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We have just been retired 8 months and now want to travel overseas possibly to uk. and ireland..

hi we have just been retired a few months and now would like to possibly go and look at the uk especially ireland.. havent checked out the travel shops as yet.. but am looking at maybe march to june next yr.. we are feeling quiet well and reasonably relaxed now so want to do it before our health maybe starts to fail us.. so any ideas.. on travel.. i think i would prefer a tour bus scenario..as i do not drive.. and think that hubby would also like to take in the scenary as well as myself. without having to concentrate on driving especially in another country.. has any one in cafe world experience organised tours.. are they rushed from daylight to sunset.. or time to take it all in.. would like some info before the travel people tell us all the sales blurb. happy to hear from all your aussie travellers.. as we have never been out of oz..

Last reply: 28th Oct 2011 / 33 replies / Post by melchel

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neety

Posted by: neety
Posted: 17th Nov 2010

neety says: Do a lot of research. Go to travel agents, travel fairs, the library. Get as much information as you can. Maybe you can do day tours when you get there, so you can still do organised things and then go off and explore on your own. Reply

melchel

Posted by: melchel
Posted: 17th Nov 2010

melchel says: thankyou neety.. will start researching.. ta Reply

Deb

Posted by: Deb
Posted: 19th Dec 2010

melchel says: thankyou neety.. will start researching.. ta

Deb says: Hi Melchel
Like everyone else my best advise is to do a lot of research before you go. Go to travel advice sites like tripadvisor.com where there is a forum for every country in the world, it's members are all people who have been there, done that along with Destination Experts who know there areas of expertise inside out. Having travelled a lot myself I remember when I first did "the grand tour" that if I had of gone it alone I would have been overwhelmed. If you have plenty of time I'd do a couple of organised tours to get a feel of where you would like to explore in more depth then hire a car, travel at your own leisure, stop where you want, stay wherever takes your fancy and get to know the locals. You can find advice on tours, hotels and accommodation of all types, restaurants, rental car companies, must see and do's and answers to any other questions you may have right on TripAdvisor. Check it out and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Happy planning (very exciting) and travelling melchel and I hope you catch the travel bug and go to many places after this first big trip. Cheers Deb Reply

pep

Posted by: pep
Posted: 19th Nov 2010

pep says: We are in the stage in life where I am retired and mu husband takes long service leave of 6 weeks a year for the l;ast two years and have done the travel bit the last to may,june with coach touring the last two years and doing a third one next june.They are organized so you dont drive,no cooking,no decisions to make what to do today,its all organized for you.We went with Insight tours.the coaches have removed seats out of the coach and spread the others out so as to have much more leg room.Every other tour group still have 53 seats in them and Insight and scenic tours only have 40.We did london and 9 countries in europe last june ,the days wer wake up calls at 6am and on the bus the pace was a bit rushed sometimes but we were warned and expected this so it wasnt a big surprise.security was fantastic they looked after our luggage at all times and even helped out at the ATMs throuout the complete tour as they can be very tricky insome parts.Be sure to pick a tour that spends multiple nights in each city ,then you get a break every second day from big trips in the coach.drivers are not allowed to drive the coach more than 2 hours without having a 20minute break so you do get a break and they are strict with the rule as police spot check all the time with them and have monitors built into the coach .touring is graet if you like it organized for you and all you have to decide on is if you want fish or meat for dinner or both.Dontgo if you like a lot of free time to yourself,but do expect to meet a lot of interesting people from around theworld and the uk and europe is like a great big history wonder of the world. Reply

melchel

Posted by: melchel
Posted: 20th Nov 2010

pep says: We are in the stage in life where I am retired and mu husband takes long service leave of 6 weeks a year for the l;ast two years and have done the travel bit the last to may,june with coach touring...

melchel says: dear pep many thanks for giving us lots of info especially as you have both been there done that.. i had heard that some tours have more leg room than others but didnt know who or what.. so will put this into our travel folder for future info... thanks again.... melchel.....x.x.x.x Reply

wilhamina

Posted by: wilhamina
Posted: 24th Nov 2010

pep says: We are in the stage in life where I am retired and mu husband takes long service leave of 6 weeks a year for the l;ast two years and have done the travel bit the last to may,june with coach touring...

wilhamina says: Thanks for all that info, particularly about the Insight Tours. I have posted it in my diary for future reference. Reply

gypsy

Posted by: gypsy
Posted: 23rd Nov 2010

gypsy says: Have just got back from 5months travelling in UK.......I went from one end of it to the other, & I still missed a lot. I did some organised tours & some I did myself. You need to look at what each tour is offering & make a decision from that. I found you were limited to what you actually saw with a tour & time was a big factor on organised things......I would suggest that if you are passionate about something do it inyour own time.....but if you just want to see something then go organised.....some tours you can do a bit of both if they are the longer tours that give you free days or times. Thoroughly recommend the trip though. Reply

wilhamina

Posted by: wilhamina
Posted: 24th Nov 2010

wilhamina says: Travelled in U.K and Eire. Bought a used car, and travelled around myself. Though I also took day tours. Found they were good, it depends on your budget, and the time you have avaIlable. Insight sounds as if it is good, and takes all the worry out of the travelling. If you do go it alone, join the You Hostels Association, they are much cheaper than most other places to stay, and a lot of older people use them. Reply

pep

Posted by: pep
Posted: 24th Nov 2010

pep says: yes travel in uk is easy to drive yourself as it is the same as here at home,the city busy but the countryside very quiet.travelling this way you can decide when to stop,take a detour and take as much time as you wish ,but there is the possibility of missing some sights you dont know about and no-one to tell you all the history about what you are looking at.It is the knowledge of the coach tour directors that really sells coaching to me.I would neverhave found out half the knowledge of what ive seen. Very important when viewing the brochures about the places they go to- SEE means you do see it probably from the coach, VIEW means you stop and look at the place from the outside and have photo time and VISIT means that you actually enter and tour the place they are talking about, so be careful when choosing any tour. Also with the very popular tourist attractions some coach companies are on a tight schedule, so included is not only the entrance fee, but you jump the queue.That means eg.instead 4 hours wait to enter the vatican city , we went straight in after getting of the coach and the same happened for all the major attractions and please believe me the queues are nothing like i have ever seen before in my whole life any where , they just queue for hours in the sun,rain or snow and nowhere to sit.Its unbelievable. Reply

super88

Posted by: super88
Posted: 27th Nov 2010

super88 says: Here's a suggestion,
Break your holiday into two parts
1) go to the UK and Ireland and visit the destinations you really want to see.
When you've done that.
2) go on a river cruise in Europe, you can visit many countries, and your hotel comes with you. You won't have to repeatedly pack and unpack,and you can relax. (no driving necessary) and your not stuck on a plane or a coach between cities.
You kinda have to plan this holiday backwards by checking the river cruises first you can do that online. Reply

giznjack

Posted by: giznjack
Posted: 28th Dec 2010

super88 says: Here's a suggestion,
Break your holiday into two parts
1) go to the UK and Ireland and visit the destinations you really want to see.
When you've done that.
2) go on a river cruise...

giznjack says: I agree, cruising is definitely the way to go. I've cruised and loved it. It allows you to unpack once, yet explore many destinations. Also many destinations have locals who give their time to be free tour guides, they are well worth checking out as they truly love what they show you.Research is the key to your next big adventure. Reply

Paulie

Posted by: Paulie
Posted: 22nd Jun 2011

super88 says: Here's a suggestion,
Break your holiday into two parts
1) go to the UK and Ireland and visit the destinations you really want to see.
When you've done that.
2) go on a river cruise...

Paulie says: I'd have to agree with super88. We've enjoyed two trips to the UK... and four months in western Europe in between. Some of our river cruises in Germany were brilliant... . Enjoy your retirement. It's a blast!~ Reply

Elly

Posted by: Elly
Posted: 30th Nov 2010

Elly says: Just do it. You'll need to do quite a bit of research - compare prices, destinations etc. Don't try and do too much - it can be very tiring, so allow time for rest days or quieter days. I usually travel alone - and went to London, and on to Dublin - the latter I hired a car and drove around for a couple of weeks. Traveling gets "in your blood" and it is hard to not dream about it even if you can't go! If you are seniors, look at the offerings of Seniors organisations... Have fun. Reply

melchel

Posted by: melchel
Posted: 30th Nov 2010

melchel says: thankyou to you all who have helped us out with suggestions for our expected trip.... am starting to check all out.. will keep in touch.... cheers... cheryl..... Reply

gardenbutterfly

Posted by: gardenbutterfly
Posted: 17th Dec 2010

gardenbutterfly says: Hey want to know if it is worth the time effort and money to go to the other side of the world go to New Zealand - just a version of England and parts of Ireland.
It will give you a taste and narrow down what you really want to see in the Uk.
Enjoy what ever you do........ Reply

Bernd

Posted by: Bernd
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

Bernd says: Having gone overseas 3 times to Europe and England, the last time being 25 years ago when my wife and I got married whilst on holidays in Germany, we would do it all again. We booked a England,Scotland and Wales tour from Australia, It was like Contiki tours, but called Tracks, I'm not sure if it is still operating. But just check prices of different tour groups and what they offer and where they go. Most imprtantly that they have a courier/tour leader on board.
Have a nice holiday Reply

Ann818

Posted by: Ann818
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

Ann818 says: Hi Melchel,
A little while back, we did a great trip to Turkey with Insight Tours. This was a 2 week fully conducted bus tour and we found it extremely interesting. Most expenses were included, except for alcohol, and the standard of meals and accommodation was fine. There were reasonably early starts (after breakfast) some days, but then there were other days "at leisure" which allowed us to catch up and relax.
In the last 3 years we have travelled extensively in Australia, and can also thoroughly recommend many trips. We just returned from a week on Norfolk Island and would be delighted to comment on that one, if you haven't been there.
Happy planning!
Ann Reply

maria

Posted by: maria
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

maria says: There are many different types of tours. Organized tours take the hassle out of deciding what to do each day, provide safety in the fact you are travelling with others and would normally only be taken to safe places, and visit all the well known destinations. In 2006 we travelled with our adult son to Europe. We combined a week in Italy with a 10 day cruise of the Mediterranean. It was superb! The tour was not the usual travelling with the same people every day type. After spending two days in Rome where we did our own thing using the public transport system we joined a Tempo Tour which leaves every day from Rome! We travelled on a large bus to spend the day in Pompeii with a tour guide.. From there we boarded a small 8 seater minivan which took our small group to Sorrento for the night. The next day was an organized tour of Capri and a further night in Sorrento. Next morning we left for the Amalfi Coast, which surely must be heaven on earth. We had two days to do our own thing using public transport. We visited Positano and Ravello two beautiful towns. After our fourth night we were picked up for return to Rome.
The next morning we travelled by train to Civitavecchia, Rome's port, where we embarked on a 10 night cruise on the Nordam, a beautiful ship. We visited Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Malta and Sicily.
Cruising is carefree. Beautiful food, lovely accomodation, great entertainment and the bonus of only unpacking once during the cruse! In each port you can decide to do land tours which you can organise independently or through the ship, or just wander at leisure in port. We did tours in 7 or the 8 ports and are glad we did so......you might as well see something of the country while you are visiting.

My husband and I did our first cruise in 2002 and are sold on the concept. We have done 4 now - the most recent was a Panama Cruise from LA to Miami this past April.

Whether you choose to do organised tours or a cruise, I wish you safe travels. There is so much to see and to......enjoy!
Reply

maria

Posted by: maria
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

maria says: There are many different types of tours. Organized tours take the hassle out of deciding what to do each day, provide safety in the fact you are travelling with others and would normally only be taken to safe places, and visit all the well known destinations. In 2006 we travelled with our adult son to Europe. We combined a week in Italy with a 10 day cruise of the Mediterranean. It was superb! The tour was not the usual travelling with the same people every day type. After spending two days in Rome where we did our own thing using the public transport system we joined a Tempo Tour which leaves every day from Rome! We travelled on a large bus to spend the day in Pompeii with a tour guide.. From there we boarded a small 8 seater minivan which took our small group to Sorrento for the night. The next day was an organized tour of Capri and a further night in Sorrento. Next morning we left for the Amalfi Coast, which surely must be heaven on earth. We had two days to do our own thing using public transport. We visited Positano and Ravello two beautiful towns. After our fourth night we were picked up for return to Rome.
The next morning we travelled by train to Civitavecchia, Rome's port, where we embarked on a 10 night cruise on the Nordam, a beautiful ship. We visited Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Malta and Sicily.
Cruising is carefree. Beautiful food, lovely accomodation, great entertainment and the bonus of only unpacking once during the cruse! In each port you can decide to do land tours which you can organise independently or through the ship, or just wander at leisure in port. We did tours in 7 or the 8 ports and are glad we did so......you might as well see something of the country while you are visiting.

My husband and I did our first cruise in 2002 and are sold on the concept. We have done 4 now - the most recent was a Panama Cruise from LA to Miami this past April.

Whether you choose to do organised tours or a cruise, I wish you safe travels. There is so much to see and to......enjoy!
Reply

ventnorgirl

Posted by: ventnorgirl
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

ventnorgirl says: If going to Uk and plenty of time use National Express coaches can see more of country than when driving no parking problems and can see routes on line and book accommodation at the stop you want. Do a coach tour first time then return to spots you want to revisit using National express I go to uk often and always use them as over 60 years get cheaper tickets . Never been a problem and have a very nice room for the elderly and disabled at victoria Coach station . I use Travelodge hotels as these tend to be cheaper and well run and in areas I want . If you need help contact me on e mail and I may be able to help . Well worth stopping off at the Asian airline stop and fly premium econ. or even business class special companion fare if you can Try staying in 1 place for a number of days and use public transport from there . I have use Cosmos tours for round uk tours/Eastons from East Anglia/ Diamond Travel from Wales go to 1 place for set days and take you out daily . good luck. school hols in uk are middle July to first week in Sept so try and avoid then Reply

melchel

Posted by: melchel
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

ventnorgirl says: If going to Uk and plenty of time use National Express coaches can see more of country than when driving no parking problems and can see routes on line and book accommodation at the stop you want....

melchel says: dear ma many thanks for your help and information.. i will put it in our travel folder for when we take the plunge.. hopefully soon.. also many thanks to everyone else who has been over the seas to uk and europe.. have a lovely christmas to all who have replied to us . may you have rellys,friends and companions with or near you for xmas.. and travel safe wherever you are. . Reply

ventnorgirl

Posted by: ventnorgirl
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

ventnorgirl says: This comment has been removed by a moderator as it violates terms & conditions of the Cafestudy forums. Reply

GretaZ

Posted by: GretaZ
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

GretaZ says: The best holiday is the one you are about to take. Don't stress! That's tip number one. Decide whether you want to take a big trip first or just a shorter one. Long trips can be very tiring, so take a short one first, say to Singapore. It's a very clean and scenic place, and very safe. Look on the internet and find your own personal preference. Don't try to book things on your own over the net, because you don't always get what you pay for! Do it through a travel agent and get insurance. It does cost very much more, but it gives you a place to call if something ever does go wrong. The agent can take the fuss out and make your holiday a trip to remember. I have travelled extensively and feel confident that you too can enjoy the different cultures, without stressing over arrangements. Above all, relax when you take a trip, and make sure you have more than one method of payment, as some places don't take travellers' cheques/Visa. I did go on a tour once too, but I felt stifled. They wouldn't let you go very far, or for very long, before you were off again. Plan your own, or take a cruise that gives you flexibilty. Reply

Trushka

Posted by: Trushka
Posted: 18th Dec 2010

Trushka says: a couple of years ago my sister and I visited the UK - we were very disappointed with a day bus trip from London to Oxford University and Stratford-on-Avon. More time was spend in a queue to the loo, than at the actual 'highlights' of the tour. But in Edinburgh, it was a different story. A fantastic all-day Sunday tour - small bus - I think it was Robbie's and the guide was a mine of information about the history and sites we visited. Reply

melchel

Posted by: melchel
Posted: 19th Dec 2010

Trushka says: a couple of years ago my sister and I visited the UK - we were very disappointed with a day bus trip from London to Oxford University and Stratford-on-Avon. More time was spend in a queue to the...

melchel says: dear trushka once again many thanks.. i am collecting so much info from you all as worldy travelled travellers.. wth so much experience with in you all.. that the u beaut travell glossy books cannot explain.. or dont want to.. sincerely ...melchel.. Reply

Trushka

Posted by: Trushka
Posted: 21st Dec 2010

melchel says: dear trushka once again many thanks.. i am collecting so much info from you all as worldy travelled travellers.. wth so much experience with in you all.. that the u beaut travell glossy books...

Trushka says: Dear Melchel, Just went through the album. It was a Sunday Highland day tour; tour guide was Gavin - went to Loch Ness, returned via Perthshire, Stirling etc.. If you're planning on B&Bs in Ireland (not sure about elsewhere) one lady told us that prepaid bookings are slow to transfer the money - six months or so - we paid the owners as we went. Might be worthwhile checking it out. If in London - check out the British Library - fantastic collection of ancient and medieval manuscripts, Magna Carta, Lindisfarne gospels, plus a serviette on which one of the Beatles wrote the words of a song! Reply

SarahEC

Posted by: SarahEC
Posted: 3rd Feb 2011

SarahEC says: I agree with Deb - do lots of research on line and get views from the people who have actually taken these tours - tripadvisor.com is a brilliant website as it cuts through the advertising and gives you reviews from genuine consumers. Reply

Wen

Posted by: Wen
Posted: 3rd Feb 2011

Wen says: having been to the UK a couple times i have discovered mini tours are excellent. Just going into central bus tour places will give you heaps of ideas. Do try to get to York, the history is amazing. Also Leeds castle in Kent is stunning. Enjoy. Reply

kerrym

Posted by: kerrym
Posted: 26th Feb 2011

kerrym says: I travelled on my own, aged 57, for my first-ever real o/s trip. Can't agree more with those who recommend TripAdvisor - http://www.tripadvisor.com/ - I never go anywhere now without researching there, and have written many reviews in order to give back a little.

Apart from connecting with friends in Thailand for a few days on the way to London, I thoroughly researched & booked every B & B or whatever accommodation I chose, plus trains, coaches, car hire and ferries around England, through Wales, across to Dublin then around Ireland & back eventually to London. Trip of a lifetime !!! ........ so far : ) Reply

mossie

Posted by: mossie
Posted: 19th Apr 2011

mossie says: with a conducted tour you will meet other people, travelling by yourselves it will be harder to meet people.
I prefer conducted tours as then you go to lots of places you wouldn't normally go. Most entrance fees are also covered.

Reply

lucy

Posted by: lucy
Posted: 20th Apr 2011

lucy says: Driving in the UK and Ireland is relatively easy, all areas drive on the left hand side. Establishing bases in different areas for a few days and then hiring a car allowed great freedom to explore each area at my own pace and interest. Deciding what you want to see is the hardest part. Reply

Ollie

Posted by: Ollie
Posted: 23rd Jun 2011

Ollie says: We did Europe and England when I was 50yrs and terrified. Toured Europe with Trafalgar Tours, reasonably priced and enjoyed every bit... except, our rotation to the back seat. 17 days was a good length. In Europe its not just driving, it's road rules, signs, and borders... one was scary with armed guards. It's also all the information and support about language, cultural expectations, history and detail ... that you would never know if you were busy driving and navigating.
England is easy and we self drove, but probably missed a lot of information, but we enjoyed taking our own time... and it was relaxing that they spoke the Queen's English. It was hard to see above the hedges in some area when in a car.
They look after you well on these tours. We never found the early rising a problem and you can sleep on bus if you must.
We did and reckon we did it right for us.Have fun! Reply

Seagull

Posted by: Seagull
Posted: 28th Oct 2011

Seagull says: I Came to Australia 1974 and took My Australian Wife and 4 Children To Ireland in 1996 .We Booked Our own Fares and made Reservations over the Internet for Hotels, Flights From England and Accommodation all over the Internet ,as it is alot cheaper also it is cheaper to Book Tours before You go instead of using a Company like Fight Center etc as they load up the Cost. I have Been to America ,Europe and the Islands Many Times and saved Heaps which let Me go elsewhere. Believe Me it is not Hard to Organize Pay and Plan, also Book well ahead as You get better Deals with Airlines and Hotels .On My last Trip to New York I Paid less for the Waldorf Astoria than I would have Paid for a Much cheaper Hotel in New York Only because I Planned well ahead and got a GREAT SPECIAL From Bookit.Com and Hotels.com always compare Different Hotel Booking Engines Reply

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