smarTours makes it possible to experience more once-in-a-lifetime trips. Since 1996, more than 200,000 travelers have taken a smarTours trip to 40+ exotic destinations around the globe. Our tours are priced "all in" (with airfare from U.S. origination airport) and require only a modest deposit to reserve. Some smarTravelers have taken five, 10 or even 20+ trips with us. smarTours is the smarter way to see the world.
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Jeremy's amazing breadth and depth of knowledge was beyond any I have experienced with a Tour Guide - and I have been on quite a number of trips through the years. From the current political situation, to the fascinating history of the country, to the flora and fauna, and so much more - he made this fantastic country all the more memorable. I am so grateful. And then there is the country itself - absolutely astounding. Even though there are so many places to visit on the planet, this is one I would love to return to. Not to be missed!
My wife and I just came back from a fascinating trip to Egypt. We used smarTours for the first time and are glad we made that choice. The tour director was Mr Khaled **, an archaeologist and Egyptologist with profound knowledge of ancient history and with patience to explain and connect all phases of the history of Egypt. It is important to indicate that contrary to the general perception, Egypt is very safe. The people are very nice and friendly everywhere you go. We highly recommend this tour for its price, value and life experience.
The Kenya/Tanzania safari in September 2016 was excellent. I highly recommend this affordable safari where we saw plenty of wildlife up close, had excellent accommodations, and food, along with a wonderful friendly and knowledgeable guide. Don't miss out on the hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara followed by a champagne/cooked breakfast on the Mara. Also be sure to visit the Samburu and Masai villages. This is the trip of a lifetime and smarTours does an excellent job. I felt safe and well cared for.
Went on Best of the Orient tour. The travel time was very exhausting. Flight from LAX to Hong Kong was 14 hours and 20 minutes. Waited at Hong Kong Airport for Three hours, then took a flight to Thailand. The flight time was 2 hours 30 minutes. Arrived at Bangkok airport and waited two hours to tour guide to collect everyone, then over one hour ride to hotel! My wife and I became ill in Hong Kong along with other passengers. Our guide contact the hotel manager requesting a doctor. The doctor gave us antibiotics. The hotel charged a $100 concierge fee to attend with the doctor. The medical doctor charged $1,074 U. S. Dollars for his services!!
We submitted our claim for medical cost to Tripmate on December 13, 2018. The insurance did not acknowledge receipt of our claim until January 28, 2019. We spent many hours dealing with this insurance company. They never answered the phone. You select call back option and if you miss the call you need to start the loop over. They indicated they could not process our claim unless the had a letter from Medicare that out of country travel is not covered, This Request was just to delay payment. We call SmarTours to see if they could investigate. They said send and email to support. We did and received a response that someone will be in touch with you in six weeks. They were of no help and would not intervene, yet this is the insurance the offer their travelers.
We finally received reimbursement today, August 15, 2019. We met a lot of nice people and saw some nice sights, but unfortunately our trip was ruined because of the greed of the Hong Kong doctor and hotel and the non existent service my Tripmate and SmarTours. PS: I tried to place a review on the SmarTours website but they only allow positive reviews. Don’t use Tripmate and choose a tour company that will probably vet their hotels and third party service staff.
Tour was not as advertised when we paid for it. Many cities, shore excursions, additional land tours were deleted from the itinerary last minute without explanation. Shore excursions were cut short by up to 2 hrs without explanation.. The riverboat was changed to a lesser vessel with very small, cramped, accommodations. We had issues with a public bathroom flooding into our cabin. We were not told our trip was booked during a German Religious Holiday, consequently most cities visited were shut down..
We were promised a half day in Rotterdam and a full day and a half in Amsterdam. The former was completely eliminated and we arrived in Amsterdam at 3:00 pm the day before departure allowing for a fast paced walking tour of a small part of the city lasting 21/2 hours. Flights were scheduled so early travelers were asked to be up and on the bus by 4:30 am to depart for their flights not allowing any time at night in Amsterdam. When brought to the attention of smarTours my mother and I were given a very small refund $200.00 for the inconvenience of the cabin flood and told they would not discuss the "bait and switch" trip.. All without explanation.. Our weather was perfect, the river was at a perfect flow.
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My wife and I went on a Scandinavian tour with an add on for St. Petersburg, Russia. I found that the guides for Sweden, Norway and Denmark were adequate but there were too many free days where we were left on our own. The hotel rooms were good for backpackers but not for senior citizens. Most of the time we had to carry our own luggage which on other tours it was always done for us. Many of the hotels did not have porters. We found that the guide in Finland was horrible. She changed the political history of her country to favorable. After googling what she said, we found out she lied. The nicest part of our trip was to St. Petersburg. The hotel was very nice and the guide that we had was extremely knowledgeable and helped us with all of our needs. Also the tour booked all the air flights for the tour my wife and I were never seated together, how absurd. This was my first tour with smarTours and also my last.
This may look like a reasonably priced tour, but be aware that many highlights such as the 4 famous piazzas of Rome and the Uffizi in Florence are OPTIONAL tours! Many of the travelers had traveled with smarTours before and were not happy with this one. The accommodations were average. Some of the guides were excellent; others were fair. The company requests feedback, but I waited 19 days before I received a perfunctory response and that only after I contacted them numerous times. I will not travel with smarTours again!
I recently visited India’s Golden Triangle—Delhi, Agra and Jaipur with a stop at Ranthambore to see the Bengal tigers. Though India did not disappoint me, the accommodations chosen by smarTours and especially our farewell dinner did. I must say one thing remained consistently above excellence, our tour-guide Jasvir **. He more than made up for all the deficiencies in the hotels and the heat. Our Delhi hotel was good but every accommodation after that went in decline—faulty AC, noise, quality of food and service in restaurants. Our farewell dinner was practically inedible. Because of Jasvir’s knowledge of the history, geography, politics, culture, his personal experience, his clear English, wonderful humor, charismatic personality, caring ways and professional but interesting and engaging presentation of his knowledge, the journey through a piece of India’s heart was truly an incredible learning experience.
My experience was great until we were coming back home. We were all on stand by when we got our tickets. We all started to panic. There were 10 in our party and 33 overall on this trip. A few did get assigned seats but the rest of us had to wait until a ticket agent came. This should not have happened. We paid for our trip and expected full service all the way.
The tour itself was very good. The guide very helpful and knowledgeable. However, this tour included Airfare, which was non-negotiable. (No reduced price for making your own airfare.) I had to travel cross-country to catch the flight to Columbia in Miami. When I arrived at the Avianca counter I was told that the flight was full, despite being sent earlier in the month an electronic ticket. I had to pay to fly to Bogota, the starting point of the tour, or miss two days of the tour. Beware. All their tours are "Airfare Included". Not such a great deal!
smarTours expert review by ConsumerAffairs
The smarTours company has been in business since 1996, offering low-cost group vacation tours to exotic worldwide locales. To date, more than 150,000 satisfied travelers have used smarTours to book their holiday.
Expert guides: Local, English-speaking guides enhance the tourist experience by providing local knowledge of destination sites to smarTours guests in the language guests are most comfortable with. This allows travelers to enjoy traveling without the frustrations of a language barrier.
Deluxe accommodations: smarTours offer group booking options, which make it possible to enjoy bigger savings at both deluxe and first-class hotels.
Roommate services: Since traveling alone often comes with increased costs with many prices based on double occupancy, smarTours offers 'Find a Roommate' services to help keep travel costs low.
Airfare is included: Rather than incur additional expenses, international airfare is included with discounted packages through smarTours.
Industry certification: The smarTours company is a member of United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), which allows travelers peace of mind since certified operators carry at least $1 million of professional liability insurance to cover issues and problems that may arise.
Best for: SmarTours is best for groups needing to travel on a budget while still experiencing exotic locales.
smarTours Company Information
- Company Name:
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- 545 8th Ave. Suite 2250
- New York
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- United States