Iceland - Reykjavik - Tjornin Pond

Our Experience with Gate 1 Travel

How to Save Money with Gate 1 Travel Company

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what you’re going to get when using a new tour company, because online reviews are very mixed! We found that to be the case the first time we booked with Gate 1 Travel, but decided to go for it anyway.

We had such a good experience that we’ve now traveled twice with Gate 1 and we have another trip scheduled for August!

TIP: There are some easy ways to save extra money on Gate 1 Travel (on top of their promotions). For example, you can get $50 off your first booking! Those money-saving tips are at the bottom of this article, so don’t book without checking them out.

Iceland - Reykjavik - Tjornin Pond

Iceland with Gate 1 Travel

Our first experience with Gate 1 Travel was to Iceland in 2015. We saw the deal on Travelzoo (5 days for less than $500 including flights & hotels) and it was too good to pass up! This is a destination that WC has always wanted to visit.

We received good customer service when booking and that service continued throughout the entire vacation. In Iceland, our Gate 1 Travel tour guide, Oli, was with us throughout the trip. We added on a full day tour around the Golden Circle and Oli was with us the entire day providing history and explanation about the attractions. The tour included a waterfall, geysers and a national park.

Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland

The hotel with our Gate 1 Travel package was Reykjavik Lights Hotel and it had everything we could have needed. Breakfast was included and it had a small bar with local beers. The location was about a 10 minute cab ride from downtown. However, we liked that it was a short walking distance to one of the local thermal pools. It also offered free Wi-Fi.

Peru with Gate 1 Travel

We booked our second trip with Gate 1 Travel to Peru on their “Machu Picchu Express” tour and this time we traveled with four friends! We all booked separately and several of the people in our group were traveling from different cities. The customer service representatives made sure that it all worked out and we were on the same schedule.

Machu Picchu Tour with Gate 1 Travel

Despite some really early morning wakeup calls, our trip to Peru was fantastic! Our tour guide, Rene, was with us from pickup at the airport until we arrived at our hotel. He also was our guide for our full day visiting Machu Picchu. While on the bus ride, the Gate 1 Travel guides shared information about the country, history and culture. They’re also very gracious about answering questions!

Gate 1 Travel Tour Guide Peru

At Machu Picchu, we had a large group so Gate 1 provided ear pieces and headsets. This made it easy to hear our guide even if we were at the back of the group (or wandering off for photos!).

Gate 1 Travel Machu Picchu

We stayed at two different hotels during this trip but really enjoyed both of them. The first hotel was the San Augustin Urubamba. It had a beautiful courtyard and comfortable rooms.

San Agustin Hotel Courtyard - Peru

San Agustin Hotel - Peru

Another thing we love about traveling with Gate 1 is you can do as much or as little with the tour group as you’d like. For example, our third day in Peru was an “at leisure” day. Gate 1 had optional excursions you could choose from, or you could make your own plans. We opted to hire a private guide to take just our group around the Sacred Valley.

How to Save Money with Gate 1 Travel

There are several ways to save money with Gate 1 and these benefits can really add up to help you afford your next trip!

Pay by Cash or Check

First, Gate 1 offers a 5% discount if you pay your final balance by cash or check. This includes most of their tour packages. However, payment for the deeply discounted packages is usually due in full upon booking.

Book your First Trip with Gate 1

You can receive $50 off your first trip by mentioning their Refer a Friend program when you book! Call to make your reservation and let the representative know you were referred by William Williford with Account ID 6168885 and you’ll receive $50 off! It’s as simple as that!

Refer a Friend

Once you travel, you can encourage your friends to use Gate 1 with your referral information and you will start earning credit towards your next trip! Your friend will receive the $50 off their trip and you will receive a $50 credit for your next tour! A great part about this program is that your referral credits can also be combined with special offers and promo codes on the Gate 1 Travel website.

Machu Picchu View - Peru

Final Thoughts about Gate 1

We always recommend that you have an open mind. Don’t believe every review you read about travel companies, hotels, excursions, etc. We’ve read reviews that were negative about companies and hotels, yet we’ve had great experiences with them!

Consider this: when you are booking to find the cheapest deal, you will not likely get a 5 star hotel. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a great experience! We’ve liked almost every hotel we’ve stayed at using travel packages (with Gate 1 Travel and other companies, as well). Same goes for transportation. With the cheapest package, it is unlikely you will be able to choose your airplane seat. You also may be limited on how much luggage you can bring. In the scheme of things, does this matter if you’re getting a great deal?

We look at it like this: We’re not spending a whole lot of time in the room so as long as it is clean, we don’t need all the bells and whistles. If the tour package is the best deal around, we are more relaxed about the accommodations and usually review them with that in mind.

All of that being said, we’ve had great experiences with Gate 1 Travel, the hotels, guides, and transportation! We highly recommend you give them a shot if you’re looking for a great deal. Plus, they handle a lot of the hard work with planning!

NOTE: Some of the links on this page may contain affiliate links. By using these links, you’re helping us continue our adventures at no cost to you! As always, our opinions are completely our own!

Married with Wanderlust

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How to Save Money with Gate 1 Travel

17 thoughts on “Our Experience with Gate 1 Travel

    1. Hi Michelle, We’re so glad to hear you also enjoyed your trip with Gate 1! How was Turkey? We would love to get there sometime!

  1. Two friends and I have a Gate 1 tour to Ecuador, Amazon & Peru in September & are looking forward to it. Thanks for the info. We used the Refer a Friend from a relative and I also found a Retail Me Not Coupon for $25 off each traveler. So we ended up getting $125 off the total cost of the trip.

    1. Great idea to search Retail Me Not! Hadn’t thought of that for past bookings. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for this awesome blog and excellent suggestions on travel. Really worth it to hear from somebody with first-hand experience. Beautiful pictures! We are considering going to Peru this August 2019 and are considering Gate 1 as an option. I was bit confused/anxious on seeing the wide range (good to bad) of reviews for Gate 1 Peru tours, but looks like you guys had a good time and highly recommend the company? We are vegetarians – would food be a big problem/issue? We also heard that some of the Gate1 hotels may not be great? We were considering the “10 day affordable Peru Tour – Plan A or B hotels”. Any recommendations on the existing Gate1 tours? I know I may be asking too many questions here. Thanks! All the best for your travels and keep posting your excellent suggestions!

    1. Hi Shree, Thanks for writing! We have now traveled with Gate 1 to Iceland, Peru, the Azores, and Spain. Personally, we can say nothing but good things about the company. We have not received anything from them for our positive review- we just thought it was worth sharing because of the wide range of reviews we initially found online. As far as hotels go, we have always found them to be clean and nice. I think you have to take into consideration that you are booking through a discount travel company and getting a great deal so the hotels are not always “city center.” Sometimes they will be more like a long walk or a taxi ride. In our opinion, that is super worth it for the great deal they provide. If you book on your own, the costs will be much higher for hotel + flight. For your food question: we didn’t inquire about anything like this while there, but can say there were a huge variety of foods in Peru. I’d suggest searching Pinterest for “vegetarian in Peru” and reading some posts on this topic from other bloggers 🙂 Happy traveling!

    2. Hi shred,
      We are also vegetarians and old couples, planning to travel this year 2022 in June. Can you share your experience please

      1. The Gate 1 Tours we’ve taken have always had a variety of age groups so you shouldn’t have to worry about that! I believe they will also ask you about dietary restrictions so that should not be a problem.

  3. Great article! Can you share which package you selected when you went to Spain? We are planning a Spain trip this fall and would like some package recommendations.

    1. Hi John, Happy to help! We traveled with one of their “Independent” packages, meaning we were responsible for our own airport transfers and did not have a guide with us during our visit. Here’s a link to the package but keep an eye out, because it was on sale when we purchased: If you’d prefer to have a guide with you, I’d recommend one of their “Escorted” tours. We’ve used those for Peru and Iceland. Have fun!

    1. Hi Esther! I don’t see why it would have (it is my husband’s ID that is posted) but you can definitely try mine: Kristy Williford – 6168895

  4. Booked our first trip and used your account # thru refer a friend mentioned. Thank you! Going to England/Scotland for 10 days excursion and a few extra days on our own.

    1. So glad you got the discount! We hope you have an amazing time and let us know how it goes. We’d love to see Scotland someday.

  5. $50 saved with the refer a friend; Thanks to the Looking forward to our England / Scotland trip end August.

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