An American tour manager matched with the knowledge of the destination accompanies all Tour Monkey trips! The tour manager’s role is to manage the day-to-day logistics of the tour, facilitate bonding and camaraderie, and manage any issues that may arise. Be assured that an American—one who knows all our cultural quirks and concerns—is at the helm! What quirks do Americans have, you ask? Well … our obsession with ice water (even when it’s 20 degrees outside). Our utter bafflement at all things metric. Our way of understanding distances via time (10-minute walk) vs. distance (1.2-kilometer walk). Our need to customize restaurant orders, to name a few. Especially in exotic locales, Tour Monkeys feel comforted by having “one of their own” to turn to.
In addition to the tour manager, local guide(s) will accompany the group, providing expertise and personal enrichment on the destination’s history and culture.
THOUGHTFULLY DESIGNED ITINERARIES
Tour Monkey meticulously designs every aspect of the itinerary. The routing, timing, accommodations, sites and attractions, and restaurants are hand-selected to provide a unique and authentic experience. Sightseeing is balanced with time for self-exploration, relaxation, spa treatments, and shopping.
EXPERIENTIAL & CULTURAL ENRICHMENT
Tour Monkeys are adventurous, positive, flexible, and lifelong learners. Become a traveler, not a tourist! Immerse yourself in everyday life as a local. Begin your morning by joining locals performing tai chi at Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake. In Chiang Mai, stroll through a market with a chef, purchasing ingredients for a dish you will learn how to make and then eat. Visit a school and engage with students and teachers. Watch artisans do their thing. Talk to shopkeepers.
Tour Monkey’s first choice is to secure 5-star accommodations that are perfectly positioned and unique to the destination. Why 5-star hotels, you ask? Well, who doesn’t want to be pampered? The rooms are sparkling clean and beautifully decorated. Then there’s the accoutrements: fluffy towels and pillows, luxurious bedding, expensive toiletries. Should a 5-star hotel not be available or is not ideally located, a comparable property will be selected.
FLIGHTS & TRANSPORTATION
Any flights within the tour are arranged by Tour Monkey and included in the price of the tour. Flights to and from the destination are not included in the price of the trip. Why? From my many years of experience, many travelers prefer to make their own arrangements. Perhaps you would like to arrive a day or two early to adjust to the time zone and ease jet lag. Maybe you would like to use award miles or fly on a particular airline. You may also want the freedom to stay at the end destination longer or continue on to another place. Be assured that the day and time you need to be at the destination will be made very clear! Please do not book your flights until you receive written notification from Tour Monkey that the trip is a go!
On tour, Tour Monkeys will travel in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. You will also experience many different means of local transportation, such as tuk tuks, longtail boats, basket boats, rickshaws, and songthaews. (When in Rome, right?) If internal flights and/or train trips are a part of and included in the price of the tour, Tour Monkey will strive to secure business-class seats when possible.
Tour Monkeys are foodies. You will experience delectable street food, Anthony Bourdain–visited holes-in-the-wall, just plain holes-in-the-wall, and hand-picked eateries featuring local cuisine. Breakfast at the hotel is always included. On most days, a group lunch and/or dinner is also included. Compare with other tour operators that include breakfast and a few additional meals. On tour, one bottle of water will be provided per traveler per day.
Gratuities for local guide(s), drivers, hotel porterage, and included meals are included in the price of the tour. It is not necessary to tip the tour manager. There are some exceptions that your tour manager will make you aware of, such as tips for housekeeping, spa treatments, and donations to local schools. While most tour operators pass on the cost of all tipping to you, rest assured Tour Monkeys will not be “nickel and dimed.”
ARE TOUR MONKEY TRIPS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Tour Monkeys are physically active. If you can easily walk at least 3 miles a day, negotiate all manner of terrain (uneven, pebbled, earthen), take high steps in and out of boats, ride a bicycle, and ride on the back of a motorbike, for example, Tour Monkey has a trip for you!
WHO ARE TOUR MONKEYS?
Tour Monkeys are adventurous, positive, flexible, and lifelong learners. Tour Monkeys are solo female travelers, mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, sorority sisters, workmates, club friends, and girlfriends. Tour Monkey can also accommodate private (and larger) groups, such as bachelorette parties, sorority reunions, family reunions, and alumni travel clubs, among others. There is no age restriction!
Even though Tour Monkey is a U.S.-based tour operator, international travelers are also welcome!