Mar, 28 || No Comments |
Aviophobia, or the fear of flying, is a condition that affects around 30% of the population according to a study by The Guardian.
If you count yourself among the percentage of people who just cannot face taking to the skies or are unable to fly due to a medical condition, it doesn’t have to mean the end of summer sojourns and winter escapes. There are plenty of airline free holidays that fit the bill when flying just isn’t an option.
Coach tours are just for old people, collected from their door and driven in relative comfort around Austria, right? Wrong!
According to the Coach Tourism Council, over 7 million people take coach tours each year, generating around £2.35 billion annually. Today’s coaches cost upwards of £250,000, with the top of the range styles costing considerably more. Worried about being cramped into your seat with nothing but a grey lap tray for entertainment? Don’t be; you will find reclining seats, tinted windows, refreshment stations, flat screen TV’s, air conditioning and extra legroom. In fact, the standard coach offers considerably more legroom than the average aeroplane or train.
Sit back, relax and let someone else do the navigating. No upside-down maps, driving on the wrong side of the road or constantly rerouting sat navs! You will be collected from your door or a local pick up point, so you will save both time and money spent getting to the airport and through security.
Coach tours generally include travel, accommodation, excursions, dinner and breakfast, and your knowledgeable guide will make sure you see everything worth seeing. As coach holidays have become more popular they have incorporated more free time and more varied tours into itineraries, so you will properly see your destination, not just drive through it.
Don’t fancy Austria? No problem! Contrary to popular belief, a coach tour can take you to some pretty far flung destinations. Opt to stay close to home with trips to the Lake District, Ireland or the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath, or venture further afield; tours of Italy take in Lake Garda, Verona, Sorrento and Capri, whilst Dubrovnik, Montenegro and Split have soared in popularity for those touring the Adriatic. The Baltic and the chic Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia are also popular destinations, as are the majestic Norwegian Fjords.
If maps and foreign roads don’t faze you, a road trip can be the perfect airline free holiday for those with a great sense of adventure. Coastal views, epic valleys, remote mountains and winding roads; you will come face to face with the world’s most stunning and diverse scenery on a UK or European road trip.
Organised road trips give you the chance to drive classic cars to Scotland and VW Camper Van’s to Cornwall, but if you’re feeling brave simply pack up your car and go it alone! Fuel, food and accommodation will be your biggest outlay, and it is up to you whether you book hotels in advance and stick to a schedule or just see how the mood takes you once you start the drive each day. The fun of road tripping is more about the journey than it is the destination, so make sure you’re travelling with someone you’re happy to be in close proximity to for any length of time!
The ultimate European road trip is undoubtedly to the Midnight Sun at Nordkapp, Europe’s most northerly point. The scenery is austere and stunningly remote in this part of the world, and the roads seemingly endless. Driving through otherworldly terrain in bright daylight at 2am is a strange but incredible experience.
There is a common misconception that cruising is only for old people with retirement funds to burn on ballroom dancing and buffet food.
While you will still find ballroom dancing aboard cruise ships, it is no longer the save of the elderly. Ballroom dancing on board the P&O Cruises fleet comes courtesy of the cast of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, with a contingency of Food Heroes made up of the likes of James Martin, Eric Lanlard and Mary Berry cooking up a storm in the restaurants. Cruising is anything but boring and cruise lines have gone all out to appeal to a wider audience than ever.
Family cruises are a great alternative to land-based resort holidays and today’s cruise ships feature water parks, surf simulators, amazing kid’s clubs and even skydiving!
Southampton is the UK’s largest cruise port and UK departures can take you to destinations as far flung as the Caribbean, America and even around the world in one epic voyage. All without stepping foot aboard a single airplane.
Rail travel has spanned the decades and there remains something romantic about it. While prices in the UK are often considered steep for short journeys, a sleeper train can provide a great value escape within Britain and Europe; board your train, fall asleep and wake up ready to explore a brand new destination.
The Trans-Siberia Railway is arguably one of the world’s most famous train journeys, whilst the London to Fort William journey leaves London every night destined for the beautiful Scottish Highlands.
For the ultimate luxury rail journey, step aboard the Art Deco icon that is the Venice-Simplon-Orient Express. The pinnacle of luxury rail travel, you will journey in absolute style from London to Paris. From Paris you can extend your travels as far as Istanbul, Budapest and Bucharest, spending your evenings in your opulent cabin or cabin suite with a dedicated steward accommodating every need. Exceptional European cuisine is served in three elegant 1920s restaurant cars, with the Art Nouveau-style Bar Car serving expertly mixed cocktails to enjoy with the passing views.
Michael Wilson is the Managing Director of Bolsover Cruise Club and award-winning cruise only specialist agent based near Chesterfield, Derbyshire.