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›You are hereHome›The Intrepid Experience
The Intrepid Experience
For travellers who want to take a wrong turn every now and then, to be amazed and to see the unseen - Intrepid are your partners in adventure.
It's not just about passport stamps or fridge magnets for us - we simply love real-life travel experiences. The romance of the road, the wonder of the unknown, the thrill of discovery - it's what we're all about, and it's what we recreate for travellers on every single trip we run.
Put a magnifying glass on the world and allow yourself to be surprised by what you findFrom enjoying weird and wonderful modes of transport, to visiting the world's most eye-popping sights or dining with locals, with Intrepid you'll have the full-gamut travel experience. All of this alongside a passionate leader, who'll show you the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants, take you down exciting shortcuts and send you off with plenty of time to follow your inner explorer's intuition.
So put a magnifying glass on the world and allow yourself to be surprised by what you find. Because it's these real life experiences - transcendent moments when you know you're really alive and part of something amazing - that we know you'll remember.
What we are about
Our small group tours are a world away from what you might expect from group travel. For a start, our average group size is just 10 people. With such a small bunch, we can dart between the tourist crowds and visit hidden sites not accessible to larger groups, or stay on remote islands with only a handful of cabins.
Being small also allows our groups to be a bit out of the ordinary - moving around at grassroots level and stumbling across all kinds of unscripted experiences. That's the beauty of Intrepid's travel style - as new adventures crop up you can follow your own instincts and not be bound to an unyielding itinerary.
We also get to hang out with the locals. And not just meeting them on the street as they try to sell you their wares, but getting involved by making up numbers in a street fusbal team or helping to prepare meals for community festivities. And while there's bound to be customs you're unfamiliar with, languages you don't understand and meals you never thought you'd be brave enough to try - the laughs you'll share with new local friends will make it all worthwhile.
If you're ready to do more than just scratch the surface of a new country, you're ready for an Intrepid trip.
We've tailored several different styles of travel and provide options to suit almost every budget, comfort zone and level of physical activity. Our trips are also rated to let you know how much of a culture shock to expect. And as well as offering small group tours in over 110 destinations, we're constantly dreaming up new adventures for our curious travellers.
So whether you're bursting to visit one of the world's top 10 travel destinations, or dream of an out-of-the-box adventure in a far-flung place, there's bound to be an Intrepid trip just waiting to depart - with you on it...
Some people are a little gunshy about group travel for fear of being constantly shepherded from one tourist mecca to another. Our mantra has always been to allow people the freedom to create their own experience, without the daily stress. And we've managed to convert countless solo travellers over the years because of this flexible approach to group travel.
One of the biggest advantages of travelling with Intrepid is that it's like travelling independently - but without the drawbacks. We give travellers the tools, support and local knowledge to maximise their experience, while still encouraging the sense of intrigue and excitement that comes from visiting a new country.
Each trip combines a carefully weighted balance between organised activities, travel and free time, and you can participate as little or as much as you like. Perhaps join the group for a morning of sightseeing, and set off under your own steam for the rest of the day. After all, it's your holiday - we want you to get the most out of it.
A wise man once said: "It's not the destination, but the journey that counts." And no, it wasn't one of Intrepid's co-founders - although they have built a very successful company on the back of it being true!
Travellers often tell us that getting from A to B is the highlight of their day. That's why Intrepid tours come with all manner of weird and wonderful transport options, from the familiar to the downright bizarre.
Actual modes of transport depend on when and where you go, as well as the trip style. You could find yourself riding a camel, a bicycle or a bamboo raft; boarding a bus, a bemo or an airplane. However you go - as with all things Intrepid - you'll go the local way...
Where our weary travellers rest their heads each night is really important to us. Be it a family-run hotel, a hilltop monastery or a Bedouin camp, plenty of thought goes into each night's accommodation - with the guiding principle that it keeps our travellers firmly entrenched in a region's people and culture.
Our choices are based on friendliness, as well as facilities and character, as much as convenience. In some small communities, we alternate our tours to stay between a number of different homestays or hotels to ensure we support more than one local operator.
Naturally, standards vary according to trip style, with Comfort tours offering a bit of a 'softer landing' in comparison to one of our Basix adventures. Whatever your style of travel, rest assured we've chosen a place which lets you really experience the heartbeat of each destination.
A country's cuisine is at the forefront of its culture. Great food is often the essence of the adventure. Remember the aroma of lemongrass and coriander as you trekked through the Thai countryside? Or the satiating satisfaction of chopsticks thrust deep into the belly of a dumpling in Shanghai? Or even the bizarre crunch of the worm in the bottom of the mezcal in Oaxaca?
On an Intrepid tour you'll spend much time talking about and eating food. Our trips have some meals included, so check your trip notes to find out which meals are provided and how much money to allow for meals not included.
And if you're embarking on an Overland journey, you'll also experience the fun of being a part of the cooking crew - pitching in to shop and cook group meals.
Intrepid trips are designed to be different, but one thing they do have in common - without exception - is they are great value for money. But you get more than just an affordable adventure.
With local knowledge from our accomplished leaders and guides, itineraries crafted by destination experts and our unparalleled enthusiasm to create once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences, our trips offer so much more.
You'll eat in restaurants not found in any guidebook, stay in accommodation that really captures the spirit of the place and join locals to explore their towns, shop in their markets and visit their homes. It's this cost-effective means of really experiencing the world that entices so many people to travel with Intrepid year after year.
Intrepid offers more than 800 small group tours across Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, Australasia and Antarctica - and we're constantly dreaming up new adventures. Some of our trips depart daily, while others are more of a seasonal or niche experience - from short-and-sweet two-day Short Breaks to epic 90-day Overland tours, there's an Intrepid adventure waiting to kick off with you on board.
And because of our small group sizes, we're able to guarantee departure for almost all of our trips. Unlike other operators we generally run trips on a maximum number basis, not a minimum. So even if your work-life balance leaves you with only two weeks of annual leave, we'll find a trip that fits your schedule and is guaranteed to depart.
Responsible travel is about the attitude you take and the choices you make when travelling - to respect and benefit local people, their culture and economy, as well as the environment.
We mostly take public transport, stay and eat in small-scale, local establishments, travel in small groups, and spread the word of sustainable tourism wherever we can. And every year we evaluate each trip to ensure its full compliance with our Responsible Travel Code of Conduct.
Taking these small steps, we're able to make a big difference. And that goes for the whole trip experience too. Our travellers get to meet local people and really get to know their culture first hand, directly contributing to local economies and helping to develop cross-cultural understanding. For more information see our Responsible Travel pages.
Our pre-departure info provides a detailed snapshot of the main visitor information and customs of the countries on your trip. Be sure to read the notes thoroughly so you can pack accordingly and be prepared when you arrive.
Here are our top 10 responsible travel tips:
1. Research the countries you are visiting - things like religion and culture, local rules, appropriate behaviour and body language.
2. Learn some language and don’t be afraid to use it - simple pleasantries always help break the ice.
3. Support locally owned businesses. Eat local food and drink, use public transport or hire a bike - you'll meet local people and get to know the place.
4. Avoid visiting restaurants, stores, shows, markets or zoos that promote cruelty or exploitation of animals - particularly endangered species.
5. Help keep traditional arts alive by shopping for locally made products or souvenirs (instead of imported items). Bargain if that's a local practice, but bear in mind that a small amount to you could be extremely important to the seller.
6. Dress respectfully with an awareness of local standards. Dress modestly at religious sites and check what swimwear is suitable for pools and the beach.
7. Always ask first before photographing or videoing people. Offer to send back copies of photos to help make it a two-way exchange.
8. Be wary of giving gifts or money to beggars, children and people you have just met. Supporting the community through a local school, clinic or development project may be more constructive.
9. Leave only footprints and treat the environment as you would your own home. Take out all you take in to remote areas, use alternatives to plastic and say "no" to plastic bags. For cigarette butts, an empty film container makes a perfect portable container.
10. After returning home, think about supporting programs or organisations that are working to protect the welfare, culture and environment of the places you’ve been lucky enough to visit.
This might seem like simple advice, but it can make a huge difference to both your experience and that of the next group of travellers.
Want your children to discover a world beyond their own backyard? On an Intrepid Family holiday, you can step off the well-beaten path of caravan parks and 'Kidz Clubs' and share in the wonder of a new country as a family.
Most of our Family adventures are designed for travellers with children aged six years and over. We offer a broad range of flexible trips, from spotting wildlife in Africa to walking onto the pages of history in Pompeii or enjoying beachside bliss in Thailand. These adventure holidays will open your children's eyes to the world and give your family memories to last a lifetime.
Our itineraries are specially designed with the wants and needs of families in mind. We mix culture and activities with time to relax and explore at your family's own pace. You will also be travelling in the company of just four to six like-minded families - a great chance to make some new friends. Intrepid families come from all walks of life and every corner of the globe, but they all have one thing in common - a desire to explore the world!
After a trip wraps up, we ask our travellers to provide honest feedback about their Intrepid adventure. We pride ourselves on our fantastic customer feedback and we're often blown away by the heartfelt sentiments we receive from people who have had "the best experience" of their lives. In fact, 97 per cent of Intrepid travellers say they would travel with us again.
Each Intrepid trip also has an average Traveller Rating out of 5. To determine this we ask "How would you rate your overall experience?" and simply average out the scores. We find it's an accurate way to measure how our trips are tracking, and are happy to report that our current average feedback rating is 4.67 out of 5.
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- To get knowledge of, learn of, or become aware of, gain sight or knowledge, something previously unseen, unknown or unexpected
- Learn, realise, find out
- Travelling is the ultimate way to discover a new perspective.
- Astonishing; impressive
- Bewildering, astounding, beyond belief
The Serengeti - home to the most eye-popping orange sunsets.
- An instinctive impulse to roam or travel about
- Itchy feet, travel bug
There is no known cure for wanderlust.
- The capacity to endure.
- Supportable, maintainable, ecological
Since opening doors in 1989, Intrepid has had a firm commitment to sustainable travel.
- The act, process, or manner of growing; development;
- Development, evolution, progress
The travel industry has experienced significant growth since travellers started seeking real life experiences.
- New; original; relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas
- Ground-breaking, pioneering, inventive
Innovative developments in online travel have made it easier for travellers to research their dream destination.
- Affected with or dominated by passion or vehement emotion
- Fervent, enthusiastic, avid
The local guide at Angkor Wat was passionate about sharing the history of his heritage.
- Soundness of moral principle and character
- Honesty, truth, honour
Our local operators believe in maintaining the integrity of tourism in their region.
- Enjoyment; amusement
- Exuberance, joy, entertainment
Travellers flock to Thailand for fun in the sun.
- Fearless; adventurous; dauntless
- Brave, courageous, bold
Shackleton was one of the world’s most intrepid travellers.