|by Kate Appleton||Airfares & Flying||9|
We're always on the lookout for tour operators whose packages meet our Real Deal standards, and Go Ahead Tours is one of the latest to show up on our radar. The Boston-based company is part of EF Education, the largest private student travel operation worldwide, and it uses locally-based guides for its escorted trips, which each average about 25 to 30 travelers. (Most of its guides actually start off with EF's student groups, so by the time they migrate to the grown-up trips, you can bet they've got the shtick down pat!)
Go Ahead Tours also gets points for its monthly last-minute travel deals, which just might put a trip to Europe within reach. If you book by August 4, for example, you'll save $250 per person, or $500 per couple, on trips departing in September. You could be spending ten nights in Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, Bamberg, and Munich, with airfare, sightseeing tours, meals, local transportation, and more, from $2,499 per person. Note that the rate, like all of those listed by Go Ahead Tours, includes those pesky fuel surcharges (which can otherwise add as much as $250 per person to the total cost of a package).
And if you have five others in tow, you're eligible for Go Ahead Tours' family and friends program, which entitles everyone on the tour to $50 off--and can be combined with the last-minute rate. For more information on the company's 60 itineraries, among them new culinary and spa tours, call 800/590-1161 or visit goaheadtours.com.