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Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your holiday not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are travelling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are travelling through. All solo travellers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travellers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Holiday in Japan

This trip is a fantastic introduction to a wonderful country that contrasts modern development with traditional beliefs. A key feature of this trip is immersion into the Japanese culture.

Throughout the trip most of the accommodation is in minshuku or ryokan. These are traditional local style inns, often a part of a family's house. They are small and quaint, built in the Japanese style with tatami (straw mat) floors. Leaders will educate travellers as to how best respect the local customs and preserve the delicate tatami floors while staying in these places (refer to trip dossier for information on packing - wheeled suitcases are not suitable). In true Japanese style travellers sleep on futons on the floor.

Groups learn about the spiritual side of Japanese life through temple visits. There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural environment.

The trip includes a stay in Hiroshima where travellers can meet with survivors and learn about the impacts of the tragic event that occurred here.

Reviews of Holiday in Japan

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 09 Oct 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Climbing Fuji at night to get to the top for sunrise. Absolutely brilliant. Additional mention to the 'off the beaten track' aspect - accommodation, food, etc. Annamarie did have really good knowledge of where to go, what to do, etc.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Two main points on this one.

1. Fuji. The website says we climb in the day, we climbed at night. Definitely the best way to do it - but you need to tell us beforehand so that we bring proper kit. I didn't take a fleece, as thought that I'd take the chance as to whether it would be cold at the top during the day. If I'd have known that I was going to be at the top at 5am, I'd definitely have taken it.

2. Transport. The website says get a 14 day rail pass, we looked at the itinerary, deduced that we'd only use it for 7 days. We then CHECKED with 'you' by email as to whether we really needed the 14 day - you said no, so we bought the 7 day. Turns out we needed the 14 day for two reasons: we took the train to Fuji instead of the bus, and it gets you from Kyoto to Tokyo. Definitely put on the website that you need the 14 day one as itinerary is subject to change. ALSO, put on there that the best way to get from Kyoto to Tokyo is by rail. We booked a flight for that, which actually took a lot longer than the train would have done, and was more expensive (it would have been free if we had the 14 day pass). Annamarie was surprised that we'd booked a flight, we were surprised that we hadn't been told not to....

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Minimized impact in the best way that you can when you fly half way around the world. Carbon footprint was huge. Yes, I feel that it benefited local people: staying in ryokan, eating at local places, etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Superb. Would recommend it wholeheartedly. Thanks very much.

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


A lot of good experiences - elephant ride on Christmas day - meeting a monk for meditation - Thai massage (ouch ouch ouch) and some great pampering. Food was often an adventure too. The train ride was memorable - so well organised as it turned into a little dorm for the night and we were well taken care of.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is a small group holiday - things don’t always go to plan - this happens - try to learn something of the Far Eastern culture before arriving to prepare yourself.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I think so - we ate locally and used the train and were encouraged to use local shops, rather than more expensive hotel facilities. I was surprised at the amount of plastic bottles - no one seemed to carry water carriers or have a place to fill them.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A memorable experience.

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


So many... Really enjoyed visiting the ethnic minority villages in Sapa - our tour leader Hue enabled us to visit the villagers and take part in their new year celebrations.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack more warm clothes!!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


As much as possible, yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Overall I would rate it very highly - the trip was very well organised with every effort made to make the most of each experience. I think a large degree of the success of our trip was thanks to our great tour leader Hue Tran... She was fantastic!

Reviewed on 01 Apr 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Getting my fortune at a temple in Tokyo. According to the translation, my wish will not be "ranted".

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Do your own reading about the cities so that you can help the guides show you things that are of interest to you, and not just the generic tourist attractions.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


As this was a city holiday, I don't feel that the impact I had was any greater than in the city I live in.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Attached are two pictures from the Heian Shrine in Kyoto. I'm officially cherry-blossom obsessed now.

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