Re: SGA Travel A tour of Turkey: Incredible in Every Way!
Incredible: travel agency (SGA Travel); travel agent (Caglar); guide (Serdar); driver (Ehtam); 20-day private tour itinerary (Oct 3-23, 2022); hotels; transport; price; etc, etc.; even the weather! I highly recommend that you take a SGA Travel package or private tour of beautiful and interesting Turkey!
Trip.me (now Travel Local) made this private (2 couples), very reasonably priced tour possible by connecting me with a very knowledgeable, efficient, and prompt, Turkish travel agent – Caglar. Shortly after carefully listening to and enquiring about our interests, dislikes, physical abilities, desired time period, … he sent me a very comprehensive, varied, interesting and well-balanced initial itinerary. After a little more input and a few tweaks it was perfect.
Our guide and driver were great and worked extremely well together during our 20-day tour! Serdar communicated very well and had a vast and varied knowledge of Turkey’s history, culture, politics, geology, agriculture. He was well organized, hardworking, energetic, personable and caring! Ehtam was a very amiable and conscientious person with an incredible knowledge of the backroads and little scenic highways of Turkey. He was an excellent driver who obviously enjoyed showing us the varied beauty of his country. We came to view both as friends!
When I compared the similar parts our tour to a 10-day Highlights of Turkey bus tour: hotels of the same quality; our tour was $37US less/day pp; we had 1.6 vs 0.9 meals/day; many more sites and activities were included and all were chosen based on our specifications; all our entry fees and such were included in the excellent price for the tour.
One important warning: Be sure that you use the Turkish government’s official site to obtain your VISA. It was temporarily not working. I used one of the many carefully set up, alternative websites and ended up paying an extra $300 for our Visas.
Re: Travel Local
Generally, our experience was excellent.
I have organized my own trips; participated in big bus, small group, private tours; big and small ship ocean and river cruises; … This is the 2nd great tour I have arranged with a local agent carefully chosen by trip.me / Travel Local. I will definitely use their valuable services again: vetted agents with an abundance of knowledge and experience; bankruptcy protection; payment options; guaranteed currency exchange rate for final payment …
We had 2 problems with Trip.me/Travel Local this time. 1. There was an extended period during which no one responded to my emails. This was probably due to Covid and organizational difficulties that arose as Trip.me merged with Travel Local. I assume that these problems are now resolved. 2. One couple had to drop out of our private tour which - of course resulted in a price increase for the 2 remaining couples. Rather than simply increase the tour's price on the existing invoices, Travel Local issued 2 new invoices for the increase which then required a new set of down-payments and final-payments - twice the hassle and twice the transfer payment cost if you choose transfer money. Apparently this was done according to company policy. I shared my displeasure with this policy with them and they allowed me to make a single final transfer (cost = $50) instead of 2. I wonder if they would make a new invoice if the price had decreased. Hopefully they have now changed their policy so that any price change is dealt with on the existing invoice.
TravelLocal as a trusted advisor.
TravelLocal allowed us to a tap into a network of trusted, verified businesses in the local country. The site could do more to share how they validate the businesses as we were jittery when submitting our first payment. What recourse did we have if the travel agent was not legitimate or did not meet expectations? Our sense is that you need to be an advocate for your interests and make clear the standard of travel experience you expect. Take a good review of the final itinerary and compare it to reviews on TripAdvisor and Google.
Sep 5, 2023
To say that our Croatian experience with Travel Local has been a fabulous trip, is denying them of so many other special ways in which to describe what this holiday has meant to my wife and I.
We loved this country so much & what has truly enhanced this experience in so many ways, starts with the way Monika & Antonia have listened to what our preferences have been and designed the vacation perfectly!! They were both at our disposal to all hours, regardless of world time. All of these experiences cannot be converted to money, as the experiences we will remember for the rest of our lives, will far outweigh the money we spent.
The crew on tour carried on this tradition of such exceptional service and there were a few that definitely require a special thank you:
- Duye, our driver for the first 5 days of our adventure. Every day with Duye was an absolute joy, as his positive personality and infectious nature made each day pleasurable. Duye provided both a thorough overview of the places on each days agenda, as well as provided us with amazing additions to the schedule when time permitted. Duye is the perfect example of what exceptional service is all about. Our eternal gratitude goes to you Duye!! :)
- Petra (our guide at the Plitvice Lakes). A person that really delivers a personality of caring, nurturing and explaining the indepth & interesting knowledge of her environment. Petra shows passion beyond that is normal & she treated us with an wonderful overview of her local knowledge that truly kept us captivated.
- Ivana (our Split guide) - again the passion and ability to take us on the journey of history within this location, sincerely amazed us from start to finish & she has the most wonderful, positive demeanour that set the highest of standards and Ivana treated us with the greatest respect when we also had questions or special requests.
- Toni (our water pilot in Hvar) - warm, gentle, and geniune personality who provided us with the options of the day, & was truly happy for us to chose. Given that we missed the Blue Caves, due to over crowded lines, our decision not to visit these caves gave Toni the opportunity to be versatile and the additional attractions were perfectly suitable to us. Thank Toni very much for creating that special day.
Everyone else, including the hotel staff at the hotels chosen for our accommodation, have also contributed to the most memorable time for us in Croatia.
We are eternally grateful to the entire Travel Local team in Croatia, THANK YOU ALL….so much!! :)
Sep 7, 2023
Annelies and TravelLocal will make your trip to Peru unforgettable!
Annelies was wonderful to work with during the entire process, from my initial inquiry to the completion of my trip to Peru. She was patient with all of my questions and I even had the pleasure of meeting her while I was there - it was so wonderful to put a face to all of the emails and WhatsApp messages we exchanged. The tour guides she arranged for me were absolutely incredible (huge kudos to Carolina in Lima and Maria in Cusco!) My trip to Peru was my first solo international trip so I had a few reservations but Annelies and her team made me feel extremely comfortable and safe. I can't pay Maria enough compliments and her vast knowledge was unmatched. The locals were very friendly and there was never a moment that I felt unsafe. I highly recommend a trip to the wonderful country of Peru!
Sep 4, 2023
Travellocal was an experience between going with an organized group tour and doing the entire trip on your own. A travel advisor helped to create a holiday plan that falls within your time, budget and places that you want to see. Our experience in Brazil was that all our tours were just organized for our family, so unlike going with a group we were not herded around but was given the space to experience the places on our own time.
As I have mentioned before, the only aspect that TravelLocal can look into is to provide the option to make payments in installments.
Aug 28, 2023
What we liked particularly was the location of hotels, the quality of tour guides, and the competence of transport drivers
What we liked particularly was the location of hotels which were selected for us and the competence of the tour guides and transport drivers which were provided to us. Your "weak spot" was specifying the locations for meeting with the tour guides or tour companies. The specification of meeting points definitely needs improvement. We almost one entire day-tour because of the confusion about where/when the tour would start.
Sep 1, 2023
Travel Local is fantastic!
Travel Local is a great agency!
They made booking a breeze and truly listened to our needs, while providing recommendations. We had a "situation" along the way and they were there to fix it and even provided compensation. Overall fantastic service and experience.
Aug 27, 2023
When it comes to tour guides Yassir and Tarik made such a deep impression on my family. We lives the community of people that surrounded us with knowledge and wisdom. This was a special journey and I am forever thankful to all who made our pilgrimage a success.
10 days ago
Thank goodness I found TravelLocal
I particularly liked that our travel agent Kasia kept in touch with us thoughout the trip, to insure everything was going smoothly!
I can't think of much you could do better, my wife and I had a fantastic experience
6 days ago
Our guide, Zac was excellent. His knowledge of Morocco, the history, the culture and the local people and areas could not have been better
Thank you Zac and Hamid. Chris Powell and Keith Johnson
4 days ago
Five Stars All The Way Around
We had a tailor-made trip for the same price as group travel. We will use this service again.
6 days ago
Easy to use platform, have used it 3 times and every holiday has been great!
Aug 1, 2023
We really liked the custom Itinerary that Daniele helped us put together. We liked almost every Guide selected by Travel Local. All the drivers showed up on time and were very professional. The hotels recommended/selected were excellent both in amenities and in location. We were able to see an amazing amount of Southern Spain in a very short amount of time with a great amount of flexibility based on excellent planning and input from Daniele.
There was only one guide that was a bit disappointing took us to Toledo but the others were exceptional and we have had many guides over the years. Also, I wouldn't include the Spanish Town as a part of Barcelona Itineraries, as it is a bit of a filler - Everything else we seen there was excellent.
Jul 29, 2023
Travel Local setup a local travel agent in Italy for us that planned things perfectly. I think the only thing I would say is to maybe assist the traveler to understand the process a bit a better initially. It was odd not having confirmation numbers until a few weeks before we left with making all payments well ahead of time.
Aug 8, 2023
Travel Local is easy to use and connects you to experienced local travel agents
Travel Local is very easy to use and quickly connects you to a trusted, experienced local travel agency in your destination. I've used it twice now, for Ecuador and Greece, both times with great results. Definitely recommended!
Aug 9, 2023
Very well organised trip, lovely hotels in wonderful locations. Enthusiastic, fun, friendly and knowledgeable guides.
Aug 16, 2023
A trustworthy place for travelers worldwide. It has a guarantee which makes us feel safe and comfortable.
Jul 7, 2023
Pilgrimage to Patmos
There are several ways that I could describe my experience with Elena and Greece Insiders Travel.
I could say that the experience was below average, average, good, excellent, or outstanding. In my case the trip and the planning were more than outstanding.
Everything was so easy, from communications to the the payment. I can't thank Elena enough. This was my first time traveling outside the US for pleasure and I was traveling alone. I needed someone that I could trust to guide me along the way and that is exactly what I received.
Everything went perfectly, from my arrival at the airport in Athens and being met by a professional driver who knew where he was going, and oriented me to the city on the ride to the hotel, to my departure on Aegean Airlines for my return to Athens from the islands, which was coordinated perfectly with my domestic airline flight for the trip home.
At the hotel I received a welcome packet with my final detailed instructions for the trip. The tickets I needed for the ferry trip were included in the packet. The packet had dates and times for everything. To include, when I was to be where and who would be meeting me there. Everyone was on time as promised. Additionally, there were pictures of the hotels I would be staying with times for check in.
The tour guides were outstanding. I went to Greece to learn about the country and I was very well educated by the tour guides. I cannot thank them enough.
It was a please to learn from them.
My private tour guide in Patmos stated that in in Greece it is important to get value for your money. I truly received value for the money I paid from the trip.
Because I was not familiar with the country I had to depend on Elena to guide my itinerary choices. She was able to structure my trip so that I received everything that I hoped to get from the trip. She really listened and got it right.
All I had to do was enjoy the trip. When I go back with my friends on a more complicated trip I will not hesitate to use Greece Insiders Travel and I hope I can get Elena to plan my trip. I felt like a VIP as I traveled Greece.
Again, my experience with Greece Insiders Travel was outstanding.
Jul 5, 2023
Overall a Great Travel Experience to Greece
I'm writing my review here because this is the place I found some reviews before taking the plunge to use Travel Local. Admittedly I was skeptical of the high marks. And here I am giving a 5-star because my experience with the website and my local expert was top-notch. I do think the website could have more customization options but that's not enough for me to dock a star off since Vangelis' local expertise made up for it.
Like most travel plans, not everything goes as planned perfectly and you should always expect some unexpected. For example, one of my tours was cancelled and rescheduled for another day. Vangelis was of course quick to inform me about it. Having Travel Local's local expert comes in very handy here. I also had to check out really early from one of the hotels I stayed at, and weirdly, there was no receptionist to hand over my key at the time of checkout. So I was in communication with Vangelis again just to make sure the hotel didn't think I ran off with their key. Again, I received top-notch service and I can't give Vangelis a glowing enough review for being there when I had questions.
Jul 23, 2023
We loved every tour and every hotel except Hotel Nobile in Rio. The other hotels were wonderful. We loved Ilha Grande and Daria suggested it. It was a wonderful surprise. We were traumatized by the African Market in Salvador Bahia, where they had all the animals for sacrifice (I'm an animal lover) and the temple which was interesting, but upsetting. Also our guide in Salvador launched into a description of How Jews controlled the World Bank and other conspiracy thoeries. I'm Jewish and that offended me. Iguazu Falls was spectacular and our guide wonderful, and so was our guide in Rio. The hotels in Iguazu, Salvador, Paraty and Ihla Grande were all fabulous. We marvelled at how Daria made all these connections and made it work within our budget and time constraints.
Jul 9, 2023
Smart planning choices
Instead of staying in multiple hotels, we used two as home bases and took day trips from each. We enjoyed being able to unpack & relax at both.Combining 1/2 day tours with full day gave us free time in between tours.
Staying in central city locations made it easy to get around.
Our travel agent Joel listened to my concerns & kept in touch on a regular basis.