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OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

New York City, New...
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OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

Hi All,

Has anyone ever traveled with OAT?

I get interesting brochures from them and some of the trips appear to be quite reasonable.

Please advise.

SophiaNYC

309 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

Hi Sophia,

I haven't used OAT or sister Grand Circle myself because they won't mail to Canada! And forms need to be filled out and sent back. I do have some American friends who have used them quite a number of times (twice a year) and enjoy their programs.

Just double check how many meals are included/not included, because that will increase the cost of the program accordingly. And also, check what you "drive by" and what you actually visit.

Loch Arbour, New...
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2. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

A couple years ago I had a bad esperience with OAT. 10 days prior to departure on an Amazon trip I was bumped due to overbooking. I have never tried them again.

Los Altos...
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3. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

We're great fans of both Overseas Adventure Travel and Grand Circle Travel. We have taken 2 GCT tours and 5 OAT tours. Both GCT and OAT are part of the same travel company. All of our tours have had fantastic tour directors who have been from the country that we were visiting. We normally prefer traveling with OAT because of the small groups - max 16 people. Four of our OAT tours had 15 people, and one tour had only 11 people. OAT tours are more active than GCT tours - with less free time. The GCT tours that we have taken have had more nights in each location - more leisurely - which allowed us to do more exploring on our own. We have one GCT tour to Turkey and one OAT tour to Argentina and Chile booked for this year.

Evansville, Indiana
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4. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

I have traveled with OAT on several trips and all have been excellent. On two, to Peru and Costa Rica, I travelled as a Single and was always made to feel included, etc. One of the big advantages of OAT is the small size of the group. On Grand Circle tours the group is larger. Also, I believe that the hotels for the OAT travelers are a bit more upscale. Most of the lodging offered by OAT is quite acceptable, and in some cases, outstanding. You will not stay at Four Seasons or RitzCarltons, but in most cases the location is excellent and often quite charming. Normally, not all meals are included, which for most of us who are more independent travelers, is a bonus. I like having the freedom to explore the environs on my own and selecting a restaurant of my own choosing, at least occasionally. Every OAT tour guide that I've had has been very knowledgeable and accomodating for the group. Two years ago on a trip to New Zealand, several in our group wanted to see the Super Bowl game since their home team was playing. Because we had crossed the International Date line, the game was played on a Monday. It was a travel day through the mountains for our tour group, but our guide managed to find a pub in some small town that had a TV and we all watched the Super Bowl in New Zealand! It was a fun experience for all of us, especially when some of the New Zealander pub patrons wondered what all the fuss was about.. The Greek cruise offered by OAT is truly top-notch because it is a beautiful small ship for 50 passengers. Each group of 25 has its own guide. When I compared my trip with that of some friends who had cruised the Greek islands on ships carrying 600-1000 passengers, I was thankful that I had gone with OAT. I really felt like I had the "Greek Experience". They did not. They had a "Cruise Ship Experience".

All in all I feel like OAT is an exceptionally good value for the money. I have traveled with some more expensive groups, but did not always feel like I was given as much value for my money in comparison to OATand often the tour group was much larger. One does get spoiled traveling with a small group!

Tampa FL
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5. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

Hi Sophia,

I hope that you do go ahead and travel with OAT. My husband and I have been on 14 trips with OAT and GCT--6 were with OAT and we are going on to Africa on a safari with them this month. We travel with other companies also. OAT is an excellent company and I would recommend them to anyone of any age. They are more active trips than GCT, but you do not have to participate in every activity if you don't want to. All ages travel with OAT. Seniors, 40 somethings and even a teenager or two over the years. We have been to every continent with them except Antarctica and will continue with them as long as we are able. Enjoy your travels. Linda

seattle
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6. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

I'm a tour guide and have been asked about OAT and GCT on forums. Generally their model is a low price with lots of options.; If you pick and choose your optionals I think the itineraries I've seen are quite good for the destinations I know. Not every tour company is good for all destinations but overall I've seen good itineraries from OAT but be prepared to pay more than the 'sticker' price.

7. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

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Washington DC...
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8. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

What are the ups and downs of buying only the land pakage from OATor another tour package broker and separately buying your own air? OAT only allows extensions for a slight fee at the end of the trip and then you have to return to you home destination from that end point.

thanks

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

I have done about a dozen programs with another tour group with separate land/air.

The ups for me to buy the land package, or program only, separately from the air fare has to do with convenience. From Canada, I would have to go to one of the program's departure cities, such LA. By the time I add on the cost and time of getting to that city, it is usually better for me to fly independently. For example, why would I take a half day to fly to LAX to go to Australia, when I can take a non stop flight from Vancouver. So something like that means a lot to me.

Buying airfare separately, allows me to go a couple of days earlier or later, or both! Usually the hotel will give preferred rates for staying in advance or after a program.

Another up is you can either get familiar with the place in advance or you can enjoy what has become familiar, after.

One down is that you may have to find and pay for your own way from/to the airport. If there's a hotel shuttle bus, all well and good, but sometimes it means taking a taxi or airporter or rapid transit. Sometimes, if you arrive independently at about the same time as the group travel, they will look out for you for the group land transportation.

Another down is if the program start place is somewhere other than your hotel. If the start place is, for example, in the Juniper Room at your hotel, no worries. But if it is at 4567 Where-is-this-Place Road it's not so comfortable. Fortunately, it's usually at a meeting room in the hotel.

Finding your own way at the end of a program may be less concern because you will have the lay of the land so it won't be as unfamiliar.

Hope this helps.

Los Altos...
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10. Re: OAT - Overseas Adventure Travel

We have had no problem using our own air in conjunction with OAT tours. Frequently we use frequent flier miles. We usually leave a few days before the tour starts, which gives us time to sightsee on our own before the tour starts. It also allows us to acclimate to the time change before starting the tour.

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