smarTours

smarTours Reviews

Our promise. We provide a buying advantage with verified reviews and unbiased editorial research.

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

Stars Rating

  • 33%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 0%
  • 67%

Popular Mentions

    How do I know I can trust these reviews about smarTours?
    • 4,477,293 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
    Recent
    • Recent
    • Oldest
    • Most helpful

    A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.

    How do I know I can trust these reviews about smarTours?
    • 4,477,293 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
    • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
    • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
    Page 3 Reviews 40 - 240
    Price

    Reviewed Oct. 17, 2018

    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.

    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed Aug. 30, 2018

    I booked a tour with SmarTours for October 2018 to South Africa and we paid our deposit earlier in the year. After booking the tour my travelling companion's daughter is having a disabled child in October and she had to cancel the whole tour but she and I were travelling on to Victoria Falls so I had to cancel my extension since she was not going. I was charged a change fee of US$150 yet my friend that cancelled got a voucher of $150 for future travel and yet she was the one cancelling her whole trip. I complained only to be ignored by all. This is highly unfair and Liza that I emailed does not respond. It took 3 emails to even get a correct bill out of SmarTours. Totally incompetent travel people. I can only hope that this is not the kind of service we get on our South Africa tour. I want my US$150 back. It is unreasonable and very bad customer service. I will never travel with SmarTours again.

    Verified purchase
    Customer ServiceSales & MarketingPunctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed Aug. 23, 2018

    I was on the 4-city tour in July: Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Helsinki. The itinerary suggested: Four-star hotels throughout but the hotel in Budapest is under renovation with plaster coming off the walls and rust in the sink/bath. Both hotels in Vienna and Prague were very ordinary and not in either city center. The Helsinki hotel is more of a 3 -star: the room was awful (tiny shower with plastic curtain) and the dining room was dirty. The outward bound flight was shown to be from JFK to Budapest when in fact there was a stop in Helsinki with only 40 minutes transfer time. We missed the connecting flight owing to a flight delay so spent 6.5 hrs after the transatlantic leg sitting in Helsinki airport. Missed half a day in Budapest out of 3 nights.

    The itinerary is not clear about the amount of time on buses - you don't get as much time in the cities as you might want. I anticipated arriving in Prague around 1-2pm after departing Vienna around 8.30am. We didn't get there until 7pm after leaving Vienna at 8.30 am. A whole day in a bus with a lunch stop at a horrid cafe at the border - another half day in the city lost. SmarTours does not have check ins at the hotels until after 6pm. The three dinners that are included? Don't bother. Very disappointing. About 2 weeks prior to traveling after paying for the booking 3 months earlier, I called SmarTours offices asking for the flight vouchers and detailed itinerary - the representative was very rude telling me "all the information is on the website", which it was not. Only a couple of days later did I learn about the connection in Helsinki - I would not have booked had I known of this flight route.

    SmarTours was initially unresponsive to a 2.5 page detailed letter giving them balanced feedback. I acknowledged the extra trips I chose during the tour were worth it and the bus driver was always on time. However, I stated I was disappointed with the overall quality of the tour after it had been advertised as "superior first class". In particular, I felt the tour company was negligent allowing only 40 minutes between connecting flights which resulted in my outward bound trip from Washington DC to Budapest ending up being over 28 hours long instead of 14.

    I eventually spoke with someone who implied I was naive about traveling (I actually travel frequently to Europe and elsewhere). I was upset and then annoyed by her constant interruptions and particularly when she told me, "You knew this was a bus tour". I told her I did not sign up for a bus tour although I knew buses were used for transfers between two cities. We actually spent almost 2 full days (out of 11) in a bus when the travel time should have been considerably shorter.

    The tour company representative admitted there were issues needing to be addressed - more accurate information before booking, better customer service and improved accommodation and meals. I was offered a $200 credit toward a future tour but I asked for a partial refund. This was denied. My letter was addressed to the two CEOs that head up SmarTours but I did not hear back from either of them: I was unable to speak to anyone beyond middle management.

    Punctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed May 4, 2018

    I attended one of your tours to Israel with my partner, Stephen **, in November 2017. Time passes quickly and I was remiss in giving feedback on my trip. It is never too late to give a compliment, so I would like to convey my opinion here and hope that my feedback is given to my tour director, Dan ** and to the owners of smarTours. Dan greeted us everyday with his passion and wisdom for Israel, its history, culture, politics etc and were inspired by his stories that will remain in our hearts and minds. He is a gem of a man, the guide of guides and smarTours is lucky to have him. Thank you so much.

    Reviewed April 3, 2018

    I booked with this company- they later canceled because someone had “chartered the barge.” They refunded my deposit but stated that since the refund had been made, the insurance could not be refunded. In simple terms, they are making me pay for a service that won’t be provided. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY’S INSURANCE- find your own and insure that trip cancellation. It appears to me that kickbacks or other shady business practices are in effect!

    Contract & TermsSales & Marketing

    Reviewed Feb. 13, 2018

    My husband and I booked a tour to Cuba and made a deposit. During the time between our deposit and the final payment I became disabled and now require the use a mobility electric scooter. They said they could not accommodate us and refused to return our deposit. The contract says deposit is non-refundable. We were willing to take the trip, they were unwilling to take us. It seems to me they're the ones cancelling our trip, not us. Nowhere in their ads do they mention this tour is not accessible for wheelchairs, etc. We have used smarTours in the past and enjoyed our previous trips and were extremely disappointed with how they handled this matter.

    PriceStaff

    Reviewed Dec. 31, 2017

    My last smarTours was some years back, but I am considering another one. I am a very experienced traveler. smarTours does an amazing job for the money. I went to South Africa with them, and had the best guide ever. One of the safari guides in Kruger Park told us our guide was the one Nelson Mandela used for heads of state! On the other hand, our guide in Australia was so-so, and the one in South America was really bad. So it is like other companies - the luck of the draw! Still, they do an amazing job for a very low price.

    PricePunctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed Dec. 24, 2017

    South Africa disaster. smarTours went cheap and ruined our vacation. They hired an inexperienced over the hill tour director with a nasty temper. They put us in hotels in bad areas or far from important sights. They did not include many meals to make the price lower by transferring the cost. They skipped sights which the tour director deemed a waste of time without telling us until it was too late. They ignored some of our special needs making have to make our own arrangements for included meals. We have taken many tours and never ran into this terrible atmosphere created by our director Gabriel. This was our first and last smarTours.

    Staff

    Reviewed Oct. 16, 2017

    We recently came back from South Africa tour (Sept.19 to Oct. 5). My wife had requested vegetarian meal when we sent our payment. smarTours New York office personnel said for me to advise the tour director and they will be able to arrange the special meal. We did let our tour director - Jeremy know. But we were left on our own to make do with whatever was available. There were two other Indian couples with us with same problem. I believe, tourist should not have to worry about food in an organized tour. We have used other tour operators in the past and we have not experienced any problem with special meals. Victoria Falls extension was outsourced to local tour operator who provided transportation to and from hotel to the airport and visit to the falls. No representative from smarTours. That was unusual.

    Staff

    Reviewed July 26, 2017

    Traveled (smarTours Amazing Thailand) with my 16 year old granddaughter for summer educational experience and fun. Unfortunately, there were sitting problems on the bus which broke out in a fight. The tour guide's answer was singing "You Are My Sunshine". Obviously, this just made matters worse! Also, my granddaughter has a seafood allergy which was totally ignored. The guide was very knowledgeable about Thailand's history, culture, people, etc, but wasn't able to control her "smartpeople". This was my 3rd smarTour, and not willing to say my last... Crap happens.

    Staff

    Reviewed July 18, 2017

    We just finished (5/2017) a Smart Tour which was excellent. The tour included Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Montenegro. The areas visited were well chosen. The hotels selected were excellent. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable. Buses were modern with emergency toilets but potty breaks were appropriately timed. All facets of the trip were very well coordinated, even the hotel check-ins. As an added bonus, there was a good mix of those people sharing this journey (14-day tour of the Croatian area) with us.

    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed June 13, 2017

    I called smarTours to address a concern regarding the Dubai trip that I had booked with a friend, and spoke with a supervisor named Marian who verbally berated me for calling. I hardly got a word in during the conversation. Most of the time on the phone was her demeaning me for thinking there would be a problem on the trip. I can only guess that customers are not allowed to express concerns or ask questions about their safety when they book a trip with smarTours. I was extremely insulted by her behavior on the phone. She did most of the talking, and then she hung up the phone on me when I tried to speak. UNPROFESSIONAL.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed May 23, 2017

    We have used smarTours about a dozen times over the past 10 years. Their tours are not for the uninitiated traveler. We like them because of the freedom their tours afford, in terms of free time to explore and the ability to choose your own restaurants for most dinners. If you want to be completely coddled and shepherded around for 12 hours every day, this is not for you.

    The guides are usually above par, and most of them are contracted, so they might be the same guide Tauk used the week before. Your colleagues are generally experienced repeaters of smarTours, and are usually well behaved and knowledgeable. Don't crab about paying 3% for foreign credit card charges (use the RIGHT card), or their travel insurance company (We had one trip cancellation claim, and they were great.).

    Punctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed May 21, 2017

    Just returned from SmarTour's trip to Spain: Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona. It was simply majestic. Buses were modern (albeit with no facilities but provided stops every few hours at excellent rest stops). Our guide was respectful, funny and very informative, as were the specific guides to various specific sites we visited. He coordinated each facet of the trip and everything was done on time. Hotels were top notch with memorable meals, often located in the city center. I'm already planning another trip with this company and am totally impressed with the way we were treated and all the accommodations afforded to us.

    Customer ServiceContract & TermsStaff

    Reviewed Dec. 25, 2016

    We recently took your Thailand /Cambodia trip on Nov. 15-Dec. 1, 2016, utterly disappointed by your airline arrangement with Air China. They were rude, crude and did not treat us with respect. Food was atrocious. As you know we paid full fare in Business class ($12000/) and still got lousy treatment. Had we known, we could make our own flight arrangement with other airlines like Singapore, Etihad, Thai, etc. we would have done it and joined the group in Bangkok. You never gave us that option?? There are so many other issues I will have to send you several emails to vent our frustration. Hope you will respond to us.

    Staff

    Reviewed Dec. 17, 2016

    In response to the many reviews of smarTours I'd like to comment that this is not a truck tour outfit. It's geared to the active traveler who wants bang for the buck, knowledgeable tour guides who help navigate your explorations, very good to tolerable and usually well located hotels. The groups are large - up to 40 but generally peopled by experienced travelers, often well heeled who know how to cope and behave in a group. (Usually.) No fancy extras. The company is above budget level, supposedly a bit better than Gate 1. The number of meals and accommodations depend upon the country visited.

    I've visited Turkey, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and South Africa with smarTours. No complaints at all. Didn't love every hotel. I'm a female traveling alone so admittedly, a bit fussy. I was treated well as an older single, love the itineraries. Service is improving by leaps in spite of some of the nonsense noted correctly by reviewers. smarTours goes for the cheapest airfares and routes which can cause ridiculous layovers. Agreed - can be tough. But then, staff killed themselves to help me with a visa problem and made sure I didn't feel abandoned in Shanghai where I got stuck while trying to work on it. We succeeded. Give them a shot but raise your issues.

    Miles increased rating by 2 stars.
    Customer ServiceStaffReliability
    After a positive interaction with smarTours, Miles increased their star rating on Jan. 7, 2017.

    Updated review: Jan. 7, 2017

    My previous complaint against SMARTOURS has been satisfactorily resolved and this complaint can be removed and retracted.

    Original Review: Dec. 8, 2016

    On April 16, 2016 we paid (by personal check) a deposit of $600 to hold a place on a SMARTOURS trip to China scheduled for Sept. 15-Oct.1, 2016. On May 24, 2016 we sent a $298 check also to SMARTOURS for travel insurance. Unfortunately, my wife, Diane, who has a history of asthma and significant hypertension, developed a worsening of these conditions raising concerns for her safety on this trip. Because of this she saw her physician on June 16, 2016 who advised that Diane should not undertake this trip. We did not take the trip.

    When this documentation was submitted to TRIPMATE, the insuring company, they denied our claim in writing, as well as on my phone call to a supervisor. We would like to recover the $600 deposit. Recently I have learned that the TRIPMATE company has had hundreds of similar complaints against them, and I would strongly recommend that anyone planning travel anywhere not use them for insurance protecting the need to cancel due to illness. Had I known of their reputation I would have purchased insurance elsewhere.

    I also blame SMARTOURS for using this unreliable company for travel insurance. When I spoke with a SMARTOURS representative they said they were not responsible, though I pointed out that the $298 check for insurance was made out to SMARTOURS, not TRIPMATE. I find this very troublesome and can only hope SMARTOURS ceases to use TRIPMATE in any capacity.

    This letter will be sent to the BBB, the CEO of each of the above companies, as well as Consumer Affairs. I would be surprised to receive any reply from these CEOs. The reason this complaint was delayed is because I wanted my anger to abate and we have had additional personal medical problems to deal with in the interval.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed Aug. 4, 2016

    I, along with several friends (3 of us being tour directors) went on highly recommended SmarTours. Many aspects of the tour were wonderful--Japan Air, 4 hotels, buses, trains, venues, 2 optional so, and cherry blossoms which reigned supreme. However, our tour guide was deplorably awful. He was a last minute fill in for the original whose father became ill. On day one we complained to the company in Tokyo who had hired him. They promised to replace him and keep us informed which they never did. Our guide had very limited English and worse knowledge! He was totally in over his head.

    Our numerous complaints to Smart brought an extremely small monetary compensation and $200 credit toward another trip. Most others on the trip said they had been with this company before and this had never happened. The tour guide is the "nuts and bolts"--we were cheated and their compensation was paltry! I won't say never to going again with them, but I'd be wary.

    PriceStaff

    Reviewed April 5, 2016

    Both my husband and I have travelled extensively both on self-guided trips and tour guided trips. We found smarTours to be one of the best, most affordable companies to travel with. Arrangements are good; tour guides knowledgeable and professional. Like some whose reviews are posted here, we were a little dubious at first in simply sending off a check to a company who was a virtual unknown to us at the time.

    We have travelled to Vietnam, Cambodia,Thailand, Machu Picchu, The Galapagos, China & Hong Kong, Patagonia, and more with this company. Often we found other tour groups on the same path we were on but staying at inferior hotels and paying significantly more. Arrangements are not like those in the States and we were fine with that. We wanted to experience the people in their homes, tastes their foods and understand their culture and we will always be grateful for the guides and their knowledge and desire to have us understand the local cultures. Thank you smarTours!

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed March 3, 2016

    First time with smarTours. I want to talk only about the booking, as I haven't gone on the trip yet. Will not take a credit card for the initial reservation. Have to send a check and only a check through the mail. Very unsafe practice these days so I had to send it certified. They are way behind the times. Will only take a credit card for an extra $100 and will not take the credit card info over the phone, Must mail it in a form with the credit card number. Very unsafe. For the Australia New Zealand trip, told it was nonstop to first. NO. Actually we start in New Zealand but they have us flying from Sydney, Australia first then to Auckland to start trip adding 7 hours to the already 15 hour flight to Sydney. There are many direct flights from many airlines to New Zealand. Very bad, plus they misrepresented the flights.

    Few meals are included mostly only breakfast. Few included tours- many optional tours to purchase. Have to pay cash for tours in dollars or must pay a 3% extra for using a credit. Do not take debit cards. You may ask why I am using them. I wanted to go with some friends and this is the company they were using. If the trip is not absolutely great, I will not be using them again. They need to get with the times. I have never had these issues with any other tour company and I have used many.

    Reviewed Feb. 28, 2016

    SmarTours often requires you to take their flights. When we receive our tickets to New Zealand we discovered with horror that our flight to Auckland went via Sydney, Australia adding 7 hours more to a long trip and losing a day in Auckland. When confronted with this problem smarTours indicated we were on this flight because Sydney was a Quantas hub. Air New Zealand had numerous, inexpensive nonstop flights. This has happened to us before with smarTours. BEWARE OF THEIR FLIGHTS.

    Reviewed Dec. 31, 2015

    We joined smarTours' "Incredible Patagonia" tour in December 2015. The tour in general was very good; however, we were very disappointed that we were unable to see penguins as advertised for this tour. Magellan penguins in the wild can only be seen in this region near Antarctica. We were told that the Otway Bay Penguin Reserve was closed in March 2015 and smarTours had been notified months in advance. Instead, the penguins tour was replaced with a trip to a ship museum. We are unhappy. SmarTours chose not to notify its customers about this in advance.

    Staff

    Reviewed Oct. 27, 2015

    Traveled the world in my younger days as an independent traveler. Having discovered smarTours, the days of searching for a hotel room, finding a way to get to some site, and booking flights are over. I've taken smarTours to Vietnam, Thailand, Southeast Asia, South Africa, Eastern Europe, Cuba, and Greece. I'm currently booked for Dubai. The vast majority of hotels were in categories that I couldn't afford on my own. A few were less elegant, but I've stayed in worse. Don't expect The Ritz in rural areas of third world countries. Guides are NOT employees of smarTours. They are contract workers, usually provided by local tourist associations, and are the same people you'd have with other tour companies. You really get your money's worth with this company. The majority of their customers are seasoned travelers and adapt well. I've only encountered "Ugly Americans" on one tour.

    Customer ServiceSales & MarketingPrice

    Reviewed Sept. 15, 2015

    Subject: Cruise of the Czars. Just came back from the cruise on Sept. 8, 2015, this was the worth time I had experienced in my traveling life. And the reasons are as follows. Your advertising of the trip are nothing short of teasing information's at the best, prior to paying in full for the trip you never reveal the true story even though I asked for it and never got it. Old ship with very small rooms included the upgraded rooms. Gratuity amounts and the non-stop mentioning of it. Change of linens and towels schedule. Not an elderly friendly ship, no elevators, steep steps, tight spaces in the cabins and hallways. Credit card payments used on board are charge at high premiums.

    Food was at subpar. And to my complaints about it the answer I got is "food is not the main reasons you are on the cruise." Being on the boat for seven days and nights the choice of entertainment was nothing short of a joke. After booking an option tour within few hours you cannot get a refund after cancelation. It felt that in any corners that could be cut to save a dollar it was succeeded. If in fact I knew all the facts and the conditions prior my trip I would never had booked this kind of cruise. Your advertisement as a VALUE cruise is misleading, you only get what you paid for and LESS.

    Factual basis uncertain
    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed June 30, 2015

    Magical Ireland. This was a perfect trip!!! Our tour guide ** was very knowledgeable and funny. He helped make it an amazing trip. It would be a great addition to include Scotland. We could see it but couldn't touch it!!

    Verified purchase
    PriceStaff

    Reviewed June 25, 2015

    I took my first trip with SmarTours 5 years ago. Kenya and Tanzania, a trip of a lifetime! Everything was perfect, we stayed in great game lodges, our tour guides were very helpful and always put our wants first. I have since gone to Ireland with SmarTours and again, another great vacation! Don't let the reasonable cost throw you off....this is a first class travel company. Can't wait to choose my next adventure with SmarTours.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed June 25, 2015

    It was a very nice trip and went smoothly. Good food, great guides and tour leader did an excellent job. The hotels were very nice but only 1 had a swimming pool. The environmental hotel/spa was great and got to see many plants, hummingbirds, butterflies and some animals. The Caribe Hotel was very nice and only across the street was the Caribbean ocean.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed June 25, 2015

    I recommend you to everyone.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed June 23, 2015

    A wonderful trip bringing us into a world beyond our imaginings. Beautiful country, unbelievable people, and incredible scenery made us yearn for simpler times without all the technology of the modern world. We loved every minute of it. Some of the restaurants left a little to be desired, but the lodgings were terrific.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed June 23, 2015

    We have enjoyed every one of the tours that we have taken with SmarTours. We are constantly looking at different destinations and look forward to taking our family on a trip with SmarTours in the very near future. Thank you for helping us accomplish our travel goals!

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed June 23, 2015

    It would have been 5-stars except for 2 things: (1) the number of unnecessary air flights, changing planes when there were direct flights for a total of 11 flights - we lost a lot of vacation time; (2) the absolute chaos when we were dropped at the airport, particularly in Melbourne - we couldn't have been dropped any further away from the check-in point inside the terminal. We had to drag our own luggage!

    Verified purchase
    PriceStaff

    Reviewed June 23, 2015

    We have been on several smarTours (from Israel to India). Guides are outstanding; hotels have been great and prices are the best deal around. We have met friends on trips who we have traveled with us on 2nd and 3rd troops with smarTours. I have recommended this company to several people. I love that there are optional tours so that a person can choose to go or not. Our trip this year was to Croatia and we are looking into the Scandinavia excursion.

    Verified purchase
    Punctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed June 23, 2015

    I have taken both the South African tour and the China Sampler. Both were great trips. I loved the itinerary of activities. I would travel with smarTours again. I noted a couple of items that could be modified. The China Sample was very rushed! All of the guides shuffled us so quickly from place to place, we could barely see anything. On the South Africa tour, the hotel was less than desirable. We were literally put into a closet and had to request another room. It took over an hour to finalize our room after an 17-hour flight. The staff was not pleasant when dealing with the clients. I would not use the hotel again. Also as I have traveled several times with smarTours, there are no referrals discounts or incentives for repeat clients.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed June 23, 2015

    I have used smarTours several times. I found them to be an exceptional company.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed June 23, 2015

    We were in China with Yangtze Cruise in 2010. Good organize, good hotels, good Guide.

    Verified purchase
    Punctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed June 23, 2015

    Couldn't have had a better time. All tour guides were very informative and helpful. Hotels were top rate. Everyone on the tour got along wonderfully.

    Verified purchase
    Customer Service

    Reviewed June 22, 2015

    I have enjoyed all of the old offers with smarTours and am now starting in on the new tours. They have all been well planned, fabulous, and for the most part cost-effective. In the old days customer service was rude, abrupt, and unforgivable. I am delighted that most recently that has changed and now one can feel good about the total experience. Before, the tours and customer service seemed like two very different arms on the same body. Customer service needed an implant and got it. Thank the Universe for hospice.

    Verified purchase
    Customer ServiceSales & MarketingStaff

    Reviewed June 21, 2015

    I learned about smarTours from a neighbor who’s a frequent smarTours traveller. When I had my tour with them, the tour guide was a little rough getting started, just in her personal skills. But her knowledge-base was outstanding. Once we got the hang of her, she was great. Interactions with sales and customer service was very good. We had some travel hiccups and ** did a good job. We had a nice time with them and we plan on using smarTours to book our next trip in the future.

    Verified purchase
    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed June 17, 2015

    We've only been on one trip and it was wonderful. The tour guides and customer service were great. I would recommend them and we might book our next trip with them.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed June 14, 2015

    The first time I went on a trip with smarTours was 12 or 13 years ago. My travel experience on the trips I've taken with them have all been excellent. The guides are wonderful and the hotels are excellent. I'm looking into taking one of their trips to France this summer. I haven't taken any trips for several years since I went to London in 2012. But they are my first choice.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed June 12, 2015

    I was looking through the internet for some kind of trip that will best suit our intention of touring and we really enjoyed it the first time with SmarTours. The second time was in Greece, with my daughter–in–law and my son. And then last time was LaRue. I highly recommended SmarTours to my friends and families. However, when I refer something, I don’t get anything. But with others I got $100 or $200 per referral.

    Verified purchase
    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed June 10, 2015

    They were reasonable but they're not the best. We had no bad experience as far as the tour was concerned except that the tour guide was not very good. He was supposed to be the coordinator but it looked like he had no interest in the job. So a lot of people wrote to them and they sent back a letter to us saying that they will fix the problem and offer a $100 credit plus a subsequent travel. So we signed up with smarTours again for a Yangtze, China cruise to give them another chance and I hope they do the best this time. Although certain information seemed a little bit fuzzy since when I talk to them about the $100 credit, they say they don't have any letter and asked me to write them an email about it.

    Also, there were some other things that could have easily been resolved and done but was not very efficient. For instance, when the money was collected 75 days in advance and everybody is a couple, why couldn't we get the seats together in the plane? But when I contacted the airline directly, they were able to give it to me. But in coming back, we were so mad about the seating so they called the airlines already and they were able to give us the seats, so there was no problem there. I've never had an experience before like this with anybody but there were certain areas they can definitely improve on. These small things make you start getting a bad taste in your mouth on a vacation. A couple is spending about $8000 to $9000 and that's not a small amount to get that kind of a treatment.

    Verified purchase
    PricePunctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed June 8, 2015

    We had a wonderful, thrifty tour with smarTours. We found out about them in 2001. We took a tour in Bali and it was wonderful. The travel part of it was great as far as getting there, and they really are cheap. The tour guide we had in Turkey was phenomenal. He was with us the whole time for the full-fledged tour and he was excellent. He was actually a professor of economics, so we got a lot of interesting background.

    Their sales team was also great. They have their little quirks, know what they want and what price they're able to offer. The service was done very well, too. There was a time we were even questioning whether we should go to Turkey because of what was going on in Syria but smarTours kept track of their ground team there in Turkey and knew that there was no problem and stated so to us. It was one of the best tours we've ever had.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed June 4, 2015

    I recommend smarTours to a lot of people. They were excellent. We went to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The tour guide who was with us most of the way was fantastic. Every once in a while they would pick up someone more familiar with the local area and all of them were great.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed May 22, 2015

    SmarTours is excellent. I have taken them twice, in 2004 and 2005. The hotels and the tour director I had in Southeast Asia and South America were excellent. I would use them again but have been doing a lot of cruises.

    Price

    Reviewed May 20, 2015

    I've traveled to China, the Adriatic and India with smarTours and have recommended the company to many friends, all of whom raved about their experiences. smarTours is a great value -- excellent itineraries, accommodations and guides. Identical to other more expensive tours. The average group is about 40 people, larger than some other group tours, but the size never affected my enjoyment.

    Verified purchase
    PriceStaff

    Reviewed May 19, 2015

    I've taken like 18 trips with smarTours, and they've all been wonderful. The directors and the tour guides have all been very professional and easy to understand, they didn't start spouting off with a foreign language in the middle of the tour like some tour companies I had taken before. Everything was in English and easily understood. Also, their drivers are the best ones I've ever had. I've gone all over the world with smarTours and I have thoroughly enjoyed it, that's why I've taken them so often. The only time I'm not going is this year because I'm going all over the United States and have weddings all over the place I have to go to. They're the best tour company for the best price, and I would recommend them.

    Verified purchase
    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed May 17, 2015

    On that tour to So America you had the worse tour guide we have ever met. He flirted with the single women and gave out little or zero info when asked about the tour. The worse part is when I ended up with my military disability taking effect (Tullio phenomena) noise induced vertigo. A waiter in the restaurant dropped a tray of dishes next to me and I went into vertigo. My wife heard that tour guide tell the local guide that I was drunk. He never asked if I was OK or cared if I was alive or dead. We gave zero tip to him. He made it the worse tour we have ever been on and we have been on tours all over the world. When I reported this matter to smarTours we received no reply. That made us ANGRY. That really put the frosting on the cake. We did manage to warn a few travelers because of our experience.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed May 16, 2015

    Heard about SmarTours through my husband. He has traveled for years and after we got married, we traveled. They're just wonderful. The accommodations and their tutor directors are good. The places we stay in were nice so I will recommend them.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed May 15, 2015

    This is the second trip I have taken with smarTours and I have been very pleased with both. The hotels and rooms are first class. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and speak English well. Speaking of the trip to Myanmar the only complaint I would have is the trips by horse and carriage. They were rough. Everything else was fine. We saw all the beautiful golden pagodas. It was lovely.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed May 14, 2015

    Went on the South Africa Highlights & Safari tour, plus the Victoria Falls extension in January 2013. The tour guides work very hard... ** was our guide in South Africa and he is extremely knowledgeable. ** never sat down; he was constantly talking giving us the history and interesting facts about South Africa. Half-Day Cultural Heritage & Township Tour, Blyde River Canyon, Kruger Park safaris, wine region were just a few highlights from my trip.

    Verified purchase
    Price

    Reviewed May 14, 2015

    We like SmarTours and have traveled with them at least 6 times. WE enjoy not having all the meals included in the package as we like to be adventurous and visit local restaurants on our own. We would like a few more tours included rather than being optional. The optional tours are sometimes too expensive, no value.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed May 13, 2015

    I've enjoyed many great trips.

    Verified purchase
    Price

    Reviewed May 13, 2015

    India/Nepal 14-day Mar 2-16, 2015 - The tour and itinerary was comprehensive and engaging if a bit strenuous at times. The escort, **, made the trip an unforgettable experience for everyone and was the single greatest satisfaction factor. The hotels were a little over the top, less luxurious accommodations would have been fine. Constantly having to tip different local guides and drivers was a bit annoying.

    We would have preferred this to be included in the tour price. Would have preferred a more thorough description of the optional tours before booking them. The seats on Air India were most uncomfortable and the layover in Delhi (seven hours) on the return was unreasonably long. Another carrier should be considered. SmarTours should offer a distinct discount to clients after a tour is completed as an incentive to book another with them.

    Verified purchase
    Punctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed May 13, 2015

    The guides in Peru (**) and Ecuador (**) were excellent. We couldn't have asked for better guides. The trip to Lima was hurried and may be not necessary. We could have stayed more in Guayaquil. The whole trip was very well-coordinated. The itinerary was hectic and we needed some "down time" to recover some days but outside of that, everything was great! I would highly recommend this to anyone.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed May 13, 2015

    Patagonia - Tour guide's great. Hotel's wonderful. Food so so.

    Verified purchase
    PriceStaff

    Reviewed May 12, 2015

    I loved this trip! It was professional, informational, varied, and affordable. Loved the sights, the food, the guides, the accommodations. Cusco was delightful. I would do it again, but I would like to spend more time with local people. The highlight of the trip for me was our visit to a weaving and crafts CO-OP. All the Incan ruins blew me away. I'd always dreamed of going to Machu Picchu and we had two days there. I was traveling with a bird watching friend who fell in love with Galapagos, plus our guide in Peru was very knowledgeable and she could barely keep up with all the birds he identified. All in all, a dream fulfilled for both of us.

    Verified purchase
    Price

    Reviewed May 12, 2015

    So far, I've gone on a trip just once with smarTours to China and I booked it online. My travel experience with them was fine -- The price was right and the hotels were fine. Maybe when I retire, I'll book my next trip with them.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed May 12, 2015

    I have taken several SmarTours over the past few years and have always found that my vacation was great. The guides and planning has always been top notch, the hotels are hit & miss; sometimes very high end, and other times just acceptable. I have met repeat customers on a couple of my trips (those that I have traveled with before) & many of SmarTour guests have taken more than 6 of their trips. I have recommended SmarTours over and over again.

    Verified purchase
    Contract & TermsStaff

    Reviewed May 12, 2015

    I've taken two trips with smarTours--to South Africa and Borneo--and consider both of them to have been excellent value for money. Like others, I was skeptical about how they could conduct excellent tours with international air included for low prices. But I was convinced. The local guides were excellent; they used what seemed to be top-notch local companies and the hotels ranged from good to outstanding. There are only two drawbacks. First, their groups can be large; filling a bus is one way to achieve economies of scale. Second, they apparently contract with certain airlines, which can result in awkward routings and long layovers. Still, I would--and may--travel with them again.

    Verified purchase
    StaffReliability

    Reviewed May 12, 2015

    My husband and I have traveled to Peru/Galapagos, The Best of South America, Israel and Jordan, Cambodia and Vietnam and have recently booked Vienna, Prague and Budapest with smarTours. The value and reliability is what draws us back time and again. We have been very pleased with the quality of the tour directors on every trip. On our most recent, the escort not only took care of those who got ill, arranged for special meals for several in the group, he took pictures throughout the journey which he made into a CD for each of us to bring home. We have recommended smarTours to a number of friends and relatives who too have enjoyed the tours.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed May 11, 2015

    I travelled with smartTours at least two times and each and every time it has been a great experience. We stayed at very nice hotels and I will certainly travel with them again.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed May 11, 2015

    All of our land trips have been with smarTours, and we have been satisfied and happy with every experience. Our first major retirement trip was in Thailand. We have toured South Africa, east Africa, Scandinavia, China, and several other countries. All accommodations were superior; guides were excellent, and all tours were well planned. We recommend smarTours whenever we talk about great trips.

    Verified purchase
    Punctuality & SpeedStaff

    Reviewed May 11, 2015

    I have never rated on the internet before so this rating includes several trips I've taken with you (India, Thailand, Peru). I have always gotten more than my money's worth with smarTours! And had a delightful time. Our guide for South Africa was not our favorite, but the guides in the other locations were EXCELLENT and went above and beyond.

    Verified purchase
    Customer ServiceCoverage

    Reviewed May 9, 2015

    I like SmarTours because they are efficient, well-priced, & don't bombard me with emails or snail-mail or big packets of blah-blah. I know, when I sign up for a SmarTours tour (I have gone on quite a few), exactly what to expect; only the essentials will be covered in the literature; I won't have to read pages and pages and pages of stuff; and all the people touring will be fun and adventuresome. Tour guides are always competent and enjoyable. Thanks, SmarTours. I <3 you.

    Verified purchase
    Customer ServiceStaff

    Reviewed May 8, 2015

    I certainly enjoyed my trip to Ireland with smarTours. It was just great! My guide was always very friendly and easy to talk to but I didn't have any special needs or requests so it wasn't a problem for him. The customer service team was cordial and the tour was exactly as it was described and advertised to be. We also fortunately had wonderful weather. Ireland is not necessarily known for a day after day of sun but we got it and enjoyed it. It's a real possibility that I would use smarTours on my next trip again too because some of the things they do in Europe are very interesting to me. I just have to look around for a little bit. Overall I had no disappointments at all.

    Verified purchase

    Reviewed May 8, 2015

    Since SmarTours no longer matches singles, I cannot travel with you any more. In well over 65 countries, I have NEVER paid a single supplement. It's really too bad since I enjoyed my 4 tours with you.

    Verified purchase
    Staff

    Reviewed May 8, 2015

    SmarTours gives a Big Bang for the buck... great hotels, knowledgeable tour guides, great itineraries, all make smarTours a great value.