Is G Adventures Safe? My (Personal) Experience

Cartoon of Steve on in shorts and shirt

It is perfectly reasonable to want to know if G Adventures is safe. 

In fact, if you are about to invest your hard-earned cash and book a tour with them, you will want to make sure absolutely everything will go to plan.

Safety will usually be near the top of the priority list for most people.

So that is what we will take a closer look at today.

Let’s jump in.

Is G Adventures Safe?

Each G Adventure tour is led by an experienced guide with a huge amount of local knowledge to keep you as safe as possible. They also have reacted effectively to the Coronavirus pandemic by making booking and traveling on a G Adventures tour as safe as possible with extremely flexible cancellation and rebooking terms and conditions.

First things first, the answer to this question really depends upon the context in which it is asked.

  • Do you mean safe to book with? As in can you rest assured if you book a G Adventures tour, that the company won’t run off with your money?
  • Are you thinking more about things like COVID? Does the company have stringent policies in place to mitigate the risks of getting COVID, or some other illness, when you are thousands of miles from home?
  • Or do you mean will you be safe on a G Adventures tour? As in you won’t end up on your own in some dodgy area in the middle of nowhere?

In all honesty, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding yes, G Adventures is a very safe company.

But let’s go into the detail a bit further.

Booking a Tour: G Adventures ‘Book With Confidence’ Policy

The time when I was a ‘travel expert’ for STA Travel and used to book many people onto G Adventures tours, was well before the Coronavirus pandemic changed everything forever.

G Adventures has always been well known for having very flexible terms and conditions but they have gone even further in light of COVID.

The company’s ‘Book with Confidence’ policy offers a generous set of terms and conditions that make it safe to book with them, namely:

  • You can cancel and rebook your tour if you test positive for COVID within 14 days of departure.
  • If you decide to cancel and rebook your tour up to 45 days before departure, you can do so without incurring any extra costs. Anything inside that period and your deposit will be held and full fees charged.

It should be noted that whilst the G Adventures ‘Book With Confidence’ policy does cover the majority of its tours it doesn’t cover all of them.

The tours excluded from the ‘Book With Confidence’ policy are mainly its higher-end tours such as its National Geographic Journeys, Galapagos tours, Maldives tours and so on.

I would suggest that if, or when you book yourself on a G Adventures tour, you make yourself aware of the terms and conditions of the ‘Book With Confidence’ policy, or if your tour is excluded from that policy, make yourself aware of G Adventures general booking terms and conditions.

The company you book your tour through should also be able to make you aware of the terms and conditions.

SAFE TO BOOK? Most definitely. G Adventures’ terms and conditions are generous and I have found they are generally very amenable to making sure you don’t lose out in any way.

Traveling on a Tour: G Adventures ‘Travel With Confidence’ Policy

Once you are on a tour or about to embark on a tour you want to make sure you will be safe.

G Adventures ‘Travel With Confidence’ policy, works in tandem with its ‘Book With Confidence’ policy to make a tour as safe as possible for you.

As of 1 July 2022, all of G Adventures tours are what they call ‘fully vaccinated tours’.

That means all travelers (and the tour leaders), must be fully vaccinated to go on most G Adventures tours.

The only tours that have slightly different protocols are its National Geographic Journeys tours and its Antarctica Expedition Cruises.

Otherwise, you must have had your final COVID vaccination dose at least 14 days prior to the start of the tour.

Obviously, if you test positive for COVID within 14 days of departure then you can rebook your tour without losing any money, as per the company’s ‘Booking With Confidence’ policy.

SAFE TO TRAVEL? The procedures in place make G Adventures tours as safe as they possibly could be.

Traveling on a Tour: Eating, Sleeping and Touring with G Adventures

Group of friends around table eating dinner
Above: Eating with friends in Vietnam.

All G Adventures tours are led by its CEOs. 

For most companies, a CEO is a Chief Executive Officer. For G Adventures it is a Chief Experience Officer.

And they are great! Or the ones on the tours I did when working for STA Travel were anyway.

They aren’t just randomly plucked out of thin air and asked to go and lead a tour somewhere, every CEO has a huge amount of knowledge of the area they work in.

That in itself makes things much safer as their knowledge extends not just geographically for the area you are traveling, but also politically and religiously so any potential flashpoints can be avoided.

They are all also trained in first aid and will know where the local clinics and doctors are if you are feeling unwell.

A quick glance at G Adventures ‘Travel With Confidence’ policy shows just how much the company has upped its health and safety procedures in the light of COVID.

On transport for instance:

  • All privately owned vehicles are deep cleaned once a day.
  • Every traveler gets an assigned seat.
  • All surfaces on boats get a daily deep clean.
  • Hand sanitizer is required every time you get onboard a privately owned vehicle.
  • The use of local transport is limited.

In accommodation:

  • There is deep cleaning and disinfecting of all surface areas in your room.
  • There is an increased frequency of cleaning of public areas and restroom.
  • Groups try and stay on lower floors to eliminate elevator use.

When eating:

  • This is where the CEO’s local knowledge comes into play again, they will know the best places to eat in terms of hygiene.
  • Separate tables or private spaces will be reserved.
  • Al fresco dining opportunities will be chosen when possible.

In activities on tour:

  • All equipment will be thoroughly cleaned once a day and disinfected between use (ie things like hiking poles, snorkels, and camping gear).
  • On camping trips, you will be given the supplies needed to disinfect camping equipment.

These measures are in place to benefit both you and the company. 

You want to feel safe and healthy, and if we are totally honest G Adventures don’t want half the tour group going down with COVID or food poisoning which will ruin the tour for many and cause a lot of hassle and extra work.

SAFE TO TRAVEL? Once you are traveling, your health and safety are pretty much top of the list.

Want to Feel Extra Safe? Book Your Bubble

Steve with three friends on sand dunes in Vietnam
Above: Me (third from right hanging out with friends on sand dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam.

One final consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic is that G Adventures have gone an extra step and introduced ‘Book Your Bubble’ private travel.

This allows you to book your own tour with a hand-picked small group of friends.

It still encompasses all the aspects of the company’s ‘Book With Confidence’ and ‘Travel With Confidence’ policies but you can go on a tour with your own private group for extra piece of mind.

For me this has its plusses and minuses.

Obviously you get to travel with people you know and feel safe around, but one of the great joys of traveling in my opinion is the people you meet on your travels.

That person who you have never met when you wake up in the morning, but by the end of the day is a friend for life.

Either way, it is another great option and you can find full details on the ‘Book Your Bubble’ section of the G Adventures website.

But What Do Other People Say?

I know I probably sound like I work for G Adventures, but I don’t!

However when I worked for STA Travel, G Adventures trips were always extremely well received.

Below are some vox pops from reviews I found whilst carrying out some background research:

Compilation of G Adventures reviews
Click image to enlarge.

G Adventures usually operate quite small group tours, the average group size is 12 and that makes it easier for everyone to look out for each other.

To top it off G Adventures has also received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp.

These are important certifications that verify G Adventures has implemented health and hygiene protocols that are aligned with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels Protocols. 

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC answering question Is G Adventures Safe
Click infographic to enlarge.

G Adventures are undoubtedly a safe company to travel with in every aspect of the word.

Its tours are well organized, led by experienced tour guides with huge amounts of local knowledge, and have a strong focus on ensuring customers feel safe and secure.

As you can see from this article, they have also spent a lot of time making their tours as COVID-safe as possible in recent years.

Of course it works both ways, and the company can only do so much to keep you safe.

If you decide to leave your accommodation at 10pm at night to wander into a dubious neighbourhood, your safety can’t be guaranteed.

But go on a G Adventures tour, exercise a bit of common sense and you should have a fantastic and very safe time.

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