Multi-country tour or just one?

Old Feb 24th, 2018, 07:46 AM
  #1  
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Multi-country tour or just one?

I am debating on whether to take an escorted tour that combines England, Scotland & Ireland or focus on one of these countries. I am 78, female, in good health but probably won't be able to afford another trip across the pond. As an example, I've been looking at a 16-day Overseas Adventure Travel tour of Ireland as opposed to a 15 day Gate 1 tour of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Last edited by bobbye7; Feb 24th, 2018 at 07:48 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 08:22 AM
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ira
 
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Hi B,

From what you have told us, I suggest the multi-country tour, if the traveling schedule is not too arduous.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 08:53 AM
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Give us links to the two tours so we can see the itineraries . . . BUT just in general - 15 days for 3 countries will have you on the coach most hours of most days and would be hell to me.
And it is more likely 12.5 days on the ground since they usually count travel days.

(If I have time later I'll try to search for the tours but it would be easier if you just posted the links)



Oh - and aren't OAT small groups vs Gate 1 regular full sized coaches? If so it would be a no brainer IMO. And are those your only two choices? There are other good companies -- CIE and many others.

Last edited by janisj; Feb 24th, 2018 at 09:13 AM.
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 10:42 AM
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16 Days in Ireland:
https://www.oattravel.com/trips/land...destcmp_bia_lk

15 days, England, Ireland,Scotland
https://www.gate1travel.com/europe/u...15diegb18.aspx
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 10:59 AM
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Thanks - the OAT itinerary is much MUCH better.

Several travel days on the Gate1 are longer drives. Plus you'd have a grand total of 1.5 days in London, less than half a day in Bath, not even half a day in Liverpool, 1 day in Edinburgh.

Sure -- the OAT only 'hits' 1 country (actually 2 since it includes NI) but you would 'see' a lot more at a better pace.

(and this is from someone who loves Scotland and only 'likes' Ireland. But that Gate1 is not very good IMO)

My 2
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 11:46 AM
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Thanks. I was concerned about the Gate 1 drives and size of the group, too. I traveled with OAT to Africa last summer and was very impressed. I also looked into Go Ahead tours, which I used on a trip to France. But they didn't really have anything I liked. Someone mentioned CIE. I will look into them. Any others recommended? I can't really afford those like Trafalgar.
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 12:19 PM
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You don't say if you've been to the British Isles before, but it it's your first visit,
I'd rather have an "adequate" tour to England, Scotland AND Ireland
than to spend two weeks in Ireland, no matter how top-notch the tour may be.

Good luck and have a wonderful time!
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 01:21 PM
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This would be my first visit to the British Isles. It's very iffy that I can afford another trip after this one.
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 02:05 PM
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Just being able to see Stonehenge and Edinburgh Castle would sway my decision;
Hope you let us know your choice.
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 02:15 PM
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Yes, why Ireland rather than England? How energetic are you? If I wanted a tour of England I would look at this one, but you need to be able to handle your own luggage, and walk a fair distance:

https://www.ricksteves.com/tours/eng...otland/england
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 02:37 PM
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OK - Do you have a specific reason for wanting Ireland as opposed to Scotland or England?

Since both tours feature Ireland I assumed Ireland was a 'must' for you. If not -- start over and look for small group tours of the UK. Maybe one of Rabbies in Scotland like some of these https://www.rabbies.com/en/scotland-...from-edinburgh and then something based out of London.

Or maybe a Collette such as this one. UK by Rail - United Kingdom Travel Tours - Collette. which looks very nice

I personally detest big group coach tours in the UK. Because of the size of the buses and distances traveled, most stick to motorways (freeways).
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Old Feb 24th, 2018, 03:13 PM
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Does OAT have any other options? Perhaps they offer something else with more variety.

I would choose OAT over Gate 1 for any tour but do not take tours so my opinion is from friends and relatives .
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Old Feb 25th, 2018, 07:35 AM
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"Why Ireland rather than England?" I'd really like to do both but i guess Ireland sounds more exotic. I'm afraid I'm too much of a wimp to do Rick Steves. I tire rather easily and don't do distance walking well.
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Old Feb 25th, 2018, 07:53 AM
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Exotic?? I suppose it depends on your standard of comparison but I have a hard time seeing any of the UK or Ireland as exotic. Any of Europe, come to that.

If you tire easily and don't walk long distances you may have issues with any tour, not just RS. England is very easy to do on your own, or with day tours. You could start in London, take the train to York and then to Edinburgh and fly home from there. Use Rabbies for Scotland and perhaps London Walks for England. Although Rabbies has a tour of England as well, I believe.

You might also look at Road Scholar.
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Old Feb 25th, 2018, 09:04 AM
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Since you have traveled with OAR and were happy with them and since you seem to be more enchanted with Ireland than England/Scotl, I think you already know which tour is best for you. We can offer our personal opinions, but this is your trip and your choice regardless if we may have a different idea as to what would be best ( for us ). My only recommendation would be to have a look at Rabbies too. They are a small tour company and do tours in Ireland but,again, if happy with OAR, then they may be best for you.

BTW, Cie is a good company, but they do not do small groups ( at least they haven’t in the past ) and I think being a senior traveler, a smaller group is a better option. Not as old as you but last year I got sick while touring. I managed okay, but it did get me thinking about having a serious problem and having to deal with it by myself.
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Old Feb 25th, 2018, 09:50 AM
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I'll second the suggestion of not taking 'A' tour but taking local tours and hiring local driver/guides so you can go at your own pace. As thursdaysd suggests -- any tour you will be pretty regimented and have little to no down time.

Ireland is no more 'exotic' than other parts of the British Isles but it does sound like you are leaning towards Ireland.

That OAT itinerary is 10000% better than the Gate 1 but even with it you will be on the go pretty much full stop. If you definitely want a group tour - that one would be the one to book IMO.

Or if you decide England/Scotland is exotic enough the collette tour via trains to Edinburgh/York/London I linked would be good - Its main deficiency is no 'inside' visits in London ('seeing the Tower or Westminster Abbey is NOT going inside). But with an added day or two tacked on on your own you could visit any of the major sites you wanted.
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Old Feb 27th, 2018, 08:19 AM
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I am now looking at a Road Scholar tour of England. It takes in the Lake District and Wales, two places I've wanted to go. Unfortunately, it doesn't go to London.https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-...es-to-colleges
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Old Feb 27th, 2018, 08:48 AM
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>>Unfortunately, it doesn't go to London<<

That is easy enough to fix. That tour flies in to LHR and home from Manchester . . . so arrive 3 or 4 days early and enjoy London on your own and then meet up with the tour at Windsor.
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Old Feb 27th, 2018, 02:13 PM
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I thought about but it might be better to do a pre-trip visit to London since I would be flying into Heathrow. I'm just not sure I could afford it.

Last edited by bobbye7; Feb 27th, 2018 at 02:25 PM.
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Old Feb 27th, 2018, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbye7 View Post
I thought about but it might be better to do a post-trip visit to London since I would be flying into Heathrow.
Getting to Windsor is very easy so If I was going to extend a few days on my own in London, I'd do it on the front end. That way you can fly home with Roads Scholar from Manchester. I'd give them a call and see if they can arrange a pre-program extension (it doesn't mention one anywhere on the itinerary). If not, depending on where you are flying there are lots of discount options
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