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Tour Guide Wanted Guided Tour Recommendations Wanted

Discussion in 'Motorhome Tour Guides' started by Billum, May 3, 2016.

  1. Billum

    Billum

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    Hello all, we would like to try a guided tour just to see if the concept works for us. We're looking to take 7 to 10 days touring anywhere in UK, or on continental Europe, sometime before the school holidays start. Does anyone have any recommendations?
     
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  2. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    What do you enjoy most on your holidays? Beach / site seeing / travelling?
     
  3. Billum

    Billum

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    Hello Stealaway, anything that we haven't done before. So site-seeing new places, travelling in new places and staying in new places. We're both in our 60s so nothing too energetic but equally we're not very good at staying in the same place for too long. We enjoy ocean cruising and would like to emulate the cruising concept in our MH. So, all ideas and suggestions are welcome and will be appreciated.
     
  4. Eeyore

    Eeyore Read Only Funster

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    The NAtional Trust have a list of suggested itineraries on their website. There's also an excellent Michelin book ( from Vicarious Books ) called Escapades en Camping- Car Europe. This has suggestions for Aires, campsites and places to eat en route as well as a guided itinerary. Vicarious also have their own guided tour of WW1 and WW2 battlefields and sites of note called Road Trip Europe: Great War and More.
     
  5. Billum

    Billum

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    Thanks for your thoughts Eeyore (my wife's favourite character - do you know her?). We are well seasoned caravaners but relatively new to Motorhomes. In recent years we've cruised a lot and have come to like having someone else to do all the legwork like identifying good places to visit, calculating travel times and arranging ferries while still leaving us plenty of time to explore. We've done all our own organising this far and did so for the 30 years that we towed caravans throughout the UK and Europe. But we're not getting any younger and want to make sure that we get the most out of every trip so guided tours seem like a good idea? We've been collecting brochures and surfing the Interweb for guided tours and there seems to be a few to choose from but we're really looking for recommendations as we don't know one provider from another!

    Please keep the suggestions coming, I'm sure we're not alone in wanting to give guided tours a chance.

    We're seriously tempted to book for the 2017 Caravan and Camping Club Ireland tour but before doing so want to try one or two others so that we know what to expect.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Allan & Loren

    Allan & Loren Funster

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    Last summer we went on a tour with a company called Crossings to Provence. It's a relatively new company and they did all the planning, bookings, ferries, etc for you. You also get a booklet with all campsites listed, ideas for trips and maps but the timings estimated for drive times were way out. Our experience was if they said it was a 3/4 hour drive it was often 6/7 which meant we often arrived at the campsite too late to be able to explore or enjoy the surroundings. Very often the stops were only 1 night so the only time for sightseeing and exploring was when we had 2night or 3 night stopovers that we only got 2/3 times in the 16 nights we were away. 2 of the couples we met have gone on trips with them again this year, 1 to Italy and the other to Switzerland but the other 10 couples all said they wouldn't use them again.

    A friend of ours has done the caravan clubs and camping and caravan club trips and gives glowing recommendations.
     
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  7. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Maybe I should get into a new line of work and take folk on a wildcamping tour of Scotland. :LOL: Sounds like theres a good wee business in this line.:sneaky:
     
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  8. Allan & Loren

    Allan & Loren Funster

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    Great idea, the hostess with the mostess!
     
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  9. Eeyore

    Eeyore Read Only Funster

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    We did a Desert Detours Moroccan trip some years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. We've lived and camped in Africa for many years but knew there were places we could not visit and people we were unlikely to meet if we went to Morocco on our own and so the trip was ideal. We were lucky in that out tour was a very small one ( 6/7 vans) and I'm not sure we'd have been so happy to have been part of a bigger party.

    The same company run the -I think Caravan Club but might be Camping and Caravan Club- tours of southern Spain. If these are done with the same thoroughness and attention to detail then they should be very good indeed. You do not travel in convoy ( unless you wish) but have a daily itinerary of en route places to visit and a place- camp site, wild camp etc to meet up at each evening. Most of the sites are ones you might well have visited in your caravanning days but it is relaxing to have transport laid on, or parking arranged and bookings made for places you want to visit.

    Bon voyage, whatever you decide.
     
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  10. Billum

    Billum

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    Great responses - thanks all. Allan and Loren, Crossings is one of the operators that we've been looking at so this is VERY helpful advice. irnbru, if you do, we'll come! I love Scotland and know that there's so much more up there (we're soft southerners) that we really must get to see. Eeyore, you've mentioned everything that matters to us. I'm especially grateful for your recommendation for small groups - great advice and something we'll check before booking.

    Any more thoughts anyone?
     
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  11. meakwooders

    meakwooders Funster

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    A fellow Murvi owner recently recommended GB Motorhome tours. I haven't used them myself yet, but worth checking out maybe.

    Irnbru, I would come too! I am keen to explore Scotland, but travel on my own.
     
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  12. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Sounds like a business could be in the making :LOL:
     
  13. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    The Caravan Club and also the Camping and Caravan Club do escorted tours though I expect most are a lot longer than 7 to 10 days.

    As mentioned by Karin these folk also do tours and one is quite short but the rest are two weeks or more. I know folk who have been to Greece with them and had a good time although if I was going to Greece I would want to take a lot longer than three weeks doing it although their times don't always include the time to get to the country which you are generally expected to arrange yourself - although they will help if you want. Their Canary Island tour at the start of this year was also very enjoyable and it suited the single lady I know who went on it to have company but at 70 days perhaps a bit longer than you might want. :) http://www.gbmotorhometours.com
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  14. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yes.. also did a 'tour' of Morocco with Desert Detours.. .. and thought it expensive and poor value for money.. it was too rushed and the schedule was tiring..

    Organised tours are probably better suited to less seasoned travellers who want or need the company of others and the planning done for them..

    Wouldn't do another.. the only reason for using the services of a tour company was the 'hype' that to visit Morocco it was safer using a tour company.. and doing it alone would be difficult..

    I've since learned that this was nonsense.. every year thousands of independent motorhomers visit Morocco.. and return safely.

    But.. organised tours are popular so they must suit some people.. those who prefer the planning done for them, being told each day what they are doing, where they are camping, for how long etc etc .. .. sorry .. not for me..
     
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  15. Eeyore

    Eeyore Read Only Funster

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    But you are not the OP Jim. Some of us treat our vans purely as hotel rooms and transport and use them to get to sights we want to see. Some treat them as camping holidays and most of us do a bit of both. When you know there are a thousand places you want to visit and people to meet then doing the forward planning to ensure you do it, can be hard work and sometimes it is good to let others take the strain. Having bookings arranged for places of interest and arrangements made for transport or parking at those places can lead to a more relaxing holiday. How many of us, post-trip, read about the places we would have visited if we'd only known or those that we could not park at to visit ? From reading the blogs of others, I suspect quite a few !

    As for the less-adventurous only ! Of the 7 couples on our Desert Detour, all were experienced long-term travellers and had been all over Europe on their own, making their own arrangements. We all felt that we had got more out of the trip than we would have done on our own, no matter how much pre-planning. There was no element of being told what we were doing. Places of interest en route were pointed out each day but whether you stopped there or found your own or went straight on to the next overnight place was entirely up to you. When you stayed for a day or two at one place then there was no obligation to do anything or join any visit. We met people and ate at places we'd not have found on our own as they were not on the tourist trail.

    We count ourselves fairly adventurous, having done pretty well all of Europe in caravans, tents and motorhomes since 1969 , tented and motorhomed in East, Central, Southern Africa during the Amin, Obote and Mugabe era and in the days when wild camping meant just that as there were no campsites or facilities. We've also done 3 coast to coast road trips in America and Canada. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the DD and I am sorry you did not.
     
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  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    yes, very aware of that, I thought they asked for 'any more thoughts' .. ? which is what I was replying to..

    your view is very different to mine.... there is no right or wrong.. each to their own..

    I would never do another organised trip.. clearly they are not for me..
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
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  17. Eeyore

    Eeyore Read Only Funster

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    Indeed Jim, you are correct: there is no right or wrong BUT, it annoys me when those who disagree with a posters chosen lifestyle are " labelled" in what is clearly meant to be fairly derogatory terms. It happens all the time in the differences between those who choose to camp on sites and those who do not, those who choose to spend some time in one place and those who move on daily and so on. We all come to camping from different places in our lives and what suits someone when they are young might not suit the same people when they are older or are affected by factors beyond their control.

    I can understand completely that your experience of an organised trip put you off for life- had we had the same experiences then it would have put us off too- but you do not then have to go on and label those who do choose an organised trip as unadventurous, wanting or needing the company of others and so on.
     
  18. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    don't believe I said that .. and I wasn't being derogatory to anyone .. merely saying how I see guided tours... an opinion I am entitled to hold.

    I prefer doing my own thing, others prefer having it arranged for them ..

    guided tours are not for me.. you had a great time.. that's fine, each to their own ..

    A quick Google brought this review up on Facts

    perhaps a bit harsh .. ?
    03-10-2013
    Just been on Desert Detours new Amazigh Tour. Probably the worst euros 1900 I have ever spent on a "holiday". Great if you like to camp on rubbish strewn beaches and urine soaked car parks with tours organised for English speaking guests by a non English speaking guide!! Don't fall for the hype on the blog. A third of the motorhomes abandoned the tour half way through and we only saw it out to the bitter end in the hope it would redeem itself. It didn't.


    more http://www.ivan.co.nz/Desert Detours 2.html
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  19. Eeyore

    Eeyore Read Only Funster

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    I think it's only fair Jim that you publish the link to Ray's rebuttal of this criticism :

    http://www.The Dark Side.com/forum-printtopic-1-145936-0-0-asc-viewresult-1.html

    There are also, in fairness, several hundred other reviews of a DD tour, pretty well all being full of praise, published in many other parts of the internet.

    The trip that brought forward such bile was a new, experimental tour and, my understanding of the information given to those who thought about joining, was that is was on new tour territory- Eastern Morocco along the Algerian border- and likely to be more of an adventure than most with overnighting conditions that would not have passed muster with our Own Dear Caravan Club As Ray said, the tours appeal to the adventurous who can cope with the unexpected.

    http://desertdetours.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/the-all-new-tour.html
     
  20. Hagstrom

    Hagstrom Funster

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    Well, we did a Moroccan tour with DD and found the country and people very agreeable, but the tour leader - decidedly not so and would not travel with that company again under any circumstances.
     
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