Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: G Adventures

I've had some inquiries as to what tour companies I use.

The one I've taken multiple trips with is G Adventures. This the company that I used with a friend for the Costa Rica trip and that my husband and I used for our Galapagos/Ecuador and Peru trips.

G Adventures used to be GAP -- Great Adventure People. G Adventures is a small Canadian company. It specializes in small group adventure travel. But don't let the word 'adventure' scare you. The company has evolved along with the needs of their clients. Yes, you can find bare bones trips (usually filled with 20-30 somethings) but you can also find 'comfort' trips (that's where you'll find us 60-somethings).

What I like about the G Adventure trips is that I don't end up paying for things I probably wouldn't want like 3 meals a day with the whole group. The price includes your accommodations, transportation, and group leader. And the prices are great.

Some tours include more and that is very clearly spelled out in the trip dossier. There is a lot of free time and I can chose to do nothing or I can opt for a local tour. I do and pay for what I want...not what is already built into an expensive itinerary.

G Adventures has a great forum that I participate in regularly. It was extremely helpful to me before my trips so I like to return the favor. Their web site is very user friendly and it is very easy to search for and book your trip online. You'll find online trip summaries and complete trip dossiers. Customer service is superb. Got a question? Just write. You'll get a speedy reply.

Obviously, I was happy with our G Adventures trips. Yes, we had a glitch or two but it can be that way with ANY travel. (Read my Hurtigruten Overbooking post.) If you are looking for unique, small group travel and are able and willing to do things like carry your own bags, then I do recommend that you take a look at G Adventures.

Oh...I almost forget....BIG advantage of G Adventures for the solo traveler....NO single supplement!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

GAP Adventures Changes Name To G Adventures

Just got an email from GAP Adventures announcing that they were changing their name to G Adventures. I know GAP stood for Great Adventure People. Does G stand for just Great?

Below is the full text of the email. What I don't understand is why such a well branded company, one whose name is known for quality adventure trips, would go and change their name. To me it makes no sense as it means they will have to 'brand' themselves all over again.

I took three GAP Adventures trips ... one with my friend Lynn to Costa Rica and two with my husband to the Galapagos and Machu Pichu. They were great trips and the price was right. I have always recommended GAP Adventures to people and I hope I can continue to do so.

(For blog posts about my GAP trips, use the Search box in the right side bar and type in Costa Rica, Galapagos or Peru.)

We love changing people's lives—even our own. So as of today, say hello to G Adventures.

One of the fundamental truths about travel is that it can change you for the better. For over 20 years we've been helping adventurers experience this amazing world and we'll still be doing this tomorrow and the day after—just with a new name. As of now, we're G Adventures. New short-and-sweet name, same life-changing travel company

What does this mean to you? Well, in every way that matters, we’re the same company today that we were yesterday. We’re still available 24/7 to answer your questions. We still offer our innovative lifetime deposits. Our roster of unique trips is still incredible and wide-ranging. We still spend every minute of our waking hours dreaming up new, responsible and sustainable ways to show you the world as it was meant to be seen.

The only difference, is that from here on out, you'll be seeing G Adventures on our website, our brochure covers, newsletters and on the shirts of our CEOs helping travelers get off the beaten path. It's a bold change that's both an evolutionary and revolutionary step into the future.

Get ready for a whole new adventure!

Update: I have since learned that the reason for the name change was a name infringement lawsuit by Gap clothing that G.A.P. Adventures lost.

Monday, September 26, 2011

This Has Nothing To Do With Travel

I got a chuckle this morning ... copied from a friend on Facebook.

A Dr. on TV said to have inner peace we should always finish things we start & we all could use more calm in our lives. I looked around my house to find things I'd started & hadn't finished, so I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, a bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiuminun scriptins, an a box a chocletz. Yu haf no idr how fablus I feel rite now. Sned this to all who need inner piss. An telum u luvum

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Seasonal Rentals

As we get older, we find that hotel one night stands are no longer for us. We did a bunch of those on our recent trip to the southwest and they were exhausting. But that does not mean we want to stop traveling or stop visiting new places. So that got me to think about seasonal rentals.

Of course there are many people in our area who head to Florida in the winter time. And, in the summer time, some head a bit further north to the Thousand Island area. But what about even further north and further away and checking out Cochrane homes for rent.

Cochrane is a suburb of Calgary, Canada and is a short drive from the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains. There are some lovely apartments in the area available for rental all year round and they would make a great base for enjoying both summer and winter activities in the mountains. Plus the close proximity to Calgary would make easily available big city amenities.

Investigating furnished apartments to rent in the area, I wonder if they could be rented on a seasonal basis. Spending a month or two in the area would be a great way to tour and experience a new area.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Review: Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts

This place is fantastic. We could have spent hours and hours here. I was so impressed with how there was something for everyone, no matter what their age.

There is plenty of hands on for children. And even these 'children' got to play with some of it.

And there are also many displays that are geared to the older visitor with some higher level of understanding of mathematics and science.

We visited on a day when the weather looked iffy and yet, even with the crowds of families with children, the facility did not seem crowded ... except at lunchtime when we needed to find a table in the restaurant.

The building layout is great, with elevators and restrooms in each wing and an escalator in the main building ... far superior layout to what we found in the aquarium building.

For anyone with interest in science, or for a great place to expose your children to science, I highly recommend the Museum of Science in Boston.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pack For A Purpose

I was just made aware of this fantastic organization. Pack For A Purpose makes it easy for visitors to foreign countries to donate needed supplies. The nonprofit organization was founded in 2009 and has a list of over 100 destinations. The idea is to have tourists use some extra luggage space to bring helpful supplies to the community they will be visiting.

You start by going to the web site and clicking on the area you will be visiting. A list of countries comes up and then, when you click on a country, the site displays a list of hotels supporting projects. Click on a hotel and you learn about the project and what supplies are needed. All that a tourist has to do is drop the supplies off at the hotel. There is no requirement to stay there.

Basically the site is easy to use but I think it would be more helpful if the hotel's city was added next to the hotel name. The way the site works now, you have to click on each hotel to find out where it is located. Actually, I think I will write them and suggest they add that information.

Still, the organization is a great idea and reminds me of when I brought a box of pencils, crayons and books when we went on our Africa safari. I will definitely check out Pack For A Purpose before my next international trip.