I went to Thailand with AFS.
My first contact with them was with Terri over the phone. To say he is curt, and not a people person, is quite the understatement! As another reviewer mentioned, I should have cancelled the trip there and then, but I didn't.
Ensuing emails were poorly written and confusing. After paying the single supplement, I was informed Terri screwed up at one of the hotels and I would be forced to share a room for two nights. Oh! I'd get a whopping $100 refund for this inconvenience.
We were supposed to see long-necked Mon women and see how the Mon tribe lives. Somehow that didn't materialize. We were scheduled to visit FIVE factories in one day (think kickbacks) as our planned activity for seeing Thailand! That is not seeing Thailand.
We spent two nights in a camping resort. Two nights! It was one night too many. Mostly wasted time hanging out in the resort pool. Not time seeing Thailand.
Then we spent four nights in the same hotel. Very little planned (included) sightseeing. If you wanted to see the real Thailand, then take it upon yourself to set up tours and pay even more money.
Two nights in that resort would have been adequate, and then move on to another part of Thailand.
I didn't get to see much of Thailand, yet I spent top. Dollar for the trip.
The group leader was also curt. A van was provided for some of us to leave the elephant farm early since we did not want to participate in elephant riding (it was touted as a sanctuary, but it was not one). The group leader had unkind words about the use of the AFS van. None of the people who got on the van had asked for it. We were all prepared to take taxis back to the hotel.
There was no assistance with additional sightseeing, or the company offering additional excursions for a fee.
A trip to Asia should encompass seeing as much as possible. The goal of AFS was to get as much kickbacks as possible.
Poorly run company. Unprofessional staff. Poorly planned trip.
I have travelled with quite a few tour companies, and AFS is the bottom of the barrel in my book.
Be careful to REALLY read the itinerary. See how much they plan for sightseeing and how much free time you get. The burden of doing this homework is on us travelers.
Compare the AFS itinerary to other companies itinerary BEFORE you book.