The different types of Car Journeys
Different Tours call for Different Formulas
Select by Tour formula, Accommodation formula and/or Participation formula ...
A word regarding the terminology ...
- 'Self-Drive' / 'Individual Car Journey' / 'Private Tour'
In all our Tours you (your 'team') will dispose of your own vehicle which you can drive yourself during the whole Tour. But the term 'Self-Drive' is also used by some operators to describe tours in which you travel with just your own party - i.e. without the company/support of other vehicles following the same route, nor any form of On-Tour Assistance (see further). On these 'Individual Car Journeys' our Local Partner will provide for a reliable 24/7 Stand-By service and for some regions/tours you can even opt for a Local Guide to drive your vehicle.
Most of our (off) Road Trips will have periods in which it is possible to take such a 'Private Tour' with your individual vehicle along the same route as the Open Tag-Along Tours with Joint Departure date (see further). So, in case you can't make it to a Joint Departure date (or just prefer to travel on your own), you can go for the 'Private Tour' option. Just thick the 'Individual Tour' box when choosing the Period on the Platform ...
P.S. Since we buy-in our Joint Departure Tours at fleet conditions, a Private Tour will be higher in price when in the same season ...
Private Tours for Groups can be tailor-made in terms of departure date, itinerary, events, ... The Private Groups section contains a separate Contact Form for this particular formula where you can leave your requirements and comments.
- '24/7 Stand-By'
In all our Tours you will be welcomed and briefed by our Local Partner. For Tours in which the local operator is not coming On-Tour with you, you will be handed over all necessary equipment (like navigation tools, roadbook, ...) and documentation (like a detailed itinerary, vouchers for pre-booked accommodation, permits, ...) and off course a contact number that can be reached 24/7 for any questions you might have along the way.
Although all our Tours will have one or more Joint Departure date(s), we have listed those in which the Organization is not On-Tour with you (but for which our Local Partner provides a 24/7 Stand-By service) under a separate button in the Platform Menu ('Joint Departure with 24/7'). These tours will follow the 'Open Tag-Along' principle (to Tag-Along = "to accompany someone or a group"). Typical for our Tag-Along tours is the 'Open' character, meaning a Joint Departure date (as listed on the Join-In Calendar) and a common itinerary/route, but at the same time lots of Freedom for the participants ...
In practice this means that you decide for yourself whether you want to drive (parts of) the day on your own (at your own pace), or whether you rather hook-up with the group(s) that will be formed spontaneously along the journey. And although all participants spend the night at the same location, the same goes for the wining and dining in the evening. Indeed, while most of us love the social aspect and the reassurance that comes with being part of a group, many of us will equally want our freedom from time to time and the choice of joining the group when and where we feel like it. The only commitment we ask for in an Open Tag-Along is to provide for camaraderie and mutual assistance where and when this is appropriate.
In certain areas it might be recommended however to form a convoy for some (parts of) stages (e.g. when road blocks are expected, at border crossings; …). The stages for which you better form a convoy are clearly marked in our roadbooks and/or our Local Partner will point these out in detail at time of briefing.
Tours with 'On-Tour Assistance' (OTA)
In this formula members of the (local) Organization will be following the Tour with you. However, the actual services rendered by local operators On-Tour vary a lot and are therefore clarified in detail in the tour descriptions. Services rendered might e.g. consist of general coordination, (local) guides, sweeper truck(s), mechanical support, replacement cars, luggage service, medical assistance, ...
Some Tours with OTA will also follow the Open Tag-Along principle, others will not. Please read the tour description carefully to have a clear understanding of any particular Tour. The number of entries for these Tours are limited (first come, first served). The Joint Departure dates are listed in the tour descriptions and on the Join-In Calendar.
- 'Guided Tours and Expeditions'
Some more exotic tours will be done 'in convoy' all the way and will be led by a Guide Vehicle. This can be for comfort and/or security reasons and/or when driving through remote areas with lots of sand, mud, water crossings, etc. ... But just as important is the fact that an experienced Local Guide can take you to unspoiled places of incredible beauty unknown to the big crowd ...
The number of entries for these Tours are limited (first come, first served). The Joint Departure dates are listed in the tour descriptions and on the Join-In Calendar.
- 'Slow Rallies'
Our newest format is the Slow Rally. This is a unique concept we develop with our Local Partners to get you truly connected with a specific region. You will drive on all kinds of Slow Roads and are stimulated to spot things, providing you with great opportunities to successfully compete in our International Photo Competition. Lots of Freedom, Camaraderie, Adventure & Fun guaranteed and ideal for a short break (read more about it in the 'Slow' section).
Slow Rallies are Open Tag-Alongs and our Local Partner can (i.e. with OTA) or cannot be On-Tour with you (in which case he'll provide for a 24/7 Stand-By service).
- 'Adventure Challenges'
Our 'Adventure Challenges' take the action factor to another level. Most Adventure Challenges will also contain some form of (friendly) competition. And although the Organization is On-Tour with you, you are supposed to overcome most obstacles by yourself or with the help of locals (and/or your fellow participants). Some Challenges will contain hilarious tasks to fulfil and/or questions to answer along the way and some will be more focused on the endurance of man and machine. However, please remember we're not a race club and pure speed is never the aim in any of our events.
Note : an 'Adventure Challenge' can be quite demanding. When you consider to participate in one of our Adventure Challenges, please read the event's Rules & Regulations carefully and come prepared ...
The number of entries for the Adventure Challenges is limited (first come, first served). The departure dates are listed in the tour descriptions and on the Join-In Calendar.
- 'Try-Out Editions'
We invest a lot of time and research in the preparation of our Tours. When we feel a new tour is almost ready, we will do a Recce or 'Try-Out Edition' with a limited number of participants. These Try-Outs are favorably priced since we bargain with local operators for special introduction rates. However, please remember it's still only a Try-Out and occasional surprises and changes during the Tour may occur. Try-Out Editions are announced regularly in our news banner and are also listed on the Join-In Calendar.
Depending on the concept of the tour, you can either participate with your private vehicle or make use of one of our carefully selected Arrive-and-Drive alternatives.
Teams participating in an (off) Road Trip or Challenge with their private vehicle take full responsibility for their vehicle and all its passengers and need to have all necessary insurances in place. Please read the event's Rules and Regulations carefully and come prepared ...
Due to the logistic complexity and cost - and because it's just fun to drive different vehicles on occasion - many of our Tours will be 'Arrive-and-Drive', in which case a professionally prepared rental vehicle fully qualified for the job will be ready for you upon your arrival. The Arrive-and-Drive formulas also offer all necessary (optional) accessories and insurances, so that you are fully equipped and ready to start off without any worries ...
Wherever in the world and whatever the Tour formula, the (off) roads we travel on are already a destination. But after an adventurous day of beautiful sceneries and authentic experiences, you need a place to unwind and sleep. All participants in a Tag-Along Tour will come together at the same location to spend the night. The accommodations offered will vary with the type of Tour and its location, but can roughly be defined by one of the following categories :
- the ‘Camp Formula’ : ranging from a tent on top of your safari jeep to sleeping in a hammock or bring/rent your own gear, etc. (consult the tour description)
- the ‘Comfort Formula’ : most of the time this will be in authentic family owned guesthouses/lodges or clean, car friendly motels along the route. In the big cities (and at arrival/departure day) downtown hotels or quality B&B's
- the ‘Luxury Formula’ : staying in luxury resorts and other high-end places that are truly exceptional
Some tours will be a mixture of comfort stay with luxury upgrades. But in whatever accommodation category you will stay, food and drinks will always be available at the premises or very nearby. Ask your guide or consult our roadbook for a selection of recommended places to stop by and for some local entertainment.
How to register for a Tour? Well, that's easy ... Go to the Platform Menu to View All Tours or to make your selection. You can also consult the Join-In Calendar to search for Joint Departure dates. Select your vehicle and send in your Application Form. Done ...
Please note that we have to secure fleet reservations well ahead and that the number of entries is limited (first come first served …)
So make sure to become part of the Goldentimers Community well in time and don't forget to send in your pictures and videos ...
Note : gOldentimers does not book your in- and outgoing flights. If you need assistance with flights, visa, travel insurances, ..., or other formalities you need to take care of before your departure consult the Flights & Visa section.
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