Wow! I wished I had have found this site before I booked my tour with GAP. I used them last year to travel through India, whilst the continent was different the problems were the same. I work in the travel industry & could not believe the disorganisation & "slap dash" attitude of this company.
Here's the history...GAP used to be the "budget arm" of Intrepid which is a highly respected world wide tour provider. They severed ties a couple of years back, no doubt to GAP's practices. Now Intrepid does their own "basix" tours which is what GAP used to provide!
Where to start...they changed the starting hotel twice, no a big deal but when you have paid for extra 2 nights accommodation at this hotel they should advise you & send a new voucher......they didn't. In fact a girl joining our tour who had come straight from finishing a tour of Nepal spent several hours running around to find the wrong hotel by cab & to find out it had changed without them advising her. Thankfully in India cabs are cheap - but elsewhere would have been more of an issue.
Then they advertise the tour visits the abandoned town of Fatehpur Sikri (a highlight of an Indian tour), only to find out that there is no transport to get there & no one ever gets to see it. They also advise is 2 different places you can do a cooking class (optional activity)...sadly they didn't bother to advise their tour leader that this was possible, so in the end he pulled out the lonely planet & made some calls for me & arranged it. Too bad the company doesn't give any support to their staff.
The tour always leaves on a Monday, and they advertise you can visit the Calico Museum in Ahmedebad (another highlight) - guess what - the tour always arrives in Ahmedebad on a Wednesday - the one day of the week the museum is CLOSED!
Whilst on Ahmedebad, they thought we would like to carry our bags/backpacks around this dubious city for 8 hours between the bus arrival & the train departure!! The cloak room at the train station won't hold the backpack style bags we were TOLD to bring because you can't lock them! So in the end our tour leader found the cheapest (and nastiest) hotel in town for us to store our stuff.
The finishing hotel was changed 3 times - again not a huge issue - but it moved from North Goa to South Goa some 65kms away. Problem was my 18 year old nephew was meeting me there and we had specifically booked a hotel for him close to where I was. Which means I had to cut the tour short by two days due to the change in location!!
It is my experience working in the industry that if you are a reliable/reputable/established tour operator you do not change your joining/finishing hotels as often as you change your sheets!!
Thankfully I got a response to my concerns from GAP with a voucher off my next tour....a tour needless to say I will never take!!!!
That all said....we had the BEST tour leader who tried very very very hard to make up for the lack of planning/support on GAP's part.
Take the advice from someone in the Industry (airline employee not travel agent) stick with either Intrepid or Geckos - no scary surprises