smarTours Reviews

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Overall Rating
1.5 out of 5
See all 134 reviews

About smarTours

With smarTours, you can visit the world’s must-see destinations and stay safe while you travel. The company offers a collection of over 50 affordable trips to locations in the U.S. and around the globe. When purchasing a tour package, you can decide between "all in" pricing (with airfare from a U.S. airport) or booking your own flights. smarTours takes the stress out of planning so you can focus on enjoying your travel experience.

smarTours Reviews

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Customer Service

Reviewed Nov. 2, 2023

Looking for other travelers who have recently canceled tours to the Middle East or the Mediterranean with smarTours. We are two such travelers who feel that Smartours is not only choosing to continue going into what is suddenly a dangerous region -- despite serious US State Department warnings but is also apparently NOT INTERESTED in any alternative to this trip and/or a settlement which would keep people safe and also show some good will on their part. The fear and likelihood of being taken hostage, tortured, and/or killed is very real and their disregard of this to keep with their “standard practice” is mind boggling. The current hostilities in Israel and Gaza are not business as usual. Simply removing a port of call is not an appropriate solution for those who no longer wish to go into an area where terror has seriously escalated. Please email me at ** or phone **.

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Response from smarTours

Trips to the Middle East and Mediterranean, excluding Israel, have continued to operate safely and have not been delayed or cancelled with many passengers currently on the ground and having a wonderful experience. We are unfortunately unable to offer cash refunds or credits to customers who cancel within a short window just before scheduled departures as all airlines, accommodations and vendors have been paid in full already for these trips under contracts where refunds are not possible.

Customer Service

Reviewed Oct. 12, 2023

I had booked their three continent cruise which is scheduled to be in on 10/27/2023 which was traveling to Egypt and Israel.. I have not received any emails regarding updated information on trip despite sending them several emails. I called them today and was told that the trip was “STILL ON” and that if I cancel I would lose all of my money which totals $5100. I asked if I could reschedule they said no. Given the circumstances couldn’t they make an exception he said no. My opinion is that they would rather put you in harm's way then give out any monetary refund. This is my first and last encounter with this company! Avoid!

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Response from smarTours

Hi Michelle-We have sent multiple updates in the week since the war broke out via email in regards to the ship's new route which will not include Israel. As it stands, all trips other than our Israel tour are operating as normal. We have travelers and partners in Egypt now who have not experienced any disruptions. Therefore, standard terms and conditions would apply were you to cancel this close to departure.

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    Customer ServicePricePunctuality & Speed

    Reviewed Aug. 30, 2023

    Terrible customer service! After coming back from a tour in Portugal, I realized that flying with SmarTours was a mistake. Including my flight from southern California to Newark my flight was more expensive and with layover took 17 hours each way. Having also booked a future trip to Costa Rica with them, I realized that I could fly direct and save 6 hours each way and $1200. When I explained to SmarTours that I wanted to cancel the flight, they told me it was too late (the tour isn't till November and it is still August).

    Then I was told that I could cancel it but it would cost $100 per person. Then I was told that I would have to take the refund as a credit for my next trip. The final blow was that they are only refunding as a credit 50% back. I agree with other reviews:SmarTours business policies are questionable. At this point I would recommend to stay away from them.

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    Response from smarTours

    We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. We understand that you are disappointed with the cancellation policy regarding your flight with smarTours. Please note that once airfare is finalized, we are required to pay our vendors, and unfortunately, we do not receive a refund if the tickets are canceled. The cancellation timelines are in place to align with our payment obligations to the airline and are non refundable after final payment is made.

    profile pic of the author

    Reviewed May 27, 2023

    In March 2023 we took a SmarTours package to Morocco. I was a little afraid to travel there, but my husband was super excited to go. Now I look back at my fear as naivety, because I absolutely fell in love with Morocco and its people. Our guide was named Madani and he shared so much about the lives of his people and their rich history. We traveled in comfort and stayed in amazing hotels in six different cities. We went on daily adventures that I never knew were possible. This was not what I call a "vacation", but rather "educational traveling". Every day I learned...every day I experienced this exciting country and culture...and best of all...every day I smiled. Our first adventure with SmarTours was to Peru. That adventure got us hooked on this company, because we realized how much of the world, we knew nothing of, but could learn about with SmarTours. Live for today...because tomorrow is not promised

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    Response from smarTours

    Thank you Denise! It was a pleasure to have you travel with us to Morocco!

    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed March 4, 2023

    The agent wasn’t interested in giving me more information about the tour. All he kept saying was Ok ok ok. Then he blocked me from talking to anyone else. Hung up on him. Called back 3x and got the same person. All he wanted was my credit card which I did give. I called back the next day and the other person said he’ll send me a receipt and I’m still waiting. Had I seen the reviews before I’d never use Smartours.

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    Response from smarTours

    Dear Vejai, we are so sorry that your experience with our customer service team was not in line with your expectations. We've sent you a private response to share some additional information and hope that we can resolve any outstanding questions. You will also receive additional information about the trip by email as your departure date approaches. Please reach out with any additional questions, and we do hope that you have a wonderful journey.

    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed Dec. 6, 2022

    Unauthorized removal of over 3,000$ from my bank account and I cannot get an answer to get my money back. I made a payment of 1,000 and they took 3200.00. Unauthorized. I have called many times all without resolve. There is no one to speak to. Only a customer service person. This is absolutely awful and I will never ever book another trip.

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    Response from smarTours

    Dear Lisa, We apologize for this mix-up and the delay in getting your refund. After investigation, we found this refund was held up in our accounting department, but we are looking to get this situation rectified right away. Thank you for your patience. We are so sorry this has taken so long, and hope that your travel experience with us next year will still be a wonderful one, despite this rocky start.

    Best wishes,

    The smarTours Team

    Customer ServiceSales & MarketingPriceStaff

    Reviewed Sept. 7, 2022

    BEWARE of Smartours. On August 4 of 2022, Smartours ruined our Tanzania Safari experience by downgrading and changing our accommodations without any notification to a camp site where we felt unsafe, vulnerable and restless. After not sleeping much that night we moved to a lodge related to the same company they used and on top of that we ended up paying an extra $600 USD to get what we paid for in the first place. Seems like a bait and switch to add additional profit as turns out there were lodges in the area just not as cheap as the camp surely. We told the guide we would sleep in the jeep before returning to the camp.

    At least that way we had safety.

    When we purchased this safari package Kenya with a Tanzania extension, we paid for hotels not camps, which is what their website shows and even the final itinerary package they provided showed hotels/lodges, not camp sites. We ended spending the whole day on August 5 searching for a room on our vacation already booked, this put much stress on our vacation and our guide trying to satisfy his customers. We would have cancelled the Tanzania extension if informed we were staying at a camp, but this was conveniently not communicated to us until we arrived in this Country

    Smartours was very deceptive in their approach and negligent in how this was handled. The biggest issue was no notice. This Safari trip was quite expensive and for the price we paid we never expected to be downgraded in this way. We have used Smartours for several trips in the past but, this blatant omission is fraudulent and concerning to say the least.

    We have emailed Smartours customer service many times. No response as of this date. We have called them numerous times since our return on August 10, 2022, spoken to several people and no action has been taken on their part. We plan to sue in small claims for a partial refund and return of our additional cost. When things got tough they disappeared leaving us to fend for ourselves in a foreign land. There are many other tour company choices do not bother using a company who does not take care of customers and ignores you when issues arise. This is a desperate company refusing to attempt to resolve our issues as they have our cash and now make us chase them for resolution. On to the next sucker is the way they look at it appears. The pandemic was tough but, did not think they would turn to stealing from customers and laughing all the way to the bank.

    Dissatisfied Customers

    Stephen ** and Monika **

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    Response from smarTours

    We’d like to acknowledge that you had a frustrating experience, and we could have done better. The original lodge was shuttered due to the pandemic, and we upgraded guests on the extension to luxury tented accommodations. Your final travel documents were updated with this information and sent via email in July indicating the change. We will follow up with you separately to address the specific concerns you have raised in this review. We truly appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts

    Customer Service

    Reviewed July 5, 2022

    Customer Service is horrible. Call six times and you will either get no answer or all different answers. They cheated me out of $349 and gave me the run around. DO Not use them, Spoke with many people on the tour and most said they are done with SmarTours.

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    Response from smarTours

    Hi Rob. I see that you were on our recent Ireland departure. We have opened an investigation into what went wrong on this particular tour. We deeply regret that this trip did not live up to your standards, and absolutely does not live up to ours. You should have received a communication from our management team following up with information on how they plan to rectify these issues. Thank you.

    Sales & Marketing

    Reviewed March 14, 2022

    We booked the Magical Ireland Tour. It had to be cancelled and rebooked twice, due to covid. I received an email from Smartours saying I have a $150 credit. When I called to use it for the payment due on the trip we are finally taking, I was told I can't use it, even though it's a COVID credit, because I have another small credit I'm using from the original deposit I paid. I can only use it by booking a 2nd trip to a different destination. I consider this misleading advertising and don't understand why, if the credit is mine, I can't use it for the trip I've been trying to take for over 2 years. I was told to "read the fine print" at the bottom of the page.

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    Response from smarTours

    Annette, we are so sorry for the confusion regarding this credit. We issued credits to all passengers for payments made against trips suspended due to COVID-19 during 2020. Once passengers used their credit to book a new trip, and paid for that trip in full, we issued an additional $150 credit as a thank you for coming back to us. Our intent was indeed that you would be able to use this on your next trip, but we are so sorry that it was handled in such a way. We do hope you enjoy Ireland!

    Customer Service

    Reviewed Feb. 2, 2022

    Here's my experience with the Smart Tour agency: 1) I had one reservation for 2021 (i.e., Germany Christmas Market), This trip was cancelled due to the rise of COVID by the trade agency. And this Tavel agency provided options to either receive credit for future travels or getting refund. I requested refund and I did receive two different emails from their payroll management (Mr Chis ** & Tyrell **) that I will be receiving my refund by 1/19/2022, not only I did not receive my refund they are not responding to my emails anymore. I would suggest to anyone be really careful if you are planning to book a travel with this agency because they are not reliable plus they have lots a bad reviews with YELP.

    2) I had another reservation for 2022 (i.e., Jewels of Adriatic), This trip also was suspended/cancelled by the travel agency. I paid $600 as non-refundable deposit and I was hoping to receive a credit for the $600 but they are not responding. By the way, I am discussing my matters with my lawyer for further actions.

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    Response from smarTours

    Dear Masoud, thank you for your feedback, and we are so sorry this turned out to be such a frustrating experience, and needed to be escalated so many times. We were able to resolve the refund issue in January and the additional credits have been restored to your account for future travel. There have definitely been many bumps in the road to recovery from the pandemic, and we know we need to do better. Thank you for patience, and we do hope to see you on a future trip!

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    smarTours author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    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.

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

    smarTours Company Information

    Company Name:
    Company Type:
    Year Founded:
    PO Box 619
    Old Greenwich
    Postal Code:
    United States