Friday, December 8, 2023

Don’t Really Want to Go on a Travel Tour, But Want Someone Else to Organise All Your Accommodation, Transport & Little Details? We’ve Got Just the Ticket!

Travelling is a heck of a lot of fun, but planning your trip can be stressful, time-consuming and expensive. And, you can soon find yourself let down when you arrive at your hotel and discover that those photos were very misleading and it’s actually run-down and far away from the key sights! There is a better option though – and no, it’s not just booking in on a traditional tour!

In partnership with Costsaver

Taking a holiday can be a completely thrilling, relaxing, and rejuvenating experience – but the build up to it and all those weeks (or months!) spent scouring the web for a decent place to stay that looks like the pictures (and isn’t ridiculously priced or already booked out!) that’s near the sights you want to see (eep! That’s a whole other internet search – where should you visit, where should you eat?!), aaaand working out just how the heck to get between all these places – well, it can be the exact opposite of relaxing.

If you find it daunting and have ever thought, ‘heck, I wish someone else could just plan this whole thing for me’, but you’re not so keen on joining a full packaged tour, we have good news. There is actually a whole other option out there that might suit you perfectly.

Costsaver is essentially a tour without being on a tour – or as they like to call themselves: an unpackaged tour. “We describe it as ‘Essentials by us, tailored by you!’” says Costsaver’s Oceania Managing Director Toni Ambler.

Essentially, the Costsaver team does all the hard work and creates your itinerary for you – all your accommodation and transport is sorted. Then, you’re given options each day as to how you’d like to spend your free time. You can do as much, or as little as you like and you’ll only pay for what you do, unlike traditional tours. You’ll find yourself with a group, plus a Tour Manager who will be there to help you every step of the way to make your holiday spectacular, but unlike a regular tour, you’re free to build your own experiences. Whether that’s joining one of the many small group tours or activities that will be on offer, or exploring the destination on your own – or just staying at the hotel and read by the pool, the choice is yours!

Toni says the idea of Costsaver (which gets its name from the idea that you don’t have to pay for all the bells and whistles that come with other traditional tours – rather than it being a budget-based brand!) is to give people another option to choose from when it comes to travelling.

“We looked at the touring category and thought, how do we address some of the negative connotations that exist – which often are, ‘oh, things are too structured!’ or ‘things will be planned for me and I don’t want that’,” says Toni. “So, we thought, let’s just strip out all of the things that are planned – aside from those important parts like accommodation and transport – and build it up from there! It’s essentially a DIY tour, that you build up yourself.”

Maybe you’re someone who doesn’t really like the idea of being on a traditional tour, maybe you’re travelling with your partner or friend who has different tastes to you (perhaps you’d rather join a cooking tour while he goes to the Colosseum!), maybe you’re travelling alone and love having your independence, but like the idea of that layer of support and safety built in. Or, perhaps you’re just too exhausted by the idea of spending all those hours planning out your own itinerary and booking each step of it!

“It takes out all of the pesky parts of travel, right?” says Toni. “Doing all that research, the planning, the finding out what hotel locations are in good walking distances of the sights… it cuts out all of that. We pick centrally located hotels and make sure they’re next to key transport hubs, so that when, for example, you’re in Paris for two nights you can go wherever you want, when you want and quickly – you’re not waiting on a bus driver to take you to the Eifel tower like you are on some of the more structured itineraries.”

So, How Does It Work??

Essentially, the biggest decision you have to make is choosing your destination and trip. There’s more than 70 to choose from, ranging from tours of America’s Midwest, to Japan, to multi-stops through Europe. From there, Costsaver has your transport and accommodation sorted – they’ve already scoured the planet for the best places to stay. They also know all the best activities to try, the best restaurants and great relationships with some of those big sights that are on your bucketlist. Costsaver is part of The Travel Corporation – the parent company of more than 40 brands, including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and Contiki – meaning it has oodles of expertise, experience and unique local relationships to give you the best experience. You know you’re in good, trusted hands!

Then, you’re off on your tour! You might have some ideas before you leave about what you’d like to do with your free time – and with more than 1,000 different experiences to choose from, there’s something for everybody. You can also just decide when you’re away, what you feel like doing for the day! “Maybe you’re in Barcelona,” says Toni. “You might have a football game to choose from, or a cooking class, or a history talk and walking tour. Or you could go kayaking on the beach, or join a tapa’s tour. Or, you can always just explore on your own!”

Who Goes On a Costsaver Tour?

People like you, that’s who! There’s a wide range of people who travel with Costsaver, but the majority are females aged 35-55. They’re independent and experienced travellers who trust Costsaver to get them into the best spots around the globe.

Toni says she’s seen a wide range of people booking in for the tours, whether they’re women on their own, or travelling with their mothers, friends or partners. “On the flipside, we also see a lot of groups booking in,” says Toni. “There might be a netball squad of 10 who want to have a trip together and experience something together, but do it their own way and have time to themselves as well.”

Where Can I Go?

Right now, the most bookings are for trips to the US, which is hotly followed by Italy, Britain & Ireland, France and Japan.

A Costsaver tour is a great way to see the US – you can leave the driving to someone else, sit back and enjoy the scenery! And, tours are a great way to see Italy at the moment. The numbers of tourists ticking Italy off their bucketlist this year and in 2024 is skyrocketing. It also means that good accommodation has become extremely difficult to book. Thankfully, tour companies like Costsaver book in their accommodation years in advance, so you’ll find yourself in some of the most sought-after hotels in Italy.

Want to see what some itineraries look like?

Here’s a peek into some of the fastest selling European trips, that are also currently on sale!

European Cavalcade End Paris


18 Day Europe Tour from Amsterdam to Paris
Offer: Save 10%* on select 2024 departures

Explore the romantic landscapes, pretty medieval villages and stately capitals of Europe on this 18 day voyage from Amsterdam to Rome and Paris with a stay in the Bay of Naples and visits to Beaune and Monaco along the way. You’ll cruise down the Rhine, see the mournful lion of Lucerne and visit Vatican City as you capture all the exhilarating highlights of Europe.

Jewels of Italy


One Week Italy Tour to Rome, Florence and Venice
Offer: Save 10%* on select 2024 departures

You could spend an eternity exploring the enchanting Italian capitals of Venice, Florence and Rome, but this exciting 7 day journey with Costsaver will deliver a multitude of memorable experiences to linger in your memory. Take a walk through centuries of tradition, heritage and culture, as you encounter iconic sights like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Florence’s spectacular Duomo and the Grand Canal of Venice.

Highlights of Bohemia


15 Day Europe Tour of Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria & Czech Republic
Offer: Save 10%* on select 2024 departures

The historic cultural hubs and colourful folklore of Bohemia take centre stage on this 15 day epic encounter with Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic. You’ll witness the triumph of the human spirit, explore the medieval history of enchanting towns and cities and uncover the myths and legends that have shaped this multicultural crossroads at the heart of Europe.

Iberian Explorer


13 Day Spain & Portugal Tour including Gibraltar
Offer: Save 10%* on select 2024 departures

Add a dash of emoción to your journey across the Iberian Peninsula, following an enticing trail of tapas, architectural triumphs and centuries-old art on this 13 day adventure through Spain and Portugal. You’ll ramble through Barcelona, people-watch in Madrid, and stroll along the golden beaches of Costa del Sol. Other famous highlights along the way include the ancient cave dwellings at Guadix, Lisbon’s iconic Belém Tower and the world’s greatest Gothic Cathedral in sizzling Seville.

*Save 10% on select departures as featured on as Early Bird Travel Sale. New bookings only made with deposit between 28 August, 2023 and 14 December, 2023. Full payment due 120 days prior to departure or at time of booking if booked within 120 days of departure; whichever comes first. Sample savings based on Best of Italy departing on August 9, 2024. Prices are in NZD, are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and are subject to availability. If guests change to another tour or date not on sale, they are responsible to pay the difference and adhere to different payment conditions. Savings are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. May be combined with 5% Global Tour Rewards savings only, not combinable with group discounts, Future Travel Credit carry forward discount or any other discount or promotion. Other conditions may apply. ^$200 per person deposit required at time of booking for Level 1 tours to hold space; some trips require payment in full at time of booking.

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