Explore! Reviews (3,224)Write a review
JenniferWritten on September 23rd, 2020Sad we were unable to visit places on the original itinerary due to Covid and hurricane threat but understand why you had to cancel at short notice.Quality of s…Read moreExplore! commented on this reviewThank you for your comments and understanding on the itinerary change at late notice due to the inclement weather. Your comments regarding some of the hotels have been shared with our product team.
AnonymousWritten on June 30th, 2020Excellent trip. Last one before the world changed with COVID 19. Radiation is just another hazard now.Explore! commented on this reviewThanks for your review!
Explore MalaysiaWritten on April 9th, 2020Broad spectrum of experiences - excellent leader and guide, comfortable coaches, good hotels and all very efficient. There was quite a lot of 'at leisure' time…Read moreExplore! commented on this reviewThanks for your great feedback, glad you had a great trip!
ChristopherWritten on April 1st, 2020The tour promised to be what they advertised - (less the whole world closing down due to the corona virus of course!) hotels were great, breakfast buffets , foo…Read moreExplore! commented on this reviewHi Christopher, Thanks for your feedback. I am really pleased that you had a great time, apart from having to come home early because of Coronavirus, Hopefully we will see you booking with us again soon.
AnonymousWritten on March 29th, 2020I went during the Coronavirus outbreak and I have to say Vietnam was on top of it. Mandatory temperature checks, hand sanitizer everywhere you went, masks. The …Read moreExplore! commented on this reviewHi James, Thanks for your feedback of the trip. I am really pleased to hear that you were well looked after during the start of the pandemic. Hopefully we will see you booking with us again soon!
AnonymousWritten on March 23rd, 2020Easy (and to some moderate at times) paced walking trip that covers so many different areas of Vietnam. A good chance to see how the people live and taste the …Read moreExplore! commented on this reviewThanks for your feedback. I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed Vietnam so much. Hopefully we will be able to welcome you back on another trip with us soon.
AnonymousWritten on March 22nd, 2020Patagonia is a fabulous part of the world and the tour makes the most of scenery and local culture. There is quite a lot of travelling, but well worth it to se…Read moreExplore! commented on this reviewMany thanks for your great review, we're so glad to hear that you enjoyed the trip - and that you were lucky with the weather!
AnonymousWritten on March 19th, 2020Superb leader and support; kind, understanding and knowledgeable. Overall brilliant organisation. Cycling a little harder than moderate at times but neverthele…Read moreExplore! commented on this reviewwe are so pleased to hear you had such a great trip, we hope to see you again soon, from the Explore Team
AnonymousWritten on March 18th, 2020Good itinerary, really well done, lots of activities, good guides, very safe, lots of information, etc.Explore! commented on this reviewThanks very much for your review, great to hear that you enjoyed the trip and the destination.
AnonymousWritten on March 17th, 2020go for it, you will love it.Explore! commented on this reviewA great review. Thank you.
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On our trips you'll see a mix of famous sights and hidden gems that others miss, or don't even know about. As travellers, we want to experience a country, not merely observe it. We'll take you closer to the country, its culture and people, often in unscripted, spontaneous, impossible-to-replicate ways. You'll come home having seen and experienced the country in a way that other travellers might never have.
Expert local guides
If you book a guided trip, like one of our small group tours, your guide or tour leader will use their expert insider knowledge and local connections to make the most of unexpected opportunities. You might be invited to watch the sunrise from a lighthouse or to join family Diwali celebrations. They'll be on hand to make sure your trip goes smoothly, taking care of logistics. Our tour leaders are all hand-picked and trained by our experienced team to ensure consistently high standards.
Small groups & private trips
Our average group size is just 12; big enough to meet like-minded people but small enough to get to the heart of a destination. All sorts of people travel on our trips; groups are usually a mix of solos, couples and friends united by an adventurous spirit and a sense of fun. Get in touch to learn more about the group already booked on a particular trip (age range, solos vs couples etc). If you’d prefer a more private experience, we also offer a large range of Self-Guided trips throughout Europe.
Responsible tourism is one of the driving principles of Explore. We care deeply about travelling in a way that positively impacts the people and places we visit.
We have joined forces with other leaders in the tourism industry to help tackle the largest environmental crisis ever faced: climate change. As a responsible tour operator, we know that we are part of the problem, but this is our commitment to become part of the solution.
We offset carbon on all trips booked with us. We recognise it’s not perfect, but believe that carbon offsetting is the most effective way of addressing carbon emissions in the short-to-medium term. By working with ClimateCare, a Gold Standard provider, we will offset the transport, accommodation and flights booked with us. This is part of a bigger project to reduce carbon, as part of our long-standing commitment to sustainable travel.
We carefully select our accommodation to give you a comfortable night's sleep in the best possible locations. The places we stay are every bit as important as the sights we visit and the things we do. Wherever possible we choose small, local and family-run properties. Occasionally, when we want to get off the beaten tourist trail, we may stay in more basic accommodation. Choices are based on what’s available in the places we want to stay; we choose the accommodation to suit the itinerary, not the other way around.
Travel with Confidence
Travel with Confidence
Our protocols are guided by the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation), and the European Commission and local government regulations and include personal protection, extensive disinfecting and physical distancing measures. When you travel with us you can be confident that we are doing everything possible to keep you safe.
General guidelines for the safe operation of Explore trips
• Given the ever-changing nature of local rules and protocols relating to COVID-19, our itineraries are under regular review and will be tweaked according to local requirements to ensure a safe experience. Should any major change be required, you will be informed prior to departure.
• Our Explore leaders will make judgement calls during the trip to modify the itinerary if appropriate social distancing can’t be achieved (for example to avoid a large crowds).
• Our Explore leaders will undergo detailed training on COVID-19 protocols and leading our trips in the ‘new normal’.
• Our Explore leaders will brief you on arrival on the usage of face masks and social distancing during the trip, based on local government guidelines.
• Only restaurants with strict protocols that comply with local requirements for food hygiene and social distancing will be used. We will encourage outdoor eating spaces where possible.
• All our staff and third party suppliers will continually be updated on any new health and safety protocols.
Protocols for transport
• Our drivers will follow local protocols on the usage of face masks and required social distancing.
• Our drivers will make alcohol-based hand sanitizer and paper tissues available in the vehicle and encourage customers to clean hands when they get into the vehicle.
• All relevant touch points (seats, door handles, etc.) in vehicles will be disinfected regularly throughout the day.
Protocols for hotels
• Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines.
• We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.
If you become unwell
• All Explore leaders are trained to support any customer who becomes ill during a trip.
• Explore has a country-specific response plan in place to enable us to coordinate the most appropriate medical support and local assistance in the event of a suspected COVID-19 case within the group.
• Explore leaders are supported by our 24/7 operations team and local in-country partners.
Our recommendations for you
• You should take your own face masks (minimum x2 reusable) and alcohol based hand sanitizer. Even if not required in your travel destination face masks are necessary for your flight there, and local rules can change. It’s better to be prepared.
• You should check with airline on their individual COVID-19 requirements before departure.
• You should carry your final documents on you as some airlines and arrival airports are requesting that you fill in a ‘passenger locator declaration’ which will require you to fill in your overnight hotel stops.
• You should regularly check your own government travel advice and that you meet the entry requirements including but not limited to COVID-19 tests, pre arrival health questionnaires and in country Track and trace apps etc.
Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The goals define a common framework of action and language to address the world’s most urgent challenges, and whilst all of the goals interweave to underpin sustainable development, we have chosen five where we can have the biggest impact.
Our primary focus will be on climate change. We have a comprehensive carbon strategy which is supported by continuing and elevating our attention on education and training, without which long term change would not be possible. We aim to be single use plastic free across all trips by 2021, we have a new robust animal welfare policy. Crucially we will be transparent, honest and collaborative in our efforts to lead our industry in responsible travel.
These are the initiatives that this operator has in place to make your adventure more sustainable:
- Invests a percentage of revenue back into community projects or sustainability projects
Reducing Carbon Emissions
- We are fully carbon neutral
Supporting Destinations and Local Communities
- Hires local guides
- Brings our passengers to locally run restaurants
- We consciously try to reduce over-tourism by taking travellers outside of the main visitor hubs
- Does not offer any single use plastic on tour
- Does not offer any tours that include elephant riding
- Does not offer any tours that use animals for entertainment
- We avoid places that sell/eat parts of endangered animals on tour
- Tours stay in locally run hotels/accommodations
- Hosts community-building or sustainability projects for staff to partake in
- Educates passengers about sustainability while on tour
- Educates people about sustainability through our marketing
Questions & Answers
Do we need to give parental consent for Family Adventures?
Any child under the age of 16 wishing to participate in the advertised activities can do so only with full consent of their parent or guardian.
What are the age limits for Family Adventures?
Because of the active nature of Family Adventures, we provide guidelines regarding the minimum age for each trip. This ranges from 7 years, depending on the level of activity involved and overall suitability for younger children. Please check individual trip pages for specific information about this. Our dedicated Teenage Trips and Teen Departures are generally for families with children aged 11 to 17. On certain trips the minimum age limits are strictly applied, on others there may be some flexibility. Please contact us if your requirements are not straightforward; if for example, you have one child who is below the age threshold but another who is not.
What is the average party size for Family Adventures?
Group size usually ranges from between 10 to 18 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than six or seven people and the average group size is 12 people. You will typically be travelling with between three and five other families. We very occasionally have groups that are smaller than six or seven people. On rare occasions you may be the only family on the trip.
What rooming do you use for Family Adventures?
We will room your family in the most appropriate way using a mixture of twin, triple, double and single rooms as necessary. Please note that sometimes a triple room may be a twin room with an additional bed added. We will leave it to you to decide who shares with whom in your family group. We will do our very best to give you rooms next to each other but we can't promise this. In exceptional cases, where accommodation is limited, for example on boat-based trips, one or more of you may need to share with members of another family. On some trips a night or two may be spent in communal sleeping areas, for example a village house, hacienda or overnight trains.
What about responsible tourism?
Responsible tourism is - and always has been - one of the driving principles of Explore. We care deeply about travelling in a way that positively impacts the people and places we visit. To us responsible travel means that: We ensure people who work for Explore are treated fairly and paid a fair wage. We learn about and respect the customs and culture of the country we are visiting so that we do not offend local people We ensure that local people benefit economically by employing them as leaders, guides and drivers - and by eating in local restaurants and using locally owned hotels where possible We minimise our impact on the environment by travelling in small groups, offsetting our carbon emissions, reducing waste and supporting conservation projects We’ve worked hard at these things to ensure we are welcomed in the places we all love to visit, meaning local people benefit and our groups enjoy a better trip. It could be through some of our great community based tourism experiences, meeting local people or experiencing the pristine wilderness and leaving it untouched. Want to see how your tour makes a difference? Have a look at the Earth matters box on every tour.
Is adventure travel safe?
Travelling to far-flung corners of the earth involves adapting to living conditions that are often very different from your own. Please be prepared for unusual situations, local differences and unpredictable events. Adventure holidays are not necessarily suitable for people who expect to be pampered or who like everything to go exactly as planned. You should also be aware that some countries around the world have security problems. Thieves, muggers and drug pushers are likely to be active in big cities and street markets; and certain areas may be considered ‘out-of-bounds’ for tourists. However, most crime is opportunistic. Using your common sense will reduce the risks. Unfortunately, no destination can be guaranteed to be safe from terrorism. We constantly monitor the political situation in the regions we visit and will re-route or cancel a trip if we feel it is necessary. If you are concerned about your safety when visiting a particular destination, please contact the Foreign Office or the appropriate embassy.
Do I need to worry about high altitude?
Several trips reach elevations of 2500 metres or more. We allow time for acclimatisation and usually the body acclimatises well to spending extended periods of time above this altitude. It is difficult to predict who is at risk from altitude sickness but if you have a heart or respiratory problem we advise you not to risk extended travel or trekking at high altitudes and to check with your doctor.
How fit do I need to be to participate in the trip?
All Explore trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip. With this in mind, please be aware that (as detailed in our Booking Conditions) if it is felt that any customer is not able to participate in a trip without endangering the health or safety of themselves or any other person (including other group members), or that the presence of the customer on the trip means we will be unable to provide the trip, in whole or part, to other members of the group as advertised and contracted, the Tour Leader at any stage has the right to require them to leave the trip. To ensure that this is never necessary, please make sure that you have fully understood the level of fitness and ability required to complete the trip on which you are booking. It is your responsibility to let us know if you have any concerns related to this subject. If you have any medical condition or disability which may affect your trip arrangements in any way, you must provide us with full details at the time of booking.
What if I have any pre-existing medical conditions?
If you, your travelling companions, or anyone upon whom your travel depends (such as a friend or family member whose illness or death would result in you wishing to cancel or curtail your trip) have a pre-existing medical condition you must inform your travel insurance company of this when you purchase your policy. Please ensure that you receive written confirmation from them that the condition is covered. You must take this written confirmation with you on trip, in addition to the insurance policy itself. If you don't, you may not have appropriate cover.
Do I need to have Travel insurance?
You must have valid travel insurance. You will need to confirm to your Tour Leader that you are covered by a travel insurance policy at the start of the trip. For this reason your original insurance policy must be carried with you on trip. If you have arranged your own insurance please ensure that your documentation shows you as the named policyholder and that the cover is valid for the entire period of travel. It must also indicate that you have cover for (at least) Medical Expenses and Emergency Repatriation in the event of illness or injury. Please ensure that a 24 hour contact telephone number for your Insurance Company is written on your documentation in case of an emergency. If you are unable to provide this information at the start of the trip you will not be able to continue with us-unless you purchase a suitable Insurance Policy.
What is a Guaranteed departure?
On these trips we guarantee that the advertised "Trip Only" itinerary will not be cancelled or significantly changed unless we are forced to do so by a "force majeure" (as defined in our Booking Conditions). There is no minimum group size for these departures. This guarantee does not apply to international or UK domestic flights, which may be subject to change or cancellation in accordance with our Booking Conditions.
Do trips always operate?
We reserve the right to cancel departures that (in our opinion) are not commercially viable (except for “Guaranteed Departures” which are described below). Typically this happens when less than six or seven people have booked on a trip (the exact numbers can vary). We try very hard to make every departure work and only cancel when absolutely necessary. We will give you as much notice of a cancellation as possible, allowing you to consider alternative trips or dates. We do not guarantee a minimum number of participants for each trip and we may decide to operate a trip with less than the normal minimum number of people.
Will my trip itinerary change?
From time to time, some elements of our trips may change from those that have been published. This could be the result of inclement weather, a change in the local political situation or in flight or train schedules or other circumstances beyond our control. Significant changes to your holiday will be notified as soon as we feasibly can. Minor amendments to your trip will be detailed on your final trip documentation, although our website will be constantly updated should you wish to check the information at any time.
What kind of transport is used?
The variety of transport used is another important aspect of any Explore Adventure. We use everything from buses, boats and trains to camels and donkeys. You may even find all these on the same trip.
What meals are included?
Most trips include breakfast, but other meals are often not included. This allows you to try the cuisine in local restaurants and also to choose what and where to eat and how much to spend. We try to keep all-inclusive accommodation to a minimum. Where there is no option, such as when camping, on safari or on some boat-based trips, meals tend to be included. We try to cater for you if you have special dietary requirements but we do ask you to have realistic expectations. In some countries there is a limited choice of food and it may be difficult to cater for all special meal requirements. Please check the Trip Notes carefully before booking if you have any specific requirements.
Can I book a single room?
Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room. On some of these trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided on some nights, but for logistical reasons not all. Individual Trip Notes clarify this.
What type of accommodation can I expect?
Wherever possible, we try to include accommodation which best reflects the local area in which we are travelling. For example, this could be a Berber village house in Morocco, a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum or a safari lodge in Botswana. Where we use hotels, we aim for mid-range accommodation, with the key requirements being cleanliness, safety, comfort and a good location. (The type of room provided and the level of facilities may vary from place to place.) In exceptional circumstances, we may use simple hotels with more basic amenities. Several trips include camping. We provide all the necessary equipment (for example two person tents), but you are likely to need your own sleeping mats and sleeping bags. You will not have to cook. Many trips are fully staffed, but on some you may be asked to help with the camp chores. Please see the individual trip Trip Notes for details. All our accommodation is given a rating to describe standards and facilities. You can find this in the individual trip Trip Notes.
What is the role of an Explore Leader?
The Tour Leader’s main responsibility is to make sure that all members of the group are well looked after and return home having had a wonderful holiday with some fantastic memories. It is the Tour Leader’s responsibility to ensure that the trip runs smoothly and that all the logistics are in place; also to oversee the health and safety aspects of the trip. Our Tour Leaders will be as flexible as possible - within the confines of the itinerary. For example, they can arrange group meals for those that would like to eat with their travel companions. Alternatively, if you would prefer to make your own plans they may offer suggestions for local restaurants. They will also try to make sure that everyone has as much free time during the trip as they wish. In order to keep the trips running effectively, Tour Leaders give regular briefings to talk about what is happening in the next few days, to remind you of timings and what you need to bring for excursions, sightseeing and activities. Often this will be reiterated on notices put up in hotel receptions or other appropriate places. Tour Leaders will also brief the group on safety and general health issues. All Tour Leaders are carefully selected and have undergone thorough training in the UK and/ or overseas – this is generally accepted to be some of the best in the industry. Tour Leaders are chosen for their travel experience, their people skills and their experience of working with groups. Please note that a small number of trips are accompanied by local representatives. This will not affect the enjoyment of your holiday and will be outlined clearly in the individual Trip Notes.
Are there age limits on my trip?
The minimum age on all group trips is 16. A parent or adult must accompany people under the age of 18. Fitness and stamina are more important than age. We often find some of our older customers are the fittest in the group! Please note if you are over 79 years of age at the time of travel, we may require you to provide proof of medical fitness and full insurance cover.
How many people will be on my trip?
Group size ranges from between 10 to 24 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than six or seven people and the average is 12 people and a tour leader.
Who will be on my trip?
Your travel companions come from a wide range of locations and backgrounds. However, because we only offer English-speaking trips, the majority will be from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US. Everyone will share your passion for adventure travel.
Contact our Travel Experts
+1 844 311 3006
Our team of experienced tour specialists have travelled to hundreds of countries around the globe and have decades of first-hand travel experience to share. Contact us now to have all of your tour-related questions answered!