There are many ways to travel, and coach touring is one of the most popular travel ideas for good reason. It makes travelling easy, less stressful and allows you to cover a greater amount of a country in a shorter amount of time. Although booking a coach tour is a great idea, picking the right one can be a challenge. So we’ve come up with a list of the top 10 things to consider to ensure you make the right decision when booking a fantastic coach tour of Australia or New Zealand.
- Compare the level of accommodation between tours. Hotels can range from 2 stars in the middle of nowhere to boutique centrally located iconic properties with guaranteed feature rooms. (e.g. Mt Cook view rooms at the Hermitage in New Zealand)
- Compare the amount of sightseeing inclusions. Wine tours, cultural dance performances, etc. can either be included, or purchasable in destination. Generally, the ‘cheapest’ or most competively priced tours when not on sale, are cheaper due to not including as much touring, making it purchasable in destination. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, we think paying as you go diminishes some of the experience.
- Compare the meals. Not just how many lunches and dinners there are, but look at the dining features. Some meal plans have zero flexibility whereas others could include dinner, but it’s up to you what time and with who you’d like to eat. All a matter of preference.
- Compare the coaches. After all, you want to be comfortable as you take in the sights. Does the tour operator have a new fleet of coaches? Are they fully equipped with all the safety features and modern AV equipment? Do the coaches have double doors for ease of getting on and off? What size are they?
- Compare the crew. How many do you get? Some coach companies only have a driver/guide and not a two person crew. The more crew, the more attention you’re going to get when needed. Plus, a driver and guide combo allow for the group to be dropped off close to things, while the driver parks, whereas alternatively, you’d have to wait. Is the crew local? Are they able to talk with authority when it comes to the local history, culture, flora and fauna?
- Compare the history of the coach operator? Find out the number of years that they have been operating. Look out for the ones that perhaps are “fly by nighters”. A proven track record provides heaps of peace of mind for your vacation!
- Along the same lines, compare the origins of the coach operator? Are they a local company, or part of a large worldwide organization? Do they operate tours in every country around the world? Are they are true expert in the area you are travelling to? If they’re based in the destination it means they know their home and are nearby in the event of problems arising.
- Compare departure dates. Look at the high season or shoulder season, many times the shoulder seasons can offer great savings and great touring weather, it might not be too hot, too cold, too dry or too wet.
- Compare the number of nights in each city. In other words, check to see that your ideal coach tour includes several 2 night stays in some of the major cities. This slows down the pace of the tour and allows you to actually unpack your luggage and truly enjoy your vacation.
- Compare the reviews from past passengers. While some online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, we generally look at companies which have 90% positive feedback, or better!
There’s more to choosing a coach tour than simply the length and the cost of the trip. But Australia and New Zealand are two great destinations where the advantages of a coach tour make a great option for travelling to either or both of these destinations. We mentioned above how the shoulder season is a great time for savings, the reputable companies out there do have good pricing throughout the year.
For a couple ideas on how you could travel Australia or New Zealand on a top coach tour, checkout the trips below:
Goway’s promise of something special, where you will experience the major highlights of Australia and New Zealand with extra details to ensure you feel the flavors of Downunder!
APT explores New Zealand in depth on this tour from Auckland to Christchurch, with great options to choose your touring options as you go, and dine around options in some locations.
AAT Kings takes you through the outback from Adelaide to the Crocodile Dundee country of Darwin