Why Travel with Us?
No one else in the industry offers our combination of quality hotels, small group size and culturally immersive itineraries for the tour price we charge. In fact, the most common refrain from our travelers is that they can't believe they received so much for what they paid. You may find what seems like a similar tour at a lower price with one of our competitors, but when you compare feature-for-feature, we believe it's clear our tour offers more value for your money. When it comes to international travel, high quality value can truly be the difference between a good tour and an incredible one.
We include airfare in almost all of our prices. It's that easy. You can even book your flights online—in some cases directly from your home city, and in other cases, from one of our convenient selected gateway cities (then we can help you book your air to that gateway). And it's not just flights; our package prices include hotels and most taxes and fees too. We do the work, and you concentrate on taking the trip of a lifetime.
No one will dispute the value of small groups while on tour—allowing you more personal and intimate interactions with the sites and culture of your destination. But most companies that feature small group experiences price their tours at a premium, making the comfort and convenience of small groups an expensive value-add. We consider small groups a must, and our Small Group escorted tours generally number between 15 and 24 travelers—without the premium price.
We offer options for every budget and travel style. Of course, our specialty will always be small group, escorted tours to incredible international destinations. But we also offer our same great value in larger groups with our line of Value Vacations. For those seeking more freedom and flexibility, our Independent Packages include all flights, transfers and hotels, but no guides and no touring schedule. And our Crown Collection is an exclusive line of exquisite journeys for those who seek luxury in their travels. Finally, we'll also customize any program we offer or create a tour just for you. You'll enjoy the same great pricing without the customization premium others charge.
On all of our escorted tours, you'll be led by a local, expert, English-speaking guide who will make each destination come alive like only a resident can. Along the way, your guide will share the traditions, culture and history of your destination from a first-hand perspective, and may even add some unexpected off-itinerary adventures. Often times it is our incredible guides our travelers remember and reminisce about most when they recount their experience.
Experiences, not sightseeing
We've spent over 35 years crafting and refining tour itineraries full of must-see sites and off-the-beaten path experiences you won't find on other tours. But we've also learned that an international tour is more than just a visit to a World Heritage Site. That's why we've built insider access to unique cultural encounters into every one of our Small Group itineraries: like sharing tea and lively discussion with a local Indian family; dining with villagers in an authentic Iban longhouse in Borneo; visiting an artisan's weaving complex in Peru and learning about their craft; or learning about Croatia's long wine-growing history and sampling local varietals at a local winery. Cultural immersion is a signature feature of Friendly Planet, so you'll know you've experienced the essence of the country.
High Quality Hotels
We know from experience that a well-appointed hotel close to the best sightseeing and dining options contributes significantly to the enjoyment of your tour. Many companies book hotels in less than desirable locations in order to save on costs, but this adds plenty of inconvenience and loss of precious time getting to and from the places you want to see. Others book lower quality hotels so they can charge the lowest prices possible. Our tours always feature high quality, centrally located hotels that live up to our high standards. And while occasionally our usual standard of accommodations doesn't exist in a location (for example, in very remote spots), you can count on us to make sure you're staying in the best hotel available.
Our customer service is legendary. We're passionate about travel and we love helping you put together a journey you'll remember for a lifetime. Our reservation agents are there when you're just researching your next trip and will help you throughout the whole booking process. Once you're on your trip, we have a dedicated emergency line that is manned 24/7, not by an answering service, but by our managers in America, who know what to do to help you (even if it's in the middle of the night). When you book your tour with Friendly Planet, you have a team watching out for you no matter where you go. Oh, and that service is entirely free of charge.