Grand Group Getaways!

Ever fancied taking the whole family away on a big grand European tour?  Not just immediate family, but whole generations of relatives as well! Be it your own parents, grandparents or uncles and aunties, travelling and experiencing some of the wonderful and facinating countries waiting to be explored.

group travel savings lg Grand Group Getaways!

 Travelling in a group can also save you money. For example, if you travel with Trafalgar Tours or Insight Vacations, you could save 5% for a group of  5 – 8 people on the LAND-only portion of your holiday. Even better, if nine or more guests travel together,  one traveller qualifies for a 50%* discount off the LAND-only portion of the holiday. In a group of 16 guests, one traveller qualifies for 100%* discount off the LAND-only portion of the holiday- WOW!

why guided image 2 Grand Group Getaways!

 If you want to try visiting a few European countries or just stick to one, the choice is amazing as there are numerous travel companies wanting to make your wish come true – without all the hassle of having to plan things yourself! Take in a glimpse of Europe on a tour that lasts a week or try something longer for a much grander holiday.

 Grand Group Getaways!

 Grand Group Getaways!

The choices are endless and it’s not only Europe that wants your company, America and Canada also call for some extensive exploration in their vast landscapes of diverse cultures, breathtaking National Parks and stunning Canadian Rockies.

10 freshly pressed packing tips for your coach tour

Many people ask us what to take for their coach tour.

1. Your cases: You are allowed to bring one suitcase per person on your coach tour with the dimensions of 76cm x 46cm x 25cm (30in. x 18in. x 10in.) and weight not exceeding 23kg (50 lbs) due to the limited space on the coach. This is similar to the maximum weight allowed by airlines. You can also bring one piece of hand luggage, but unlike airline lockers, space inside the coach is more limited, so you should take something small enough to take on the coach and it must not have have telescope handles.

inside coaches trafalgar seats comfort 10 freshly pressed packing tips for your coach tour

Touring with Trafalgar

2. What type of clothes – will you need anything formal? This will depend on not only your personal preference, but the destinations you are visiting and the time of year you will be travelling. Check out your destination and climate at WordTravels. It is advisable to bring at least one ‘smart’ outfit for special evenings or highlight dinners, but this doesn’t mean a tuxedo or even a tie. If your itinerary visits  places of worship, you may be required to wear items that cover your shoulders and in some cases, knees. When travelling, we recommend bringing items that are casual and lightweight, and require little or no ironing

3. How about laundry? It depends how long your tour is and where you are going.  If you are going for less than 10 days you might be able to get away without doing any laundry.   The only chance you will have to do laundry is if you stay two nights in one place and get it done through the hotel.  If you don’t wish to use any laundry services, then you can always wash items in the bath in your hotel room! Hopefully they will dry by morning, but you may have to continue the drying plan next evening if you are moving to a another hotel.

4. Express packing tip! Pack all those t-shirts in double-quick time! A genuinely useful YouTube video that shows you how to fold t-shirts in less than 2 seconds.

5. Label your case with the first destination and put your home address inside your case.

6. Wheelchairs and walking aids. In most circumstances you are able to travel with a wheelchair on your trip as long as you are travelling with a person who is willing and able to provide personal assistance. Please advise us at the time of booking if you plan to bring a wheelchair to ensure we can meet your requirements. Remember that itineraries that visit old places frequently have uneven ground, steps or cobbled surfaces.

7. Travel sized products are lighter. Toothpaste, shaving gels, lotions and creams. They are all available in travel size from your local pharmacy. Not only will they save weight, but you can take them on an aircraft in your hand luggage if they less than 100ml.  Top tip! Hand sanitizer – visiting tourist places, you touch lots of things that lots of other people have just touched. Reduce the risk of catching a bug by regular use of hand sanitizer. And wear sunscreen!

coach tours trafalgar trips world wide 10 freshly pressed packing tips for your coach tour

8. Umbrella – Many couples share their umbrella. It means they only keep half dry. Travel with your own fold up umbrella (it’s better than a raincoat) and you will never be half wet, you’ll be totally dry. You may be lucky and have zero rainfall during your trip, but it’s best to be prepared for the odd shower.

9. Don’t let pickpockets spoil your holiday! Keep valuables under cover. When you travel you must protect your passport and cash.  Pickpockets are more skilled than you might think and unfortunately are common in the popular tourist areas all over the world, so minimize your risk.  Use a neck or money belt that goes under your clothes.

10. Split belongings between two cases when travelling as a couple. If one case goes astray neither person is left without a change of clothes and necessities. Also, have a credit card or ATM card per person, so if one person loses their wallet or purse, you still have spending power.

 

The six best reasons to take an escorted coach tour

 The six best reasons to take an escorted coach tour

Never taken a group tour? Not sure it’s the way to go? Then consider these important facts before you attempt to go off on your own:

1. You simply can’t beat the price! Tour operators volume contracting for hotels and services provides you with travel at wholesale rates. You’ll know the cost in advance.  Travel relaxed and hassle-free, knowing that all arrangements have been made for you by reliable specialists.

2. Enjoy the company of interesting fellow travelers, as active, sociable, and curious about the world out there as you are. Many lasting friendships begin on a coach tour.

3. With a professional tour director you not only see the sights, you learn about their meaning as well — a stimulating and enriching experience.

4. Sharing a luxurious, fuel-efficient motorcoach and the services of an experienced driver with other travelers is much more pleasant and ecologically sensible than driving yourself.

5. Who likes standing in line? Because your visit has been arranged months in advance, your group will be ushered to the head of the line at many of Europe’s most popular attractions.

6. A coach tour is carefully planned to make the best possible use of your time. A lifetime of caring for people just like you has taught our selected tour operators which sights and activities you enjoy most, and how much free time you need to explore on your own.  Once you’ve discovered the special advantages and delights of group touring, you’ll never want to travel any other way again!

Bed hopping around the world

Double, Single, Queen, King, Twin, Triple, Quad, Suite, Full Size, Wide Double, Olympic, Super King, California King, King Long, Stateroom?
These are all terms used by bed mattress makers worldwide, but when it comes to travel, they mean different things in different countries!

You may be have been a couch surfer in the past, perhaps you still are. We’ve all slept on them at sometime, but after a busy day sightseeing on an escorted tour of Europe or Britain, what you really want is a nice comfy bed.

1 IMG 0750 Bed hopping around the world

A double bed in a London hotel

At Global Coach Tours, we are always explaining the terms, so at last, here is the full explanation you wanted, but were afraid to ask.

All these terms are bed configurations within rooms, except did you spot the deliberate mistake? The word ‘stateroom’ is not a bed, but is a type of room used on board ships and river cruise boats.

1 IMG 1005 Bed hopping around the world

A romantic four poster double bed in a country house hotel

A single room or bed in North America might mean ‘a room’ rather than a suite, but in Europe it means a room for one or a bed wide enough for only one person to sleep in.

Touring by coach in Britain & Europe you will get a “twin room” as standard. That’s a room with two single beds in it  (approx 90 x 190 cm aka a twin). If you are travelling as a couple, you can request a double (aka a full size bed) but as you will be staying in a variety of hotels, demand may outstrip supply in some hotels. You should get your request fulfilled for most of your tour.  The size of a double will be at least 140 x 190 cm, but you may get a larger bed in some hotels.

Put simply, request ‘double bed’ if you are travelling as a couple and like to sleep in the same bed. This means one larger/wider bed sleeping two, rather than two narrow beds sleeping one person each.

A triple room can either be a double plus a single or three singles. A quad room could be any configuration that sleeps four people, including two separate rooms.

Are you travelling alone? Touring with Trafalgar, Insight and Cosmos, single room prices apply if you want a room to yourself. If you wish to save money, on most tours you are guaranteed to be matched with a room mate of the same gender at the start of the tour and only pay the standard twin-share price. Should there be nobody to share with on day 1 of the tour, you would get a single room at no extra cost, but this doesn’t happen very often. The only way to be guaranteed a room for sole occupancy is to agree to pay the single room price when you book. 

For a definitive explanation with exact bed sizes, please see this Wikipedia article

 

 

Travel the World With Trafalgar Tours

Offering first class independent vacations and escorted tours to almost every continent, Trafalgar tours offers custom constructed itineraries to destinations across the globe. With over 200 itineraries year-round, there is a Trafalgar tour for any globe hopper.
Skirt across the globe with week-long treks across Europe, African safaris and Asian cultural history tours. Explore the Great Barrier reef or indulge in the sights and sounds of the Mediterranean with a tour of Turkey. With guided tours, first-class accommodations and specialty journeys, Trafalgar offers everything you need for the perfect expedition.
Great for students, single travelers and families, these once-in-a-lifetime tours allow you to see the world from the inside. No longer do you have to worry about setting up airfare, hotel and sightseeing bookings on your own. With all-inclusive packages, you simply pay one price and go. If cruising is your pleasure, take a river cruise to one of hundreds of exotic ports across the world.
Traveling is an experience that will change your life. With knowledgeable tour guides that will help you navigate the globe, you will enjoy all the earth has to offer. Go diving in the crystal waters of the Caribbean, or explore ancient ruins in Mexico. See the sights of Paris in springtime or take a ride in the canals of Venice. Cruise around Alaska and see glaciers, whales and elk.
With a custom tour created just for your tastes, you will enjoy seeing the globe in grand fashion.
Book your next journey with Trafalgar tours today.

Translating ‘Itinerary Jargon’ on a Coach Tour!

Have you ever booked a coach tour and then wondered what on earth the difference is between ‘VISIT’, ‘VIEW’ and ‘SEE’ in the itineraries? To be honest I had no idea when first asked this question so decided to find out a bit more on the meanings of words or phrases used in ‘Travel Speak’ for want of a better word.

Trafalgar Tours offer some good translation, so please take a look at the list below and let me know if you can find any more travel jargon out there!

 

Everything else you wanted to know but were afraid to ask – including “itinerary speak”

Visit

This means the tour bus will stop and the groups will visit a specific site. You will then get in-depth sightseeing with a Local Guide or your Travel Director. This includes VIP entry and will vary based on the venue itself.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

View

An opportunity to stretch your legs, take in the sights and capture photos with a brief stop.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

See

See the sight and its surroundings while driving by on the coach.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

Sightseeing tour

A local city guide will accompany passengers on a tour of a city or site.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

Orientation tour

Places of interest are pointed out, allowing passengers to then explore on their own.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

‘Why not see’ or ‘perhaps enjoy’

These phrases usually refer to optional excursions not included in the tour package, but available for an additional fee at competitive prices. Payments are usually made to the Travel Director by credit card or cash whilst on the tour.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

Time to explore and discover

Free time to do as you please.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

A day to relax

No planned activities. Time for optional excursions or other independent activities.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

Transfers

Motor coach or train transportation from the airport to your hotel or city centre.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

Local Guides

Professional guides with specialised expertise in a specific city or region that guide you on a sightseeing tour. They will show you specific sights in more detail while providing vast knowledge on the local area.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

Tour Director

Tour escort, responsible to see that your tour runs smoothly. He or she travels with you, helping with everything from co-ordinating hotel check-in, language translation, to advice on best restaurants and sights to see.

 Translating Itinerary Jargon on a Coach Tour!

 

Hope this comes in handy for some of you travellers out there! Please don’t forget to let me know of any other travel jargon wondering the earth!

 

 

Coach tours for Every Age Group

With so many tour companies available to you, there’s absolutely no need to feel limited while seeking out coach tours that are the perfect fit for your needs. Here’s a preview of the variety available to you when you shop at globalcoachtours.com. This is your one stop for tours that are suitable for a wide range of age groups.
There’s no denying that younger crowds require a special class of touring experience: those between the ages of 18 and 35 are more likely to seek out a unique trip full of action and adventure with a free-spirited group of their peers. Touring with Contiki is ideal for precisely that: catering only to individuals in this age range, over 50% of Contiki’s customers travel alone. This is ideal for those who don’t want to feel like the odd man out and wish to form lasting and meaningful relationships with other young adults. If that isn’t enough, Contiki offers the opportunity to explore over 46 countries across 6 continents, all on exceptional trips that are designed to minimize your expenses and maximize excitement.
AUS BOAT Coach tours for Every Age Group
Even though you might not have as much free time for traveling as a twenty something doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself on holiday. Options abound with Cosmos Tours, which gives you the chance to fit in a quick weekend getaway or take the long break you’ve been putting off for all these years. Those on a fixed income will appreciate Trafalgar Tours’ varied offerings, which can go for less than £100 per day.  If you’d prefer fewer options and would like everything included in your tour from the get-go, try CIE Tours. Travel is all-inclusive so that you don’t have to worry about paying for additional excursions once you get to your destination.
Venice Global Coach Tours 7 Coach tours for Every Age Group

The real deal tourist gondolas

No two tour companies are alike; look into all the options available to you on this site so you can find the right fit. No matter what your choice is, you’re sure to have an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience abroad.

Celebrate New Year in Edinburgh on a ‘Real Britain’ coach tour!

Book  Trafalgar’s ‘Real Britain’ coach tour in December 2014 and you could be in for a real treat. I’m not kidding, the tour takes you to Edinburgh on the 3rd day for two nights which means you will be there just in time to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style. Unbelievably, places are still available for this date and I’ve booked mine through Global Coach Tours.

edinburgh Celebrate New Year in Edinburgh on a Real Britain coach tour!

New Year celebrations in Edinburgh.

I’ve double checked the itinerary and the small print and it definitely states that departures on the 29th December 2012 will celebrate New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh. You are provided with a delicious meal with champagne at your hotel before being given tickets for the Edinburgh Hogmanay. Apparently, this party below Edinburgh Castle is the largest New Year’s event in the world! It also advises that this special New Year’s Eve celebration dinner will replace the included dinner in the Lake District on Day 2, which reminds me to mention the other tour details on this wonderful ‘Real Britain’ coach tour.

Not only do you get to see Edinburgh in all its glory on New Year’s Eve, you also get to visit some of the most wonderful and fascinating places Britain has to offer.

 Celebrate New Year in Edinburgh on a Real Britain coach tour!

The itinerary is amazing as you start your trip in London on day 1 before visiting Salisbury and its majestic Cathedral, the mysterious Stonehenge steeped in pagan history and the Roman baths in Bath, before finishing the day off at a Welcome Pub Reception in Bristol.

Stonehenge2007 07 30 Celebrate New Year in Edinburgh on a Real Britain coach tour!

The mysterious Stonehenge.

From Bristol on day 2 you go to see the Roman Walls at Chester before heading to the Lake District for dinner. Day 3 is also spent at the Lake district before embarking onto Grasmere and Gretna Green which historically is popular with eloping couples. Then it’s off to Edinburgh for two days for those all important New Years Eve celebrations.

Holme Fell 23 Celebrate New Year in Edinburgh on a Real Britain coach tour!

The beautiful Lake District

After two days sightseeing in Edinburgh, the tour takes you to view the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey in the Scottish borders and the dramatic landscape of Northumberland National Park. Your journey then takes you to the ancient Roman City of York to see the famous Shambles and the majestic York Minster before enjoying a memorable farewell dinner.

images Celebrate New Year in Edinburgh on a Real Britain coach tour!

York Minster.

It’s not over yet though because on the last day you will leave York to head to Coventry and then go on to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon. A scenic drive through the beautiful and picturesque Cotswolds then brings you to the end of your holiday back in London.

Wow! Trafalgar’s ‘Real Britain’ coach tour does pack in a lot of miles and places to see, but personally, the highlight for me is going to be those New Year celebrations.

tattoo 728x90 Celebrate New Year in Edinburgh on a Real Britain coach tour! Celebrate New Year in Edinburgh on a Real Britain coach tour!

Trafalgar Tours coach vacations

Trafalgar tours

 Vacation travel offers a way for people to relax while visiting exciting new places. This is why all inclusive coach travel packages are so popular with today’s savvy travellers. Coach travel tours offer convenient, well planned itineraries that are perfect for families, couples, and single travellers.
37x91opc Trafalgar Tours coach vacations

Coach Tour Package Destinations

Coach travel companies offer a variety of tour packages throughout Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. Tour packages allow travellers to visit well-known, historic sites as well as hidden gems within the tour area. The average tour lengths offered by coach travel companies range from four to seven days. No matter the destination, experienced coach travel companies provide a quality vacation experience to each of their customers.

What Does A Typical Tour Package Include

Coach travel packages provided by Trafalgar Tours include guided tours, first class accommodations, and comfortable transportation throughout the vacation. While countries in the U.K. remain a favourite vacation spot, countries such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Jordan are popular as well. Visitors may leisurely explore the museums, cathedrals, and ancient ruins of their destination city with the help of knowledgeable tour guides.Vatican1 Trafalgar Tours coach vacations

Dining and up-scale accommodations are also included in the coach tour packages. Coach travellers get to enjoy full breakfasts and dinners as part of the vacation package. This allows travellers the option to choose lunch at a local spot of their choosing if desired. Coach travel companies have partnered with the premier hotels within their travel destination areas to offer their clients comfortable lodgings.

Customers of coach travellers expect to arrive at their sightseeing destinations via luxurious, air-conditioned coach bus lines. This mode of transportation is especially attractive to senior travellers and those who may have difficulty getting around efficiently. The travel director assigned to the tour ensures that clients comfortably arrive to and from their tour destinations.

I went to Ireland and crashed my car

In the 1990s I embarked on my first ever trip to Ireland The first time I flew to Dublin and met up with friends. The second time, the idea was to do it as cheaply as possible, staying in hostels. I went with my friend Andy and a random girl from Eastern Europe who was staying in Nottingham at the time. I don’t remember how she came to agree to go to Ireland with two blokes she had just met.

 I went to Ireland and crashed my car

We headed out via the Swansea to Cork ferry which was one of the roughest crossings I had ever made. It was an overnight trip. After two pints of stout and an anti-sea sick pill, we managed to avoid parting with our pie and chips supper. The next morning we drove towards Dingle, the Ring of Kerry and Killarney and explored that area for the next three days. The aim was balancing scenery with the fantastic Irish music and pub scene
 I went to Ireland and crashed my car

The trip was planned for a one week stay. Two days before were due to leave, I was driving my blue Golf along a wide open country road near Limerick. A car and then a van pulled out from a side road in front of us. The van immediately over took the first car, pulling out in front of me. Did I brake heavily or overtake? There was nothing coming for a mile ahead of us, I could see clearly, so I overtook, doing about 50-60mph. The van accelerated quickly and managed to catch up with me, then made a very unexpected right turn. He clipped the back of my car and I instinctively braked. He hit the side of my car again and spun round as I skidded more or less in a straight line towards a dry stone wall. Luckily there was an embankment in front, which slowed me very quickly and not too suddenly and the car avoided a head on smash into the wall. We all walked away from both vehicles bruised, but not injured.

ireland 90s blog2 I went to Ireland and crashed my car

The car was a ‘write-off’, but we were safe. Luckily I had European breakdown and relay cover so I was not out of pocket and we were able to get home.

Standing outside a hostel that evening, drowning my sorrows with pint of Guinness, our Eastern European friend opened an upstairs window and a large pane of glass fell out and came whistling past my left ear! Had I been standing 6 inches to the left, my head might not have remained attached to my body. Whilst the incidents of that day have not put me off driving in foreign countries, it is taught me to carefully examine the risks. The rules of the road are applied differently and it pays to travel on an organised tour with a professional driver. Trafalgar Tours and CIE Tours, both offer fantastic trips around Ireland. I highly recommend you take one and of course book it through Global Coach Tours