The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu famously said that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. But when it comes to going on holiday, the journey often begins with anxiety and stress. Whether it’s the fear of oversleeping and missing your flight, the panic of getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, or the hassle of dragging your luggage on to trains, Tubes and buses, the beginning of a holiday is often far from relaxing.
Luckily there is a solution, as a growing number of holiday companies are offering door-to-door transfers that pick you up at your front door and whisk you to your departure point, allowing you to relax from the moment you leave the house. A home pick-up is a luxurious way to kick off your holiday, and it’s particularly helpful for single travellers and those with mobility issues.
The door-to-door concept originated in the escorted touring market, and it’s a perk that many of our partners offer. But the devil is in the detail, and it’s worth examining each company’s offer closely, as not all door-to-door services are created equal.
Titan were the pioneers of this service, and they offer one of the most comprehensive packages out there. All of their holidays except for the Essential Collection range include home pick-up from any address in the UK, with the exception of the Scottish Islands and Sark. Unlike other operators, there are no mileage limits or supplements to pay if you live a long way from your nearest airport, and Titan also include free connecting flights to London if there are no departures available from your local airport. They will even pick you up a day early if you’re staying at an airport hotel the night before you fly.
However, it’s worth noting that you will typically be sharing your transfer with other travellers who live nearby, with a maximum of 6 passengers per vehicle. If a private transfer is important to you then you’ll need to weigh this up against Titan’s generosity when it comes to mileage. Insight Vacations, Trafalgar and Luxury Gold all include private door-to-door transfers, meaning you’ll have a vehicle all to yourself, but this is only included free of charge within a 150-mile radius of your departure airport. There is also the option to swap the free transfers for £75 off your booking if you’d rather make your own way.
Not all escorted tours involve flying, of course, and there are different factors to consider when booking a coach tour that departs from the UK. Shearings have hundreds of local joining points in towns and villages across the country, where you will be picked up and taken to a regional interchange point to board the main coach. This means that your holiday starts a lot closer to home, and Shearings even offer a home pick-up service on UK and European itineraries. This service is free for their British Grand Tours and for European Grand Tours up to a radius of 25 miles, though it’s only available from selected postcodes.
Leger Holidays have a similar network of local joining points, and they guarantee that you’ll make no more than five stops to pick up other passengers on the way to your interchange point. They also offer a door-to-door service on their Single Traveller holidays and coach holidays of 7 nights or more, within 20 miles of the nearest pick-up point. This service isn’t free, however, with transfers starting from £35 per booking each way for up to 4 passengers.
Although not every tour operator includes door-to-door transfers as standard, you’ll often find this perk being advertised as part of a special offer, so it’s always worth checking whether it’s included. And the direction of travel seems clear, as more and more operators recognise the appeal of this service to their clients.