Globus Tours : Should I Use This Company
Globus tours is an escorted tour company which travels to six of the seven continents, to places such as but not limited to South America, Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland, England, China, South Africa, Greece, Turkey, etc... The tours are described as "mostly all inclusive", no hassle trip planning for the traveler, first class hotels, most popular places are visited but that's not all... some hidden gems are also included on the trip. Globus tours has been around for decades and when visiting its website you will see award after award as well as wonderful comments about the trips. However, if you are like me you are probably wondering if this is all too good to be true. Are Globus tours really good? Do they really have great tour guides? Are the buses actually clean and don't smell weird? Do I really not have to wait in lines? Are my hotels really FIRST CLASS hotels?
I was hesitant about using a tour company when traveling overseas. I had traveled to Ireland and England without the use of a tour company and found that a lot of planning and logistics were needed to be done on my part such as booking hotels, booking flights, renting cars, and of course mapping out my destinations. There was definitely a lot of planning when not going on an escorted tour, however, I wanted to be able to see what I wanted to see and do things when I wanted to do it, so I stayed away from the escorted tours.
However, when traveling to Italy I found myself overwhelmed with destinations and attractions that I wanted to see that I decided to take a chance and booked my first guided tour via the Globus company.
I was apprehensive because everything seemed to simple and easy. When booking with Globus it can be done a few ways. You can book with a travel agent, you can book by yourself online, or you can call Globus and book through them. The first time traveling with them I booked directly with them. They were very friendly and had everything booked for me in less than ten minutes, this included the round trip flights, the transportation to and from the airports, the hotels, and the itinerary. My only job was to show up with my passport. It was hard giving up control but I had done my research and it seemed like Globus was the company to go with. Other times I have used Globus's online tools to book my trips and overall this is an easy process. Sometimes I run into trouble booking my flights using Globus's online tools but overall it is an easy experience booking my trips on Globus's site.
Globus has moderately priced trips which are comparable to other travel companies such as Trafalgar. I did find when comparing Trafalgar and Globus together that their tour itineraries almost mirror each other, as well as hotels used by both companies. However, Globus always seemed to be slightly cheaper than Trafalgar's tours.
Prior to leaving for Italy Globus sent me all the information I would need while I was there. I received information on optional excursions (guess its not all inclusive), where to go for my airport transfer, daily itineraries, hotel names and dates of stay as well as numbers to contact the hotels, and airline information, so I was pleasantly pleased to see that I very much knew what to expect when I arrived in Italy. This would be the same for all of my other travels booked after Italy.
Upon arrival I followed the directions given to me weeks before and easily found my transportation. Checking into my hotel was a breeze and I was glad to see that the hotel did indeed seem like a first class hotel. So far everything Globus had promised had been delivered. I found that I had a fantastic director and yes the buses were extremely clean but even when they are clean I guess all buses just have that "smell". It was nice to let go of the reins and to let someone else worry about deadlines and being places on time. I just showed up and was taken to all the wonderful places that I wanted to visit. On all of my other tours that I have gone on after Italy I have found that the buses are just as clean, directors are well mannered and informative, and hotels are overall nice in appearance and comfort.
On all my tours I have been given plenty of free time to explore the country I am in on my own. I know that many people worry that if they go on a guided tour they won't have any time of their own, but the truth of the matter is that in almost every major city that your tour group visits the travelers are given some amount of time to explore. In some cities travelers are given entire days for their own exploring. It is during this extra time which "optional" non-inclusive excursions are able to be bought. Now I often found myself very interested in the optional excursions and when I am on a tour I usually complete 4-6 optional excursions but I am the type of person that wants to do and see as much as possible when I am in another country. If you are not the type that likes to be on the go all the time then simply do not opt into any of the optional excursions.
On the various guided tours that I have gone on through Globus I have been pleasantly surprised to find that the hotels are very much up to par and in fantastic shape. There have been two or three hotels where I wish they could have found a better place but this usually happens when we are in smaller cities with less options. I have had many rooms through Globus tours that have had ocean views, lake views, balconies, river views, and central locations. The rooms are always air conditioned and not visibly dirty. The hotels want to keep the Globus tourist happy because the hotels earn a lot of income from the tour companies because it is a steady stream of money.
Not all of the meals are included on the guided tour but every breakfast is included. There are some days when Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be included, some days when it's just Breakfast and Lunch, etc... However, the traveler will know before hand which days they are responsible for their own meal. So if budgeting for the trip, one must remember to include meals for some of the days.
Overall, Globus does a wonderful job planning its iterinaries to include the most popular attractions and sights. The tours also throw in a few places that the traveler may not have thought about. Globus provides a variety of excursions from special destination meals, to bungi jumping in some places, to white water rafting, to wine tasting, or simply visiting a little town by private car. There really is something for everyone, but since their optional you have to also budget for these if you plan on doing them. The downside to some of the optional excursions are that some of them are prime places that you want to see that shouldn't be optional, they should be inclusive with the trip. So at times I did become frustrated with the excursions because there some excursions that should just be part of the tour price and not an additional amount.
The hotels were mostly first class but every once in a while a slight miss occurs but definitely not a complete miss. You will never be staying in a roach infested hotel when traveling with Globus.
So if you're thinking about using a tour company and you're unsure which one to use, Globus has one of the best reputations in the business and has actually proven to me that it deserves it's reputation. I will be traveling with Globus again next year and I have no worries or apprehensions about using them.