Travel Advice How to Choose the Right Adventure Travel Company

  1. Homepage
  2. Kandoo's blog
  3. Travel Advice

Finding the Best Adventure Travel Company for You

The first place people look for information these days is online and booking a trip is no different. When you get bitten by the travel bug and are looking for a reputable company to book your adventure with, wading through the many, many, MANY, search results can be time-consuming, confusing and frustrating. We understand, we’ve all been there. So, what makes a tour operator different? How do you know which travel company is best? There are plenty of businesses claiming they are one of the best travel companies in the world, but how do you know if they are telling the truth??

Read on for our guide on how to recognise the best tour operators and what to look for when booking adventure travel online. We’ve ordered these according to the parts of a travel company you’ll first interact with and what to look out for as you start down your decision making process.

Remember, you’re planning your next BIG ADVENTURE, you want to get excited, you have a million questions, and you need a ton of information to be able to make your decision. Being able to find answers quickly and efficiently, means you can get the pesky business of booking out of the way and can start to look forward to your next trip. We believe that the best online travel companies will help you through this process seamlessly.

Annapurna Circuit


This will usually be your first port of call when looking for an adventure holiday. You may have seen an ad on social media, been served a company as a sponsored search result on Google or maybe you’re heard of a company before by recommendation and you’re looking for their website online. However you get there, first impressions are important and how you interact with a company’s website will determine how confident you feel in their products. Websites that are tricky to navigate, are riddled with spelling mistakes, don’t work properly on a mobile device or that have offensive or incorrect information are off-putting and don’t inspire those positive booking feels you’re looking for.

Don’t hang about! If you can’t find the information you need, move on. There will be, and there are, other outdoor adventure travel companies waiting for your custom who have thought about your online booking experience and want to make things as easy for you as possible. Like Kandoo Adventures, for example … just saying.

Social Media

Checking for best group travel companies on their social media is a really subjective business. You might be a social pro and never far away from your DMs or you may be a little more switched off but either way, glancing around Instagram, Facebook or YouTube will help you check the overall vibe of your chosen adventure travel company. I don’t mention TikTok here or X (formerly known as Twitter). TikTok because a young demographic won’t necessarily give a toss about how reliable a travel company is and X because, well, it’s kind of faded into obscurity, hasn’t it?!

Look out for the type of people they attract, what the guides look like, the destinations they visit and any reviews or testimonials. Collectively, these give a broad impression of what adventure travel operators do and how they do it. Always good to check before getting in touch with them.

Kandoo Adventures Instagram Screen Grab 2024


After you’ve scouted round a website, and maybe their social channels too, you’ll have an idea about whether this tour operator is the one for you. Once you’ve found a trip that suits your dates, tastes, type and itinerary, the cost is going to be the next potential hurdle.

You get what you pay for.

If the price is below budget and seems too good to be true, it could be that it is. Check what is included and scour the fine print. When booking a holiday of any kind, consider what you are willing to pay for and what level of comfort you want to experience while away. If you’re happy roughing it with no frills included, then a basic package will be fine. If you want a little more luxury, then look for a company that sits more in the middle of the road in terms of pricing. The best rated tour operators will manage your expectations of inclusions and exclusions and have all the information you need to make a decision, clearly and succinctly displayed online. Just remember to read it!

For example, if you’re looking for the best Machu Picchu tour operators, remember to check through testimonials, look at what’s included in your trip and read through the itinerary. Budget travel companies won’t cover everything yet if you have a limited amount of time to explore this incredible place, choosing an adventure travel company that takes you everywhere you want to go in the time you have available will ensure your trip is an awesome experience with nothing left out, even if that means paying a little more.

Online Reviews

The most obvious place to check for online reviews of the best tour operators is Trustpilot. This reliable site displays both positive and negative reviews, as well as responses and is a good way to find out how your shortlist of the best travel companies have treated their customers. Refine by the destination you’re looking at for a better, more focused overview, or look at the most recent reviews for an idea of how they’ve treated their recent customers.

Google reviews are another place you can look, found via searching for a company on Google (obviously), or you can look on social media sites like Facebook. Beware that companies can pay for good reviews, they shouldn’t, and we definitely don’t, but it does happen. Reading reviews will give you an overall idea of a company’s SOP (standard operating procedures) but shouldn’t be the whole reason for deciding on who to travel with. People are far more likely to leave a bad review when they’re unhappy than leave positive feedback when they’ve had a good time so take what you read with a pinch of salt.

A Kandoo Adventures group with support team at Shira Cave Camp on Kilimanjaro

Customer Service

You’ve trawled through a website, you have a trip in mind, you’re happy with the price but you just have a few more questions before you press BOOK. The last step is to get in touch with your overseas adventure travel provider.

Do they have an online chat? If so, does it work?! There is nothing more annoying than a chat function that is not manned.

Can you call them? Speaking to a person about your trip who will get excited with you, answer all your questions and help break down any booking barriers you still have is a huge positive when trying to find the best UK travel companies.

Would you rather send an email? Do you get an automatic reply to manage your expectations? Does anyone reply? Is their correspondence satisfactory?

All these customer service connections matter and by now you should be getting a feeling for whether your chosen company is right for you or whether they’re giving you the ick.

Rules and Regulations

Now we move onto the final checks – accreditation and regulatory information. Is your travel company regulated? Are they affiliated with who they need to be to operate the way they do? The following are only relevant to companies operating in the UK.


ATOL stands for Aviation Travel Organisers Licensing and is protection for you when you book an adventure package that includes a flight element from a UK travel company. If this company were to stop trading, then ATOL is what protects travellers from getting stranded or incurring financial loss. When looking at UK based reputable tour operators, look for the ATOL logo on their website, or you can check yourself here.


The Travel Association, formerly known as the Association of British Travel Agents, or ABTA, protection is designed to regulate industry standards and enforce these where necessary. They also provide insurance for customers if a travel company experiences financial problems. Membership of this umbrella organisation serves as a stamp of authority and transparency, inspiring confidence and demonstrating accountability.

Kandoo Adventures guides on the way to Shira Cave Camp on Kilimanjaro


Adhering to industry rules and regulations offers financial reassurance for travellers who book with ethical travel companies in the UK, but these don’t necessarily ensure that companies are operating safely. If you’re booking an activity holiday such as a trekking holiday, walking tour, multiactivity break or something where safety responsibility is in the hands of the travel company, then you need to know that that tour operator has minimum safety standards and what they are.

Kandoo Adventures have been operating trips for over 15 years and have well established safety management systems in place at all destinations. This includes exhaustive and detailed risk assessments with control measure for every possible scenario and evacuation procedures for ever day of every itinerary.  At high altitude, we perform daily health checks which include heart rate measurements and oxygen saturation. We provide high quality equipment which is fit for task and have high client to guide ratios to ensure no one is overlooked. Measures like these are what set the best travel companies apart from the rest and allow you to enjoy your adventure with peace of mind. 


Ethical considerations when looking for an adventure travel company will include how they operate in different countries and how they manage local employees. Many tour operators use third party suppliers in their destination countries who are the ones that actually carry out your itinerary. It is the responsibility of the travel company to ensure that these suppliers are operating not only at a consistent standard but that they are treated fairly and that their employees are treated fairly too.

In different countries there are different umbrella organisations that tour operators can join to demonstrate that they pay fair wages, offer decent living conditions, ensure that resources are available that are needed for them to work for the travel company and in some cases, off season support for any lulls in between trips.

An example of this is KPAP, which stands for the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project which is a project by the Kilimanjaro Responsible Trekking Organization that aims to improve conditions for those working as porters on Mount Kilimanjaro. Ethical travel companies like Kandoo sign up to this responsible travel program and commit to minimum wages for porters, maximum weight loads, suitable meals whilst working, regulated tipping for porters and providing adequate sleeping facilities. All of these should be standard but unfortunately are not. By joining partnerships such as this to promote ethical minimum standards we are improving the lives of those we employ both directly and indirectly.


Whether this is important to you or not (and really it should be!) lessening the impact of tour operators’ operations is a major consideration for customers. Companies that are carbon neutral, or those that subscribe to sustainability initiatives, are actively trying to reduce the amount of damage their trips have on the planet.

Examples of schemes that try to reduce the impact of tourism on destinations are Leave No Trace and Travellers Against Plastic. Kandoo Adventures subscribe to both these schemes to try and combat the impact of bringing travellers to destinations and all the associated extra waste that this can produce. There are many such organisations that companies can sign up to and having an awareness of the negative side effects of tourism is the first step towards making positive changes that ensure tourism becomes more sustainable and more planet friendly.

Kandoo go one step further and our local guides in Norway, Nepal, Tanzania, Peru and Svalbard regularly carry out beach and mountain clean ups where they go out and retrieve rubbish left behind by careless visitors to try and ensure our natural landscapes stay pollutant free. We go out of our way to design trips that have a minimal environmental impact, with activities such as trekking, kayaking and camping that have less of a toll on the planet than more luxurious trips with transfers and higher end accommodations throughout.

Salkantay Trek Header


Hopefully this blog has given you a good idea of what to look for when searching for the right outdoor adventure travel company for you. We have tried to be as impartial as possible but we’re pretty sure we’re one of the good ones out there. Reliable tour operators will have nothing to hide so if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask them! Transparency is attractive in a travel company so go with your gut and start planning your next adventure.

Don’t forget to check out our trips as an example of how to do adventures the right way.