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.