This year I took my very first tour with G Adventures.
I knew that when I finished my Disney program in July, I’d want to use the travel time I’d had left on my visa. I’d always wanted to see the big national parks in Utah and decided now was as good a time than any!
I’m a terrible driver, and even if I wasn’t there would be no way I’d be doing a road trip through the desert by myself. So a guided tour was the way to go.
The main places I wanted to visit were, Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley and Horseshoe Bend.
With so many companies out there, like Trek America, Contiki etc, there was so much choice and I hadn’t a clue who to go with.
There were tons of itineraries when I initially looked, some skipped Antelope Canyon, some skipped Monument Valley. As the time approached I noticed a lot of the tours I’d looked at were selling out. So I had limited options. I’d only really camped once before, and I wasn’t sure if I’d survive two weeks doing so. But with the tour on sale and the price being so good I bit the bullet and booked.
Canyon Country And Coasts
I settled on Canyon Country and Coasts by G Adventures. This tour included everything I wanted to do and more. Canyonlands national park was never on my list, but it ended up being my favourite. Capitol Reef was incredible too. Followed by a tour up the coast of California. I wasn’t too bothered about the California part of my trip, simply because I’ve done most of it. But there were definitely places I wanted to explore more of, like San Diego, and to finally visit the Walt Disney family museum in San Francisco.
Confession: I almost didn’t book this G adventures trip due to anxiety and thinking no one on my tour would like me. I told myself it’s just two weeks. On my flight from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, I told myself this will all be over soon.
Fast forward two weeks, and I’ve never been more thankful to myself for booking such a trip. I had the absolute time of my life. Day one I was telling myself it’ll be over in two weeks and day 15 I was asking myself where the time had gone and why it had to end?
Here are my pros and cons of doing a tour through G Adventures
G Adventures continuously came up the cheapest and most affordable. My tour lasted 15 days and costed $1799 USD. There were many optional extras, including Antelope Canyon, overnight stay in Monument Valley, sunset sailing in San Francisco, mountain biking in Moab, white water rafting and a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. I opted to do the tour of Antelope Canyon, overnight stay in Monument Valley and the sunset sailing. Altogether these three came to $250 USD. Personally I found this to be a good price because when I booked the tour was on sale and was originally around $2000.
During the two weeks, there were maybe four meals that weren’t included in the price. The other nights we would cook at the campsite. There were three groups, one to cook, one to do dishes and the last one to clean the bus. Each night we would rotate so everybody does their fair share.
Clean Bus & Tents
The bus we spent the two weeks travelling with was spacious, clean and comfortable. Which is so nice when you are travelling for up to 8 hours a day. On top of this we had brand new tents that were actually nice to sleep in, as were the air mattresses. This definitely made camping a little easier.
As I’m not a big fan of camping, I was fairly impressed by most of our campgrounds. The campground in Moab was my favourite. No ants, free wifi, a pool and nice bathrooms. Most of the campgrounds were more than adequate.
Our campground in San Diego was fine until I noticed it was infested with ants. I had to empty all of my things and spray bug spray everywhere it was that bad.
The campsite I was most appalled by was actually Mather Campground inside Grand Canyon National Park. I’m just going to assume they never hire anyone to clean the bathrooms because the filthiest I’ve seen anywhere. And with only one sink and two cubicles for around 40 girls it wasn’t easy getting in and out.
Our Tour Guide
My tour guide Lindsay was amazing, she tweaked the itinerary somewhat during our time in Moab so we would be able to watch the most stunning sunset in Canyonlands. Her recipes each night were incredibly yummy. And, she had the best playlists specific to each location which made our bus journeys much more fun. At the end of the tour Lindsay had a group photo of us printed for each of us, with a personalised goodbye written on the back. How sweet?!
Jon, our bus driver was equally as awesome. Having toured with companies like this for a while, he had an abundance of knowledge.
The only thing I didn’t like about the tour is simply that I’d have liked more time in each location. We didn’t get to see much of Zion because of flash floods, but even so we weren’t even camping here. We spent about 3 hours max checking out the park, and most of it was on a bus.
In the itinerary it states we’d be stopping in Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. We never really got to see either, we never stepped foot outside of the campsite. I’ve been to Santa Barbara many times before so it didn’t bother me. But for people who are visiting California for the first time, I’d be disappointed. Other than San Diego, I felt our time in California was very much rushed. I would have preferred longer in the national parks like Zion and Bryce than time in California.
Would I Use G Adventures Again?
Overall my tour with G Adventures was great. To say I had the absolute time of my life is an understatement. I was lucky to have one of the most amazing groups, we really bonded as a whole. I never thought I’d come away from this tour having made friends all over the world. Or to say that I’ve managed to keep in contact with most of them. If I were to visit Switzerland or Lichtenstein, I know I’d have friends there.
I learned how to put up with 40 degree heat, but not so much 50 degree heat (looking at you Lake Havasu) And I’m proud I can finally put up a tent with ease!
Having done my first ever bus tour, I wouldn’t hesitate to book another. I’m sold. And I would most definitely book through G Adventures again.
Have you ever done a tour through G Adventures?
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