Cruise versus group driving holidays
One of the great benefits of living in a retirement village is that you know you can go away on an extended holiday any time, and your home will be secure in your absence.
With this wealth of opportunity, one common question that many people ponder is their holiday options. In this article, we’ll explore the cruise ship experience versus the group driving holiday, and the pros and cons of each.
While both options share the benefit that all meals and many activities are catered for (along with choices of optional additional activities) you may find one holiday style more suitable to your preferences, than the other. Or you may decide to try both!
Cruising is a popular option for holidaymakers for a number of reasons. The:
- price of the tour is (mostly) all inclusive
- there are no chores whatsoever involved - no cooking, no cleaning, no driving, limited decision making
- experience of travelling and living on a cruise ship is novel compared to driving
- wide variety of on-board activities caters to all interests
- cruise itself is refreshing and fun, and you get to see the sights from unique viewpoints
- if you don’t particularly like a fellow cruise passenger, or group of passengers there is plenty of room and opportunity to keep a comfortable distance!
It is not easy to dock a cruise ship outside of a planned itinerary. If an emergency required your attention, or physical presence back home and you wanted to disembark, you have to wait until you reach the next port. While this is not a common occurrence, it does happen and it is something that holidaymakers need to be aware of - especially if they are travelling at a time of high risk to a family member or close friend, back home.
Driving tour benefits:
Group driving tours include off the track 4WD adventures or comfortable coach tours. Here are the key benefits:
- the smaller the group, the more flexible the itinerary can be, spending more time on things you really want to see and experience and less time on things you don't
driving tours get up close and personal with the sights, tastes and sounds of their planned visits and experiences
there is usually time built into the itinerary where you can hop on and hop off as you choose, or as necessary
you benefit from a commentary of your touring regions as you pass through each icon or landmark.
Driving tour disadvantages
A group driving tour does require spending a lot of time in the vehicle, not being able to move around and stretch your legs at will. Perhaps the biggest source of complaint on driving tours is being in very close confines with a smallish group of people most of the time. There is not much room to escape an unsavoury fellow passenger, until the itinerary includes a stop with some free time.
Group holidays create friendships
Without doubt, when you spend a period of time sharing new experiences with a group of people it is inevitable that friendships are often formed.
Alan Menzies, former co-owner and founder of Menzies Tours in Toowoomba – and later McCafferty’s coaches, spent decades planning and hosting coach tours around Australia. He relished in choosing which tours he would also lead as the coach captain.
“You could tell from day one which passengers were already starting to build friendships. Many continued the friendships after the tour, becoming great friends for the rest of their lives,” he said.
Alan often bumps into people that had once shared a number of bus tours with him.
“Many of them are on their last legs now but they still have stories to share from all those decades ago. There is no doubt that group tours grow memories as well as friendships,” he said.
Regardless of whether you choose to cruise the open seas or a majestic river, or tour on a coach and take in the sights on the open road, either holiday choice is a worry-free experience with benefits beyond the number of days and nights you’ve paid for!