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"Beyond Europe" travel tour company that has similar philosophy to Rick Steves

For so many years I've been wanting to find a travel company which has a similar travel philosophy to Rick Steves, but goes to non-European destinations as well. Yes, I do independent travel as well as group tours, but after breaking my ankle in Egypt I decided that a woman my age was safer seeing third world countries with a group. However, on the other hand, I definitely did not want to be shepherded around in a large group and stay in world-chain hotels! No thank you!
Well, In the past year, I and a friend went to northern India with the Australian company "Intrepid Travel" and I believe I've found the "beyond Europe" company I've been looking for.. They have three "levels": backpacking, classic, and luxury. We chose the "luxury" level, and I guess Australians have a different idea of what luxury is because the trip was very similar to the "back door" type of tour I've been on multiple times (and enjoyed so much) with Rick's Europe Through the Back Door company: the small boutique hotels, a great and imaginative itinerary, a smaller size group, lots of walking, encouraging us to go of on our own, interacting with the local people, and an Indian tour guide who would answer every question one had (and we had a great deal). If Rick ran tours outside Europe, I'd go with him, but I'm very pleased to have found Intrepid. I'm planning to book one of their Botswana trips next year.

Posted by
2472 posts

Thanks for the recommendation. We have been looking at Rhodes Scholar and Odessy Unlimited for trip ideas beyond Europe for our retirement.

Posted by
4262 posts

I follow Sarah Murdoch's blog. She works for Rick Steves and if you've seen any of his programs he does in WA to introduce people to traveling, she often does a little seminar on packing. She has done a number RS tours and still does. If you go to her website, "Adventures with Sarah", http://adventureswithsarah.net/ she does tours on her own as well. Asia and Sicily I know for sure

Posted by
3374 posts

Another suggestion for "beyond Europe" is a company in our area called "Wildland Adventures." They have been in business for 30 years and provide small group and customized journey's. My husband's cousin's arranged a phenomenal tour for 6 to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos several years ago. They were very pleased with the company's philosophy.

We recently went to one of their complimentary seminars and were very impressed with their unique offerings. Most of the attendees were long time fans. We were particularly impressed with the activity level and emphasis on interacting with the local people. See www.wildland.com.

Posted by
2258 posts

One of Rick's guides, Reid Coen, runs a company called Imprint Tours. Same travel philosophy as Rick. I went on one of his tours in March - southern Africa - and absolutely loved it. More than 3/4 of the people on the tour had traveled with Reid before, so apparently I'm not the only one who likes the company. It's a small company, so there are not a ton of tours - but that's part of it's charm.

Posted by
2258 posts

One of Rick's guides, Reid Coen, runs a company called Imprint Tours. Same travel philosophy as Rick. I went on one of his tours in March - southern Africa - and absolutely loved it. More than 3/4 of the people on the tour had traveled with Reid before, so apparently I'm not the only one who likes the company. It's a small company, so there are not a ton of tours - but that's part of it's charm.

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26 posts

From Sarah's blog :
I’m launching a new collaboration with my friend and colleague Reid Coen, owner of Imprint Tours. Our concept is to provide the same reliable quality of a Rick Steves tour in places that Rick doesn’t go–Asia, Africa, South America.

In 2018 I am also offering two tours with my friend Andrew Villone. These tours, Northern Italy and Slovenia and Taste of the Adriatic, will take us to destinations that tourists rarely see, immersing ourselves in the local culture. This is a slightly different format, focused on off-the-beaten-path experiences and food.

Posted by
3789 posts

Similar to Intrepid is GAdventures (Canadian) and Exodus (British)....but all 3 are global and you are bound to get a mix of folks on the trip. They have been around since the '70s or 80's and award winning, established companies. All offer various levels of comfort and are small group tours 17 or less. Exodus also runs Peregrine which is a little pricier, but more comfortable and for the middle aged traveler. It seems for all the more comfort you buy, the older the age bracket (and reverse). But ages vary and the also do offer slightly larger family tours. Thry all started out as adventure travel, and still bill themselves as such, but they are good about explaining levels of comfort and exertion.