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Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

San Francisco
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Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

I am interested in getting recommendations for travel to Vietnam/Cambodia with these two companies. Which company has better guides, hotels, itineraries?

172 replies to this topic
Wayne, Pennsylvania
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141. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

Yes, Judy 32655,this is what I was wondering, too!

St. Augustine...
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142. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

I am currently on the people of the Mekong trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. So far, I am disappointed. Seems we see 1 or 2 things a day. In Hanoi we stood in a cold drizzle for an hour listening to an explanation of indigenous housing. But the worst aspect thus far was the flight over....booked by Road Scholar. They flew us from San Francisco to Hong Kong to Singapore to Hanoi .... 30 hours travel time. Other participants got to Hanoi in about 16 hours. I have been trying to reach them to change the flight back, but they aren’t responding.

Loch Arbour, New...
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143. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

One thing I do when I travel is to book my own flight. Mainly because I like to spend a few days on my own. Reading some of these negative reports makes me glad that I've done that.

The very first trip I took with Roadscholar (then Elderhostel) was a total disaster. The other participants kept telling me that I shouldn't use it as indicative of the typical trip. So I didn't give up (through two name changes) and am so glad. I have had many wonderful experiences with them!

So it saddens me to see these reports.

N. Idaho
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144. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

"One thing I do when I travel is to book my own flight. Mainly because I like to spend a few days on my own. Reading some of these negative reports makes me glad that I've done that."

I do the same as MaryGo3 and book my own. I fly from a small end-of-the-line airport and I know the connections out of my closest hubs. It does mean that I am responsible for getting myself from the airport to the first hotel but that is usually not a problem. On my first international tour with them, most of the people flying from the Western part of the US were routed thru Dallas and flown on American Airlines resulting in some convoluted routes when Delta would have been an easier and more direct choice. That confirmed my decision to book my own. Plus I also prefer to go in several days ahead to give myself time to recover from jet lag and to allow for any flight disruptions.

I AM considering letting RS book a flight from Paris to a small town in Southern France to meet up with the group transfer on a tour I've got my eye on as public transportation to the starting village seems slightly difficult.

My advice to anyone allowing a tour company to book flights is to familiarize yourself with what flights are available and reasonable (departure/arrival times, layover times, # of flights), then have the company contact you with the routing for approval before they book you. This is a learning curve, of course.

Road Scholar is closed on the weekends so you'll need to contact them during the week based on their opening time in the EST zone. I would not be confident they can re-route you at this stage. You'll know better next time.

I hope the tour is more enjoyable over the rest of your tour time.

Edited: 07 January 2018, 02:19
seattle
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145. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

I'll give you one little caveat however in regards to booking your own flights. I work for tour companies however not the ones you mention here. Some companies have an 'air dept' that coordinates plane arrivals so the group can come in about the same time. Some let you choose your own flights. Some just let you arrange everything yourself. What is important is what happens if there is an air delay or rerouting? In cruises the cruise will get you to the next port if you booked with them. If you did your own your sort of stuck. That's worth asking when considering doing your own air. If you book your own then going with one of the major carriers will be to your advantage as most of the cheapies will not rebook you on a competing carrier for mechanical delays or?

N. Idaho
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146. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

Excellent points, Davidgmg. Also worth going in several days ahead of your tour if you can to allow some flex for delays.

Ridgewood, New...
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147. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

My wife and I took the OAT trip to Peru and arranged our own air travel with our frequent flier miles. OAT gave us a credit of only $100 per person against the cost of the trip. If we had paid cash for our air tickets they would have cost far more than $100 per person. So OAT is happy to let you do your own air--it's another profit center for them. We arrived in Lima two days before the trip started, which I recommend at all destinations (if you arrange your own air travel) to get acclimated and do some exploring on your own before the organized trip begins.

N. Idaho
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148. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

Road Scholar air fare is calculated differently from OAT as it is an add-on.

Bentonville...
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149. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

Anyone have experience with Smithsonian trips? I'm thinking of the Hudson River School trip, up the Hudson in the fall.

Loch Arbour, New...
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150. Re: Road Scholar versus Overseas Adventure Travel

Connie, you are more likely to get a response if you start a new thread with Smithsonian Tours in the title.

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