Your Man Tours Informative - Review of Your Man Tours
Recently we returned from a Your Man Tour (YMT) trip to the 2009 Rose Bowl Parade. Your Man Tour's is a travel agency that organizes numerous low cost tours to a variety of popular destinations each year. Because of the volume of business they do, you are likely to run across their offers if you are researching travel to almost any popular destination in North America and many elsewhere in the world. For this reason I thought it would be interest to share my experience with other travelers. Although the comments are based on the Rose Bowl Trip, I have heard similar from travelers who have used this company to other destinations.
The first thing to remember about YMT is the term "low cost" that I used to describe their tours above. In travel, as in everything else, you get what you pay for and if you pay for a bare bones trip, that is all you are going to get. The danger is that you may find the trip so minimal that you will be forced to supplement it with your own funds and if you are not careful, you may end spending more than if you had booked a more comprehensive tour to begin with.
One example of this with YMT is that they do not include any meals in the basic price. This was especially of concern with our Rose Bowl Trip because food prices were very high at our hotel ($20 breakfast buffets, dinners that can easily run over $50 a person, $16 for a pizza from their snack bar that was barely large enough for two) and there were few lower cost alternatives within walking distance. Fortunately we had brought some Pop Tarts with us since with early starts, we thought we might not have time to eat breakfast in a restaurant anyway and this helped.
Another place where you may pay extra for a YMT tour is that few activities are included in the basic price, thus you may have to spend money either on optional tours from YMT or on a rental car in order to be able to see enough to make the trip worthwhile. The YMT optional tours are definitely not low cost. We paid $60 each to visit a picturesque village, basically just for the bus ride up and back as we were left on our own in the village. Along the same lines, if possible, arrange your own air flights. We obtained our flights at about $350 each, YMT was charging $700. Of course, their cost included transportation to and from the airport but the hotel had a free shuttle and in fact, that was what YMT's was using for the people who booked flights through them.
Another aspect of YMT's tour is lack of administrative support. They rely upon contract guides and bus drivers (often both the same person) to handle the actual tour. Their own employees do minimal work. An example of this was that they were totally unable to tell us in advance which of two groups we would be with in going to our first optional tour. Thus we had to cut our pre-trip sightseeing short to be there for the early group only to sit around three hours at the hotel because we had been assigned to the later group. A pre-trip "briefing" given by the overall manager was characterized by the distribution of what proved to be an amazing number of misrepresentations and cases of incorrect information.
In summary, if you really want to take a trip to the Rose Bowl parade and you can't afford a higher priced tour, the YMT trip will be better than staying home but again remember to carry as much food with you as you can for breakfast at least and be aware the tour will be minimal unless you pay extra to YMT's or to go on your own to additional sights.