So, you want to travel the world but there always seems to be something in your way. Friends too caught up in the day-to-day to make plans. A toxic relationship you just can’t seem to escape from. The fear of exploring the unknown on your own. Or the confusion of where to even start – we get it, there are a sh*t load of options around.
That’s where we come in. Think of Topdeck as the travel-enthusiast fairy godmother you never had (or never knew existed). We’re your hassle-free ticket to discovering more destinations. The seamless escape from your home life and home routine into life-changing experiences. We give you the chance to uncover extraordinary with a bunch of curious, like-minded people, providing the freedom to delve deeper, change your view and challenge your expectations – to simply be you.
Not convinced? Meet some of the people behind the brand. Maybe they’ll be better at explaining.
‘I recently went on Topdeck’s Jordan Adventure and had a real moment for myself. We made our way across the desert in a 4×4 and arrived at our Bedouin desert camp in the middle of the night. Obviously, once we arrived there wasn’t much to see. But walking out of my tent in the morning and being surrounded by an endless sea of red desert was something that took my breath away.’ – Trip Leader Renee
‘For me, real moments on the road can’t be planned… I was skeptical our group would see Norway’s famed ‘midnight sun’ upon arriving at a grey, very cold and drizzly Nordkapp (aka the Top of the World). But it was someone’s birthday, so we pulled out sparklers and party poppers and we counted down to midnight – just like New Year. We jumped about doing our “sun dance” and belted out Weather with You by Crowded House from the top of our lungs… Until the sun finally showed itself – lighting up the edge of the Earth.’ – Trip Leader Ashlee
‘I’ve just come off a Winter Express trip where our usual optional activities in the Swiss Alps were closed for Christmas Day. I was scrambling for ideas to make it up to my group, so I took them to a neighbouring town I knew of. We explored together and ended up in a local basketball court that was covered in fresh snow. We were there for ages pelting snowballs at each other and having fun. It was a special moment for the whole group, especially the passengers who’d never seen snow before.’ – Trip Leader Matt
‘Not all moments can be planned. Getting to experience the pristine Whitehaven Beach with no one around is one of my favourite trip memories. Staying overnight on Topdeck’s own private vessel means we’re moored so close that we are often the very first to arrive in the morning. It’s absolute bliss.’ – Topdeck HQ Dave
‘Group touring is easy. Yes, you could do it on your own. But if there’s a problem or any issues, we sort it for you. You don’t have to worry about it. And we provide you with recommendations on things to do and where to go so that when you get off the coach at the next destination, you’re ready to hit the ground running.’ – Trip Leader Amy
‘Included meals give our passengers the flexibility to budget for their free-time meals and the fun stuff rather than having to crunch numbers or spend precious time hunting down affordable places to eat each night. On our Russia Scandi trip, we have a private chef from Berlin to Tallinn who prepares breakfast, lunch and dinner for passengers so they can save a bit of cash in Norway and Scandinavia – a notoriously expensive section of the trip.’ – Head of Catering Welshy
‘The best part about having an array of included activities is that you get to have the experience with people you know or are getting to know – rather than joining a group of strangers in the city for a few hours and then never seeing them again. There are some activities we organise that you might not have even considered or may not feel comfortable doing on your own.’ – Topdeck HQ Andy
‘Being on a group tour means you don’t have to worry about getting lost in a new city (unless you want to). We either provide you with directions or you’ll be exploring with the group. We also teach you how to use the public transport system, so you avoid being stung with expensive fines like in Budapest for not validating your ticket. There’s always company if you want it at dinner time, so you never have to sit down for a meal on your own if you don’t want to.’ – Trip Leader Bec
‘You know you’re in for a more authentic experience because we ARE the locals. In NZ it’s about the journey – not just getting from point A to B. Driving through the Southern Alps, crossing the Cook Strait and getting all those off-the-beaten-track stops along the way is what sets us apart.’ – Trip Leader Taimi
You’re safe with us.
‘In regard to safety, the best part about being on a group tour in hostels is that you’re roomed with people you actually know. Meaning, no random people coming in and out of the room. You don’t necessarily need to lock away your stuff each time you leave because you’re worried it’ll get stolen. And no sharing of mixed sex rooms.’ – Trip Leader Nicole
‘As a Driver, it’s important for me to provide safety for my passengers. When you’re doing a drive day after a big night out and all your passengers are asleep on the coach it shows that they’re comfortable enough to trust you. They don’t need to worry about having their stuff stolen or what stop to get off at, they can relax knowing that we’ll arrive at the next destination safe and sound.’ – Coach Driver Catalin
‘One thing people often don’t consider is that a lot of countries in Europe still don’t recognise dietary requirements. And although it’s still difficult to cater for dietaries in some destinations we travel to, at least having your dinners pre-organised saves you the awkward explanation to the waiter at a local restaurant who might not speak much English or understand your request fully.’ – Head of Catering Welshy
‘Recently there were public transport strikes in Paris that caused chaos for people trying to get around and out of the city centre. Because most people were taking Ubers as an alternative, those prices were hiked up and it would take hours to get one. In a situation like that, being in a bigger group is ideal because you can all walk back to the hostel as a group and not have to worry about your security – it’s safety in numbers. Although the walk was long, we were with friends chatting and having a good time so it didn’t really matter.’ – Trip Leader Matt
Find your people.
‘When you’re travelling on your own, you have to keep making new friends each place you go. But on a group tour you’re moving from place to place with the same group – no repeating the same small talk at every hostel bar.’ – Trip Leader Amy
‘It’s really that final night you spend as group that it really hits you. Looking around the table and seeing people from across the world who were complete strangers on Day One, becoming best friends thanks to the incredible experiences they’ve had over the course of the trip.’ – Trip Leader Andy
‘On my Topdeck Britain & Ireland trip, I hated the idea of being with people I didn’t know and having to introduce myself to everyone. But I soon realised everyone was feeling the same and we were all there for the same reason. Yeah, at first it can be bit awkward but as long as you’re willing to put in some effort, you’ll be fine.’ – Trip Leader Matt
‘It’s a totally natural thing to find your people in the group. At the end of the day, we’re all adults and the Trip Leader isn’t going to play “teacher” and ensure you’re all making friends. You’ll room together, learn about each other on drive days and experience things together – at the end of the day, everyone is there for the same reason so you will find people you naturally click with.’ – Trip Leader Bec
‘I teach my passengers the word whanau – it means “family” in Te Reo Maori. After sharing a room, hearing the local Maori stories and bonding over the unique experiences, you’ll come away feeling like a family.’ – Trip Leader Taimi
We love what we do.
‘This is my 19th season working for a travel company and I’ve been with Topdeck for six of those years. Working here has kept me young because I get to meet different people from different places. I love the transition from Day One, where passengers get on the bus at 6am in London sleepy, shy and not really knowing what to expect. Then, by the final day it’s like a whole new group! And I love being a part of helping to create that happiness.’ – Coach Driver Catalin
‘As cheesy as it sounds, the best part about this job is getting to share other people’s experiences of the places we go. Even though you’ve been there a thousand times before, it’s always so rewarding watching the awe and wonder fill passenger’s faces when they turn the corner and see Pisa or get to play in the snow for the first time.’ – Trip Leader Bec
‘Heading into my tenth season with Topdeck, the most rewarding part of my job has been the opportunity to create life-changing moments for people unable to travel alone, or who would otherwise find it difficult to travel. We go beyond expectations to deliver the magic for everyone, with very little exceptions.’ – Topdeck HQ Laura
‘On one of my trips to Uluṟu we were lucky enough to have an Indigenous friend of mine join us to explain the cave artwork in the local language. Every time I meet an Indigenous guide, I learn more about the country and the people who have looked after it for 60,000 years.’ – Trip Leader Shorty
‘The people in Topdeck HQ genuinely love working here. We are all similar in that we’ve chosen to work in an industry not because of the money, but because it’s something that we’re passionate about. And my job itself is fun. The products we’re creating are great. And having the opportunity to work on something that people have saved hard for, are looking forward to and will always remember is pretty awesome.’ – Topdeck HQ Andy