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Distant Journeys

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LEISURELY & FLEXIBLE

ESCORTED TOURS

New Tour Discover Australia

Over 60 years creating award-winning touring holidays

The Directors at Distant Journeys have over 60 years combined experience designing escorted touring holidays in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, Japan, Vietnam & Cambodia and India. Using our extensive knowledge, we have created an exciting style of flexible escorted tours combining the delights and camaraderie of group travel, with the flexibility to allow for individual tastes and personal interests.

Award-Winning 99% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed Price Promise 100 % ATOL Protected

This month’s recommended escorted tours

Wonders of Australia

  • Overnight on the legendary Ghan
  • Full day on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Sydney Harbour lunch cruise

 

22-day tour from
£4,995pp

Magnificent New Zealand

  • Milford Sound cruise
  • TranzAlpine rail journey
  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve

 

23-day tour from
£4,795pp

The Very Best of China

  • The Great Wall and the Forbidden City
  • Three night Yangtze River cruise
  • Terracotta Warriors and Giant Pandas

 

23-day tour from
£3,495pp

Spectacular South Africa

  • Tour the Garden Route
  • Traditional safari or Rovos Rail
  • Five nights in spectacular Cape Town

 

18-day tour from
£3,295pp

What is an escorted tour?

Escorted tours are becoming an increasingly popular way to travel, especially for those who are keen to visit a destination but don’t enjoy planning the logistics. But what exactly does an escorted tour involve? As escorted tour specialists, we’ll explain how this immersive way of travelling works, and also dispel some of the myths about escorted tours which simply aren’t true.

 

The main selling point of an escorted tour is that your entire trip is arranged for you, perfect for those who don’t want to spend hours booking flights, hotels and activities. From your departure from the UK to your return, every aspect of your holiday is taken care of, so all you need to do is pack your bags and show up at the airport.

Each escorted tour often covers an entire country, with the itinerary including time for travelling between various cities and destinations. Escorted tours are therefore perfect for large countries such as Australia, China, India and New Zealand, where the country’s highlights and top destinations can be spread out hundreds of miles apart. You may spend multiple days in the same destination, with some days planned out for you with activities included in the price, and other days (which we call ‘Freedom Days’) free to spend as you wish. Hotels, breakfasts and often evening meals are also planned out for you as part of the package.

Another plus of choosing an escorted tour is that all of the items in your holiday itinerary will have been tried, tested and approved by experts. Rather than spending hours finding the perfect hotel or excursion and trawling through TripAdvisor reviews, you can simply choose an escorted tour for the country or countries you’d like to visit, safe in the knowledge it’s been put together by someone who knows the entire experience inside out.

This reassurance also extends to the tour itself, as you’ll be accompanied by a tour manager throughout your trip. Tour managers have had years of training and experience of the country you’re in, and are there to ensure that every aspect of your holiday runs smoothly, as well as to share their wealth of knowledge on what to do and where to eat and drink in the local area.

The first reason why you may wish to take an escorted tour is one we’ve touched upon already: they minimise the hassle of travelling. With all of the best bits of a country picked out for you and compiled into one special itinerary, all you need to do is choose your tour, pack your bags and get to the airport! With a tour manager on hand, you can relax during your tour too, meaning you don’t need to get stressed about travelling between your various destinations.

Escorted tours also help to relieve any anxieties travellers may have about visiting foreign countries, especially those where they don’t speak the local language. It’s not just the language that can make things difficult – navigating the public transport systems in other countries can also be a worry. Fortunately on an escorted tour, a tour manager is always on hand to make sure you get where you need to be, and may also be able to help you overcome any language barriers.

For more intrepid travellers, escorted tours can also be a great way to experience the road less travelled. Many tour operators now offer escorted tours in lesser-visited countries and destinations – a great way to see somewhere totally different (and perhaps not safe to travel in alone/as a couple) while still remaining in safe hands.

Finally, escorted tours may be a great option for single travellers. They can not only travel more safely as part of a group, but also meet new friends to share their travels with. Some escorted tours accommodate for single travellers at no extra cost, while others may add a small extra charge.

Escorted tours are just one long coach trip – while some UK and Western Europe tours may be carried out by coach, escorted tours with longer distances between destinations often include quicker, and more scenic, methods of travel. Coaches may be used for places just a couple of hours apart, but domestic flights are also included to get you from place to place quicker. Scenic railways may also form part of your tour, such as the TranzAlpine in New Zealand, and for travelling from the south to the north of Australia, there’s no more spectacular way than on the incredible Ghan railway.

Escorted tours are expensive – because everything is included all in one package, people often dismiss escorted tours as incredibly expensive. However, part of the reason for this is that you are paying for the vast majority of your holiday upfront, whereas on a regular holiday you may not pay for eating out and activities until you arrive. As escorted tour operators often regularly arrange holidays for large groups, they are also often able to arrange hotels, transport and entry to attractions at a cheaper rate.

There isn’t enough time to explore – many escorted tours last two, three or even four weeks at a time purely because they like to give you plenty of time in each of the destinations you’ll be visiting, so you can really soak up everything about the country you’re visiting and explore at a leisurely pace. You’ll often spend two, three or four nights in each town or city, depending on how much there is to see and do in the local area.

Escorted tours have no flexibility – flexibility and the ability to customise your experience are both things that are becoming more and more common in escorted tours. This starts with getting to and from your destination; these days you often have a choice of UK airports you can fly from, rather just the one, and if you are flying long-haul, a choice of cities for a stopover. While the travelling between each destination and the time you spend there are normally fairly fixed, what you do while you’re there isn’t. Some experiences are included in the price of your tour, while others are completely optional, meaning if you don’t wish to do them you can spend the day how you please.

We hope you agree that an escorted tour sounds like a brilliant way to discover some of the world’s most fascinating countries! If you’re intrigued to find out more about where you can go on an escorted tour, take a look at our choice of escorted tours across Asia, Africa and Australasia – there is bound to be a perfect tour for you.

Award-Winning Holidays

Award-Winning

We are delighted to have received four awards in the last three years, including ‘Best Small Holiday Company to Australasia’ at the British Travel Awards.

99% Customer Satisfaction

Distant Journeys have achieved an incredible 99% satisfaction rating, verified by independent reviews provider Feefo and we have been awarded their highest Gold Trusted Rating.

100 % ATOL Protected

All our holidays are fully bonded by the Civil Aviation Authority meaning you can book with complete confidence knowing your money is 100% safe.

Guaranteed Price Promise

We want you to have the peace of mind you are paying the best price for your holiday, so Distant Journeys guarantees this through our Price Promise.

  • We will reward you for booking early. The earlier you book the better the offer you’ll receive.
  • We never offer last minute discounts, so you can be confident you’ll never see your holiday cheaper once you have booked.
  • We will never add surcharges onto the cost of your holiday, once you have booked.
  • We will price match any identical holiday you find and give you £200 off a future booking.


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