We feature many brands of tour companies and there's a simple way to decide on which brands to look at first - by age group and budget.
Contiki tours are 'fun and funky' but only available to you if you are 18-35 years old. Sorry if you are young at heart, but this policy is strictly adhered to. However, if there are two of you travelling as a couple, Contiki will consider you if ONE of the partners is 17 and has permission from a parent or guardian, or 36-37 might be considered if ONE partner is 35 or under. They have a worldwide choice of destinations at competitive prices, and in Europe they have tours for different budgets such as hotel, resort and camping choices.
A new arrival in the last few years is Expat Explore They are aimed at 18-40 age group, but unlike Contiki they don't have an upper age limit. Just as long as you are fit, healthy and young at heart you are very welcome on their budget 'comfort' tours which are amazing value.
Can I bring my baby and my great grandma?
The minimum age is 8 with Cosmos and 5 with Trafalgar and Insight. The tour operators decided years ago that small children don't enjoy coach touring and they introduced these lower age restrictions - there is no upper age restriction. Apart from the Contiki brand, the average age on most coach touring vacations is 50 with a fair mix of 20s-40s and retired folks. 50 is just an average and it's impossible to know the exact age groups on any given tour. If you are in good health and can walk at a gentle pace without difficulty then coach touring is for you. If you can't walk very far, but can manage the steps on and off the coach you will still be able to participate in most of the tour. If you use a wheelchair we must know about this in advance, it must be the fully collapsible, manual kind, not electric. You must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who is capable of helping you on and off the coach and pushing your chair.
Premium, First Class, CostSaver or budget?
Tour pricing varies considerably from country to country. For example the cost of premium touring in Morocco is much less than Scandinavia.
Insight is a premium first class brand where guests expect and receive personalized service, balanced itineraries and carefully chosen, well located first class and premium first class hotels. The coach has a maximum of 40 guests and extra legroom seating.
Trafalgar has both a First Class and CostSaver brand. Both provide exceptional value for money, with the same professional service of a Tour Director and Driver and comfortable coaches. First Class tours include First Class Hotels, buffet breakfast daily and more sightseeing inclusions. CostSaver hotels are guaranteed Superior Tourist class or better and continental style breakfast daily. Dinner is provided on selected nights.
Cosmos tours are great value budget tours - hotels vary between 2-4 star, but are usually in edge-of-city locations or at airports. For European tours they include breakfast and some dinners. They don't include any food on their USA tours.
CIE Tours are the market leaders in tours to Ireland and are fantastic value for money.
Leger Holidays are budget tours aimed squarely at the UK and special interest market, such as battlefield tours and Disneyland Paris.
With Cosmos, Insight and Trafalgar you can avoid a single supplement by agreeing to share a room. This is a very popular option.
Whichever brand you choose, you can be sure that Global Coach Tours will look after you and handle your booking with the utmost care and personal attention.