Is this the Year of the Big Trip?

Friday, 25th January 2019

Will Gray

new zealand 4x4 touring1

Many of us have our minds set on a Big Trip this year. And why not? After all, 2019, just like 2018, is a prime year for ‘holiday hacks’. This year, by merging the late Easter with the first May bank holiday you can get an 18-day holiday by booking just nine days leave.

Whether you’re counting your precious holiday allowance, or revelling in the freedom and flexibility of being retired, now is a great time to plan a big trip of 3-4 weeks or more.

Think big! A month-long motorhome odyssey in New Zealand perhaps, or a polar cruise around Spitsbergen. How about delving into British Columbia’s leafy wilderness in search of grizzly bears or combining Namibia and Victoria Falls in a great Southern African escapade? From trans-Australian train journeys to driving rings around Iceland, our Travel Specialists know exactly how to transform your travel bucket list into that once-in-a-lifetime holiday.

6 of the best Big Trip destinations

touring vineyard wairarapa new zealand

New Zealand

Well worth the long haul, New Zealand is one of our top self-drive destinations – and for good reason. Joining the dots between natural beauties like the Bay of Islands, Abel Tasman National Park, the Southern Alps and Fiordland, you can easily include everything from whale watching and hiking to wine tasting and a cruise on Milford Sound.

The Big Trip: Spectacular North & South – 27 nights, exploring both North and South Island.

The Bigger Trip: Add a few days on a South Pacific island. Our stop-overs include French Polynesia, Hawaii, Fiji and the Cook Islands. Include Australia and you’ve got the makings of the ultimate big trip Down Under.

canada columbia ice field istock


The Great Outdoors beckons in Canada’s far west. As well as touring the coasts of mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island, a self-drive holiday can take you through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, visiting iconic national parks like Banff and Jasper.

The Big Trip: Totem Discovery – 15-night self-drive casting a loop around the Alberta Rockies, British Columbia’s Pacific Coast and Vancouver Island and including a day cruising along the Inside Passage.

The Bigger Trip: Extend your stay with more time in Vancouver, fly out to a wilderness lodge for some grizzly bear spotting or join a week long sailing adventure in the Great Bear Rainforest. You can also easily add a stopover in Iceland en route to Canada. Or why not travel by rail across the whole country: our epic Trans Canada Rail Adventure takes you on an unforgettable 16-day journey from Halifax to Vancouver.

iceland stapafell snaefellsnes tony gomm


Route 1 brings the whole of Iceland within reach – an irresistible loop around the Land of Fire & Ice. You’ll explore the ins and outs of its coast, delving into hidden fjords, dawdling in fishing villages and skirting volcanoes and icecaps.

The Big Trip: Around Iceland – our classic 14-night self-drive goes full circle around Iceland, linking the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Akureyri, Lake Myvatn, East Fjords, Skaftafell and the South West.

The Bigger Trip: Add an extension to Greenland. You can fly to the east coast from Iceland in just two hours – a fantastic opportunity to experience one of the world’s last great wilderness areas.

namibia balloon flight over mountain range istock


Safe, sunny and stunning, Namibia is Africa’s ultimate self-drive destination. As well as visiting the giant dunes at Sossusvlei, you can explore Damaraland (home to desert-dwelling elephants and mysterious rock art) and even drive yourself through Etosha National Park.

The Big Trip: Namibia in Depth – 16-night self-drive combining the Kalahari and Namib Deserts, Fish River Canyon, Luderitz, Swakopmund, Damaraland and Etosha.

The Bigger Trip: Namibia is a perfect partner for other Southern African highlights like Victoria Falls and Cape Town. We can also arrange to extend your holiday with a fly-in visit to St Helena in the Mid-Atlantic (flying via Johannesburg).

norway geirangerfjord fjord norway


If you thought cruise ships were the only way to go in the Norwegian Fjords, think again. Our self-drives provide a more in-depth experience, allowing you to savour the scenery, explore fjord-side hamlets and head off on hikes, cycle rides and boat trips. Early summer is a good time to miss the crowds, while in May you can witness the cherry orchards of Hardanger Fjord in blossom.

The Big Trip: Norwegian Fjord Odyssey – 12 nights, starting and ending in Bergen, and weaving through Geiranger, Sognefjord and Hardanger.

The Bigger Trip: Add extra nights in the fjords, exploring off the beaten track.

arctic spitsbergen polar bear

The Arctic

Join a small-ship expedition cruise to the land of the midnight sun where ice-clad peaks, towering sea cliffs and tidewater glaciers form a breathtaking backdrop to sightings of polar bears, walruses and whales. This is a Big Trip for the summer months only. Availability is going fast for this year. Call us now to book your holiday!

The Big Trip: Around Spitsbergen – 9-12 nights, circumnavigating Svalbard’s largest island, cruising through spectacular Arctic scenery deep into Ice Bear territory.

The Bigger Trip: Combine three Arctic islands in one voyage on our 12-23-night Spitsbergen to East Greenland Cruise to Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland.

Feeling inspired?

Send us an enquiry of call one of our dedicated Travel Specialists on 01737 214 250 for help in planning any of the above holidays.

Popular blog posts

How to choose your perfect winter hideaway in the Nordics

With so many exceptional properties across Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Norway, it can be tricky to choose between them. We've compiled this guide to help you select your ideal bolthole for winter.
  • Where to Stay

Monday, 6th September 2021

Pam Forrest

The Coolest Things to Do in the Nordics in Winter

Witnessing the northern lights tops the wish list of many who plan a visit to the Nordics in the winter, and rightly so, but there's so much more to an Arctic experience than aurora hunting!
  • Inspire Me

Tuesday, 28th September 2021

Pam Forrest

Where will you spend Easter 2022?

In 2022 the Easter weekend is 15-18 April making it not only a great time to experience the transition from season to season, but its close proximity to the May Day bank holiday means you can effectively double your time off.
  • Inspire Me

Thursday, 1st April 2021

Pam Forrest

Other blogs you may like

12 of the Best Birdwatching Holidays

You don’t need to be a twitcher. You don’t need to know your guillemot from your gannet, or even own a pair of binoculars. This selection of avian hotspots – in no particular pecking order – will transport you to some of the world’s most spectacular wild places for an unforgettable adventure in the company of beautiful birds!
  • Inspire Me
  • Wildlife

Tuesday, 24th July 2018

Will Gray

5 Reasons to Visit Chile

One of our Polar and Latin America Specialists explains why Chile is the hottest place to visit...
  • Inspire Me

Sunday, 16th December 2018

Destination Specialist

A Spotlight on St Helena by Emma Thomson, Travel Journalist

Back from her trip to St Helena with Discover the World, Travel Journalist Emma Thomson shares a collection of her favourite snapshots.
  • Travel Stories

Wednesday, 14th March 2018

Destination Specialist

Natural Selection: World’s Best Wildlife Holidays

A holiday combining beautiful scenery and amazing wild animals is arguably one of the most life-changing trips you can take.
  • Wildlife

Tuesday, 16th July 2019

Will Gray