January 22, 2018 / 11 Comments
Before using Gate 1 Travel, it was hard to find online reviews that gave a true indication of the experience of using Gate 1 and its services. Hoping to help you all out, we decided to create a Gate 1 Travel review of our own!
Gate 1 Travel is an internet-based travel booking company that has, since 1981, grown into one of the largest budget providers of discount travel in the world. With more than 400 employees worldwide, Gate 1 Travel offers a vast array of travel options to virtually any corner of the world, and with myriad trip choices available. What you’ll find different here versus another of the Gate 1 Travel reviews you might read is simple – this is honest, we aren’t being paid, and we have no reason to say anything other than the truth. We’ll tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly that other reviews of Gate 1 Travel perhaps may not.
Gate 1 Travel is different from another discount trip-builder we’ve analyzed before – Tripmasters. Gate 1 is more far reaching, in terms of overall trip options, and all-together a different vehicle that operates only somewhat similarly to Tripmasters.
We want to note that this review of Gate 1 Travel is in no way associated with Gate 1 Travel (nor are we being compensated by them), and this review is our own opinion based on experiences we’ve had, as well as those we know, whose opinions we trust. With that in mind, we hope you enjoy!
North America Booking Options
When we think of Gate 1 Travel, the word that comes to mind is options. You can go almost anywhere in the world, in any way, shape or form, in the way of cruises, multiple city vacations, road trips, or even train-oriented affairs with Gate 1 Travel. Any proper review of Gate 1 has to start with this in mind.
Where Tripmasters began as a European-focused website before expanding into different territories, Gate 1 began as a tour operator offering escorted tour experiences primarily throughout Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Greece and Turkey. Since then, the Philadelphia based company has expanded its offerings to locations such as Argentina, Australia, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Peru, Spain and Thailand, and many more.
Pick any place – how about Norway, for example? It’s on Gate 1 Travel.
One differentiator for Gate 1 Travel versus other sites like Tripmasters (which we love), however, is their collection of North American offerings. As Americans, we’ve often found it more affordable to travel outside the country than it is within the United States, as budget tour operators like Tripmasters often market to U.S. residents by giving them budget deals to get outside the country.
Thus far, Gate 1 Travel is the only company we’ve seen to offer competitive pricing on North American packages that are not only available, but completely customizable and affordable with flexible payment options for residents from any country – not just the U.S. For us, this was a game-changer. This, alone, lends itself toward making this an easily favorable review of Gate 1 Travel.
Previously, Tracy and I had visited European locations initially because it was cheaper than visiting the West Coast of the United States from our home in South Florida. In fact, a round-trip ticket from Miami to Seattle can be, and often is, more expensive than that of a ticket from Miami to London, Rome, or even further!
However, with Gate 1’s flexible deal options and pricing flexibility, we’ve been able to see more of North America while getting the type of deal we want. You can see all of North America on Gate 1 Travel, with options ranging from Yucatan Peninsula excursions of famous Mayan ruins, to multiple city package deals through the Great Lakes, New England, or even the Upper Northwest!
Travel In The United States
Are you looking for a flight & hotel experience, or are you more of a cruise connoisseur? You can do either on Gate 1 Travel. In fact, you can even book excursions through the Southwestern desert, and camp your way along the Colorado River, or in the Four Corners of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico!
That’s the selling point to Gate 1 Travel, at least initially. If you want to see more of your own backyard, as a U.S. Citizen, you can do so without paying the exorbitant prices retail asks, or losing the flexibility you get on a website to travel internationally – like Tripmasters. As much as we’ve experimented with travel websites like Gate 1 (or Gate1, as its sometimes spelled), we’ve always found it difficult to find the same kind of “bang for your buck” on a trip within the United States or North America through one of these websites as it is to just pack your bags and head off to South America or Europe.
In fact, Gate 1 Travel might be the only website that gives you those same flexible options, while also offering North America at your fingertips. To view the North America (and more specifically, American) options, simply view the header bar at the top of the page and select “USA & Canada”.
Do note, however, that this tab also includes the options for Mexico, which includes cruises and flights to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico City, and other select destinations outside of Mexico such as Cuba, Panama, and Guatemala.
What you’ll find is an assorted option of great itineraries that are pre-built, by primarily area, but also interest. These areas include the Southeast, with itineraries throughout Florida, the Carolinas, and “Cajun Country” – Louisiana. Also included is one of the hottest American travel destinations over the last ten years, Nashville, along with itineraries that include nearby cities such as Atlanta and Memphis.
You’ll find detailed information to “tease” the trip, such as the title, the general cities included, whether or not the trip is escorted, as well as the varying prices for “Land Only” or Air & Land.
Notice the very slight difference in price for the Air & Land package. This will almost always be the crux of your savings on a sight such as Gate 1 Travel – savings on packaged airfare!
Other itineraries include California, which range from Los Angeles and San Diego to San Francisco and Northern California’s Wine Country (Napa Valley). Michigan, New England, Boston, Seattle, Vancouver, Toronto, and Quebec can all be found on similar packages, grouped under geography and paired with nearby cities, as well as Alaskan cruises!
There are various trips in North America, from desert to grasslands, and from beachside resorts to big-city hangouts. There are some incredibly cool travel options in North America on Gate 1, and to us it’s one of the primary differentiators that answers the question “what makes Gate 1 Travel different”?
Gate 1 Travel – International
As you likely can tell from previous images, Gate 1 Travel doesn’t stop at North American excursions. No, this is a global company that can help you venture to virtually anywhere in the world. Africa, the Mediterranean, Europe, South America, and Asia are all at your fingertips, including some of our favorite itineraries to places in the United Kingdom and beyond.
How daring can you be on Gate 1? How about an 11-day cruise to Antarctica, along with additional time in Buenos Aires?
While we haven’t had the pleasure of trying this trip on Gate 1 Travel, it’s definitely something on our itinerary.
The point is, you can go virtually anywhere desirable with Gate 1 Travel. While perhaps not quite as cost sensitive as another site we use often, Tripmasters, Gate 1’s advantage is possibly the variety of trips – some of which include incredibly exotic and even hard-to-get-to locations such as Easter Island and remote parts of Patagonia.
How To Book On Gate 1 Travel
Booking on Gate 1 Travel is relatively simple, but there is another important factor to consider.
You can actually construct your own trip from the ground up!
Scrolling down on the homepage, you’ll find a button that says “Build a Vacation”, as seen below.
From here you’ll be taken to a screen to begin building your own vacation outside of the confines of dates, pre-established itineraries, and seasonality. As long as there are flights available on the path you choose (or some other form of transportation you can book), you can build a trip there from scratch.
It all starts with your beginning destination. From here, the guide is relatively self-explanatory. Where is your first destination? Want to add another destination? Three destinations? Simply click the “Add Another Destination” button and continue building, keeping dates in mind. The trip does have to make sense chronologically.
In the above example, I’ve built an August trip for a little over a week. I’m leaving from Miami, flying to London, England, where we’re staying for a few days before finishing our trip in Paris, France. I’ve selected to travel from London to Paris via train, and I have not selected “direct only” flights, as I want to find the cheapest option available.
Also notice, as you build the trip, a detailed list is created on the right detailing the specifics of what you’re building. From here, click the red “Continue” button on the lower right.
Once Gate 1 searches for accommodations, flights, and transportation, you’ll be met with detailed options for the best possible itinerary, and a general description of the price of the trip.
You’ll see, for two people, all flights, and all hotels, the total price is only $2,800. That’s only $1,400 per person for a week and a half in two of Europe’s most popular cities, all transportation and lodging included! Once you break this down, you realize that Gate 1 Travel literally saves you thousands on the price of an international trip!
Once you continue, you’ll also have the option to add sightseeing trips, day trips, and city tours at discounted cost – all provided through Gate 1 Travel through third-party suppliers.
What’s additionally great, and possibly one of the most user-friendly aspect of Gate 1 Travel, is the fact that you don’t have to pay for the trip up front. Typically for around 60% of the total trip cost, you can book a trip, secure the itinerary, and pay off the remainder as you wish – so long as it’s paid in full within a month of departure. You can see this amount in the upper right corner. With that being said there are some options that allow you to book the trip for as little as $200, then pay off the remainder of the trip however you see fit. Once we saw this, it was what really led us to want to try booking through Gate 1 and see what the experience would be like.
From here, click on “Book This Itinerary”, enter your credit card or PayPal information, and you’re on your way! Additionally, there are options for potential PayPal financing, aside from the typical deposit-only format that the website offers.
The Best Part Of Gate 1 Travel
What we love about Gate 1 is that, quite literally, the entire globe is at your fingertips. Gate 1 is a reputable company, and as with all companies that have been around they’ve had the opportunity to cultivate relationships and provide some of the best travel discounts in the industry.
Not only have we used Gate 1, but numerous friends of ours swear by the website. And, it’s with good reason. Not only is the site functional and easy to use, as well as relatively inexpensive in comparison to many other tour providers and trip booking sites, but the customer service is excellent. Gate 1 Travel is a U.S. based company that is available via phone 24/7, and are always helpful to their customers – both new and loyal.
Our overall review of Gate 1 Travel? Use it and love it. It’ll open up the entire world to you, or perhaps even your own back yard. We’ve used it enough, and known enough people that have also had great experiences, that we can vet this out for you and say that Gate 1 is a very reputable company, and odds are that you’ll have a good experience.
Useful Travel Resources
Google Maps – Plan your trip anywhere with Google Maps. Also great for directions on the go!
RentalCars.com – Great site for comparing rental car prices
Skyscanner.net – Our favorite place to book cheap airline flights
Expedia.com – Book affordable accommodation or bundle flights and hotels
What’s the one travel accessory we never travel without? RFID Protected Travel Money Belt
Suggested Reading: Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips