers more than 1,000 different experiences in over 100 countries, on all seven continents. Regions with the most trips include Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe.
Does Intrepid Travel include flights?
While all your internal transportation is taken care of, often utilizing traditiona local methods such as tuk-tuks in Thailand, international flights to and from your home and the tour destination are not included. Their travel specialists can recommend where to look for flights however.
Intrepid Travel Style
Accommodations, which could range from guesthouses to home stays, are also locally owned, allowing a more authentic taste of the region while contributing to the local economy.
There are a few broad travel styles to choose from when deciding on an Intrepid tour:
1. Basix - Budget travelers who don’t mind, and in fact prefer, simple accommodations - camping and homestays with basic amenities, and crave a lot of free time for exploring independently will love these tours. Public transportation is used exclusively so pack light! These trips often attract a younger crowd who love the idea of throwing a backpack on, keep plenty of room for the unexpected in their schedule, and allocate their travel funds towards spontaneous bus tickets and street food instead of museum tours and 5 star restaurants.
2. Original - These trips take the backpacker spirit of local immersion, incorporating all the benefits that come with going with a planned itinerary. This style is called “Original” because it’s the type of travel that put Intrepid on the map...pun intended. Accommodations are still simple and budget minded - often homestays are used to give you a true sense of place, personality, and culture. Mostly public transportation is used.
3. Comfort - Intrepid is known for the active adventure style of travel and these trips keep that mentality, with a few more creature comforts thrown into the mix. You can expect higher luxury accommodations that include a wider variety of included amenities, transportation is mostly private, though you can still expect to use some public transport, as is the Intrepid way. More meals are included in the trip price, and more group activities - which means a bit less free time to explore on your own.
Why Choose a Tour With Intrepid Travel?
Intrepid is a good tour company if you don’t mind foregoing some creature comforts for a truly authentic, local experience. If you enjoy meeting locals when traveling, sampling new and exciting foods, and traveling in mixed-aged groups of 10-16 people, Intrepid could be a good fit for you.
It’s important to note, sometimes “ample free time” can be a blessing and a curse. It sounds great on paper, but if you’re looking to maximize your dollar and your vacation time, be sure you understand the implications of having a lot of free time during your itinerary.
For some travelers this is an absolute requirement, but for others it can be tough to branch off and explore independently - you also need to make sure you allocate enough travel money for independent meals.
The tour leaders are great resources of information for how to spend your free time, but if you like having a full day scheduled from breakfast to dinner, Intrepid may not be the best company for you.
Lastly, if sustainable and responsible travel is important to you, Intrepid has poured millions of dollars into local economies, and has a very strong emphasis on responsible travel. So you can feel good knowing that your money helps support some of the innkeepers, vendors, and communities that you’ll meet along the way.
Is Intrepid Travel Safe?
Yes, Intrepid is a very safe company to travel with and they take the safety of their tour goers very seriously.
In response to Covid-19, Intrepid has reduced their group size to an average of 10 people. Their guides have been fully trained on new sanitation requirements and Covid-19 health and safety guidelines.
They have also implemented flexible booking options.
General Covid-19 Travel News
Some countries are beginning to reopen to international visitors, with entry restrictions, while others have remained closed.
Keep checking back regularly to keep up to date with the frequently changing situation of the coronavirus.
Want more information about travel safety and the coronavirus? Read about where it's safe to travel to in 2020 >>
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.