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Take Tours

Adelaide, South...
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Take Tours

We are considering to travel to the USA in August-Sept 2014 from Australia, and are looking at the possibility of travelling via "Take Tours" packages, as opposed to travel brochure tour packages which are much more expensive. I am after some feedback from persons who have travelled the USA with "Take Tours" packages. Are these tours really better value for money than your more expensive traditional travel brochure packages, or do you only save money but lose on quality and service, and in the end are better off spending more with the travel brochure packages? Can you honestly recommend "Take Tours" as better value for money, and a no regrets option.

Look forward to a genuine, honest and informed reply from somebody in this regard .

Thanks:Tom

260 replies to this topic
Wednesbury, UK
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1. Re: Take Tours

Hi Tom.

Not sure you will get too much of a response from the regulars here as we are all DIYers when it comes to road trips, as we find we then get the trip that suits us best in all aspects.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Take Tours

Most tours travel a lot with limited time at places. depart early and arrive late. Have you considered DIY?

Chula Vista...
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3. Re: Take Tours

Hi Tom,

One quick note on the timing of your trip regardless of how you choose to visit...

Monday, 1 September 2014 is a national holiday--Labor Day--and that three day weekend marks the unofficial end to the summer travel season. Major attractions, restaurants, and shops will all be open, but you'll encounter a lot of people on the road or at those attractions that weekend. Reservations will be a must.

Enjoy your visit!

Zed

Washington State
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4. Re: Take Tours

I just read through a Take Tours trip that includes some of the highlights of California + Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. taketours.com/los-angeles-ca/10-day-yosemite… Here are the problems that I can see with the incredibly fast-paced trip:

- Day 2 you choose either A) 1 hr travel to Disneyland in Anaheim or B) 2+ hr travel to Sea World in San Diego or C) actually seeing Los Angeles

- Day 3 is an awful day of travel all the way up the Hwy 1 coast. This is usually a 3 day / 2 night trip but can be pushed to a 2 day / 1 night trip.

- Day 4 is a day stuffed full of tourism in San Francisco. The tour boat goes by Alcatraz but doesn't stop there. You are required to take a tour of Stanford University in Palo Alto. This seems odd. Are the tour participants from other countries who want to see this university that their children might attend?

- Day 5 starts around 4:30 am for a trip to Yosemite Valley for a 2 hour visit before continuing on to Los Angeles. Two hours?

- Day 6 leave L.A. where you just arrived to go to an outlet mall (shopping? foreigners looking for a good deal?) and on to Las Vegas

And so on.

This might not be the exact trip you're considering, but the fast pace means you don't get to experience much, you get no input as to how to spend your time, and you're herded often.

If you have any interest or ability to drive yourselves on a do-it-yourself trip, folks here on this forum and on the California forum would be very happy to help you. Thousands of folks do it themselves and tailor the trip to their interests.

-----------

I just looked for a bit more info about Take Tours. This is interesting.

"TakeTours.com offers an online marketplace for brick and mortar tour and vacation suppliers to sell their services." yelp.com/biz/taketours-cambridge

If Take Tours sends you on a Go To Tour, then I'd definitely say no. I haven't read anything good about Go To on the California forums (yet.) Here are some of the comments about Go To tours tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713-i30-k5112060

N. Idaho
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5. Re: Take Tours

I looked at the link from PacificNW's post and did see this buried at the bottom:

*Language: All tours are escorted by professional bi- or multi-lingual tour and/or driver guides (English/Chinese). Depending on the number of passengers booked for a particular departure, tours and/or languages may be combined to operate the tours.*

Without some digging, I would say my first thought is they must use Tours4Fun as well. If that is the case, please do your research before you book. I have seen many complaints on the Yellowstone forum regarding this tour company including all information is in Chinese and that the English speakers had difficult times getting translations of instructions, plus very long days with no time to actually see things, etc.

The price also looks too good to be true. The tour referenced by PNW is $818 in June, so you would be paying less than $100/day PP for hotels, transportation and some admissions. It does not include food but you would eat in restaurants *arranged by the guide*.

I also looked at their Yellowstone tours because that is the area I am familiar with. They are charging $498 for a 7 day tour which goes LA-RichfieldUT-Denver-GilletteWY-Yellowstone-SLC-LV-LA. No joke. Those are the overnights! That is covering HUGE distances each day and I am not sure there is time for a potty break much less seeing anything. They must have 12 second stops at Mt Rushmore and Old Faithful. There are no windows in the Old Faithful bathrooms so I am not sure when you would see the geyser go.

Valiants is noted for sometimes doing long stretches on the road, but this is something even he would not consider!

Pam

Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: Take Tours

Hi Pam.

Yes, even that is way beyond what I would consider an enjoyable or worthwhile trip! I don't envy the drivers even if there is two of them.

Although no one so far has personal experience, as i sort of expected, it's not looking too good is it!

Cleveland
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7. Re: Take Tours

Tom, welcome to TripAdvisor and the road trips forum.

Saga Tours have been around a long time and have been enjoyed by many seniors seeking a hassle-free vacation almost any where in the world. Make certain that you select a tour that is heavy on seeing attractions and light on driving time, a difficult proposition in the large spaces of the West if you want to see the highlights.

…saga.co.uk/holidays/…usa.aspx

Persons that I know who have used Saga in Europe and other foreign regions have been very pleased and considered the packages good values. I don't know anybody who has used them in the U.S.

If interested in DIY tours, read through this forum for the last year and definitely the top questions at the upper right.

Washington State
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8. Re: Take Tours

>>There are no windows in the Old Faithful bathrooms so I am not sure when you would see the geyser go.<<

D0bby ~ you are so funny! That's a great visual for the pace of these tours.

N. Idaho
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9. Re: Take Tours

PNW, they tease me on the Yellowstone forum because one of my priorities is bathrooms (flush toilets if possible, lol). I was trying to imagine covering the ground that tour covers and that was my only conclusion. It certainly does not allow for the sometimes 90 minute window for an OF eruption!

Pam

Lewes, United...
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10. Re: Take Tours

It all boils down to how much effort Tom is prepared to put into making the trip his own, paced to suit his travel style, or not. Lots of folk take those tours and enjoy them because they know no different and have therefore no idea what the are missing. However, all of us on this forum would never dream of taking that route, but are prepared to plan our trips carefully and know what we want from a road trip.

Yes, those tours do seem to focus on bathroom breaks as, with a bus load, each of those stops takes time. I prefer to spend my time taking photos at scenic spots rather than hanging around a parking lot for the last straggler who 'got lost' in the gift stores buying a postcard, and then finding yourself only given 20 minutes at the next stop, when everybody else has suggested the minimum time needed to enjoy it and see the attraction properly might be over 2 hours. You pays your money and takes your choice.

SWT

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