Late last year I traveled to India and chose to do a tour with G Adventures. Today I thought I’d share a bit about my experience traveling with G Adventures and a review of the service for those trying to decide if they should or shouldn’t travel with G Adventures. I went on the ‘India on a Shoestring’ tour – a 3 week tour through India.
One thing I love about G Adventures are the different options for travel styles, price range and service level. I chose a budget option, which was a ‘Yolo’ travel style with basic service level – this meant travelling using public transport but still included hotel accommodation.
Another great thing about G Adventures is that they don’t charge extra for solo travelers – instead they partner you up with another solo travel which makes it really easy to make friends! You also have the option of paying extra for your own room.
Obviously the destinations are going to vary greatly on each tour, however I really liked that my tour included not only the major sights (eg the Taj Mahal) but also lesser-known places that you would otherwise be unlikely to visit (eg we stayed in a small village called Tordi Sagar).
I found the pace of the tour to be slightly too fast compared to my preferred travel style, which made the trip a bit tiring, however it certainly wasn’t as fast-paced as many other major tour companies. We had just enough time in each place to see the major sights and get a bit of a feel for each destination, but not much time to relax or discover hidden gems.
One of my favourite things is that G Adventures uses local transport – trains, buses and rickshaws. Naturally this meant things didn’t always stick to schedule, but this is India after all! I love using public transport when travelling, and while the buses were an experience* to say the least, that’s all part of the journey! (*side note – I was sat on for 4 hours by two ladies and a man peed and spat off the second story forcing me to shut my window and suffer the non-AC heat…. but it makes for a great story, right?).
G Adventures hire local tour guides and calls them Chief Experience Officers (CEO). Our CEO was great, he made sure everything ran to plan as smoothly as possible, and was always going out of his was to ensure we had an awesome trip. For example, he organised a special desert camping trip to celebrate Diwali (complete with dress-ups and a magic show), lined up for over an hour to get us special Diwali sweets, and even had us all around for dinner with his family.
Given this was my first time in India, I decided to book an airport transfer to the hotel on arrival. This made it much easier and less stressful than trying to navigate Delhi airport’s taxi rank in my jet-lagged state! But what I really liked about the transfer was that G Adventures hire local women, which is a great way to provide them with a source of income and some independence.
One thing to keep in mind when booking a tour, particularly the budget options, is that many of the activities are ‘optional extras’, meaning the price is not included in the tour cost. This is good for deciding what you do and don’t want to do but can be a bit limiting when there are no other options.
Overall I loved my experience with G Adventures and would highly recommend them, especially to solo or first-time travelers. In my opinion they are one of the best tour companies for providing a more immersive, local experience and their focus on sustainable tourism is something all travelers should value. A tour was also the perfect way to see India for the first time.
Have you traveled with G Adventures before? Let me know about your experience in the comments!