Where can I start my European tour?

The top FAQ I get asked is “where and when does my tour start?”

You have a choice of tour operators and a choice of places to join your tour, depending on the operator. Our most popular tours are multi-country tours that start in London and cross the channel by ferry. With Trafalgar, Insight, Contiki or Cosmos, you can join in central London or at the first hotel in Europe which will usually be in Amsterdam, Brussels or Paris. Additionally with Cosmos you can join the tour at Dover and park your car free with a voucher. Leaving the tour, you can say ‘au revoir’ at the last hotel on the tour or ride back to Dover or London, depending on your plans.

So where and when do you meet in London?

CONTIKI AND COSMOS tours depart from the north entrance of the Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, Central London. This meeting point is attached to the Royal National Hotel. Check in for Cosmos is by 8.45am and departure at 9am. The coach usually gets back to Russell Square around 5pm. Click the following link to view the Cosmos joining point or copy and paste the link into your browser for Google Streetview: http://tinyurl.com/RoyalNationalNorthSide Contiki has it’s ‘basement’ under the hotel where helpful staff will give you the departure time the night before for their tours. It’s usually much earlier than Cosmos.

For those not staying in a recommended hotel before the tour, Trafalgar Tours visiting UK and Ireland, Paris or Brussels depart from and return to their London Reception Centre 75 – 79 York Road, London SE1 7AQ behind the ‘London Eye’ http://www.trafalgar.com/lrc
Map: http://g.co/maps/5q8s9

If you wish to book your own hotel, try this hotel price comparison site  http://tinyurl.com/GCThotels  and search in the Waterloo area if your tour leaves from the London Reception Centre

Trafalgar Tours going to Amsterdam as their first stop depart from and return to a designated/Trafalgar recommended hotel. Ask for details.

Insight Vacations tours depart mostly from the Thistle Marble Arch Hotel which is also the return point for their tours. However this is subject to change so check with us. This link shows the location: http://tinyurl.com/qwhcxy This is the hotel’s own web site: http://www.thistle.com/en/hotels/united_kingdom/london/thistle_marble_arch/index.html Approximate departure times. You must always reconfirm the time by calling 020 7828 4388 a day or two before departure as times are subject to change.

European Tours 0630hrs, check-in 0615hrs
British Tours 0645hrs, check-in 0630hrs

For all tour operators, let Global Coach Tours book you a pre and/or post night in the hotel nearest to the departure point.

Insight Vacations Coach

Insight Vacations Coach in Rome

If you think coach tours are for older people, Contiki 18-35 will get you on board. Roadtrip!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/contiki#p/u/0/xkFDhkOzEXc]The Contiki tours philosophy is simple. Create hassle-free vacations with an unbeatable mix of sightseeing, culture, people your own age & free time. They are the worldwide leader in tours for 18-35’s, operating in over 40 countries around the world. It’s not just coach tours either. They have cruises, treks, city stays and experiences like the Edinburgh Tattoo and the Munich Oktoberfest.

When you book with Global Coach Tours, you also get an unbeatable price with 10% off most Contiki tours 8 days or longer. That’s in addition to lots of special offers available from Contiki.

Tours are flexible and give you free time every day. So you’ll have plenty of time to do your own thing. We also give you plenty of great ideas (and prices) with our Explore More optional activities. Every tour has Included Highlights included in the price of your tour. Wherever you are, they’ll line up trips to famous monuments, guided walking tours, organised nights out & more. At no extra cost.

Make friends from all over the world & share some incredible times together.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/contiki#p/u/0/xkFDhkOzEXc]

Travel Agent sends his 82 year old father to Spain with two days notice

I’m quite used to arranging best Italian vacations and coach trips at short notice, but when my dad rang me to say he’d like a coach touring holiday leaving ‘very soon’, I wanted it to be perfect for him. I’ve trusted Trafalgar Tours for over 12 years since I first started offering them on the Global Coach Tours website. It was already nearing the end of October and there weren’t many tours about. Luckily Trafalgar has an extensive year round selection of tours and a winter tours programme.

On Thursday 21st October 2010  when dad called me, I suggested the Highlights of Spain and Portugal 13 day tour leaving on 23rd October. He agreed to book and within the hour it was all sorted, including me driving him to Manchester airport.

My wife Sue and I had been on the Trafalgar 16 day Spain Portugal and Morocco tour in October 2005 which includes all the same sights plus Morocco, so we knew he was in for an amazing time. Escorted coach touring is great for single people as there’s always someone to talk to and a group comradeliness develops. 2GO Travel is a unique experience.

He returned safely yesterday, full of praise for the tour, the weather, the hotels used and especially the tour director. He’s lucky to be still fit and well for his age, but nonetheless, it’s great to know he’s in expert hands with Trafalgar Tours.

– Geoff Monk

How my best friend got hitched on a Trafalgar tour of Italy

Trafalgar Tour wedding

Andy & April

My friend Andy had been single for a few years. He told me he’d always liked the idea of a tour of Italy. I showed him some tours with Insight Vacations and Trafalgar Tours. He picked a coach tour of Italy which suited his vacation dates and it was booked for March 2007. Apart from the usual wonderful sites such as Venice and Florence, he picked up more than he expected.

On his return he told me he’d had a great time and the girl he met was coming to see him in a few weeks. He lives in the UK, she in the USA. Using Skype video they were able to stay in touch whilst they arranged everything. Six months later my wife and I attended his marriage to April at Lindisfarne Castle in Northumberland.

To my knowledge this is the only Trafalgar coach tour of Italy that has resulted in a marriage. The tour director said this was a first for him.

Read more on the Trafalgar Blog