|Subject: Re: Imaginative Traveler?|
Hi Eric and all other Ziners!
I went with Imaginative Traveler to China last year on their Traveller tour - found accommodations more than comfortable - 3* hotels, some guided stuff but lots of time to browse around on your own. I am to go with them to Iran for ten days in mid-May on the Adventurer tour, which is a bit more basic than the Traveller. I'll see how that goes. They are very similiar to Explore, another British company. I used Explore for Sikkim and Bhutan and was most impressed. Both companies use small groups and have good guides. Only big difference I saw: IT mets your incoming flight; Explore doesn't. I book through Adventure Center in Emeryville, CA http://www.adventurecenter.com (1-800-227-8747).
Like you, I have traveled independently, staying in 3* or less hotels. At times, I have used local tour people to help set up an itinerary but more often, gone on my own. Oh, there is an Australian company, Peregrine, which I used for a Vietnam trip - also quite good and again, geared for the serious traveler who is willing to put up with a bit of inconvenience. They did have us at really nice hotels, a bit above my usual, but I wasn't about to gripe.
Best wishes! jo, in Sunnyvale, No. California.