Take a bunch of experienced travel junkies and set them loose to create the sort of unforgettable journeys they'd want to experience themselves. That simple formula has been working for 40 years, guiding us as we've sent thousands of delighted travelers all over the world. We're obsessed with creating awesome experiences that connect people and cultures and enrich lives, delivered with personal attention and heart.
Some of us are experts in tour development, crafting rich itineraries to some of the world's most exotic and legendary destinations. Some of us are operational gurus, handling the gazillions of unseen details that get our travelers from one place to another without a hitch. Some of us are service specialists, helping travelers discover the right destination and the right package with patience, knowledge and enthusiasm. But the one thing we share is that we're all crazy about exploring the world, and we love sharing our passion with you.
Our story begins almost 40 years ago. Peggy Goldman was a divorced schoolteacher with 2 small children. A serendipitous opportunity arose to organize a journey to Israel for 200 Holocaust survivors for a special event. With no experience in the travel industry, but a lot of gumption, Peggy rose to the challenge and somehow pulled it off. Encouraged by the success of this trip, and realizing the power of travel to transform lives, she founded Great Touring Adventures in 1981 with a staff of three. 14 years later, we became Friendly Planet Travel.
Today, we are a global tour operator offering authentic and affordable travel experiences to some of the most iconic and fascinating international destinations, including Asia, Africa, Central America, South America, Europe and the Middle East. We were one of the first U.S. companies licensed by the U.S. government to offer people-to-people travel experiences to Cuba. We were also one of the first tour operators to begin selling on the Internet (and boy, you should see our first website!). We're based in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, but our customers are from all over the U.S., Canada, and beyond.
Friendly Planet is still a family-owned company, managed by Peggy and her husband, former hotelier, Ilan Fink.