Not your mother’s motorcoach tour

If your image of an escorted motorcoach tour is the “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium” stereotype, and you’re picturing a bus full of senior citizens, then I have to burst your bubble. Today’s motorcoach tours are a whole new experience, as evidenced by my recent trip across Ireland with my daughter.  These trips appeal to a wide audience, including families and Baby Boomers, and they are just about as relaxing and stress-free as a vacation can be.

But don’t take my word for it. Here’s a first-hand account (and guest blog)  by my daughter Mary:

Before I went on my first bus trip, I was pretty apprehensive about how I would like it. It is a widely acknowledged fact that bus trips are predominantly for people maybe a bit past their glory days, those not willing to simply rent a car and head out into the great unknown. Bus trips are known to be sedate and possibly a bit boring — the safe option. However, I have found that this information could not be more false. Having been on two of these trips, one to Spain at the age of thirteen and, most recently, to Ireland at the age of fourteen, I find it safe to say that these trips are anything but boring. 

As anyone on the Ireland trip can attest, we never stopped. We traveled hundreds of miles, cramming every possible experience into every minute of every day. Amazingly, however, the trip was not rushed or unpleasant. Although we had admittedly very little time to waste in any one place, our guide and trip coordinator did a fantastic job of getting us to every place we wanted to go. Everyone saw something that they loved, and at the end of it, no one could complain of not having done enough. However, it is important to add that not all bus trips are like this. As our trip was a “FAM”, or familiarization tour, consisting only of travel agents and their guests, we tried to learn as much as possible about the country. Our trip was unusually full because the purpose was not vacation, but reconnaissance. Even so, I found this trip thoroughly enjoyable. Although many might think that it is impossible for a fourteen year old to enjoy themselves on a bus trip full of people at least twice their age, I did. I loved not having to worry about not knowing enough about the country, or if I was seeing all the things I should. Our guide took fantastic care of us, and I knew that I was getting the most possible out of the country. I especially loved that I didn’t have to touch a bag. Our suitcases were completely taken care of, showing up at our hotel rooms when we arrived, and being taken onto the bus for us when we left. Our only job on this trip was to get ourselves onto the bus and where we needed to be, and our guides took care of the rest.

So, while a bus trip may not be the answer for those people who just need to be completely independent, it is a great option for those who want to get the most out of their trip. No matter whether you’re fourteen or ninety-five, bus trips are a viable and enjoyable means of travel for all those wishing to thoroughly enjoy their vacation while knowing that everything is taken care of for them. On a bus trip, your job is to sit back, relax, and enjoy.


You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)