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Forget the old stereotype of a coach tour being a cramped, uncomfortable holiday experience where passengers are rushed from one touristy destination to the next. Thankfully, these days coach touring offers a very different style of holiday. Top-notch customer service and flexible itineraries form the basis for a very different experience. Throw in passionate tour directors, carefully thought-out itineraries, modern coaches, quality accommodation and world-class dining experiences, and you’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime kiwi holiday that’s truly unforgettable.
Below, we’ve created an overview of what to expect on modern coach touring holidays in New Zealand, its information that you’ll need to help you decide whether this sounds like the kind of kiwi vacation you’re after.
Carefully thought out itineraries
Modern coach touring itineraries have been carefully designed to achieve the perfect balance of guided time, free time, must-see sites and special, unique experiences. Two-night hotel stopovers minimize the need for packing and re-packing, and small amounts of travel time between destinations means that you’re not sitting in the coach for hours on end. Each day is a leisurely mix of discovery and new experiences, complete with plenty of opportunities to stop and soak it all up along the way. The itineraries have been crafted by local experts who know New Zealand inside-out, so passengers can rest assured that their holiday incorporates the very best of what the country has to offer within a time frame that’s both enjoyable and relaxing.
Touring types: Escorted tours vs small group tours
These two different touring options have one fundamental difference: group size. Both allow you to hand over all the organizing and driving, letting you sit back and truly enjoy your holiday.
Escorted tours usually offer a total tour package where transfers, hotels, domestic flights, most meals and activity/sightseeing admissions are included. Up to 45 guests can be accommodated on these types of tours, significantly reducing the tour price. A tour director as well as a driver takes care of all elements of the tour, and their attention to detail helps to make each and every day highly enjoyable.
Small group tours accommodate between 12 and 20 passengers, and smaller numbers can often mean that their itineraries venture further off the beaten track than escorted tours. The group size also means that these tours are more expensive and tend to stay in boutique lodgings. Often, small group tours can often be geared towards special interests such as walking, cycling or outdoor adventure.
Tour guides and tour directors
A passionate guide or tour director helps to bring a place to life, and these guys are often the crucial difference between a good tour and an incredible one. A good guide is friendly and humorous with thoroughly in-depth knowledge about the places visited on tour – their facts and stories add colour and depth to every destination passengers visit. The best touring companies are the ones that put time and effort into supporting their guides.
Comfort and convenience
Modern touring coaches are designed for the utmost in comfort and enjoyment. Toilet facilities, leg room, entertainment and refreshments make travelling by coach one of the safest and most enjoyable modes of transport. The convenience of your own driver means that you’ll never lose your luggage or get lost on the road, and a high standard of accommodation and delicious cuisine means that meal times and the place you’ll stay each night are both things to enjoy.
Coach touring offers supreme value for money and an unrivalled ease of travel – you wouldn’t be able to emulate the same itinerary and experiences independently for a cheaper price. The personal service and abundance of free time means that you’re able to enjoy your holiday at your own pace.
Does coach touring sound like it might suit you? At First Light Travel, we’re coach touring experts. Take a look at these highly recommended tours:
- The New Zealand Small Group 22 Day Kakapo Tour
- 11 or 13 Day Small Group South Island World Heritage Hiking Tour
- 16 Day New Zealand Escorted Highlights Tour
Alternatively, take a look at our New Zealand Adventure Tours or Customised Privately Guided Tours of New Zealand, or get in touch with First Light Travel directly – we offer a myriad of different touring options to suit your budget and preferences.
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