A gentle reminder dear travel lover – Do your research on tour operators credentials first! Choose one with a proven track record of reliability. How? Carefully read their company profile. Is the company Owner-run or is it presented through a travel agent who doesn’t want the expense nor responsibility of being the Principal? Is it a cheesy website with template blocks to cut and paste in your contact details, looking like something designed by a teenager? Be extra cautious if stock photos are inserted instead of real people who actually traveled with this company.
Ask how long the tour operator has been in business. A year or less, I’d run. Are they fully licensed and bonded? Do they have IATA license and other credentials? Any reports to the Better Business Bureau is a huge red flag. Find reviews on Google. If an emergency happens, does the company have insurance to protect you? Understand that countless tour operators go out of business each year. What protection do you have if you paid for a trip in full and they close shop a week before you depart?
Consider companies that have successfully sent groups around the world for a long time. Look for repeat travelers. Check out their website to feel the passion and integrity that comes from their information. See that they use Non-Stock Photos showing real people on their trips. Glance over hundreds of happy testimonials, each honest and trustworthy. Invest the time in researching who you’ll book with. Find a company that will deliver what they promised. After all, it is your investment in a thrilling adventure to provide you forever memories.