Oman vacations, Arabian sands

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Date
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12 Oct 2019
US $1840
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02 Nov 2019
US $1910
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16 Nov 2019
US $1910
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21 Dec 2019
US $1910
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01 Feb 2020
US $1950
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15 Feb 2020
US $1950
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07 Mar 2020
US $1950
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11 Apr 2020
US $1950
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10 Oct 2020
US $1950
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24 Oct 2020
US $1950
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07 Nov 2020
US $1950
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14 Nov 2020
US $1950
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28 Nov 2020
US $1950
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19 Dec 2020
US $1950
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Vouchers
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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

Responsible tourism: Oman vacations, Arabian sands

Environment

All accommodation is locally owned and in which you experience great food, most of which is sourced locally. This not only provides direct employment within the hotel, but also has the effect of percolating money beyond to small businesses that supply the hotel and in this way money is spread throughout the region we visit.

As a company we aim to encourage interaction with local communities while showing respect for local culture, beliefs and traditions, as well as the importance of respecting the natural surroundings and not leaving a trace, in order to protect places for generations to come. This helps break down cultural barriers and fosters a spirit of mutual respect and understanding. Our Tour Leaders are trained by us in the importance of responsible tourism with guidance given on how they can make a difference.

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, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our 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. We acknowledge that air travel has a negative impact on our environment, so we work together with Cool Earth to offset carbon and protect our important rainforests.

Community

An amazing number of people benefit from this trip, from restaurateurs to local guides, drivers of buses and 4WD vehicles - even the local bedouin from whom travelers buy fresh produce.

This means that unlike a more conventional ‘package vacation’ the money we spend contributes towards generating an income for a vast number of people. We travel by small charter bus, not large coach, and 4WDs. Money spent on entrance fees contributes to the ongoing maintenance of desert castles whilst our visit to the Wahiba Sands helps fix in locals' minds the importance of conservation to their future.

2 Reviews of Oman vacations, Arabian sands

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 02 Jan 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We visited the Friday Market at Nizwa, where goats and cattle are auctioned in the marketplace. Although there were quite a few tourists it was still a memorable and authentic experience.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Make sure you have a good torch for the nights camping, and an additional camping mattress is also a good idea.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


To some extent. The trip employed local drivers and camp assistants, all rubbish was assiduously collected and taken away from campsites, and the guide provided water top-ups from large bottles to reduce plastic consumption. However, water and soft drinks were also distributed in small bottles and cans, and plastic plates and cutlery were used for the camp meals. Not sure if Oman has recycling but different elements of waste eweren't separated. Surplus untouched food from lunchboxes was given to people in need.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was thoroughly enjoyable! I hadn't particularly been looking forward to the wild camping but it was survivable and the night in the desert was well worth it to experience the peace, see the sunset and the starry night sky. (Note for 2019 the camping is reduced to 2 non-consecutive nights).

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Traveling through and camping in the Omani desert was the most memorable part of the trip for me. I have crossed the Sahara twice as well as the Gobi Desert but the sand dunes of Oman are even more beautiful and interesting.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


As the trip doesn't have much free time in Muscat I would suggest arriving a day earlier or staying one day more that is NOT a Friday so that you can see some of the museums of Muscat.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I don't think the trip had a positive OR negative impact on any of these issues. It was too short and too well organized to even know where food was bought or how local people were involved. Care was taken in the desert to be environmental sensitive as well as the one time we visited a bedouin family so I guess I would lean toward a positive response.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I had a wonderful time, but I do think the itinerary should be re-arranged so that Friday is not the last day of the trip.

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