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Tour company for Asia

My dream is to travel to: Northern India and 2. Viet Nam and Cambodia. I am retired and traveling solo so am looking for a “Rick Steves” like tour company.

I’m looking at Overseas Adventure has anyone traveled with them?

Any suggestions as to the best way to make this happen?

Posted by
2905 posts

I can't help you with any of the large international tour companies that will organize everything for you from start to finish, but I would make the point that you really don't need one unless that's your preferred way to travel or would just be more comfortable going that way.
Arranging your own flights is really pretty simple, will allow you more freedom of movement among the various travel destinations, and will probably be cheaper if you avail yourself of one of the regional low-cost carriers to get around. Researching and arranging your own accommodations will likely save you some money too.
Once established at one of your destinations you could rely on local companies for tours varying from one day to a week. Worked well for us for our own explorations throughout Asia.
Since you're retired you might be interested in one of the Air Passes available from Star Alliance or One World. Those can save you quite a bit of money too. We used both Circle Asia and the Round the World pass from Star Alliance several times and they were a great money saver for us. Might be worth researching at any rate.

Posted by
7655 posts

We did an African safari with OAT last year, and satisfied, are signed up with them for another trip in 2 weeks. They can arrange the airfare, or you can pay separately for your own flights. They provide well-qualified guides, and also include some time on your own to pursue your own interests, or get recommendations from the guide. Most meals are included, but a few are left for you to pursue on your own, if interested. There’s usually at least one meal in the home of a local resident, to experience some of their life, and they arrange for locals to conduct talks on “controversial topics,” to learn about situations that exist in locations you’re visiting.

OAT doesn’t charge a supplement to single travelers. Groups are kept relatively small, and so is the trip price. Call their office in Boston, and they can mail you more information, or discuss things on the phone. Number is 800-955-1925.

Posted by
86 posts

Odyssey unlimited, EF Go Ahead tours and Road Scholar all offer good looking tours to Asia. I like OAT too. I have had people tell me they like G Adventures and Intrepid as well. Lots of companies to look at and compare.

Posted by
15 posts

We traveled with OAT to Vietnam last December and loved the trip. Highly recommended, wonderful itinerary, great guide, nice hotels, good food and small group of wonderful tour mates. We arrived in Hanoi three days early and glad we did as there is much to see and easy to navigate. We didn't do the Cambodia post trip but other tour mates did and they raved about it.

Posted by
14286 posts

There have been a number of threads in the last year or so asking about OAT and other tour companies that might give a similar experience to Rick's tours.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/overseas-adventure-travel-55de4b8b-f793-411f-8902-09c41d741a1a

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/report-review-of-my-first-trip-with-overseas-adventure-travel-the-baltics

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/beyond-europe/overseas-adventure-travel-vs-odyssey-unlimited-vietnam

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/oat-travel

I've not traveled with OAT but have done Rick Steves and Road Scholar as a solo traveler. I enjoy the tour experience and for myself I'd definitely want to go with a group to India or SE Asia. That's just me and my comfort level.

Sarah Murdoch, who guided for Rick for many years, branched off with her new company Adventures with Sarah and does an India tour (not sure if it's where you want to go) and does one or two in SE Asia. I've got friends who have done 3 or 4 Italy tours with her company and one who has done Croatia. They were well-pleased.

https://adventureswithsarah.net/2024-tours/#all-tours

IF Road Scholar interests you at all (www.roadscholar.com) there are 2 active FB pages where you can almost always get information from others who have done certain programs. They are Friends of Road Scholar and Women of Road Scholar. Both are private so you have to ask to join.

Posted by
15 posts

Feel free to send me a private message if you have more questions on whether the OAT vietnam trip is right for you

Posted by
386 posts

We just got back from an OAT tour to Peru. It was fantastic. It is perhaps a step above a Rick Steves tour in that your airfare, transfers and luggage handling are usually taken care of (we still pack light, but it sure is nice to have someone else schlep the bags from hotel to bus/van/airport, etc). This our 3rd trip with GCT/OAT - the other 2 were small ship cruises (50 passenger coastal ships). We have booked airfare through them (which at the moment you must do to get the free transfer from airport to hotel) and it has been competitive. We have also booked extra hotel nights, although you can get better rates if you do this on your own.

Tours have a great balance of tour activities and free time. We have found their trip guides (Trip Experience Leaders) to be excellent - good story-tellers, well-versed in the local history, very willing to make suggestions and usually offering an activity during your free time if you are interested.

While we travel as a couple, we have several friends who travel solo (male and female) and our OAT tours have had many solo female travelers, many of them repeat customers. They feel secure, and like that the pesky details like transportation and luggage are handled for them.

The Vietnam/Cambodia/Laos trip with OAT is on our radar, for sure. Have heard consistently good things about their Ultimate Africa tour as well.

Posted by
269 posts

I did the OAT "ancient kingdoms" tour -- Thailand/Laos/Cambodia/S. Vietnam -- last year and it was really good. As a solo retiree you are right in their target customer base (the single occupancy spaces they offer at no extra cost on most of their trips are evidence of this). I've also done two other trips with them and the product is consistently excellent, as is the value for money in my opinion.

Posted by
83 posts

Thanks for all the comments on OAT. I have just pre booked January 2026 Heart of India. Wow I was amazed Jan 2025 was already full for single travelers.

I am also looking at Cambodia and Viet Nam but am afraid of heat and humidity.

Any other great places that RS doesn’t do? Looking for an Asian adventure.

Posted by
46 posts

Hi there fellow traveller! I have used 365travel 2x for Vietnam..Cambodia..Laos..3 weeks 1st time..1 month 2nd time..totally happy. Check out their website..very thorough..response time excellent..