Don’t Book with Tourradar Until You’ve Read This!

Don’t Book with Tourradar Until You’ve Read This!

My experience with Tourradar

Having been an experienced traveler I never really saw myself doing a days long guided tour. To be honest I was a bit worried it would be a waste of money since I really didn’t see myself enjoying being under tour package.

However, tourradar had a sale that I couldn’t say no to. $350 for 5 days and 4 nights in Palawan Philippines! At that price I figured what the heck! This is my tourradar review.

What is tourradar?

Tourradar is an Austrian online tour broker founded by two brothers that connects people with tours worldwide. The company was founded in 2015 and specializes in multi-day package tours .

Tourradar founding brothers Travis (left) & Shawn (right)
Tourradar founding brothers Travis (left) & Shawn (right)

They have agreements with hundreds of operators and as a result are able to negotiate special discounts that you may not get by just going to the operator’s website.

What my tour included

My Palawan tour included:

  1. Accommodation at a hotel
  2. English speaking guide
  3. El Nido & Honda Bay Island Hoping Tours
  4. Underground River Tour
  5. Meals
  6. Full transportation
  7. Entrance fees

I recommend that you check to see if the offerings are still the same.

Flight not included!

Oh and the flight wasn’t included. I had to pay for the flight from Manila to Palawan myself but I used Kiwi.com and only paid $200 round trip for two people.

How was the booking process?

The booking process was relatively easy. One just need to book online. One thing I discovered was that the prices were for a minimum of two people.

Meaning that the $400 was per person with a minimum of two people not for both. Probably should’ve known that but I had never booked a group tour before!

If I had booked a tour for one but I would’ve had to pay an extra $260.  I just said screw it and took my partner and paid the $800. Tourradar doesn’t charge any booking fees or anything like that which is nice.

They also allow you to pay in installments with an initial payment of 30% so long as its 2 months before the trip.

You must have a credit or debit card with a visa, mastercard, or American express symbol to use tourradar.

My Palawan tour

Day 1

Tourradar set me up with Bamba Tours, a local Philippine tour company, and they took care of everything. They picked us up from the Puerto Princesa airport and took us immediately to El Nido. That was an 8 hour van ride by the way!

Luckily–for Mike–he was tired and slept. I however, can’t sleep in a moving vehicle so I just got to watch the driver going too fast on a two lane highway passing other vehicles

side note:In developing countries they all go to fast on less than perfect roads. You get used to it after awhile

We finally reached El Nido and went to our hotel. We got to the hotel room  threw our bags on the ground got something to eat at some hole in the wall restaurant. It was actually pretty good but I don’t remember the name.

Day 2

Mike and I island hoping
Mike and I island hoping

Day 2 was island hoping. That was a lot of fun! We went to several island and big and small lagoons. They fed us lunch and we met these awesome girls from eastern Europe. They told us how they just graduated from nursing school and will go to Britain to practice work as midwives

Our group in the big lagoon

Our group in the big lagoon

Day 3

We were transferred back to Puerto Princesa which meant another 8 hours in the van. Honestly I don’t get why they didn’t just have us do the Puerto Princesa stuff first and then go to El Nido but I’m sure there’s a reason and most likely it has to do with money.

Day 4

on the boat to the underground river-tourradar
On the boat to the underground river

We had an option to do Honda Bay or the Underground River tour. Since Honda Bay wasn’t that special compared to El Nido we chose the Underground River tour and we’re so glad we did as the underground river is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the new 7 wonders of the natural world .

The Underground River truly is a river underground in a cave with all kinds of different bat, salamander, and other unique species only found inside the cave.

Entrance to Underground river cave-Palawan Island-tourradar review
Entrance to Underground River Cave -Palawan Island

Day 5

Okay so the tour was supposed to end on day 4. However, I  knew Palawan had some history and being a history buff I stayed behind while Mike returned to Manila since he had to work the next morning. I took a city tour of Puerto Princesa and Iwahig Prison.

Read about that here. 

Tourradar vs. Doing it myself

 

The tourradar portion of my trip cost me about $1100 for two people when it was all said and done. That’s including non-included meals, souvenirs, the flight and other incidentals all this during the high season.

If I had done it alone I would paid:

 

Flight $206
Hotels $40 x 4 Nights=$160
Transportation $500
Underground River Tour $55 x 2 people=$110
Island Hoping Tour $75 x 2 people=$150
Food $300
Total $1,420

Also the peace of mind of having someone else take care of everything instead of having to plan myself.

Other Tourradar review questions

Do the Tour guides speak fluent English?
Yes, an English examination is often part of the licensure process to become a tour guide
Are the tour guides licensed?
Yes! That’s actually a requirement to work as a tourradar operator
Were there hidden fees for you?
No, all the entrance fees and listed items were covered. That being said its extremely important to read carefully what’s included and what isn’t. For example, when it says ‘dinner at your leisure’ that means you’re the one who’s paying for the meal
What is Tourradar's cancellation policy
It depends on the particular tour operator you are booked with. Generally speaking the deposit is non-refundable (as most deposits aren’t). It also depends on how close you are to your tour date. I recommend you cancel ASAP if you’re planning on cancelling. As a general rule if you’ve already paid don’t count on getting your money back.
Does Tourradar charge a cancellation fee?
No, but as stated above the deposit is usually non-refundable
What does it mean if it says 'on request'?
It means almost all of the slots are taken and that the operator will only accept full payment for the tour
Can I pay with cash?
No, tourradar only accepts credit or debit cards.
Is there a minimum number of people?
Most tours require at least two people (but the price is listed as per person). However usually you can go by yourself if you pay an additional fee.
What's the advantage of using tourradar?
It is often cheaper to do a group tour. In addition because they are so large they can negotiate better deals with the individual operators. They also have a fair review/ratings system so you can see what real customers thought about the tour. This gives a customer peace of mind.

Good news! I found a 60% off coupon for tourradar! 

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. My wife and I went to Palawan and we used tourradar. My wife is FIlipina and hadn’t heard of them but we were both very happy with the tour company they hooked is up with.

  2. I used tourradar when we went to Laos. No complaints

  3. Tourradar is the best! They got me the best rates. I’ve been using them for years. One time one of our tours was cancelled but they quickly got me on another one. If you don’t like to spend hours and hours planning a trip I highly recommend tourradar.

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