They’ve had a bad press in years gone by, but touring holidays are now revised and revamped for the 21st Century. Coaches are luxurious – many with extra legroom, reclining seats, on-board refreshments, toilets, TVs at most seats, some with DVDs for personal viewing, USB points at your seat. Hosts on-board look after their guests and ensure that they have a good time, as well as making the most of each destination. However if such personal attention isn’t for you, then there are other options.

Some touring companies, such as Trafalgar Tours, have holidays where you can opt out of the tours – based in a city, you can choose to take the organised excursions or step out on your own. Other tours, such as river cruises, have this same option.

Not all touring holidays have to take place on a coach. Basically a tour is a holiday that allows you to see more than one destination, usually with guides or escorts to enhance the experience. However it could be argued that driving holidays can be tours – especially if they follow a pre-planned route with visits and excursions booked in along the route.

Touring by train is becoming popular as travellers want to avoid long queues at airports. Travelling in Europe in first class is also much cheaper than doing this in the UK. It might take you longer to reach your destination, but you feel part of the countryside as you speed through it. Last year, we joined a river cruise in Switzerland by train from the UK. Both trains (Eurostar from London and the train from Paris to Basel) were both very busy but we didn’t feel crowded and although the second part of the journey was very long, we still arrived at the boat feeling more refreshed than if we had flown. We’re doing the same this year, travelling to Austria and then exploring part of the Danube. More details in July when we’re back!!

Escorted holidays by coach aren’t just for the more mature traveller – many companies run family friendly tours and it’s a great way to explore a country with your children, no worries about driving overseas. Excursions aren’t just sight-seeing these days. You’re just as likely to have a trip to the opera or a concert in Vienna, learn to cook in Italy or have a wine-tasting (we did a lovely wine-tasting in Germany last year, great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!!)


For more details, contact Olein at Diamond Travel. Agency ref S0466. We act as The Global Travel Group Ltd in connection with the sale of travel products. Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group Ltd is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators and other principals.

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