Here at TourScoop, we’re all about using our real-world, real-person travel expertise—honed over decades of travel—to help travelers make great decisions about travel. Today we’re going deep on Trafalgar Tours, a tour company that’s been around for nearly a century. In this article, we’ve gathered up everything we think you might need to know to decide if Trafalgar is going to be the right tour operator for your next trip.
Trafalgar Tours is one of the grande dames of the tour world, one that has escorted five million guests on trips around the world over the last century and has a solid track record. Today, it has 300 itineraries in 72 countries. Its strength lies in its ability to deliver both standard coach tours and also small group tours and specialized tours that highlight nature, history, food, and other specific areas of interest.
TourScoop Takeaways: Trafalgar
- Countries: 72 countries on six continents
- Tour Size Average: The standard group size is about 40 guests. Trafalgar also offers Small Group Active Tours that have no more than 17 guests.
- Tour Type: Coach
How to Book
To book a Trafalgar tour, you can go a few different routes. The easiest is to book through Trafalgar; but you can also opt for a tour-specialist online travel agent like Travelstride, Tourhub, or TourRadar.
Trafalgar has a Feefo rating of 4.6/5 and received the company’s Platinum Trusted Service Award for 2022. On TourRadar, Trafalgar has a rating of 4.5/5 and is a gold partner, meaning the brand has a high rating and is recognized to promptly respond to queries. According to Trafalgar, it has a repeat guest rating of 53% with a 97% satisfaction rate.
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The brand has won over 80 awards including Travel Weekly’s Readers’ Choice Awards and USA Today’s 10Best Tour Company. It also hosts unedited reviews from its customers on its site.
Trafalgar offers trips to 72 countries across six continents, with over 300 itineraries. Among its most popular tour destinations are England, Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, Egypt, Ireland, Argentina, the United States, and Thailand.
Trafalgar offers both general guided vacations and special interest tours. Its special interest tours include food and wine tours such as Taste and Sound of the South, family tours including Pioneer Adventures of the Old West, religious tours such as Land of the Gods, battlefield tours including WWI and WWII Battlefields, safaris such as Wonders of Kenya, and women’s only tours in destinations such as Turkey and Egypt.
Trafalgar also offers active travel tours with options for more rigorous hiking and biking activities than the average tour. These trips include Trafalgar’s new Small Group Active Tours that include itineraries such as Yellowstone, The Tetons and Glacier National Park and California Coast Food and Wine Trail.
Tour directors come onto the job with three to five years of road experience, and receive a ton of training including diversity and inclusion training, well-being training, customer service instruction, and administration. All of this is geared to help these tour guides be as professional, organized, helpful, and personable as possible.
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In addition to all that training, each year, travel directors also receive a week-long professional development program in which they are placed in the position of the guest for a week of touring and training on the ground and in the classroom. Trafalgar has travel directors who have been with the company for 30 years; the longest serving Travel Director has been with Trafalgar for 45 years.
Trafalgar trips include all accommodations and transportation during the trip plus most meals. Most activities are included in the itinerary, though Trafalgar also offers optional experiences for additional fees. Transfers to and from the airport are offered in the majority of overseas countries free of charge. Trafalgar can help arrange flights (not included in the base price) at the beginning and end of a trip.
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On select trips featuring Be My Guest experiences, Trafalgar includes one-of-a-kind experiences such as meeting with locals for lunch and learning about their way of life, staying in accommodations such as castles or historical hotels, or gaining early entry into bucket list attractions such as the Vatican.
The majority of Trafalgar guests are 50 and up, though on family tours children as young as five participate. Trafalgar has a robust solo travel program with free or reduced single supplement prices for tours in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Travelers come from all over the world, and in recent years, post-trip guest-managed Facebook groups have cropped up, allowing guests (and their travel director) to stay in touch.
After booking a Trafalgar tour, guests get access to MyTrafalgar, a gated part of the Trafalgar website where guests can provide details about any dietary restrictions, upload emergency contact information, and connect with their Travel Director. About a week before the departure date, guests receive access to all travel documents for the trip plus instructions for joining a group chat with Travel Directors and other guests.
Trafalgar has switched from its former VIT loyalty program to the Global Tour Rewards program, which allows guests to collect and spend rewards across all the TTC tour companies, including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Costsaver, Brendan Vacations, and Contiki.
Groups of 10 or more can work with the Trafalgar team to create customized private itineraries that cater to specific budget and interests.
Trafalgar works with the TreadRight Foundation on projects focused on conserving the planet, preserving cultures throughout the world, and protecting wildlife. In 2020, Trafalgar, along with TreadRight, launched the How We Tread Right (HWTR) sustainability strategy that the brand is hoping to achieve by 2025. These goals are in line with the UN’s Global Goals and address climate change, sustainable food production, waste reduction, travel experiences, diversity and inclusion and wildlife.
Trafalgar offers opportunities on trip for guests to work towards those sustainable goals through its MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences. These experiences are meant to leave a more positive social or environmental impact on the communities they visit.
Trafalgar (and the other TTC companies) recently became the first global tour operator to “secure validated short and long-term net zero targets through the Science Based Target Initiative – SBTi, a partnership with CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature.”
Health and Safety Practices
Trafalgar’s teams offer always-on support and are always up to date on the latest regulations. Should any issues arise, there’s 24/7 incident response that means the Trafalgar team can and will assist and work directly with local medical support and local authorities. Trafalgar updates its health and safety practices regularly, so check the website for the latest policies.