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Date
Price
Basis
07 Nov 2020
US $1680
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14 Nov 2020
US $1680
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21 Dec 2020
US $1680
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16 Jan 2021
US $1720
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23 Jan 2021
US $1720
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13 Feb 2021
US $1720
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27 Feb 2021
US $1720
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06 Mar 2021
US $1720
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30 Oct 2021
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06 Nov 2021
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13 Nov 2021
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20 Nov 2021
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27 Nov 2021
US $1720
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18 Dec 2021
US $1720
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27 Dec 2021
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Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
On this trip we visit several UNESCO World Heritage sites: Halong Bay, Hoi An and My Son Cham Towers. The entrance fees that we pay contribute to the upkeep of these special places.

We use two overnights trains to travel the length of the country, both to experience the joys of rail travel in Vietnam and because train travel is far more environmentally friendly than air travel. We use an entirely local crew, i.e tour leader, drivers and guides.

On our journey to Halong Bay we visit the Huong Ngoc Humanities Centre, a project where disabled people are trained in various crafts such as embroidery and painting. Their works are on sale with profits going to support the center.

By far the most rewarding experiences come from the independent experiences and encounters our travelers have during their free time on tour. We do not believe in shepherding our groups and our tour leaders actively encourage independent exploration during the unstructured periods we have built in for personal exploration.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Explore leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At the Explore Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

The hotels we use are locally owned. We only include breakfast on this tour so that passengers eat out at a variety of small restaurants and street stalls, thus spreading their spending wealth and also getting to sample the best of the fantastic local cuisine.

Climate

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