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Exploring Vacations

Jacksonville...
1 post
Exploring Vacations

Good morning all!

I was hoping to gain a little more insight on the booking company Exploring Vacations. I have a wonderful agent (Christina) helping me work out every little detail for my Ireland trip. The only thought in the back of my head is how legit the company is since their prices are literally half what other companies are charging for the same trip. Has anyone ever booked with Exploring Vacations?

any insight would be greatly appreciated. thanks!!

30 replies to this topic
Maryland
Level Contributor
5,051 posts
6 reviews
11. Re: Exploring Vacations

Clauds is correct. Complaints far outnumber positives, except of course from 1 or 2 time posters, which is often considered dubious at best. Nobody returns to the forum after years to post a glowing review without ever posting during the years since supposedly traveled. Unless prompted to do so.

Trevose...
Level Contributor
4 posts
8 reviews
12. Re: Exploring Vacations

Me and my daughter traveled using exploring vacations to Ireland August 8to 18,2018. It was the worst vacation we ever took. The travel agent Sinead is unprofessional to say the least. I have been in communication with her over the last month attempting to get reimbursed for the expensives we incurred because of her incompetence.

We went with a group. We found a cheaper air out of Newark. The rest of the group went out of phila. We arrived in Dublin at 7am. The others arrived at 9am. Our itinerary stated shuttles would be provided if you arrived earlier. No shuttle. Also said early check in to the hotel. No. We had to figure out how to get to the hotel in a foreign country. People were helpful and directed us to the air bus.

We got to the hotel. No check in and no one to handle your luggage. We pulled it into the lobby. I am 71.

We waited for the rest of the group to pick us up and start our tour at Guinness and Epic Ireland. As per our itinerary they should be picking us up by noon. We waited. We went to the hotel desk and inquired if they had any info. They said no.

I emailed Sinead. No response until 2:30 Pm Sinead finally responded saying “ you should of figured out if we didn’t pick you up to go to Guinness you can still meet the group at epic Ireland “ yes. Not a clue where we were (Leopardstown )in relation to Guinness or epic Ireland. She continues. Just take a bus and meet them there. After waiting in a hotel

Lobby for 6 hrs and being awake over 24 hours!

The hotels they booked us into were very nice. If you were a bussines person. No where to go. Surrounded by companies. I expected to be in towns where we could meet local people. No. They changed the in

Itinerary from a cute place in Galway to this hotel miles from anywhere. And the time spent on the busses. 4 hours to see a abbey. There 2 hours. Eat at the one restaurant there and one shop. Then another 4 hours to the next hotel.

The whole trip was a hot mess. The good was we meet a

lot of real nice people who were on the tour. Lots of groups of friends that looked like they enjoyed being together.

We had to get our own transportation back to the airport also they provided a bus for the larger group.

I wish I would of done my due diligence in investigating this company before I booked.

Edited: 3:23 pm, August 31, 2018
Maryland
Level Contributor
5,051 posts
6 reviews
13. Re: Exploring Vacations

So sorry for your dreadful experience. If you do not find satisfaction in communication with Exploring Vacations I would recommend contacting your credit card and begin a dispute, and let them handle it from there.

Co. Kildare
Destination Expert
for Ireland
Level Contributor
9,539 posts
63 reviews
14. Re: Exploring Vacations

Doesn't sound very nice, Stephanie! I hope you will get some redress out of the company.

But no doubt the one-time posters will be out here telling us how wonderful their experience was...

Spring Mills...
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
15. Re: Exploring Vacations

A friend and I are currently wrapping up our exploring vacation in Ireland. Tonight is our last night. It is also the 2nd night that we've arrived at our scheduled accommodations to learn that they have been canceled only days ago without anyone letting us know or telling us we're different accommodations might be. We had several times been turned away because our vouchers that we paid for were invalid as exploring vacations is notoriously known throughout Ireland for not paying their bills. I would highly recommend finding a different travel agency. As this is our last night we were fortunate enough that the hotel that we arrived at did have a room available but I had to pay again out of my pocket for the night so that we would not miss our very early flight out of Ireland. To say I'm furious is an understatement.

1 post
1 review
16. Re: Exploring Vacations

Permission to post only in its entirety and not bits and pieces, as subject to legal ramifications. If you need to remove names, please do so.

I, along with my friend, have recently returned from the 7 day Flex Tour of Ireland (8/22/18-8/29/18). First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ireland as it is an easy country to love from the people to the beautiful land and food. We had exceptional service from our driver Peter with Slevins Coaches. He took amazing care of us and was so attentive. He was an excellent driver & tour guide making sure we got to our sites on time and took us to the best places for food.

However, I would offer several precautions to future travelers using Exploring Vacations. Logistically it was a nightmare. First of all, we did not receive our hotel itinerary until a few hours before our flight. This was after emailing and calling a representative from Exploring Vacations several days before the flight. This was very concerning as we were taking an overnight flight to Dublin and needed to understand what hotel to take a taxi to once we landed. We also were not told what company was picking us up the next morning and what the drivers name was. The first morning of the trip in Dublin our driver did not even have our names on his list to pick us up. I had to call Exploring Vacations to understand the issue. On our return home, I had to call Exploring Vacations again to understand who was taking us to the airport as none of these details were communicated with us. Exploring Vacations arranged for us to take a taxi to the airport with one of the families on our trip. Which may seem fine but that meant we had to be at the airport 5 hours prior to our flight.

I enjoyed the trip to Ireland. Mostly because our driver was amazing. The trip group size was smaller due to a few cancellations. The hotels were class but not super close to walk to restaurants. Thus we had to pay for taxis to go into the towns at night.

This trip was very expensive for the logistical nightmare that was experienced. The Exploring Vacations representative was not helpful and did not ease any of my concerns. He also did not offer any reimbursements for issues that we experienced along the way. He told me that the tour had not started and that I should come back to him with my review once the tour was complete.

I would highly recommend Ireland for its people, history, beautiful land, and food! I would highly NOT recommend this company.

Moosup, Connecticut
Level Contributor
1,985 posts
148 reviews
17. Re: Exploring Vacations

Thanks for your candid comments which will be helpful to others.

Maryland
Level Contributor
5,051 posts
6 reviews
18. Re: Exploring Vacations

They will not provide you with details of BnBs,hotels etc, because they are so fliud, changing your reservations and plans constantly if a cheaper option is available, even at the last moment, or during your trip. They will not commit to you in print or verbally for a reason. That is why “customer service”, a true oxymoron here, is so unhelpful AFTER you have paid.

County Dublin...
Level Contributor
1 post
9 reviews
19. Re: Exploring Vacations

As of today, September 13, 2018, this company, RTS Travel Limited t/a Exploring Vacations, has announced that they have gone into liquidation. There’s been a whole RTE Radio show, Liveline, just dedicated to the issue.

Looks like any holidays booked with them are cancelled and any monies paid to them are lost. Also, any Hotel, Guesthouse or other service being used have lost their money, for some this is thousands for past bookings, all other bookings or vouchers will not be honored.

There are people currently on their holiday in Ireland whose vacation has been ruined.

Maryland
Level Contributor
5,051 posts
6 reviews
20. Re: Exploring Vacations

Wish there was a “Sticky”” at the top with all the tour company posting in one place that people could be directed to. Especially now with “another one bites the dust” as Exploring Vacations going under. No Surprise.

Doesnt Exploring Vacations also have a presence in Scotland, England and Wales ?

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