Coach Holidays

Coach travel was hugely popular in my early days in travel in the 70’s and 80’s but has since gone out of fashion to some degree.

This is the first time I have done this as a holiday rather than a work educational. It has really made me reflect on the pros and cons of coach travel as a holiday.

How else could we get the opportunity to visit Paris, Lucerne, Milan, Verona, Venice, Rome, Florence, Monte Carlo, Nice, Cannes and Lyons in just 7 days and at such a reasonable price?

Our holiday was with Go Eu Go, which is a Dutch company, operating from Paris on a flexible basis. They have been operating for 20 years for the Chinese market and more recently they are operating two tours for English speakers, Red Line to Germany, Holland and Belgium and Green Line to Switzerland, Italy and France. We did the latter which was very interesting but also very exhausting.

Who goes on this type of holiday?

I was amazed by the diversity of the 25 people that were on our coach. The youngest was 9 and the oldest 72. We came from many different countries, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Vietnam. I was the only one from the UK. The tour director himself was Chinese Dutch.

My late father loved this type of holiday and used to travel like this every year with Yorkshire Tours who were very cheap and notoriously bad. Later in life he used Cosmos and Shearings. He used to come back with thousands of slides from really unusual and fascinating locations like Algeria, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan years before anyone had even heard of them. I am still wading through these many years later and copying them to digital format.

The main advantages of coach holidays are the opportunity to see many places in a short space of time and to meet people from different backgrounds and of course cost is a factor too. Coach holidays are always excellent value. Another advantage is that coaches usually arrive earlier than cruise ship excursions, so we usually arrived before them. We had a guide to advise what to do and practical things like where to eat lunch or dinner.

Disadvantages are time spent travelling on motorways, stopping at service stations, no time for relaxation, no choice of hotels, not being able to unpack or use the toilet at will, not being able to eat properly. You don’t really get a chance to feel and absorb the area. Other things I hadn’t really thought about. Coaches have to stop where there are coach parks so walking or in our case running into the city cuts the time short, sometimes to just 20 minutes. Coaches are also limited to hotels outside the cities because of cost and parking issues. In the case of Florence we were an hour and a half outside the city.

For photographers, opportunities are mixed. There are many sights to see in a short space of time, but pictures from coach windows are always hit and miss depending on the time of day and reflection. You can never go back for a second chance in the cities and some shots have to be done in a split second hence too many crooked shots.

On balance coach travel does have its advantages and disadvantages and we have concluded that it is not for us, but I can see there are many advantages for single people who have the opportunity to meet other people who not only are there to talk to but also to watch out for them and keep them safe.

I can organise this type of holiday with various companies, and I can also organise ocean and river cruises.

The other alternative is that I can organise tailor made tours throughout Europe for you, using a combination of rail, self-drive and flights at your own pace . I really enjoy organising these.

If you are interested please call me on 020 3432 4740 or email Cathie.odea@travelcounsellors.com for more details

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