Why so Different?

Do you ever look at our pricing and wonder why one trip to Ireland is $4000 per couple and a week later another trip to Ireland is $7900 per couple?

We offer 5 different products when it comes to travel tours.  As you can imagine, it’s not only the quality of the hotels but also the number of the inclusions that make the difference.

Independent tour packages allow you to travel on your own with our “in destination” representatives to assist you.  They pick you up at the airport/train station, take you to your hotel, provide an introductory tour of the location and assist you with planning your independent touring and sight-seeing.  In a few destinations VIP entrance into the top attractions is included.  For instance in Rome VIP entrance to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel is included.  In Paris a Seine river cruise is included.  You will not travel with a group and you will be able to see and do everything on your own schedule.


Our least expensive fully escorted tours include travel via luxury motor coach with a tour conductor along with you 24/7.  They also include your hotels and an introductory tour of the locations.  In this case you will be traveling with other guests and there will be scheduled stops and departure times.  Your tour conductor can help you fill your plentiful free time with sightseeing but other than the introductory tour it is not included in your package price.

We also offer a “light” tour option that is a cross between our independent travel packages and our least expensive tours.  It’s travel via luxury motor coach and a tour conductor 24/7, your hotels, other customers along with you, and that’s where the similarity to a standard escorted tour ends. These tours include no sightseeing and do not depart for the next destination until after 10AM each day.  They’re all about plenty of relaxation and free time on this product.

Our fourth product, a budget friendly fully escorted tour package, also includes travel via a luxury motor coach, a tour conductor 24/7 and other customers along with you.  They include at least one VIP entrance guided sightseeing option in each destination.  They offer hotels that are less centrally located than on a luxury tour, saving you hundreds of dollars.  There is plenty of free time.   It’s a popular, excellent option and allows many of our customers to take two very nice trips every year rather than one more costly trip.

Then there are our luxury fully escorted tour packages.  These are the best of the best, complete with your centrally located deluxe hotels, your luxury motor coach, your 24/7 tour conductor, plenty of guided sightseeing with VIP entrance of course, and several meals.  It’s much more inclusive than the other packages and offers acceptable free time but not extensive free time.  These are the types of packages I usually offer on my personally escorted tours because you know exactly what your total cost is going to be before you go.  There are no credit card bills to pay when you get back home; almost everything was included in the package price.

Our business manager (Leigh Ann, my daughter) and I were discussing the big differences between river cruises and the luxury fully escorted tours.  Yes, on a river cruise you unpack only once.  Yes, on a river cruise all meals and at least one excursion is included in every port.  But for the price of a river cruise you can usually take two luxury motor coach tours of the same length.  I don’t mention this to dissuade you from river cruising, but I want to be sure to point out the value of a luxury motor coach tour.  Also low/high water levels don’t affect a luxury motor coach tour.

The length of the tour package is another big factor in the price point, as is the time of year you plan the trip.  Off season travel can literally be less than half-price of high season travel. 

The easiest way for us to recommend the perfect product for you is for you to be entirely candid with us about your travel wishes.  If you would rather take one luxury river cruise every five years we can certainly plan cruises that are ideal for you.  If you would prefer to take one luxury motor coach tour every two years we can arrange that as well.  If you feel that time is running out and you want to complete you bucket list by taking two less expensive tours every year, of course we can pair you with the perfect options.  If one of the five options mentioned earlier don’t appeal to you we offer customized travel packages as well.

After 15 years in this business I think I’ve run into every type of traveler.  The Joy of Travel is here to help you book that perfect trip, whatever your travel style or needs might be.