All Top Picks Tours & Trips 2019-20

Top Picks Trips & Tours

11 Top Picks trips. Tours from 14 tour companies. 12 reviews.

11 Trips match your criteria (1 - 11 shown)

Unesco Discovery
4.9/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Private Guided
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Flexible schedule

Visits

Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An

Highlights

  • Journey through the beautiful Ninh Binh region with its dramatic limestone karsts.
  • Explore some of the world's largest caves at Phong Nha National Park and camp overnight inside.
  • Unearth Vietnam's modern and ancient history in imperial Hue.
  • Stray off the beaten track and visit one of Vietnam's forgotten minority tribes.
  • Explore the charming streets of Hoi An's UNESCO recognised Old Town or simply relax on one of the many nearby beaches.

Themes

Cultural

What travelers are saying

"What an amazing first class fabulous and fantastic trip to South Africa with our wonderful friends. Andy Freeman from Audley Travel organised an excellent trip starting in Cape Town for 5 days then driving down the Garden Route stopping in Swellendam, Plettenberg Bay, Wilderness, Oudtshoorn, Franschoek and finishing with the most wonderful Safari at Rock Fig which was excellent. There wasn't one thing we could fault about the whole 17 day trip (albeit we may have changed a couple of things) but it was outstanding. Thanks so much Andy and would 110% recommend it to anyone. South Africa was simply stunning and the people were fabulous. Love The Drewerys & Griffins xx"

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
More
Tibet and Nepal: Journey to the Highest Himalaya
4/5 Great
30 reviews
Group Tour
Lodging level
Basic - 2 star
Physical level
Strenuous
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Lhasa, Mount Everest

Highlights

  • Admire the extraordinary landscapes of the Himalaya, from towering peaks and hanging glaciers to the lush foothills of Nepal.
  • Venture into the legendary Potala Palace in Lhasa and visit Tibet's holiest and most historic monasteries.
  • Gaze up at the soaring crags of Mount Everest from the storied North Face Base Camp in Tibet.
  • Discover many layers of symbolism and belief at ancient Bodhnath, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal.

Themes

50 plus

What travelers are saying

"We booked a National Geographic expedition Holland and Belgium by River. The promotional literature promised a 14-day deposit refund window. The “invoice” was marked “non-refundable” deposit. We completed the National Geographic Traveler Information. About 8 days later we received the “Travel Agreement” to be signed. We both approved and signed the National Geographic documents. A Cruise Line Travel agreement was enclosed but had no signature line. This document contained language which was unacceptable. We submitted the signed NatGeo documents. The following day we canceled the trip due to the unacceptable Cruise Line language. Cancellation was made 12 days after booking and no deposit was returned. We were told on the phone that the refund deadline was triggered by the 14 day window OR signatures on the Travel Agreement which ever came first. This was NEW information. To date, we have received NO refund of our $1000. We cancelled our trip within the advertised 14 day window."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
More
Southern Africa: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana
4.9/5 Excellent
100+ reviews
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Full schedule

Visits

Chobe National Park, Hwange National Park, Kruger National Park, Victoria Falls

Highlights

  • Travel to South Africa with experienced Trip Leaders and driver-guides
  • Visit Kruger National Park for wildlife viewing
  • Explore the beautiful Victoria Falls
  • Stay in cozy lodges and tents, enjoying campfire by night

Themes

Local Immersion & Homestays, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife, Safari

What travelers are saying

"This letter is effectively what was communicated no less than 8 times in writing and conversation to OAT representatives up the chain, beginning 19 days before the trip. OAT was IMMOVABLE on allowing us to find an alternative travel companion and it was 100% due to rigid policy, not real barriers. We never expected a refund and wouldn't have blamed them if we could not fill my spot. They refused to even give us the opportunity. Appalling and sadly representative of their customer service. Congratulations, you lost two customers and one long time referral source. I only think it is fair that folks know the nature of the company at this point. An absolute shame. As a dedicated Edmund Hillary member of OAT with a history of introducing countless friends to your service including 4 who booked trips, I am writing to express my deep concern over the handling of our Galapagos trip booking in light of a recent medical emergency. This situation not only highlights significant gaps in customer communication and care but also underscores the need for immediate, effective action. Timeline of Events and Communication Issues: Initial Contact on 11/22: We contacted OAT 19 days before the trip, scheduled for 12/11, as soon as it became clear that extended surgical complications would prevent my travel. Policy of No Refunds or Changes Under 30 Days: We were informed that the trip is non-refundable under 30 days, which is understood. However, OAT also refused to allow a replacement traveler, posing zero risk to the company. Both of us called, met with the same response. Response from Exceptions Department on 11/22: The no-change policy was reiterated by the Exceptions Department on the same day. Written Escalation on 11/22: Both parties sent written letters to escalate the matter. Delayed Response Until 11/29: We did not receive any response until 11/29, with OAT mentioning the inability to make changes 12 days before the trip. Policy vs. Practical Reasons: The response seemed more policy-based than practical. We offered to cover the cost for a replacement traveler for the internal Galapagos flight, which was declined. The rep always returned to the policy prohibiting it. She further added we do not sell trips within 30 days. Upon looking the next day, I found no less than 7 different itineraries with no less than 13 different trips that I could have booked within 30 days. Further Escalation Request and Conversation on 11/30: A further request for escalation resulted in a 23-minute conversation on 11/30 without any change. Given these circumstances, I propose the following practical solution: Future Travel Credit in Exchange for Re-Selling My Space: If finding a substitute traveler is unfeasible, I suggest OAT resell my space to another interested party, crediting me for a future trip. This solution aligns with my preference and ongoing loyalty to OAT. The lack of a constructive response and rigid adherence to policy without considering exceptional circumstances is alarming. It not only affects this immediate trip but also impacts my ability to continue advocating for OAT in good conscience. An amicable and prompt resolution to this issue would speak volumes about OAT's commitment to customer satisfaction and flexibility. Unless there is a prompt and constructive resolution to this matter, we will be forced to escalate our concerns further. This includes reaching out to higher management within OAT, engaging with consumer protection agencies, sharing our experience through travel forums, and social media for breach of service. Our preference is to resolve this amicably, yet the current trajectory leaves us little choice but to pursue these avenues. I implore you to seriously consider these options and respond in a manner that reflects OAT's values of empathy and customer support. Your immediate attention to this matter is not only appreciated but necessary for a resolution that respects both parties' interests. Thank you for your understanding and prompt attention to this critical issue."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
More
Galapagos
3.5/5 Great
30 reviews
Small Ship Cruise
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Flexible schedule

Visits

Galapagos

Highlights

  • Snorkel amid shimmering fish, sea turtles, penguins, and playful sea lions.
  • Cruise to pristine islands and walk among colonies of animals and birds unfazed by your presence.
  • Observe rare giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station.
  • Explore the waters of the Galápagos by kayak, glass-bottom boat (Endeavour only), or Zodiac.

Themes

50 plus, Family Friendly, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife, Small Ship Cruise

What travelers are saying

"We booked a National Geographic expedition Holland and Belgium by River. The promotional literature promised a 14-day deposit refund window. The “invoice” was marked “non-refundable” deposit. We completed the National Geographic Traveler Information. About 8 days later we received the “Travel Agreement” to be signed. We both approved and signed the National Geographic documents. A Cruise Line Travel agreement was enclosed but had no signature line. This document contained language which was unacceptable. We submitted the signed NatGeo documents. The following day we canceled the trip due to the unacceptable Cruise Line language. Cancellation was made 12 days after booking and no deposit was returned. We were told on the phone that the refund deadline was triggered by the 14 day window OR signatures on the Travel Agreement which ever came first. This was NEW information. To date, we have received NO refund of our $1000. We cancelled our trip within the advertised 14 day window."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
More
The Human Journey: Tracing Legendary Peoples & Sacred Places
3.5/5 Great
30 reviews
Private Guided
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Flexible schedule

Visits

Addis Ababa, Bagan, Etosha National Park, Gobi Desert, Jerusalem, Lake Inle, Lalibela, London, Rangoon, Shwedagon Pagoda, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Ulaanbaatar, Yangon

Highlights

  • See the world withNational Geographic Explorer-in-ResidenceDr. Spencer Wells
  • Travel in a privateBoeing 757 jet
  • Go off the beaten path to discover some of the most incrediblelegacies of legendary civilizations
  • Enjoy a private tour of theGeorgian National Museum
  • Explore thevibrant bazaars ofSamarqand inUzbekistan
Show more

Themes

Cultural, Nature & Wildlife, Holy Land

What travelers are saying

"We booked a National Geographic expedition Holland and Belgium by River. The promotional literature promised a 14-day deposit refund window. The “invoice” was marked “non-refundable” deposit. We completed the National Geographic Traveler Information. About 8 days later we received the “Travel Agreement” to be signed. We both approved and signed the National Geographic documents. A Cruise Line Travel agreement was enclosed but had no signature line. This document contained language which was unacceptable. We submitted the signed NatGeo documents. The following day we canceled the trip due to the unacceptable Cruise Line language. Cancellation was made 12 days after booking and no deposit was returned. We were told on the phone that the refund deadline was triggered by the 14 day window OR signatures on the Travel Agreement which ever came first. This was NEW information. To date, we have received NO refund of our $1000. We cancelled our trip within the advertised 14 day window."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
More
Sweden: Dogsledding to the Ice Hotel
3.5/5 Great
30 reviews
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Luxury - 5 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Highlights

  • Drive your own team of Alaskan huskies on a sledding expedition through the Lapland wilderness.
  • Relax in cozy cabins ideally situated for viewing one of nature’s most dazzling displays: the aurora borealis, or northern lights.
  • Spend time with Sami herders and try your hand at driving a traditional reindeer sled.
  • Stay at the famed Icehotel, with the option of sleeping in one of its sculpted ice rooms.

Themes

50 plus, Education / Learning, High Adventure, National Parks, Nature & Wildlife

What travelers are saying

"We booked a National Geographic expedition Holland and Belgium by River. The promotional literature promised a 14-day deposit refund window. The “invoice” was marked “non-refundable” deposit. We completed the National Geographic Traveler Information. About 8 days later we received the “Travel Agreement” to be signed. We both approved and signed the National Geographic documents. A Cruise Line Travel agreement was enclosed but had no signature line. This document contained language which was unacceptable. We submitted the signed NatGeo documents. The following day we canceled the trip due to the unacceptable Cruise Line language. Cancellation was made 12 days after booking and no deposit was returned. We were told on the phone that the refund deadline was triggered by the 14 day window OR signatures on the Travel Agreement which ever came first. This was NEW information. To date, we have received NO refund of our $1000. We cancelled our trip within the advertised 14 day window."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
More

Unlock Community Benefits

Travel better together

  • Save favorite trips and itineraries
  • Get insider insights
  • Receive personalized recommendations
  • ... and much more
Join community
Human Origins: Southwest France and Northern Spain
3.5/5 Great
30 reviews
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Luxury - 5 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Basque Country, Santillana del Mar, Vézère Valley

Highlights

  • Examine the Paleolithic art of two UNESCO World Heritage–listed cave regions: France’s Vézère Valley and the northern coast of Spain.
  • Meet leading archaeologists and anthropologists for talks and private tours of cave sites.
  • Visit Castel-Merle with Isabelle Castanet, whose family has excavated the site for generations.
  • Explore Sarlat, France, and Santillana del Mar, Spain, two of Europe's best-preserved medieval villages.

Themes

50 plus, Cultural, Education / Learning

What travelers are saying

"We booked a National Geographic expedition Holland and Belgium by River. The promotional literature promised a 14-day deposit refund window. The “invoice” was marked “non-refundable” deposit. We completed the National Geographic Traveler Information. About 8 days later we received the “Travel Agreement” to be signed. We both approved and signed the National Geographic documents. A Cruise Line Travel agreement was enclosed but had no signature line. This document contained language which was unacceptable. We submitted the signed NatGeo documents. The following day we canceled the trip due to the unacceptable Cruise Line language. Cancellation was made 12 days after booking and no deposit was returned. We were told on the phone that the refund deadline was triggered by the 14 day window OR signatures on the Travel Agreement which ever came first. This was NEW information. To date, we have received NO refund of our $1000. We cancelled our trip within the advertised 14 day window."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
More
India by Rail Photo Expedition
3.5/5 Great
30 reviews
Group Tour
Lodging level
Luxury - 5 star
Physical level
Easy
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Visits

Agra, Amber Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Jama Masjid, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Taj Mahal, Udaipur

Highlights

  • Capture sunrise and sunset over the Taj Mahal, and go on photo shoots at five other UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Photograph the fairy-tale marble palaces of Udaipur's Lake Pichola by boat, and take a sunset camel safari among the sweeping dunes of the Thar Desert.
  • Search for tigers in Ranthambhore National Park, and for rare birds and other wildlife in Keoladeo National Park.
  • Document the dazzling energy of the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, a celebration of color, music, and Rajasthani folk culture

Themes

Education / Learning, Train & Rail Journeys, Photography

What travelers are saying

"We booked a National Geographic expedition Holland and Belgium by River. The promotional literature promised a 14-day deposit refund window. The “invoice” was marked “non-refundable” deposit. We completed the National Geographic Traveler Information. About 8 days later we received the “Travel Agreement” to be signed. We both approved and signed the National Geographic documents. A Cruise Line Travel agreement was enclosed but had no signature line. This document contained language which was unacceptable. We submitted the signed NatGeo documents. The following day we canceled the trip due to the unacceptable Cruise Line language. Cancellation was made 12 days after booking and no deposit was returned. We were told on the phone that the refund deadline was triggered by the 14 day window OR signatures on the Travel Agreement which ever came first. This was NEW information. To date, we have received NO refund of our $1000. We cancelled our trip within the advertised 14 day window."

Trip dates & details
Save this trip to your favorites or other list
More

Want a tailor-made trip instead?

Your trip, your way, planned by an expert:

  • You choose budget, destinations, activities, transport & lodging type
  • Expert designs the itinerary for you, and once approved, takes care of logistics
Design custom trip

Top Picks Reviews

V

VMH

Nov 2017

great sights. Great local guides. Impatient unpleasant photographer leader

The local guide went above and beyond. The sights were amazing. The accommodations and meals much better than expected. Lots of driving but in good cars with good...

W

Will Travel For Adventures

Nov 2016

Written on

Exceeded our expectations

We have been on many REI trips, mainly because of the talented local guides. Our guide on this trip, Mike (a first time REI guide) has to be right at the top of the ...

A

Afton Runner

Nov 2016

Written on

Wonderful

I arrived in South Africa expecting good things. I left with a whole new view of the country. It is more than wonderful places. It filled with amazing people, flora ...

S

Susan49

May 2016

Written on

We loved it!

We loved the entire itinerary, and the accommodations and food were excellent. Our stay in Sabi Sabi and the safaris there were just amazing...we saw every animal we...

O

Over 50

Nov 2015

Written on

The safari was like nothing I have ever experienced

The safari was like nothing I have ever experienced. I was grinning the whole time. I am already planning my next REI trip. This is a beautiful trip, I will never fo...

Write a Review

Additional details

Always Find the Best

On Travelstride you can find 11 trips to Top Picks and more than 20,000 trips worldwide ranging from budget to luxury and private guided to group tours and everything in between. Only on Stride can you find and compare expert-planned trips from 1,000+ tour operators, cruise lines and local experts. Read traveler and professional reviews so you can confidently find your perfect trip.

Top Tour Companies on Travelstride:
All 1,600+ companies >