Our shoestring group tours provide the opportunity to explore exciting destinations at an accessible price. Accommodation levels are often a step lower than our 'small-group' tours, though we can offer upgrades on many tours as well. Maximum group sizes are normally higher too, and there may be a few less inclusions in the itinerary. More public transport options may also be used and on some tours we may share the trip with other operators.
In countries where independent travel is popular, such as India, Nepal or Thailand, we may offer point to point itineraries rather than circuits. These can finish in locations that work well as a base for further exploration, and our local representatives are on hand to help with any onward arrangements if required. Alternatively we can arrange a return back to the starting point to make the tour a standalone trip.
Everything went really smoothly on the booking end and on the ground in Egypt. The only surprise was when arriving jet lagged at the hotel being presented with a list of fees that needed to be paid right then. The problem was that everything up until then had these fees in US dollars and now the fees were in Egyptian pounds. It pretty much cleaned out our stash of Egyptian money. Had we known we had to pay in Egyptian currency we would have sought out additional currencies places at home to get us the funds we needed. (Banks wouldn't order the funds). However after that the tour itself was great. Our guide Emad did a great job.
This was a great way to see all the primary historical sites in Egypt efficiently and with ease. I can't imagine how slow and difficult it would have been otherwise. It was also a good jumping off point to then spend a few weeks on or own seeing other parts of the country and focus on modern day Egypt
The service was generally prompt and courteous with many details provided for the questions. The service was very good!
This tour program was excellent in value for the price. I would recommend to all who are interested in touring these countries. Tour guide and other staff were all friendly and responsible. Two thumbs up!
Encounters was very professional and made sure we were happy throughout our tour. Sheriff, our tour guide, was amazing - he went out of his way for us several times. He is an expert guide with tons of knowledge. My wife and I had a great time thanks to the people at Encounters Travel.
My wife and I had limited time so the 9-day tour seemed perfect. I still can't believe how many sites we were able to see and activities we were able to experience. Sheriff's knowledge of Egyptian history and sense of humor made this trip informative and fun. We did many of the add-ons so the schedule was hectic, but that's how we like to travel when our time is limited. I especially recommend the hot air balloon and Abu Simbel!
This trip was about the same price as competitors but Encounters included the transfers and many meals. Some people may prefer to travel in local buses and stay in small hotels, but Encounters offers a more luxurious experience. On long hot days, the air con on the coach kept me going and I was delighted to take a swim in the hotel pool. The guide was brilliant, funny and engaging and managed to squeeze in some bonus excursions too.
Turkey was much greener and more modern than I expected. The historic sites were impressive and the tour went at the right pace. The hotels were all good quality, in good locations and had some impressive buffets. Of course there are plenty of ancient ruins, but each tells a different story so there were plenty of wow factors. My only regret was not giving myself more time in Istanbul.
Customer service was excellent. Every time I sent an email, I received a response very quickly. I took a trip last year and had to continually contact the company for responses, so getting detailed answers quickly was great and appreciated. In all honesty, not getting ignored after paying is a sign of a great company that cares about their client.
I enjoyed the trip. Only issue is that the tour guide changed a part of the trip because he didn't want us to do something. Not the fault of encounters. But otherwise the trip was great. I would like to say that travelling from Fez to Marrakech should be on a plane or train. Driving was too long and wasted a day.
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