Tag Archives: overseas adventure travel

Review Inside Vietnam Grand Circle Travel Discount

Inside Vietnam: Grand Circle Travel
Dates:  November 2005

Mindy and Jesse Inside Vietnam Grand Circle Travel Tour
Mindy and Jesse Inside Vietnam Grand Circle Travel Tour

This was our first trip with Grand Circle Travel.  At the time, we didn’t know about Overseas Adventure Travel (Grand Circle owns and runs OAT).  Grand Circle is a ‘big bus’ tour for older folks and OAT is small groups and much more active.

Please also note that I am writing this post many years after having taken the trip to Vietnam.

For that reason, I strongly suggest you read more recent reviews and evaluations posted by travelers who have taken the trip more recently.     I was 53 when we took this trip – way younger than the typical Grand Circle traveler.  It was still a great trip.   You’ll see from this website that we have taken many subsequent trips with OAT and many other travelers share my opinion that the tour to Vietnam is one of the best trips to take.


$100 FIRST TIMER DISCOUNT

If you are considering the Vietnam Tour with either Grand Circle or Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), feel free to take advantage of this special savings (It works for either).   When making your reservation, simply say you were referred by Jesse Slome (Customer Number 932019) and they will deduct $100 off the lowest available price.  This works just one time on your first trip.  No catch and it’s just for your first trip.


MY REVIEW

Your money goes far in Vietnam
Your money goes far in Vietnam

First of all … if you ask Mindy … I think she will tell you this has been her favorite trip.  It definitely ranks up there for me.  And, it clearly is still one of the travel bargains available.

It’s a wonderful country to visit.  We loved the food (even me who lives for desserts … and they don’t really eat sugar there).  We loved the shopping (even me … I would go back there today to shop again).  And, we loved the people.  They have been through many wars — including the last which they refer to as “the American War”.

BOTTOM LINE:  Vietnam is one of the few places I would revisit again.  If you go, I really think you’ll feel the same way.

That said, I am sure many things have changed in the 12 years between when we went and today when I’m writing this.  But, as I’ve said, I’ve talked to many people on our subsequent tours and they regale you with stories of great bargains.  When we arrived we changed $60 for 1 million Vietnamese Dong … making us instant millionaires.

Inside Vietnam Overseas Adventure Travel

TIP:   If you are considering a trip with either Grand Circle or Overseas Adventure Travel, I strongly recommend reading the various reviews.  For example, one of the travelers recommended bringing $1 bills with us.  We brought $100 and had a great time buying all kinds of little stuff from local street vendors, etc.  Fellow travelers will share tips not in the guide book the company sends you.

I wish you a wonderful trip.
IF YOU DO USE MY REFERRAL CODE TO SAVE $100 – why not send me a quick note to say hello.  I always like to hear from folks who love travel as much as we do.
Email me:     jslome @ aaltci.org

Review Machu Picchu & the Galápagos Overseas Adventure Travel

Machu Picchu & the Galápagos Overseas Adventure Travel
Dates:  July 2007

Mindy and Jesse, Machu Picchu Peru with Overseas Adventure Travel
Mindy and Jesse, Machu Picchu Peru with Overseas Adventure Travel

This was our first trip with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) and I am writing this posting years after having taken the trip to Peru, Machu Pichu and the Galapagos.  It was our second trip with the company (our first trip to Vietnam was with Grand Circle Travel … before we knew of OAT’s existence).

For that reason, I strongly suggest you read more recent reviews and evaluations posted by travelers who have taken the gtip more recently.


$100 FIRST TIMER DISCOUNT

If you are considering the Machu Picchu and Galapagos Tour with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), feel free to take advantage of this special savings.   When making your reservation, simply say you were referred by Jesse Slome (Customer Number 932019) and they will deduct $100 off the lowest available price.  This works just one time on your first trip.  No catch and it’s just for your first trip.


MY REVIEW

Machu Picchu Overseas Adventure Travel discount
Machu Picchu Overseas Adventure Travel discount

I really liked this trip and I suspect you will as well.  It was well paced and I have to say the visit to Machu Picchu was incredible.  We had great weather as you can see from this photo I took.

 

Peru Overseas Adventure Travel discount
Peru Overseas Adventure Travel discount

I remember this tour as being very active (which is something I like).  As you’ll see from the other tours I’ve taken, there’s a bit of free time on OAT tours and I remember doing and seeing a lot on this trip.  We really got to see the people and learn about the country.

Galapagos overseas adventure travel
Galapagos overseas adventure travel

A trip to the Galapagos is on most people’s bucket list and this tour didn’t disappoint.  You’ll see things not seeable anywhere else (like the Blue Footed Boobie) and that makes it memorable.  YES, getting to the Galapagos is expensive.   It added quite a bit to our trip then and it does so now.  But OAT does a really good job and having a small group and a small boat allows you to have access to places the larger cruise ships can’t access.

Inca Cola

MY TIP:  You must try Inca cola.  You couldn’t find it in the US when we went and I’m sure it’s still hard.  The company was bought by Coca Cola.  It tastes like chewing gum.  If you fly LAN airways they serve it.  So, you can try on your way there.  But, if not, find a market and buy a bottle.  Something different for sure.

AGAIN … it’s been many years since Mindy and I took this trip.  But as with all our other trips with Overseas Adventure Travel, we found they did a really good job and provided great value for the money.  I am confident you’ll enjoy (and don’t forget that if this is your first trip, use our referral discount).  Thanks for reading.

I wish you a wonderful trip.
IF YOU DO USE MY REFERRAL CODE TO SAVE $100 – why not send me a quick note to say hello.  I always like to hear from folks who love travel as much as we do.
Email me:     jslome @ aaltci.org

Review Crossroads of the Adriatic Overseas Adventure Travel

Crossroads of the Adriatic Tour

motovun istria croatia
Motovun, Istria, Croatia

Travel Dates:  June 2017

This was our ninth trip with Overseas Adventure Travel (two couples on the tour have taken 20+ tours with OAT and one was taking 9 back-to-back tours).  I share that because if our are reading this web page considering a first trip with OAT OR GRAND CIRCLE, I’d say those are pretty powerful testimonials.  My comments on this trip continue below.


$100 FIRST TIMER DISCOUNT

If you are considering the Crossroads of the Adriatic (Croatia) Tour with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT), feel free to take advantage of this special savings.   When making your reservation, simply say you were referred by Jesse Slome (Customer Number 932019) and they will deduct $100 off the lowest available price.  This works just one time on your first trip.  No catch and it’s just for your first trip.


MY REVIEW

Overall, this was a good tour.  Here are the things I liked best.  First Croatia has a real beauty to it (several of us commented that it’s much prettier than Italy … and I agree).   Second, if you want a trip that’s more than “just sightseeing” the days spent in Bosnia were fascinating.  The home hosted dinner, visiting with a family who lived during the 4 year siege (on the 11th floor when there was no electricity) makes you appreciate not just the world — but your life.

Dubrovnik view from the city walls
Dubrovnik view from the city walls

With the exception of Dubrovnik, we really never saw many tourists (and rarely another American).  So, you still feel like you are among the locals (not just one of the throng).

Finally, there were some real gems in terms of natural beauty.

Plitvice lakes, Croatia
Plitvice lakes, Croatia

The Plitvice lakes in Croatia and the Postojna cave in Slovenia.  The first is a series of crystal lakes (okay ponds) and dozens of waterfalls.  One feeds into the other as you walk over footpaths and bridges that cross flowing water and waterfalls.

Postojna Cave, Slovenia
Postojna Cave, Slovenia

I’ve visited caves in the U.S. (including Mammoth Caves).  This one was stunning and large (unexpectedly so).  You start with a 10 minute train ride just to reach the most scenic areas.  Just one of the many pleasant treats on this tour.

Bottom line:  This was not my favorite OAT tour but definitely interesting.  You’ll see places you’re not likely to visit again.  And that makes it worth doing.

TRAVELER TIPS

I always like to add a few little tips for those who’ve taken the time to read this.

  1.  Coffee is Croatia is disappointing.  But all the hotels will make you a cappuccino if you ask the wait staff.  Well worth doing.
  2. Try these candies.  Our guide (Bruna) introduced the group to imagesthese candies.  They are like caramels but the inside will open your airways.  You’ll enjoy (at least I did).
  3. Avoid the temptation to add days in Dubrovnik prior to the trip.  We did (despite reading lots of posts that said one day was enough).  The amount of time spent by the tour was enough.

OPTIONALS
The first optional trip offered to Motovun was well worth doing and an outstanding value.  The optional to Lake Bled was nice (less of a real value) but there’s nothing else to do … so do it.


Contact Jesse Slome

If you’d like to contact me with questions (or just to let me know you are booking a trip using me as a Referral … thank you) you can Email me at  jslome @ aaltci  dot  org (or simply click this link).

 

Costa Rica – Overseas Adventure Travel

Real Affordable Costa Rica – Overseas Adventure Travel

Travel Dates: May 2012

Real affordable costa rica overseas adventure travelThe tour name said it all.  Overseas Adventure Travel offered a very affordable tour of Costa Rica, a truly fascinating country.  It really was a comprehensive tour – site seeing, adventure (Zip line ride), a ton of nature all lead by an excellent guide and providing an outstanding look at a country.  On the last day, I asked the guide how many miles we covered and he commented that we had covered some 700 (it was well worth it).

$100 FIRST TIMER DISCOUNT OAT TRAVEL

If you are considering a trip with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) or Grand Circle Travel (GCT), feel free to take advantage of the special savings.   When making your reservation, simply say you were referred by Jesse Slome (Customer Number 932019) and they will deduct $100 off the lowest available price.  This works just one time on your first trip.  We get just one credit as well towards a future trip (thank you).

MY TIP FOR TRAVELERS:  I am writing this in 2016 and undoubtedly some things have changed.  I find OAT’s sales reps are excellent and they will answer questions.  Some of the hotels were pretty basic and didn’t have the best wi-fi.  I suspect that’s changed quite a bit.  But with the importance of being connected today (not to me but to many) it’s worth asking.  As I mentioned above you will spend quite a bit of time on the bus.  It was never terrible but I brought along a couple of bags of nuts (Trader Joes!) and they were helpful and a hit with others.

Food overseas adventure travelWHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE COSTA RICA TOUR:  A couple of things.  First, this is a country of enormous natural beauty.  From flora and fauna to waterfalls, incredibly warm oceans to coffee plantations and more.  Every day was like visiting some new natural national park.

AND GREAT FRESH FRUIT!

fresh mango Real affordable Costa Rica overseas adventure travelIf you like fresh fruit, then this was the tour to take because I ate more incredibly fresh mango than I’ve had in a lifetime.  Costa Rican food is simple and basic (lots of beans and rice) but I really enjoyed and the food was plentiful.  In fact, when I came home and looked at my photos and stood on the scale, I went on a diet and have since lost 20 pounds.

What I really enjoyed was learning about this country that is moving itself from abject poverty into the modern age.  They have universal health care and college for those who want it.  You’ll see vibrancy and how great is that to see.  Lastly, we stayed in some great little resorts.  Not 5-star by US standards but wonderful, unique and high quality (5-Star Costa Rican style) , and certainly enjoyable.

WANT MORE INFORMATION OR JUST TO SAY HI!
discount overseas adventure travel costa ricaPlease feel free to write to me with any questions.  Or, just to let me know that you’ve made a reservation and used my discount code.  Thank you.
E-mail Jesse – Click this link

Thank you for reading this discount Overseas Adventure Travel posting.  I wish you good and safe travels.

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Pure New Zealand Review – Overseas Adventure Travel

Pure New Zealand Tour – Overseas Adventure Travel

New Zealand Overseas Adventure Travel
Travel Dates:  January 2015

This was definitely one of my favorite trips with Overseas Adventure Travel.  Beautiful scenery and you get to travel to both islands.  It’s a very comprehensive tour that covers a lot of distance but not at too fast a pace.  You really get to see the country — both the cities and the rural countryside.  This was one of my favorite New Zealand photos shot during a lunchtime stop at a little roadside stop.

$100 FIRST TIMER DISCOUNT

If you are considering the Pure New Zealand Tour with OAT, feel free to take advantage of the special savings.   When making your reservation, simply say you were referred by Jesse Slome (Customer Number 932019) and they will deduct $100 off the lowest available price.  This works just one time on your first trip.  We get just one credit as well towards a future trip (thank you).

MY TIP FOR TRAVELERS:  New Zealand meat pieOn the drive to one of the national parks we made a toilet stop and the guide said “whoever likes pie, follow me.”  Turns out pie meant meat pie.  But I have to say that the lamb with fresh mint meat pie was one of my favorite meals in New Zealand.  If not my favorite one.  I’m sure your guide will know the place and if you like great, simple local, fresh food … this is the place to stop.

WHAT’S TO LIKE ABOUT NEW ZEALAND TOUR?
discount on overseas adventure travel tour to New ZealandWell, the scenery is incredibly varied and quite beautiful.  I would call it a young country, vibrant and yet modern.  The cities are small by U.S. standards but that makes them really nice to visit.  And, then you have large expanses of small rural towns.  Relaxing and fun to visit because it’s all still real.  What I would say small town US cities were like in the 1950s.  In fact, this was how the folks get their mail in one such village … looks like a bus stop but it’s actually the local post office pick-up.

WANT MORE INFORMATION OR JUST TO SAY HI!
Please feel free to write to me with any questions.  Or, just to let me know that you’ve made a reservation and used my discount code.  Thank you.
E-mail JesseClick this link

Thank you for reading this discount Overseas Adventure Travel posting.  I wish you good and safe travels.

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Imperial China, Tibet & The Yangtze – Overseas Adventure Travel

Imperial China, Tibet & The Yangtze – Overseas Adventure Travel

Travel Dates: January 2010

china-coverseas adventure travelI couldn’t imagine seeing China in any other way (than a guided tour).  This is a huge country and to really see as much as you’d want to, you need a knowledgeable guide leader and this Overseas Adventure Tour really exceeded my expectations (with one exception, food … but that’s really easy to overlook).

$100 FIRST TIMER DISCOUNT OVERSEAS ADVENTURE TRAVEL

If you are considering a land tour or cruise with Overseas Adventure Travel or Grand Circle Travel, feel free to take advantage of the special savings.   When making your reservation, simply say you were referred by Jesse Slome (Customer Number 932019) and they will deduct $100 off the lowest available price.  This works just one time on your first trip.  We get just one credit as well towards a future trip (thank you).

china overseas adventure travel discountsMY TIP FOR TRAVELERS:   Make the most of your free time.  Maybe it was our tour travelers or the guide but many people didn’t explore on their own.  But if you really want to experience a country, I believe you need to.  So, when we had free time in Beijing, I said I wanted to ride the subway.  Once the guide realized I was serious and a few others asked if they could join me … he agreed to guide us (which was helpful).  It’s a great system by the way.  We also went off to explore shopping malls and supermarkets.  If you really want to experience the real China, don’t just hang out in the hotel.  There was nothing like having young kids come up to touch my arms (they aren’t hairy by American standards … but apparently they are by Chinese standards).

img_0107WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE CHINA AND TIBET TOUR:  Pretty much everything.  You really cover the country and this is a BIG country undergoing huge transformation.  You see cities and rural countryside.  I loved spending the evening in a farmer’s home watching TV (he didn’t speak a word of English and I don’t speak Mandarin).  No worries, there is a universality among humans.  And, watching my wife do Texas-style line dancing with Chinese farm wives was a real hoot. You will cover an enormous amount and while it seems overwhelming, it wasn’t.  It was exciting and made the trip an incredible value.

Tibet overseas adventure travelAnd, Tibet … what a truly unique experience.  I could write 1,000 words and not adequately cover how much I enjoyed Tibet.  I would say this was really the highlight of our visit because it held so many unexpected surprises.  And, it was especially great to meet the people who real tibet overseas adventure travellive under Chinese repression.  Oh, by the way — this is a photo of the Potala Palace and be ready to climb up all the steps to gain access.  BUT, this is a not-to-be missed experience!

WANT MORE INFORMATION OR JUST TO SAY HI!
Please feel free to write to me with any questions.  Or, just to let me know that you’ve made a reservation and used my discount code.  Thank you.
E-mail Jesse – Click this link

China Overseas Adventure Travel
Thank you for reading this discount Overseas Adventure Travel posting.  I wish you good and safe travels.

Moroccan Sahara Odyssey – Overseas Adventure Travel

Moroccan Sahara Odyssey – Overseas Adventure Travel

Travel Dates: May 2009

Morocco Overseas Adventure Travel You want an adventure? You want something different? Spend a night or two in the Sahara dessert. Lay out on the sand at night and see a starlit sky unlike any you have ever seen. Walk the bazaar in Fez (I actually liked Fez more than Marrakesh) and see a part of the world few will ever visit.

$100 FIRST TIMER DISCOUNT OVERSEAS ADVENTURE TRAVEL

If you are considering any land tour or cruise with Overseas Adventure Travel or Grand Circle Travel, feel free to take advantage of the special savings. When making your reservation, simply say you were referred by Jesse Slome (Customer Number 932019) and they will deduct $100 off the lowest available price. This works just one time on your first trip. We get just one credit as well towards a future trip (thank you).

Morocco tour overseas adventure travelMY TIP FOR TRAVELERS: Go earlier in the year than we did (May 12-26). We were the last group to camp in the Sahara and these was good reason for that … the heat and the sun. There is no escaping it and while we clearly survived with great memories … BOY WAS IT HOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY!

Sahara desert Overseas adventure travelThat said, what a great trip and what a unique adventure. I have camped overnight in the Sinai desert so I remember the night sky. I wanted a repeat performance and this did not disappoint. Neither did waking up early in the morning to see a lone camel walking just behind our tent. I guess that’s why they put camel crossing signs along the desert trails.

Overseas adventure travel MoroccoThis tour really gives you a fair and balanced view of the country and it’s people. From large cities where we had dinner with a family to visiting Bedouins who live in tents. If you want to be a hit, bring a bag of lollipops and you’ll be a hero to dozens of youngsters,

img_0732-copyAnd, in terms of shopping. We usually don’t buy items when we travel but we brought back a couple of great items from this trip, including a rug. TIP: Be prepared to bargain and bargain hard. If you travel as a couple, make sure you both agree on some coding so you know when you like an item but the merchant has no idea. Then bargain until they give in. It’s their national sport.

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I Created This Website To Help You Learn and Save

If you are considering a first tour or cruise with Overseas Adventure Travel or their parent company Grand Circle Travel, I created this simple website to share information and a special savings offer.

THE SAVINGS OFFER:  First time travelers can save $100-per-person simply by sharing that you were referred by a prior traveler.  I don’t work for either of these companies … so why am I sharing this information?  Because when you use my code, I also get a credit that I will apply towards a future trip.

HERE’S HOW TO SAVE $100-PER PERSON.  Simply say “you were referred by Jesse Slome, Customer 932019” when making your reservation.   You do not have to tell me or ask permission.  Just tell the Reservations Agent when calling the company.  BUT, I do like hearing from folks who have used my code (thank you).  You can Email me:  Click this link to Email Jesse Slome

HERE ARE LINKS TO READ ABOUT THE VARIOUS OAT TOURS I HAVE TAKEN.  Just click any of the links to read more.

Overseas Adventure Travel Pure New Zealand

Overseas Adventure Travel Chile & Argentina: The Andes to Patagonia

Overseas Adventure Travel Imperial China, Tibet & The Yangtze

Overseas Adventure Travel Real Affordable Costa Rica

Overseas Adventure Travel Moroccan Sahara Odyssey

Overseas Adventure Travel Machu Picchu and the Galapagos

china-copyWHO AM I?  My name is Jesse Slome and while I still work professionally, I travel more — having visited every continent (except Antarctica … that’s on the list).   I have booked many tours but discovered OAT quite by accident … and have never found a better way to travel.  As a result, my wife and I take at least one OAT trip a year.

I think so much of the job they do that I’ve recommended the company to friends and family.   I recommend the company and continue to travel with them because of the great job they do.  The credits I earn are a nice bonus BUT NOT THE REASON I DO THIS.

WHAT’S THE SMALL PRINT?  There really isn’t any.  You save $100 off the lowest price.  The credit I earn doesn’t add to your cost.  I get the credit once (after you complete your trip) and nothing else again.  So you save … and YES … I earn a credit that I will use towards a future OAT trip.  That’s it.

CAN YOU EMAIL ME?  Of course.  I’m happy to answer questions (remember I don’t work for the company but I am happy to hear from you).   Click here to Email me