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Intrepid Travel

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The year was 1988… While most of the world wasted their time dreaming of hoverboard-mounted lasers, joining wild pyramid schemes, and listening to Milli Vanilli, two mates from Melbourne spurned these distractions and instead turned their youthful, entrepreneurial beards toward the thing they loved the most – travel. 

Darrell and Manch were their names and adventuring was – lucky for us – their game.
 
Perhaps inspired by the impending release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the pair decided to up the ante on their adventuring and set off for the wilds of Africa. 
 
Forgoing the comfort of an air-conditioned bus, they modified an ex-council truck and crammed it with friends, supplies, a handful of aviator sunglasses, and a case or two of beer. It was to be the greatest road trip since Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which had come out a few months earlier.
 
At some point during the trip, Darrell and Manch took off their flap-back sunhats and put on their world-changing sombreros.
'Hang on', they most likely said, their mouths only just visible beneath their robust facial hair, 'could this type of travel be something others would be interested in?'
 
Yep, just like Dr Jones, the pair had seemingly stumbled upon the holy grail of travel, and thankfully their attention spans were longer than their tiny, tiny shorts. Intrepid was formed not long after. 
 
The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Intrepid runs more than 1,000 itineraries across the globe and employs more than 1,500 staff and leaders (many of whom don’t even have beards). And while Indiana Jones got bored of traveling after only three adventures (we don’t talk about the fourth), Intrepid is still adding to our list of itineraries across Europe, Asia, Africa, North & South America, the Middle East, Australia, and both the Arctic & Antarctica.

Intrepid Travel Cruises

Intrepid Travel Ships

Intrepid's Purpose & Mission

Mission:

Create positive change through the joy of travel.

Intrepid wants to be the best travel company not just in the world, but for the world.

By doing the following: 

CLIMATE ACTION

Their purpose is to inspire, create, share, and lead the best travel experiences ever. They recognize that their business creates negative environmental and social impacts, including producing emissions that contribute to global warming. That's why they’ve been carbon-neutral since 2010, carbon offset all our trips and have a seven-point commitment plan that supports their Climate Emergency declaration. They are the first global tour operator with verifiable science-based targets through the Science Based Targets initiative, to limit global warming to 1.5C in the next decade. They’re here to find solutions.

B CORP™ CERTIFICATION

They're a certified B Corporation™. They’ve always been about balancing profit and purpose, and in 2018 we joined the B Corp™ community to certify their commitment to using business as a force for good.

It's an independent global stamp of approval of the work they already do – like evolving to be more inviting, inclusive, engaging, and you-friendly with their new Ethical Marketing Guidelines. It's all backed up by their vision of changing the way we all see the world.

COMMUNITIES WE VISIT

Their purpose is totally tied to their product. They're all about using their trips as a force for good, as well as good times. They're genuinely connected to and invested in the places we go, the people we meet along the way, and the communities at the heart of every Intrepid experience. We think globally, act locally, and engage personally.

With their local leaders out front and each of their trips supporting an Intrepid Foundation partner, they’re a global collective that's local at heart. From community-based tourism to new experiences that support First Nations and Indigenous communities around the world, they strive to give back locally.

THE INTREPID FOUNDATION

The Intrepid Foundation is their not-for-profit. They accelerate community-led sustainable development through travel, enabling their partners to solve global issues locally. With its travelers’ help, it’s contributed more than AU $13 million to over 130 community organizations since 2002.

 

The Intrepid Foundation

The not-for-profit organization, The Intrepid Foundation, is committed to fostering positive change through the joy of travel, community, and connection.

Recognizing that Intrepid travelers choose to travel with purpose and aim to make a positive impact on the places they visit, The Intrepid Foundation was established in 2002 to fulfill this desire. The foundation provides a platform for Intrepid travelers and the broader travel community to contribute to significant causes worldwide.

Intrepid's commitment to making a positive impact:
Intrepid's presence spans across 100+ countries, and when it comes to selecting new foundation partners, local expertise is their guiding force. Their dedicated team members in these regions identify areas in need of change and carefully choose local partners who are actively driving this change.

They cover all administrative costs, ensuring that 100% of donations directly benefit their on-the-ground partners. Additionally, for every traveler on an Intrepid multi-day trip, make a donation on their behalf, meaning that by traveling with them, you're already contributing to these causes.

Since its inception in 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has raised over AUD 13 million, providing support to more than 130 communities worldwide.

They currently collaborate with over 40 partners in 30 countries, collectively working across four key focus areas: environmental conservation, wildlife protection, addressing social inequality, and empowering local communities.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Intrepid believes that with great travel, comes great responsibility. Since our very first days as a tour operator, we have placed responsible business at the heart of our operations. We are committed not just to treading lightly, but to making a real difference – by investing in local communities, supporting human rights initiatives, participating in wildlife conservation projects, and protecting the environment. These values are more than just words; they are deeply embedded in the culture and daily operations of every Intrepid office and trip.

How they are a responsible business: 
  • Animal welfare
  • B Corp 
  • Climate
  • Community-based tourism
  • Diversity and Inclusion 
  • Ethical marketing guidelines

 

Awards & recognition

As the world's largest adventure travel company, Intrepid acknowledges its potential to create positive change that extends beyond its trips and the visited communities. It's with great honor that Intrepid has received awards from both the travel industry and beyond, as we believe that showcasing the benefits of sustainability and responsibility, prioritizing purpose over profit, can inspire others to contribute to making the world a better place.

Here are some of the recent awards that we take pride in:

2020: 
Travel Marketing Awards: Brand of the Year
Mumbrella Travel Marketing Awards: Promoting Sustainability Award
Travel Weekly Travel Awards: Social Responsibility Award
Travel+Leisure Global Vision Awards: Sustainable Travel Award
Force For Good Awards: Supporting Women Award (Driving Diversity Impact Award)

2019: 
Fast Company: World's Most Innovative Companies
Best Managed Companies Awards: Australia’s Best Managed Companies
International Travel & Tourism Awards: Best in Adventure
Sustainability, Environmental Achievement & Leadership Awards: Environmental Initiative Award
TTG Travel Awards: Responsible Travel Initiative of the Year

FAQs

Choosing a trip

Which style of trip is right for me?

There are three styles of travel: 
Basix: simple, comfortable accommodation, local transport and plenty of free time for the independent traveller. 
Original: a mix of included activities and free time, meals and food freedom, standard and unique accommodation. 
Comfort: more inclusions, more comfortable accommodation and a more relaxed pace.
 
Are trips physically demanding?
Do you want to lie in a hammock and not move until cocktail hour? Intrepid has a trip for that. Or perhaps you want to power up the side of a mountain at high altitude? To help you figure out which trip is most suitable for you, each of Intrepid's trips includes a Physical Rating that informs you about its level of physical demand – or lack thereof.

Does Intrepid have family trips? 
Intrepid offers a wide range of Family Adventures around the globe. The minimum age (for Family trips) varies depending on the destination, and Intrepid has set minimum ages to ensure that the included activities suit each age range. Additionally, you’ll notice that some of the more adventurous destinations have a higher minimum age. 
 
How many people will be on my trip? 
Good things come in small packages, and that's why the company keeps its group sizes small. This approach allows for flexibility as the company navigates through various communities without overwhelming the locals. On most of their trips, travellers will be part of an intimate group consisting of 12-16 people, with an average group size of 10 people. For Overland trips, purpose-built vehicles can accommodate up to 24 travellers. The specific group size for each trip is indicated on the trip's overview page on the company's website.

Are there age restrictions on your trips?
The company sets the minimum age for most of their trips at 15, and all children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. However, for Overland Adventures, the minimum age is 18. Families with younger children can participate in Family trips and Short Break Adventures, but it's important to review each trip for its specific minimum age requirement, as this information is available on the trip's overview page on the website. While most trips do not have a maximum age limit, passengers aged 70 and over are required to complete a Self-Assessment Form.

I have a disability - can I join an Intrepid trip?
Intrepid is committed to promoting inclusive travel experiences, ensuring accessibility for travelers of all abilities and disabilities. Travelers are encouraged to evaluate their physical and mental readiness for the chosen itinerary, as many trips may involve tasks like carrying personal luggage and using public transportation.

Intrepid strives to accommodate the needs of disabled travelers by making reasonable adjustments to trip operations, such as arranging ground-floor accommodations or providing written communication in addition to verbal instructions. Many travelers with disabilities have successfully enjoyed our trips by traveling with a friend or companion who can assist with specific requirements. In cases where joining a group trip is not feasible, Intrepid may offer private departures as an alternative option. For further details on any of our itineraries, travelers are encouraged to reach out to the sales team for assistance.

Food, drink, and dietary requirements

I have special dietary requirements – will they be catered for?

The company endeavors to make every effort to accommodate all dietary requirements; however, in remote locations, it may be challenging to guarantee such accommodations. Travelers will be informed if there are places on their itinerary where meeting dietary requirements is difficult. To ensure appropriate arrangements, travelers are encouraged to notify the company of any food requirements or allergies at the time of booking, and this information will be communicated to the trip leader. Additionally, it is advisable for travelers to carry a card with their dietary requirements written in the local language for instance when dining separately from the group.

What will the food be like on my trip?
Food is one of the most exciting parts of travel. There may be some familiar fare but often you’ll be confronted with the new, interesting, and downright weird of the culinary world but Intrepid likes to think of it as an adventure for all the senses. In addition to this, our flexible itineraries often allow you to eat with the group or branch out on your own - this means you can eat to suit any budget or desire.

Before you depart​

How safe are my belongings whilst on the trip?
While Intrepid takes various precautions to ensure the safety of travelers' belongings, it's essential to acknowledge that some of the destinations visited may have experienced theft incidents. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that travelers obtain travel insurance for added security. Additionally, using a lockable bag or a money belt can provide extra protection for personal belongings during the journey.

Will refrigeration be available for medicines? eg. Insulin
Availability of refrigeration cannot be guaranteed. As a general rule, many of the city hotels provide access to small fridges; however, outside of this, especially when trekking or in homestay environments, you cannot rely on access to refrigeration. Please be sure to advise if you are traveling with medication that requires refrigeration.

On your trip​

What communication facilities will be available?
Communication facilities are always improving globally. Many hotels and public places have Wi-Fi so it’s usually possible to keep in touch with home every couple of days if you so desire. In remote places (think Mali, Serengeti or the Sahara) or on treks or homestays, you will not be able to communicate as readily. Your leader will usually give you the heads up before you leave a place so you can send a quick email or two. Phone cards are easy to get your hands on; just make sure your phone is unlocked before you travel. In many countries, the cheapest way to make a phone call is at an internet cafe.

Will my mobile work?
The company cannot provide a guarantee that travelers' phones will function as expected since many of the destinations are remote and may have limited network coverage. Travelers are advised to contact their phone service provider before departure to inquire about global roaming options and associated costs. It is also recommended to seek advice from the provider regarding network coverage in specific travel destinations. Alternatively, travelers have the option to purchase a local SIM card, typically available at a reasonable cost, provided their phone is unlocked for such use.







 

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf
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