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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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54 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Anne Ferguson

    Deep South - the story of the Blues and music of America

    If you're into music (especially The Blues) and want to understand where it all started and developed, this is the trip for you. Starting with the background of the Civil Rights movement and visiting iconic sites such as the bridge at Selma and the museums in Atlanta and Birmingham, we followed the development of the Blues from New Orleans through Clarksdale, Memphis and finally Nashville. We experienced a wide range of live music - gospel, blues, jazz, country, rockabilly, bluegrass etc and saw the places where it all began. It was a truly entertaining and memorable trip from the beginning to the end made even more special by our awesome guide, Jay.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Historically - walking over the bridge at Selma, which although not on the original itinary, was made possible by our guide. Musically - listening to great Blues band at a Juke Joint called 'Reds' in Clarksdale.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top bloke. On a scale of 1-10 we would score him 12 Jay Burleson knew his music, knew the history and did all he could to make the trip special for us. (eg he found out one of the worlds best blues guitarists was playing in a cafe on the outskirts of Nashville and helped us get to see him play!)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace it all - every day and every night - you can always rest when you get home!
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Kerry Clough

    Outstanding scenery and hiking in truly stunning US National Parks

    5 National Parks, each with something different to offer, but all share magnificent natural beauty. Our leader Jeff was also outstanding and his knowledge of not only each park, but the US in general and it’s nature and history added to the whole experience. Jeff was able to get us away from the crowds (walk more than half a mile from car parks and suddenly you feel you have escaped the crowds and your experience changes for the better). Going in early September was perfect as it was glorious weather. We enjoyed beautiful sunrises and sunsets, both easy walks and more challenging walks and a memorable barbecue under the stars, with our Navajo guide, in the less visited areas of Monument Valley with its glorious red rocks and silence as you’re far away from people and traffic. Returning to the brashness and noise of Las Vegas at the end of the trip to fly home was a shock to the senses and made you appreciate the sense of escape you have on the National Park treks even more!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Barbecue under the stars in a more remote part of Monument Valley with our Navajo guide.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jeff was absolutely outstanding. His leadership, energy levels, can-do attitude, knowledge, humour and nothing is too much trouble attitude were first class. He drove us everywhere, was our guide everywhere except Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon (guides can’t accompany you), explained clearly what would happen each day and how long it would take to arrive at our destinations, organised group dinners and did everything he could to ensure we had a memorable and trouble free experience.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light. There are a number of opportunities to wash your clothes. I only took hand luggage on the plane so avoided having to wait for my baggage. Go. You’ll love it! Consider arriving a day or two before the trip starts to acclimatise to the heat if you’re going in summer. Las Vegas was 41 centigrade by day and when we all got to our first National Park, Zion, it was 35 centigrade. I loved the heat but was glad I got their 2 days early to get used to it.
  • Reviewed August 2019
    Catherine Arter

    A wonderful trip!

    I travelled with my 23 yr old daughter and we had a great time. Lots of superlatives which have been covered by reviewers below, so I will not repeat them, but suffice to say that this trip exceeded both our expectations in terms of the amazing variation in landscape in the iconic National Parks visited, and the diversity of activities - ranging from exciting hikes, to laying on the ground in Death Valley looking at the Night Sky. Never a dull moment - and our guide inserted little surprises at regular intervals.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Perhaps meeting our inspirational Navajo guide in Monument Valley and learning about her childhood and culture. But lots to inspire both of us ....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Joseph Spaid was an incredible leader. He was so knowledgable, approachable, engaging and fun. He was very interesting to chat to, and worked so hard to make sure everyone’s needs were met. We were quite a disparate crowd of 11, some very experienced hikers, others recovering from recent injury, but he found ways to embrace that - I wish I had his energy!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a brolly as sun shade for Death Valley! And rehydration tabs/powder when it's really hot. We all used it and had no problem with overheating even in August. You get dusty walking so plenty of walking gear - it is a busy trip and there wasn’t much time for washing. I was pleased to have my poles in Zion and the Grand Canyon for long (albeit beautiful) uphill stretches. I would definitely advise a few days in San Francisco before joining the trip. It is an incredible city. Our flight from Heathrow was delayed by 28 hours, so we missed one of our three planned days, but we still were well able to meet up with the Group on Sunday. Las Vegas didn’t appeal to us, so we didn’t stay at the end, and we in time to fly out on the same night. The helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon was just extraordinary!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As an introduction to SW America, this trip takes some beating. It was fantastic. Thank you Exodus and Grand American Adventures!!
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Maria Filancia

    Beautiful Hawai'i

    The tour allows you to visit 3 Hawaian islands. It is a good way to get a flawour of life, food, nature and culture in these beautiful islands. Recommended for solo travellers who want to cover lots in short time. It is a share that Kauai is not included!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Learning about life and culture in Hawaii.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tim was really knowledgeable and friendly.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Add one or two days in Honolulu and add Kauai at the end of the trip.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Trudi Kaye

    Hawaiian paradise

    A well organised trip visiting 3 Islanda. Very educational. Our leader Tom had excellent knowledge. Volcanoes, snorkelling, great accommodation. Could have done with more free time and beach work however.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dolphins joining us for a swim at the snorkelling coral reef

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tim was amazing. Faultless. He was professional, knowledgable, amenable and kind. We rated him highly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have a few days afterwards if you want the beach scene
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Jules Beasley

    Good music trip

    This is a great trip if you’re keen to experience the USA Deep South Music and history. Great experience of New Orleans, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movements, Elvis and the music history of Memphis and Nashville. The trip is with Grand American Adventures- Exodus sister Company. You travel in a small tour bus driven by your guide. We were lucky we had 9 people on the trip as any more would have been a squeeze. A few early starts and longest drives on the road were 5-6 hours but had plenty of rest stop breaks. There’s a lot to see and do plus the music & dvds on the van helped get us in the mood and educate us to each area.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    New Orleans is great and the included steamboat dinner on the Mississippi was fantastic. Would also highly recommend the Honey Island swamp tour, we saw much more wildlife than just alligators. Elvis Birthplace & Graceland also amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Nicole was fantastic, she went above and beyond and was really helpful. There were a few timing issues which meant a couple of important sights were rushed. Sadly her boyfriend turned up for the last 4 days which turned the trip a little sour and spoilt the group dynamic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It’s a great trip but do your research. If you’re not into the music scene then this trip might not be for you. Food is great and atms are everywhere.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Ruth Okey

    Alaska's liquid sun

    The sky was bright blue, the mountains and glacier were perfectly reflected in the still lake before us, it was a spectacular day just like on the Alaska documentaries on the television. Finally we were having better weather and could see the Alaska we'd come to see, what a pity there were only 2 spectacular days in 2 weeks, no wonder the film crews take months to film the documentaries or were we just unlucky ? The second spectacular day fell on the best day ever the float plane and bear viewing trip, even the sun tan lotion put in an appearance, bears fished, salmon jumped and cameras clicked. The wet days were forgotten as we flew back low over an ice cap and glacier and the end of our trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The float plane to view the bears was the reason to visit Alaska and it really lived up to expectations. We saw grizzly bears swimming around the boat, black bear cubs and mother sheltering up a tree from the grizzlies and other black bears fishing in the river ..... it was "the David Attenborough" moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Allen was a great guy and did an excellent job driving us on long days between camp sites. The participation element of this trip was greater than my previous 10 participatory camping trips with all aspects of camp duties allocated to 4 teams.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Alaskan people and other travelers were very friendly and always interested in what we were doing, most were impressed that we were camping. The camper van or RV (to use the local term) is by far the most popular way to see and experience Alaska. Several of the camp sites had few facilities, from one were were bused into town to use the public pay showers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Launderettes used quarters but pay showers used tokens paid for with 1 dollar bills. There are lots of optional activities but these are quite expensive.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Graham Halcrow

    The National Parks

    Very busy , hugely interesting itinerary. Some quite breathtaking scenery, with opportunities for physical activity in order to experience it more fully. Very good tour leader, experienced, knowledgeable and well organised. Tour group (9 of us) , various ages and experiences, combined well. A great experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Hard to pick one particular moment or event. Perhaps the experience of Yosemite: view of the valley from Glacier Point, variety of hikes, and also appreciating the national park beyond the valley itself.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good. See above.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some long days in the bus, but that doesn't have to be a problem- it can just mean that you see more.
  • Reviewed October 2017
    Catherine .

    Incredibly impressed

    As a family we have done many trips with Exodus in Africa (various countries), Canada and most recently my parents attended the Western Explorers trip in America to see Yosemite, Bryce Canyon and The Grand Canyon which Exodus arrange in partnership with Grand American Adventures. We have always found Exodus trips to be incredibly well planned and organised, ensuring that you see the very best parts of the areas you are visiting in the timescales available. The trips are ideal because there is no hassle involved for the traveller and you are guaranteed to meet like-minded people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy the experiences with. This particular trip was no exception. I write this review however to say a huge thanks to both Exodus and Grand American Adventures as they were absolutely fantastic to my parents and the family back home in England when my father suffered a serious and unexpected illness and had to be rushed to hospital. With specific mentions to Bethany, Monica and the tour guide Charlie, who all went out of their ways to ensure that lines of communication between us, the insurance company and the hospital were clear and effective, to provide my parents with support and to give the family back home piece of mind at what was a very difficult time for us. We will be forever grateful. There is absolutely no doubt that you will be in safe hands with this team.

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  • Reviewed August 2017
    Emma Dart

    Awesome scenery and immersive activities

    This is truly the trip of a lifetime. It was everything we wanted in terms of wildlife viewing, amazing scenery and getting out into the wilderness.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting so close to Denali on the mountain flight and landing on a glacier. Glacier hike and ice climbing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Both Darin and Jordan were FANTASTIC and worked tirelessly to make sure that everyone was enjoying their experience. Their organisation, safe driving skills and approachable manner really made our trip. Also great cooking skills.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take plenty of layers, it was really warm on some days and really cold on some nights. Be prepared for some rain and take effective waterproofs and / or ponchos. Some of the activities have waterproofs available to use which were better than ours. Make sure that you do the hike to the Harding Icefield if you can. The views are spectacular. It seemed like it was going to be a rainy day when we started but it did clear up. It is a strenuous walk, but there are views even if you don't go all the way up.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Take extra memory cards for your camera and spare batteries. Make sure you can charge items from a USB converter for a cigarette lighter socket in the vehicle. There are some stops at supermarkets and some of our group bought a pillow which made camping more comfortable. Thermarests are provided which make a big difference. Make sure the sleeping bag you bring is suitable. All extra activities could be paid on credit card which reduced the amount of cash we carried. There were coin operated washing machine / dryer facilities at some campsites.