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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 World War 2 and took a coach of excited holiday-makers to Switzerland in May 1946. The package tour revolutionised 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]

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]

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]