smarTours Reviews

4.41 Rating 1,366 Reviews
86 %
of reviewers recommend smarTours
Merchant Metrics
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Under An Hour
Customer Service
3.92 out of 5
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About smarTours:

smarTours is a leading provider of direct-to-consumer, affordable travel experiences to exotic global destinations. The Company offers travelers curated, pre-packaged itineraries to over 40 destinations across the globe. By offering tours directly to consumers, the Company provides premium-quality experiences at value prices, and as a result, has cultivated a highly passionate and loyal community of repeat travelers. More than 200,000 travelers have taken a smarTours trip since the founding of the Company in 1996. smarTours is… the smarter way to see the world.

Phone:

800-337-7773

Email:

info@smartours.com

Location:

545 Eighth Ave. Suite 2250
New York, NY 10018

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smarTours 5 star review on 28th January 2020
Dorrise
smarTours 5 star review on 28th January 2020
Isela
smarTours 5 star review on 28th January 2020
Anna
smarTours 5 star review on 20th January 2020
Joseph
smarTours 5 star review on 16th December 2019
Cecelia
smarTours 5 star review on 12th December 2019
Jeanette
smarTours 5 star review on 1st December 2019
Michael
191
Anonymous
Anonymous  // 01/01/2019
We felt our trip should have been postponed. We made it home without contracting the Coronavirus by the skin of our teeth.
Posted 6 months ago
The tour was well planned with a good mix of Cape Town, Kruger Park, Johannesburg and other activities. There was ample free time and flexibility with choosing optional excursions. However the one negative was the 2 day plan at Kruger. We were told that the first day was through utilizing an inferior vehicle (being the big coach) where we wouldn't be able to go everywhere and the view would be through the glass windows. The second day was with an open air jeep with a ranger who knew the park and had a walkie talkie system with other rangers to find the animals. We could opt to have the first day with the jeep for an extra cost. This was not outlined in the itinerary and is underhanded.

The tour operator, Daryl Howes, was very knowledgeable about South Africa, particularly the history of Apartheid. He was impressive, like a walking encyclopedia. Many people enjoyed him, however I found him a bit old to be a guide leader. He was easily agitated when people were noisy or were not sitting down when he was counting to make sure everyone was present. Yes, this is important but there was only 18 in our group. Sometimes he would count 3 or more times up and down the coach, and he was not able to do so unless we were all in our seats. Standing still on the bus was not an option.

There were conflicts between a few people in our group (not with me) and I was told that he didn't hear both sides of the story. He insisted on making sure our group sat together at meals. There were people in the group that made loners felt welcome so no one was left apart so there was no need to insist on everyone sitting together. He gets flustered too easily.

Finally, Daryl explained the following morning's activities on the coach, including breakfast and check out times. This is easily forgotten, especially if some people may be sleeping on the coach. The itineary for the next day would be better conveyed by a sheet of paper in the lobby of the hotel or a paper passed around that everyone could photograph. This is better organized and was done on other tours I've experienced with Trafalgar and Globus.
Posted 7 months ago
The tour was sold as from 2/2 to 12/2 but in fact we left on 2/3& came back on 11/2 & because of this the schedule was jammed & very tiring . We flew in overnight & instead of getting straight to the hotel to relax & get used to the altitude we had to be on the bus the whole day visiting & travelling . Some of us came from the west coast & had already spent the day before departure traveling .. I think rearranging the schedule is a must
Posted 7 months ago
The actual tour was fine. The two guides were excellent - very knowledgeable and accommodating. The hotels were lovely and well located. The problem was the trip was misrepresented. The trip was advertised as January 10 -19. In reality we left January 11 and left on Jan. 18 to arrive back on Jan 19. The flights were awful and showed very little regard for the traveler. We left Miami at 1:00am arriving in Lima 6:00am then had a six hour lay over before finally arriving in Quito about 5:30pm. The trip back was equally cumbersome. Clearly these were the cheapest flights available. No thought was given to how it would effect the travel experience. I have taken several trips with Smartours from 2003-2010 and was generally very satisfied. I can only think that there was a change in management. Recently, I have been traveling with OAT and Road Scholar and was very satisfied. I will never travel with Smartours again and will warn anyone who indicates they are interested in Smartours to review the travel arrangements before booking the trip.
Posted 8 months ago
The prices are very attractive, but what's not included is annoying: too much free time, so few dinners, constant tipping.
Posted 8 months ago
You didn’t take in account the age group of people who can take these kind of trips. Being on overnight flights most can’t sleep on a plane and as soon as we get some place like Sydney we went right into the tour!! We were all delirious and felt yucky! I have a lot of friends who asked me about this tour. I told them it was push push push with not enough time to relax and the layovers at the airports were ridiculous!! In Fiji the food was gross and we were lied to by the tour director. He changed our last meal together because IT WAS GOING TO BE BETTER. IT WAS GOING TO BE A SEAFOOD BUFFET! No it wasn’t!! No seafood whatsoever except a few little scraps of some fish!! I didn’t like that tour director at all. He set up everything according to HIS CONVENIENCE!! It was OUR TRIP! WE PAYED FOR THIS TRIP!! I will not be taking a smart tour again unless you present me with a deal I can’t refuse!
Posted 10 months ago
This was our 11th trip with Smartours. Overall the quality of this trip was less good in the past. Despite the high cost there were few included meals and tours. Optional tours were offered but expensive. Further, especially in Sydney there were too many options as to time and date so making it difficult for the tour leader to coordinate.
In Australia, since we flew between cities, there was little time informing us about the country, if you elected not to go on the optional tours.
As usual the descriptions of the tours was somewhat unrealistic, raising expectations which could not be expected to be fulfilled - most animals function best at dusk or at night, so one cannot expect to see them during a morning tour. Although interesting the "Farm stay" in Fairlie, NZ was simply a bed & breakfast, the hosts once owned a farm, but now simply live in a house with no animals around.
Your choice was probably based on cost, but the outward journey was very long - several hours were added by having to fly through Sydney to get to Auckland. This was in addition to a 15 hour flight LAX-Syd. and our connecting flight from the east coast. We were en route for 42 hours!
Of the hotels, that in Melbourne was the weakest, including limited internet which functioned very poorly.
Welcome and farewell dinners very OK at best. One had the impression both restaurants just wanted us to eat and get out. Food was scanty.
Posted 10 months ago
Was not prepared for this type of trip. Our own fault, but some clarity from SmarTours would have been helpful. Glad we took advantage of the opportunity, and from what we heard, SmarTours was probably the best option we could have found for an excursion to the Antarctica.
Posted 10 months ago
The seats on the flights were not good and we were unable to upgrade due to the last minute seat assignments. I don't plan to use SMARTours again.

The hotels and breakfasts were good. However since most tours, lunches, and dinners not included we spent a lot of money on the items.
Posted 10 months ago
I was dismayed that you did not mail to me the preliminary papers - but your rep lied and said they had been sent out. I was dismayed that when I called to tell you the plane ticket # to Abu Simbhel was missing, your rep lied and said it was part of the same ticket to Aswan. (We were forced to get off the plane, go through security again, get tickets and re-plane.) Shame on you!
Posted 10 months ago
All guides and staff were great, particularly Fernando, Naxu, and Nadia. Santiago was a waste of time and money. Smartours should have worked to change itinerary. Argentina and Iguazu Falls were absolutely tremendous!
Posted 10 months ago
Too too much info. We were going eight hours a day. Too rushed
Posted 11 months ago
MY guide for the cruise part was great. The land guide was horrible and for that reason I would not recommended Smart tours.
Posted 11 months ago
The Tour guide was good. Room was terrible paid for upgrade room was water level I don’t. Know what our upgrade was very disappointing we’ve. Traveled with you many times
Posted 11 months ago
The tour guides in each city were very knowledgeable and could speak English wonderfully...with the exception of the tour guide in Madrid. Her English was not at the same level as the other tour guides. Our tour director was good but not on the same level as our other Smartour tour directors. We were surprised to learn how long she had been doing tours, she seemed to be learning. Because her energy level was low, it made the groups energy low. Agur was very sweet but her communication was not the best, we learned that if we didn't ask questions just the right way, she would not elaborate on an answer.
Posted 11 months ago
Done a few trips....but this time was abandoned by them in Japan because of a typhoon.
Posted 11 months ago
Some misleading information on itinerary which was a little disappointing. Would have liked some more substantial information from guide. Not enough time at stops to explore.
Posted 11 months ago
Trip good, not outstanding.
Posted 11 months ago
Never received luggage tags and were told they were mailed to us. Too many buffets. Warn travelers of theft problems we encountered at the Johannesburg airport.

Great tour guide. Ron was very knowledgeable.
Posted 11 months ago
Most of the hotels were good in terms of quality, but the breakfasts were below average in several places based on other trips. The trip should have had a brief stop in Abudhabi. The 4 hour layover affected the arrival agenda. The location of the hotel in Fiji was not good. We were not shown some of the beautiful parts of the Island. These are reasons why rated acceptable.
Posted 11 months ago
smarTours is rated 4.41 based on 1,366 reviews