Love them or loathe them, coach holidays have a special place in the hearts of UK holidaymakers.
Somewhere between a school trip and an extended family holiday, there’s an endearing nostalgia to coach holidays that has meant they’ve retained their popularity, even as air travel has become the norm across the world.
Once upon a time, travelling solely by coach meant you were confined to the UK, Ireland or France. But today, it’s much easier to take a coach holiday in destinations across Europe and the world, often in combination with air travel. If you’re planning a coach trip abroad, here are a few handy tips to bear in mind.
Best websites for booking a coach holiday
With high street travel agents now in decline, travellers are turning to the internet in vast numbers to book their holidays – and it’s no different with coach trips. But with so many coach holiday operators to choose from, where do you start?
Shearings Holidays offers a range of tour options, including express coach holidays to Europe. Gold Crest Holidays, based in Yorkshire, is another great operator. Their most popular coach tours include trips to the Dutch Bulb Fields, Disneyland Paris and – if you feel like staying local – the setting of hit TV show Downton Abbey.
If you want to lead your search by destination rather than operator, Coachholidays.com is a fantastic hub, with tours from over 80 operators to destinations all over the world. Alternatively, for a luxury coach experience, Greaves India can help you create a tailor-made group itinerary for coach tours of the subcontinent.
Elsewhere, the Guardian’s Holiday Offers are a fantastic source of coach travel inspiration. Their carefully selected destinations are spread across the globe and cater to a range of holiday durations, from long weekends to fortnight-long vacations. Popular Guardian coach trip destinations include Austria – whose mountains and lakes are among the world’s most beautiful – and Spain, which has much more to offer than the resorts of the Costa del Sol.
Where to go on your coach holiday
One of the most popular coach holidays in the UK are trips to Disneyland Paris. That’s unsurprising, considering how easy it is to get there by coach, with a very short ferry journey between countries. But if you’re looking for an alternative family coach holiday destination that’s not too far, you have plenty of options. Search for coach holidays to Germany, for instance, to see the fantastic sights of this underrated holiday destination – including the spectacular Neuschwanstein Castle, the model for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Or, for a more adventurous coach trip for two, look further afield. An organised coach trip to Athens, Rome or Istanbul, for example, would be a simple way to see the many ancient sights in these historic cities as your itinerary will be set for you. Some coach tour operators may even have queue-jumping privileges as a result of the volume of visitors they bring. Alternatively, if you’ve always wanted to visit China or India but are afraid you’ll get flustered by the hustle and bustle these countries are known for, the organised structure of a coach trip could be the ideal solution.
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