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Tour Newsletter Dated March 4, 2014
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Dear Vacations To Go Customer,
I receive hundreds of questions related to escorted travel every week
from my readers. Today, I'd like to share a few recent inquiries and
answers. Click the links I've provided below to see applicable
itineraries, departures and rates.
We would love to spend some time traveling through the western
U.S., especially taking in some of the natural attractions. What are the
For many, a trip out west wouldn't be complete without a visit
and other spectacular parks in the region, like
Over the years, wind and water have sculpted stunning rock formations;
their layered hues of reds, oranges and pinks shift with the rising and
setting of the sun. Your itinerary also may include a stop at
where you can opt for a boat ride on the glittering water against a
backdrop of tall sandstone cliffs.
Another great option is to venture a little farther north to
Yellowstone National Park
-- America's first national park -- and
Grand Teton National Park
Wildlife viewing is spectacular, and Jackson Hole is a colorful cowboy
town nearby with great restaurants.
We usually plan our own trips, but we'd like to go to Europe
this summer and it would take a lot of time to pull something together
ourselves, so we're considering a tour. But we're concerned about all of
our time being scheduled all day. What do you recommend?
Most escorted tours have some free time built into their
itineraries, but how much time you get will vary by tour. You could have
a couple of hours a day, or up to a full day.
I'd suggest that you look at the "Easy Pace" escorted itineraries from
Insight Vacations, which spend a minimum of three nights in every
destination. This often allows for one full day at leisure in fantastic
cities like Rome, Venice and Florence
(Easy Pace Italy
or Paris and Monte Carlo
(Easy Pace France
To see all of Insight's Easy Pace trips,
Another option is an "At Leisure" vacation from Trafalgar. These
itineraries have a relaxed pace, more free time, no starts before 9 a.m.
and stays of at least two to three nights in some cities. Choose a
vacation that explores a single country, like
Best of Scotland
Great Italian Cities
or something that offers a more panoramic look at the continent, such as
Contrasts of Europe
To see all of Trafalgar's At Leisure itineraries,
But for the most flexibility, consider an independent vacation package
from a company like
These include hotel accommodations in one or more cities and
transportation between cities, hotels and airports. The tour operators
also offer special airfares, and our travel counselors can assist you
with air add-ons.
A few extras such as half-day sightseeing tours, public transportation
passes and museum passes might come with the package as well. These are
ideal for people who want to explore a destination without groups or
guides but still take advantage of tour operators' low negotiated rates
on air, hotels and ground transportation. You'll enjoy the convenience of
a prepackaged vacation, but you'll have plenty of free time and can
decide how each day is spent.
We offer independent vacations in destinations around the world.
to see a complete list.
Our daughter is graduating from high school, and we'd like to
take her and our 13-year-old son on a trip to Italy. Are there any tours
that cater to families?
Yes, several tour companies offer family-friendly itineraries
in Italy with departures this summer. Here are the options:
Gladiators, Gondolas & Gold
(Adventures by Disney),
Italia Bella: Rome to Venice
The Sweet Life: Rome & Sorrento
Italy Family Discovery
Amalfi Family Adventure
Italy Family-Around the Bay of Naples
(Abercrombie & Kent).
To see a complete list of our family-friendly trips around the world,
including any discounts,
I've been receiving your emails for a while now (I subscribed
after a friend forwarded a copy to me). Why should I book with you?
Now in our 31st year, Vacations To Go is one of the world's
largest travel agencies and among the top sellers of escorted vacations.
I'm pleased to say that we've built a stellar reputation for our
fantastic discounts and outstanding customer service. More than 4
million travelers have booked their vacations with us.
We have access to the best rates and discounts from all the world's
major tour operators. We'll make sure you get the lowest price for your
vacation so that you don't have to spend your own time shopping around
for a great deal.
We also pride ourselves on our person-to-person service. Your Vacations
To Go travel counselor is your advocate and will work with the tour
operator on your behalf, communicating any needs and concerns you may
have. Our travel counselors undergo continuous training, including
seminars conducted by tour operators, classroom instruction, exams and
familiarization trips that teach them more about each product.
Plus, every travel counselor is backed up by a team of customer service
managers. If you ever have any questions about your booking, we're happy
to assist you, and we're open seven days a week.
It seems that on most tours, you travel by motor coach. Is
this comfortable? What are the motor coaches like?
Tour guests often travel by motor coach, and most tour
operators ensure that their passengers will have a comfortable, pleasant
ride. Their modern, air-conditioned, smoke-free coaches have upholstered
seats that recline. There are large
windows for panoramic views and a sound system that broadcasts the tour
director's commentary. In some cases, you may have free Wi-Fi on your
Some tour operators, like
for example, limit their group sizes and install fewer seats than the
maximum capacity of the coach, creating extra legroom.
The coaches usually have restrooms, though sometimes these are
designated for emergency use only. Your tour director will schedule
frequent rest stops. Experienced drivers are familiar with the highways
and city streets they navigate, and they'll also load and unload your
luggage for you.
Note that a few adventure tour operators that offer immersive cultural
experiences, like G Adventures and Intrepid Travel, often use local,
public transportation on their trips.
I travel solo and like the idea of an escorted tour, for
security and ease of planning, but am disappointed to see that many of
the special offers and promotions are for two people. Are there ever any
deals for single travelers?
Tour company discounts and free or reduced
airfare promotions usually are based on double occupancy, but they do
occasionally waive the single supplement or offer single share programs
-- matching solo travelers with a roommate of the same gender -- as a
way to significantly reduce the cost for singles.
To see a list of trips with current promotions for solo travelers, as
well as each company's policies on shared accommodations and single
Here are this week's Top 20 Tours
. All prices are per person,
based on double occupancy, and subject to availability.
1) Costa Rica Eco Adventure
8 days with Trafalgar
. Begins in San Jose and ends in Liberia
with visits to Tortuguero National Park, Arenal Volcano and Monteverde
Cloud Forest. Save up to 5%.
Starting at $1,495. Departures from
May 16, 2014 through March 27, 2015.
2) Hong Kong: Gateway to China
4 days with SITA Tours
. Begins and ends in Hong Kong with visits
to Victoria Peak, Aberdeen Fishing Village and Macau. Starting at $990.
Daily departures from March 30 through December 21, 2014.
3) Irish Adventure
8 days with CIE Tours
. Begins and ends in Dublin with visits to
the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway. Save
$150 per couple.
Starting at $1,028. Departures from April 2 through
December 1, 2014.
4) Southern Culture
8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company
. Begins in Memphis
and ends in New Orleans with stops in Vicksburg, Natchez and Baton
Rouge. Companion cruises for free, plus receive free shore
Starting at $2,549. Departs March 22, 2014.
5) 12 Day Hidden Treasures of Thailand
12 days with Pacific Delight Tours
. Begins and ends in Bangkok
with visits to Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui.
Starting at $2,699. Departures from March 21, 2014 through March 20,
6) 9 Day Eat, Pray, Love
9 days with Perillo Tours
. Begins in Rome and ends in Florence
with stops in Assisi, Pisa and Siena. Save $300 per couple.
Starting at $2,790. Departures from June 28 through November 8,
7) The Classic Autumn Norwegian Discovery
11 days with Hurtigruten
. Begins in Bergen and ends in Trondheim
with stops in Alesund, Tromso and Honningsvåg. Save up to 20%.
Starting at $2,976. Departures from
September 1 through October 31, 2014.
8) Paris & Normandy
8 days with AmaWaterways
. Begins and ends in Paris with visits to
Giverny, Omaha Beach and Chateau Malmaison. Save $1,000 per
Starting at $3,099. Departures from July 24 through November
9) Northern Capitals
13 days with Globus
. Begins in Copenhagen and ends in St.
Petersburg with stops in Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. Receive $200
per couple in air credit.
Starting at $3,249. Departures from May 10
through September 13, 2014.
10) Classic Rail Circle
9 days with Rocky Mountaineer
. Begins and ends in Vancouver with
visits to Whistler, Jasper National Park and Pyramid Falls. Receive
one free hotel night in Vancouver when you book upgraded train
Starting at $3,285. Departures from May 16 through
September 12, 2014.
11) Icons of Britain
16 days with CIE Tours
. Begins in Glasgow and ends in London with
visits to the Lake District, Liverpool and Stonehenge. Save $200 per
Starting at $3,348. Departures from April 11 through October
12) The Best of Ireland & Scotland
16 days with Brendan
. Begins in Dublin and ends in Edinburgh with
visits to Blarney Castle, the Giant's Causeway and Loch Ness. Save up
Starting at $3,450. Departures from April 18 through
October 17, 2014.
13) Highlights of Austria, Slovenia & Croatia
15 days with Trafalgar
. Begins in Vienna and ends in Zagreb with
stops in Ljubljana, Hvar and Dubrovnik. Save up to 7.5%.
at $3,750. Departures from May 1 through September 25, 2014.
14) Columbia & Snake Rivers
8 days with American Queen Steamboat Company
. Travels between
Clarkston and Portland with visits to Nez Perce National Historic Park,
Sacajawea State Park and Astoria. Companion cruises for free, plus
receive free shore excursions.
Starting at $3,795. Departures from
April 6 through June 1, 2014.
15) A Week In... Spain
8 days with Tauck
. Begins in Barcelona and ends in Madrid with
stops in Granada, Seville and Cordoba. Starting at $3,990. Departures
from April 6 through October 12, 2014.
16) Indochina Delights
16 days with Wendy Wu Tours
. Begins in Ho Chi Minh City and ends
in Siem Reap with visits to Hanoi, Halong Bay and Luang Prabang. Save
$600 per couple off air-inclusive trips, or save $300 per couple off the
Starting at $4,125. Departures from March 22 through
October 25, 2014.
17) Romantic Danube
8 days with Viking River Cruises
. Travels between Budapest and
Nuremberg with stops in Vienna, Passau and Regensburg. Starting at
$4,349. Companion cruises for free plus save $600 per couple off
Departures from April 20 through October 31, 2014.
18) 15 Day Jewels of Europe River Cruise
15 days with Scenic Cruises
. Begins in Budapest and ends in
Amsterdam with stops in Vienna, Nuremberg and Cologne. Save up to
$3,000 per couple.
Starting at $6,145. Departs July 23, 2014.
19) Splendors of Northern Italy, Venice, Florence & Rome
13 days with Uniworld
. Begins in Venice and ends in Rome with
stops in Bologna, Verona and Florence. Save $3,000 to $4,000 per
couple off the air-inclusive price.
Starting at $6,149. Departures
from April 6 through November 2, 2014.
20) South America Revealed
16 days with Trafalgar
. Begins in Rio de Janeiro and ends in Lima
with visits to Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires and Machu Picchu. Save up
Starting at $6,262. Departures from May 30, 2014 through
April 17, 2015.
Customers in the US and Canada can call us toll-free at 800-680-2858.
For a list of our other toll-free numbers worldwide, click
For savings of up to 82% on ocean cruises, click
For river cruises up to 50% off, click
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality,
Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at
and I will respond the same day.
To send one sample copy of this newsletter to a friend, click
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go