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Old 12-02-2016, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,852,811 times
Reputation: 6379

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This is my first post in this forum. I an my wife recently retired and we are looking to begin international travel. I have made some queries on the internet and I have come up with this company Audley that advertises to create tailor-made journeys and trips that are guaranteed to be enjoyed. Basically what I am wondering if anyone on here has used Audley before and if they were pleased with the trip?

I have been basically travel agent to this point but now that we are getting older I am looking for a company that will put together trips that we can enjoy and stand behind when things that can go wrong do go wrong.
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:17 AM
 
8,088 posts, read 4,424,278 times
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Don't know them, but tripmasters dot com and europeandestinations dot com (the same company actually) as well as route perfect dot com (which is a trip advisors website) all provide packaged deals (air, car rental, train scheduling and ticketing and hotel booking. All can be customized.

CAVEAT: We still do our own planning except for to cultures and parts of the world that we feel out of league negotiating. For those trips we use overseas adventure travel(oat). We went to India and now going to SE Asia with OAT.

We have studied the way the first three operate, but have not yet booked anything through them. Tripmasters and europeandestinations basically repackage as tours packages that people buy from them, after customizing. You pay extra for the underlying travel agency, which is why we have not yet booked them. I have talked to a couple of people who have them and have been satisfied. Route perfect is very similar, but I'm not sure what the underlying operation is, nor talked to anyone who has used them.

I'll look into Audley. Thanks for asking the question
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Old 12-02-2016, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,082 posts, read 19,036,218 times
Reputation: 24207
A little googling makes me worry about them. They've only been in the US since 2013.

Audley Travel | TourMatters

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...ay_Travel.html
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:27 AM
 
Location: SW France
14,265 posts, read 14,151,269 times
Reputation: 27923
Using them for a trip to Cuba and sailing around its smaller islands next month.

They've been good with the planning but maybe too early to rate them.
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,852,811 times
Reputation: 6379
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
A little googling makes me worry about them. They've only been in the US since 2013.

Audley Travel | TourMatters

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...ay_Travel.html


Thank you for the links. I had some concerns as to their service. Not necessarily price. The two links you did send are excellent resources. In the first one a seasoned well traveled person wrote a pretty damning review. I take that with a grain of salt. I do not think he contacted Audley to complain until after. He did get a small refund of the money which is better than nothing at all. He still took the trip and used the services. Had he booked on his own and used the same guides he would still have had to pay.

On the second link I am still reading but I wanted to make this point. Yes there are some complaints. Mainly that a person could do the booking themselves and save a lot of money. That is true but there is one caveat on that. Yes you can but if something goes wrong, who are you going to turn to for help.

I am a fairly good traveler. I have set up most of our trips and I have done fairly well. We have enjoyed our travels (not many of them by any means). The areas I am looking at traveling though are out of my comfort zone meaning that I have never been there. I don't speak the language and I don't know all the places that I might like to see.

I put this up and I am very glad for any input. I do not know if I am going to take the trip to Argentina with Audley as an agent. I am not even sure we will go to Argentina when my wife is setting aside for the time. The weather and seasons are backwards and we would not be able to see what she is wanting to because of the flipped seasons.

Personally I would prefer beaches but she wants to see snow and ice. LOL crazy. We live in snow country and I guess we just don't get enough. I am fed up with it. Maybe I should have her shovel the driveway and I watch with a cup of coffee in hand. LOL


I do hope others will chime in on this. I would really like to hear from someone that has used Audley. I am open to hearing from others as well on what they do. We are planning on doing a lot of travel in the next 15 years. I think most of it we will book on our own but for special ones it is nice to have input and ideas as well as a little help sometimes.
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,082 posts, read 19,036,218 times
Reputation: 24207
I honestly don't know how much help they would be if "something went wrong." If that were a major cincern for me! I'd probably book a small group travel experience with a very well rated company.

But I gotta tell ya - for me (retired), planning is part of the fun (albeit, we do NOT do luxury or even high end travelling. I'm a cheapskate.) And some of the things we figured out when "something went wrong" turned out to be wonderful experiences. (Can you imagine a home exchange in mexico where we totaled their car the day after arrival, we don't speak spanish, then found we couldn't locate the insurance papers? Eventually, the Federales were pretty nice guys.)
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,852,811 times
Reputation: 6379
jkgourmet thank you for the reply here. I actually have been looking at the itinerary that they sent me via email.

BBB has three complaints 2 of which were actually minor and resolved to customer satisfaction and one is incomplete and very recent. As you said they have not been in the US for a long time but they are a company that has been doing this for 20 years. They had an incident in 2013 where a 50 year old woman was killed when two luxury boat pilots decided to play dare and crashed. Audley admitted being at fault though I think they just did the pay out because they felt liable. They were themselves not responsible for the idiotic pilots but like a good company they owned up to it.

Research on the company has them starting in 1991 with Asian tours out of the UK. They have opened up a Boston office in 2014. I also did a bit of review checking and found this.

https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.audleytravel.com with 55 pages going back to 2014. I am not disinclined to go with the trip they suggest. I might negotiate a change or two before I settle on something but I like the tour set up that I read.
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