Is this the Year of the Big Trip?

Thursday, 8th February 2018

Will Gray

new zealand 4x4 touring1

Many of us have our minds set on a Big Trip this year – or next. And why not? After all, 2018 and 2019 are prime years for ‘holiday hacks’. This year, thanks to the May Bank Holidays, if you book 14 days annual leave from 8-25 May you get a whopping 24 days off work. In 2019, meanwhile, you can get an 18-day holiday in April/May 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 weeklong 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.

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