Coach Travel – What’s Changed?

How has coach travel changed over the years?

Over the centuries, UK holidaymakers have always enjoyed exploring new places both in the UK and across Europe from the comfort of a coach. We take a look at how coach holidays have changed since they first began back in the early 1900’s.

Horse-drawn stagecoaches had been used in Great Britain as early as the 1500’s but with the invention and success of the railway, stagecoach operators began purchasing motor coaches in the early 1900’s. According to research, it is believed the very first coach tours began in 1903. William Webster commenced trading as a haulage and removals contractor and passenger carrier and offered coach transport to holiday-makers keen to have daytrips and weekends away to North Wales and Manchester.

The first tours to Continental Europe were not offered until around 1938. Smiths claimed to be the first company to operate coach tours to Europe after Word War 2 and took a coach of excited holiday-makers to Switzerland in May 1946. The package tour revolutionilised coach travel and it became increasingly popular to travel on coaches of varying luxury to destinations abroad.

Way back in the early days, coach seats would have been little more than an uncomfortable wooden bench offering little support and safety. Fast forward several decades and coach seat comfort has improved significantly. It is no longer necessary to avoid the seats over the wheel arch or the engine. Modern coaches such as those in Rover’s fleet, along with comfortable padded seats offering calf support, have adjustable headrests and have a longer coach body which increases on-board space. Our executive coaches have reclining seats with arm rests for extra comfort.

Air conditioning has certainly changed since the early days when coach tours began. The presence of dirt, dust, insects and pollen would have made air quality inside passenger compartments of buses prior to air conditioning being installed very poor. In 1930, C & C Kelvinator fitted a customized Cadillac car with a 0.37 kW Kelvinator refrigeration unit powered by a 1.1 kW gasoline engine however it was a few years before air conditioning in coaches was installed. Nowadays, for the comfort of their passengers, many coach operators, including ourselves have vehicles fitted with independently controllable fresh air supply and full air-conditioning units which renew and improve air quality on-board and make for a pleasant journey in the heat.

Toilets on coaches provide extra comfort, especially for those travelling long distances. In the early days of coach travel, passengers would have to inform the driver they needed the toilet and he would pull over at his earliest convenience which would more than likely be a roadside pub or restaurant. Long gone are the days of ‘comfort stops’. With clean washroom and toilet facilities on all of our holiday tour coaches, Rover passengers needn’t worry about having too much to drink on-board!

Whilst travelling to their destination, coach passengers these days can use radio, CD and DVD players to stay entertained and to help pass the time. Historically entertainment on longer journeys will have been more of a communal affair. Passengers will have participated in singalongs or recitals and there may have been the odd game of tiddlywinks too!

At Rover European we aim to provide fantastic holiday opportunities as well as long-lasting memories and offer a number of exciting coach holidays to some of the top destinations throughout the UK and Europe. Our stylish fleet of vehicles are designed to the highest specifications, with the latest environmental emissions controls. They are maintained in our own workshops by our own highly experienced engineering staff. We also have the benefit of a full back up service 24hrs a day, 365 days a year both in the UK and across Europe.

To find out more about Rover European or to discuss any of our coach holidays in more detail, please call 01453 832121, alternatively email [email protected]

Rover’s Welcome Home Gift To You

You’ve enjoyed the trip of a lifetime. You’ve explored new destinations, sampled different cuisine, immersed yourself in new culture and met some fantastic, likeminded travelling companions along the way. You’ve become accustomed to the perks of being away on holiday; hassle free transport, panoramic scenic views, cooked breakfasts, delicious lunches, and you’ve been sure to sample the local wine in the evenings with friends over dinner.

Coming back home can therefore be a bit of a reality check. You’ve been away which means there’s unlikely to be a stocked fridge upon returning home. The last thing you want to do once you’ve walked through the door and dropped your bags is to rush out to the supermarket. This is why, as a little thank you for travelling with Rover, we give all of our guests a free welcome home parcel which includes a small pint of milk and some bread. Not only does this save you the hassle of nipping out, but it allows you to continue to enjoy that relaxed feeling after great holiday and reflect on the great time you’ve had away and the memories you’ve made.

Carole Hand, Director at Rover European explains “Here at Rover we are passionate about our guests and keen to make sure they return home safe and happy from our trips away. Many of us will have experienced the dilemma of returning home revelling in the fun we had whilst on holiday only to remember there’s no fresh milk for a cup of tea or bread for a quick slice of toast. Having to nip out for supplies really brings you back down to earth with a bump and puts an end to that relaxed holiday feeling.” She adds “Depending on what time you return home, there may well be occasions when the shops aren’t open. In giving our passengers a little parcel with a small pint of milk and some bread, we’re thanking them for travelling with Rover and taking away the worry and hassle of collecting supplies straight away.”

Established in 1947, family run Rover European provide memorable coach holidays to top destinations across the UK and Europe. With interesting itineraries, exciting destinations and comfortable door to door travel, the company prides itself on offering great value for money holidays for people of all ages. With over 70 years’ experience in the coach industry, Rover European is the go-to name for first—class, quality coach travel.

To order a copy of Rover’s 2018 Holiday Brochure or to talk through their exciting European coach holidays departing this summer, please call 01453 832121, alternatively email [email protected]

Staying Well Whilst On Holiday

Stay well whilst away on holiday.

It’s been on the calendar for months, you’ve paid the balance, you’ve been to the Post Office to exchange money, you’re packed and you’re ready for a relaxing break away from reality. The last thing you want is to come down with a dreaded bug and spend much of your trip hugging the toilet bowl. Besides making you feel groggy, you’re unlikely to want to try the local cuisine, you’ll most likely miss out on any excursions and planned day trips you’ll forgo the evening entertainment as you’ll be tucked up in bed by 7pm.

In order to dodge the various holiday sickness bugs and stay well whilst away on holiday, it essential you follow these 10 top tips;

1.      Should you be traveling overseas, it might be necessary for you to be vaccinated against certain diseases. Some locations require you to have vaccinations well in advance of travel so it’s important you check ahead of time with your GP and follow any medical advice you  have been given whilst away.

2.      Boosting your immune system can help you to fight off any bacteria or viruses you pick up on your travels. Plenty of sleep, a balanced diet which includes fruit and vegetables and regular exercise whilst you’re away will ensure you’re able to fight off any germs or viruses.

3.      It’s important to get plenty of rest. It’s very tempting to pack as much as you can into your holiday and to make the most of every day, but you mustn’t overdo it. Those who are tired and run-down are much more likely to pick up holiday bugs and have difficulty shaking them off.

4.      Protect yourself in the sun, use sunscreen when applicable and use clothing to reduce the likelihood of burning. Prevent sunstroke by regularly resting in the shade and drinking plenty of fluids in order to remain hydrated.

5.      Don’t binge on alcohol. Although tempting to drink more when you’re away, and especially so when you’re on a coach trip and not required to drive, over-indulging in alcohol, coupled with strong sun, is a recipe for disaster. Alcohol not only fails to replenish your water stores, it dehydrates you so avoid getting intoxicated or you risk failing to realise that you’re experiencing dangerous symptoms of dehydration or heatstroke.

6.      Wash your hands after visiting the toilet and before meal times. Antibacterial wipes or gels can be useful when out and about and there is no soap available. Washing hand regularly will limit the spread of bacteria picked up from unclean surfaces, handrails and door handles.

7.      In countries with poor sanitation, avoid local tap water. Use bottled water wherever possible for drinking, preparing food, washing and cleaning teeth. If you can, avoid having ice in drinks and eating salads which are both likely to have been prepared using tap water.

8.      Check for recommendation before eating out. There are many websites that you can search to find food hygiene ratings and recommendations left by other diners. Don’t risk eating somewhere you’ve not checked out and falling ill. Check to see what other people have said about the food standards before heading there yourself.

9.      Invest in a good insect repellent and protect yourself from mosquitos. These irritating pests can give nasty bites that can be painful and itchy, and what’s more, they can sometimes carry a variety of diseases including yellow fever, dengue, Japanese encephalitis and malaria depending on where it is you are travelling. Research to check how likely it is you will be exposed to mosquito risks.

10.  Take plenty of medication with you including your prescription medication from the doctor. Stock up on paracetamol and anti-inflammatories as well as antihistamines, anti-diarrhoea and things to help an upset stomach.

No one likes being ill on holiday. Travelling away should be all about having fun, experiencing new things, trying different foods and making memories whilst kicking back and relaxing. Rover European who are based in Gloucestershire provide first class coach holidays to destinations all over Europe. Travelling with Rover you will explore new and exciting destinations with likeminded people without the hassle of driving there yourself.

To order a copy of our current 2018 Holiday Brochure and to begin planning your next holiday with Rover please call 01453 832121, alternatively email [email protected]

How Will Brexit Affect Travel To Europe?

How will Brexit affect the travel industry?

Many of us are beginning to think about where we will be going for our summer holidays. For those of us keen to sit back, relax and enjoy being driven, coach trips offer the perfect opportunity to visit interesting places without the stresses and challenges of planning, booking and driving there yourself.

But with negotiations regarding the UK’s exit from Brexit still underway, many of us will wonder where that leaves us in terms of travelling to and holidaying in Europe. In fact, Brexit uncertainty has seen British holidaymakers question travelling to Europe in recent months and statistics reveal a soar in the number of people choosing instead, to holiday in the UK. Ease of access and cultural familiarity makes the UK an attractive destination for families looking to take the children away during the school holidays or for those looking for a spontaneous short weekend trip away.

Also encouraging Britons to stay on home soil is the increased cost of overseas travel. Continued Brexit uncertainty has driven the pound down against the euro making visiting continental counties a lot more expensive than it was before the Brexit vote. The cost of flight prices and the open skies agreement is another factor that could see the cost of European travel increase. The UK is currently undergoing talks with EU and US leaders regarding renegotiation deals that could impact the cost of flights for British travellers, many of whom wishing to explore Europe may now look to use coach travel as an alternative and practical means to get to their chosen destinations.

Some travellers may also be concerned about changes in European Health Insurance. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) currently allows Britons to receive free or reduced healthcare whist travelling in the EU. With Brexit changes, there are no guarantees that British people travelling to Europe will continue to benefit from having this card. Should this be the case we will likely see a rise in travel insurance costs, and many opting for alternative UK holidays.

European Union ambassadors recently announced an important step in protecting the EU’s external borders. The agreement which was reached by the Bulgarian Council presidency and European Parliament representatives for the European travel information and authorisation system (ETIAS) means that Britons wishing to travel to the continent would be charged for the pleasure. There are hopes that the scheme will reduce border delays and improve internal security however Britons would have to pay €7 to submit a travel pre-authorisation application before travelling to the Continent on holiday.

There’s no doubt that travelling to Europe will have its challenges as the UK continues with its transition to leave the European Union. Here at Rover European we provide a range of competitively priced coach holidays to a number of UK and European destinations. We will continue to make every effort to keep holidays affordable going forward as we begin planning and researching for our 2019 Holiday Brochure.

To order a copy of our current 2018 Holiday Brochure, or to talk through your queries regarding Brexit and its affect on the travel industry, please call 01453 832121, alternatively email [email protected]

What Celebrating 70 Years In Business Means To Rover European

Rover European is a second-generation coach operator with family at the heart of all they do.

Gloucestershire based coach operator Rover European is this year, celebrating its 71st year in business. Offering coach hire for any occasion and boasting an impressive 2018 Holiday Programme with a variety of tours across Europe, Rover European use their 70 years’ experience to create memorable holiday experiences for their passengers time after time.

Based out of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, family run Rover European enjoy creating lasting memories for their passengers through their broad range of first class holidays to exciting destinations throughout the UK and across Europe. Commitment to quality has always been the foundation of the business since the company began operating in 1947. Supported by a fantastic team of hardworking and loyal staff, who between them have over 486 years of professional coach driving experience, passengers in safe hands when they travel with Rover. It’s the teams considerate, caring and cheerful attitudes that create enjoyable holiday experiences and confirms Rover’s award-winning reputation within the local travel industry.

Managing Director of Rover European David Hand explains “We are very pleased to have reached this milestone. It really is an achievement and something to be celebrated! Rover European is a second-generation coach operator with family at the heart of all we do. I have worked in the coach industry my entire working life. I worked alongside my father for many years before taking over the family business in 1968.” He adds “In the early years our focus was on a taxi service and factory contracts for local workers. The business grew naturally and in the 1980’s we began organising exciting holidays to places of interest across the UK and throughout Europe.”

The company has gone from strength to strength since it was founded, and their holiday programme remains a strong focus for the company. Besides safely and courteously transporting hundreds of school children to their various schools around Gloucestershire, the company also provide luxury coach hire for corporate events, social outings and day trips to numerous events, city destinations and attractions.

For more information about Rover European and for full itinerary details of their UK and European holidays please visit: https://rovereuropean.co.uk.

Rover Supports The Nailsworth Festival For 4th Year Running

Rover are supporting the local community by sponsoring the Nailsworth Festival this year.

Gloucestershire based award winning coach operator Rover European are, for a 4th year running, sponsoring The Nailsworth Festival which aims to bring something a little different to the cultural life of the Nailsworth community.

Running from Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th May this year’s fun filled festival kicks off with Egypt Mill who will be putting on a Pre-Festival Party Night with one of Gloucestershire’s liveliest bands ‘The Bridge’. Entertainment and a market in the town begins on Festival Saturday (19th May) followed by a week of musical acts, exhibitions, workshops, sporting events, talks and activities designed to appeal to people of all ages. The Temperance Seven, on their Diamond Jubilee Tour, will headline on Festival Saturday evening and events across the week will feature the Tippett Quartet, “Votes for women in the Cotswolds” and Withering Looks comedy theatre. For younger visitors there will Funky Munky Music and an exciting Footie Fest for children aged between 8 and 16 years. For those keen to sample local artisan food and produce, visitors can browse the many food and drink stalls brimming with local culinary delights to try and buy!

Director of Rover European, Carole Hand explains “As members of Nailsworth community we are proud to support our community and sponsor the annual event. Without the financial support of local businesses and keen volunteers, the event wouldn’t be as big or as popular as it is.” She adds, “There’s nothing like a festival to bring a community together. Our staff and their families, many of whom live in Nailsworth and its surrounding villages enjoy meeting up to socialise at various events scheduled over the week-long event. There’s a real buzz in the area during festival week, a great sense of community spirit too! Here’s hoping we have some great weather!”

Established in 1947, Rover European is a family run business with offices in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire. The company, besides offering quality coach hire for group occasions, corporate events and school trips, boasts an impressive 2018 holiday programme with a number of exciting tours across Europe to suit every traveller.

For further details of The Nailsworth Festival events or to book your tickets, please visit their website: http://www.nailsworthfestival.org.uk. For more information about Rover European and full itinerary details of their UK and European holidays please visit: https://rovereuropean.co.uk.

Blog – Why Coach Holidays Are Increasing In Popularity

Rover European run coach holidays across Europe

Once deemed for more senior travellers and retirees, coach holidays have taken on a new identity in recent years. Some coach tour companies still only cater for the very mature age bracket, however most others including Rover European have seen an increase in younger travellers, both baby boomers aged 45 to 68, and young professionals. Why? Because traveling by coach is stress free most importantly. Coach travel allows you to have your very own chauffeur who knows exactly where they’re going. Guests don’t need to worry about hiring cars, planning their journeys and navigating themselves on new, and sometimes challenging roads. Plus, there’s the little things like filling up with fuel and finding suitable places to park which is left to the driver, allowing you to make the most of your trip away.

Besides being a stress-free way to explore, guests on coach holidays have the benefit of their own expert tour guide on board with them! Our staff at Rover European have many years’ experience providing outstanding coach travel and memorable holidays to some of the best cultural destinations across Europe. They know the history of the locations they tour and are familiar with the tourist hotspots and cultural gems. Our dedicated staff go above and beyond for their guests and in many cases are more than just ‘the coach driver’. Previous guests who have travelled with us tell us our drivers have a great knowledge of the regions visited and are a go-to source for local information often giving recommendations for the best experience or un-spoilt views!

In an increasing digital and isolated world, coach holidays give like-minded people the opportunity to explore new areas together and, in some instances, have been known to be the catalyst to the beginning of new relationship or friendship. Coach travel is fun and travel is exciting. Guests enjoy socialising with one another whilst they kick back, relax and enjoying the comfort of quality coach travel, good food, adventure, culture and scenic views.

With the price of fuel soaring, driving, especially to Europe, holds even less appeal to those keen to explore the cultural delights that the continent has to offer. As an established tour company, we’re often eligible for discount at many of the tourist attractions we visit throughout Europe and the UK. Besides these savings being passed on to our customers, using our brilliant  negotiation skills, our guests can sometimes benefit from extra little perks that wouldn’t be available to individuals travelling without an organised group.

As well as this, people tell us they like the idea of coach travel because it’s safer than traveling by car. Statistically this is true. Here at Rover we take the safety of our guests very seriously. Our stylish fleet of coaches are designed to the highest specifications, with the latest environmental emissions controls and are maintained in our own workshops by our experienced engineering staff. Our spacious, modern and air-conditioned coaches are fitted with antilock braking systems and speed limiters and benefit from having large, tinted windows offering panoramic views which ensures our guests safety and comfort. Rover also have the benefit of a full back up service 24hrs a day, 365 days a year both in the UK and Europe.

With interesting and customized itineraries, exciting destinations and home-to-home departures, our UK and European 2018 tour programme offers fantastic holiday opportunities for everyone. Whether you’re a thrill seeker looking to escape the daily grind in pursuit of action and a cultural adventure or you’re looking for a trip that can provide rest, relaxation and picturesque views, we have the coach holiday for you.

To order a copy of our 2018 Holiday Brochure, or to book your next adventure with Rover, please call 01453 832121, alternatively email [email protected]

Rover Pledges To Support Gloucestershire Based James Hopkins Trust

Rover support James Hopkins Trust in Gloucester

Having always supported local charities, Gloucestershire based coach tour operator Rover European have this year pledged to support James Hopkins Trust who provide nursing respite care for Gloucestershire’s life limited and life threatened young children.

Rover European who have raised more than £2000 for various local and national charities in the last year, are supporting local charity James Hopkins Trust in an exciting new initiative. The close-knit team, based at the company’s offices in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, are dedicated to raising money for local children’s charities and found James Hopkins Trust very deserving of their fundraising efforts this year. The team plan on fully supporting the Trusts various charity events scheduled throughout the year and having collections on their holidays across Europe. They are especially looking forward to the James Hopkins Trust iconic summer fete, and their Christmas Extravaganza, held at Hatherley Manor in December.

Sarah James, Head of Fundraising at James Hopkins Trust, explains, “Established in 1989, the trust currently supports just shy of 100 families throughout Gloucestershire who have a young child with a life threatening or life limiting condition. The children we care for have many different complex nursing needs which can be very challenging and exhausting for their families.” She adds “James Hopkins Trust is able to offer desperately needed nursing respite, for free, either in the family home or at Kites Corner, our purpose-built respite centre in Gloucester. To do so we must raise at least £580,000 a year to be able to continue supporting families who need us.”

Director of Rover European, Carole Hand explains “I was amazed to learn from Sarah that the Trust must raise a staggering £580,000 per year to cover the cost of nursing staff, specialist therapist visits and the upkeep of Kites Corner, its relaxation gardens, hydrotherapy suites and multi-sensory rooms.” She adds, “The trust often becomes a second home for many families; a place of safety and comfort where sick children can spend their final days with round the clock nursing care and therapy. These services are a lifeline to families with very sick children. Without donations and fundraising from local businesses like ours, they will be denied this much needed respite care and support. Rover European pledge to do everything we can this year to raise as much money as we can to support the trust and the outstanding work that they do.”

With over 70 years’ experience in the coach industry, Rover European is the go-to name for first—class, quality coach travel. Besides operating school transport and coach hire for any occasion, be it weddings, school trips or corporate events, the company boasts a very impressive 2018 holiday programme with a selection of affordable holidays both to locations here in the UK and throughout Europe.

For further details about Rover European and their support of James Hopkins Trust this year or to request the company’s 2018 Holiday Brochure, please call 01453 832121, alternatively email [email protected]

Rover Rallies Support For Sport Relief With Office Cake Sale

Office cake sale at Rover's offices in Nailsworth

Always keen to support both national and local charities, Gloucestershire based Coach Operator Rover European have enlisted the support of family and friends to bake a selection of homemade treats to sell at their offices on Tuesday 20th March with all proceeds going to Sport Relief.

Local coach operator Rover European are pleased to be supporting Sport Relief this year and are doing their bit in contributing to the nation’s Billion Step Challenge by encouraging staff across its site in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, to donate an amount of money for every step they take to the office to buy cakes!

Carole Hand, Director at Rover European and the brains behind the fun idea explains “Here at Rover European we are passionate about fundraising for charities and supporting the local community. Last year we raised just over £4000 for local children’s charity Allsorts, who do a fantastic job supporting families in and around Gloucestershire who have children with complex needs and disabilities.” She adds “We’re very excited to be holding our very first cake sale and with the support of keen members of staff, our friends and family, we’re baking cakes for our Sport Relief cake sale, which is being held on Tuesday 20th March. Through over 2000 projects, Sport Relief helps vulnerable people, across the UK and around the world, to live happier, healthier and safer lives and relies on charitable donations from the general public and businesses like ours.”

Established in 1947, family run Rover European provide memorable coach holidays to top destinations across the UK and Europe. With interesting itineraries, exciting destinations and comfortable door to door travel, the company prides itself on offering great value for money holidays for people of all ages. In addition to their renowned UK and continental holiday tours, the company also boasts a jam-packed programme of exciting Day Trip’s catering to various interests. Besides excursions to cathedral cities and market towns, for those looking for something a little bit different, Rover European are running a trip to see the must-see musical comedy ‘Shrek’ at Bristol’s Hippodrome theatre in August. Plus, a trip to the ‘Festival of Light’ at Longleat in December, a winter spectacular, is not to be missed by families with small children.

For further details of the company’s efforts for Sport Relief this year or to request Rover’s 2018 Holiday Brochure, please call 01453 832121, alternatively email [email protected]