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New Zealand And Australia Vacation

I just returned from a 20 day tour of New Zealand and Australia and had a fantastic experience. My wife and I book a Holiday Vacation tour that was a 20 day highlight tour. I had never heard of Holiday Vacations and neither had any of my friends. They market their tours to the Midwest region of the United States and are not well known on the West Coast. The tour checked off everything thing I wanted to see in the two countries. I really liked that they required on a $200 refundable deposit and you could cancel within 90 days. All airfare was included in the price which is not the norm for a tour to that region. Our tour director joined us in our flight from LAX and returned to LAX with us so if you have any trepidation about trying to get to your first night’s lodging in New Zealand you didn’t have to worry. The tour officially started at the airport in LAX where you were introduced to your tour members. Like RS tours, we only had 28 people, yet we had a big bus on most days. Everything thing was included as far as sightseeing went. The only tipping was for our tour director and our bus drivers. They stay in very nice hotels and all luggage handling is included.

We couldn’t have had a better tour. Our tour director, Judy, was excellent and I couldn’t recommend her enough.

If you do decide to visit New Zealand and Australia, be aware you will be flying a lot if you are going to see the highlights of the two countries because of the size of Australia and the fact that New Zealand consists of two islands. . We had a total of 10 airplane flights on our tour.

In short, I cannot recommend Holiday Vacation enough if you are going to Australia and New Zealand. I don’t know if I would recommend them going to Europe as I don’t like their itineraries in Europe and I would rather stay in the smaller hotels in Europe. The larger 4 star hotels were great in Australia and New Zealand. I don’t think you would want to stay in the more quaint hotels there as you are not really visiting those countries for their historic charm.

Here is a link to their website on Australia and New Zealand tours.

http://www.holidayvacations.com/index.php?mact=HvDisplay,cntnt01,showDestinations,0&cntnt01destinationCode=AU&cntnt01returnid=56

Posted by
6764 posts

Did you compare a few tour companies when deciding on this one? What sealed the deal on this company? Just from a very cursory review, the three things that really stand out to me are: 1) 20 days seem too short to do both of these countries, especially since there are many three-week tours out there just covering the South and North Islands of New Zealand alone, 2) 10 flights on one trip is a lot of flights, and 3) the $8,400 per person price tag minus tips is a bit breathtaking (did I see that right?). My parents just came back from about 12-13 days in New Zealand with another company (small group- 16-18 people, much less expensive, hotels looked like 3.5-4 star business type hotels).

Posted by
1051 posts

I spent months researching the various tours. This tour went everywhere I wanted to go and the fact that all the sightseeing was included much like an RS tour. What really sold me on it was the cancellation policy. There was virtually no risk booking it. As an example if you book a Trafalger Tour, you have to purchase all flights, including those flights once you arrive in the country on your own. The price they quote for their tour does not include any airplane flights. If you cancel their tour, you are still liable for all of the airplane flights. With Holiday Vacation tours, the airfare is included even from your home city and if you cancel, you don’t have to pay for the airfare. Since I live in the LA area, they even discounted the price of the tour so I wasn’t charged for the flight to LAX. When I researched other tour companies, all airplane flights were not included in the price so when you compare Holiday Vacation prices to their prices without airfare, Holiday Vacations seems expensive, but actually it was cheaper. With Trafalger and other tours, there was lots of optional tours that drive up the price significantly. As an example, we had a helicopter flight included over the Great Barrier Reef. That was an option on all other tours. As far as the number of flights, two of the flights were just changing planes to a smaller plane or larger plane to get us going where we need to get. Most of the other tours have a similar number of flights to get to places we visited.

I did like the fact that I did not have to worry about getting to a hotel at the start of the tour. Everything was taken care of from getting on the plane at LAX to when we returned at LAX.