Coach holiday cuisine
For many retired people – and indeed those who are still working – coach holidays can be a popular way to see the world and get a chance to visit exciting new places. With the logistics of travel arrangements taken care of, it's a hassle-free way to travel. Nowadays tours cover ever-more exotic places, with comfy coaches, and local experts on hand to make sure you get the most from the places you visit. Spending time with like-minded people provides companionship and gives you a chance to share your experiences.
However, while it's convenient to allow the tour operator to take care of all the arangements, it does mean that you are placing your trust in them when it comes to food – and not all tour operators offer the same options. Because you will be staying at a variety of different hotels each night, their provision will probably vary. The coach operators have less control over this, but many will do their best to ensure that your stay is as easy as possible. Almost all tour operators suggest that you tell them of your dietary preferences at the time of booking.
To make it easier to know how you may be catered for as a vegetarian or vegan we have contacted some of the most popular operators and asked about their vegetarian/vegan provision. As well as asking whether they catered for vegetarians and vegans we also asked about vegetarin cheeses, free-range eggs, and protein for vegans. Some tried their best to answer these questions. We have summarised all of the operators' responses below.
|Vegetarian option/s||Vegan option/s||Notes|
|Cosmos Tours and Cruises||No response||No response|
|David Urquhart Travel||Yes||Yes||
|Door to Door Coach Holidays||Yes||Yes, by request||
|Epsom Coaches||Yes||No specific answer||
|Harry Shaw Coach Holidays||Yes||No specific answer||As we use quite a lot of hotels we couldn’t answer all the questions but when we do have customers with dietary requirements we put the information in the hotel request section on our bookings and this then gets passed onto the hotel. If there is any problem they then contact us so we can advise the clients.|
|Highland Heritage Coach Tours||No response||No response|
|Johnsons Coach Travel||Yes||Yes||
|Just Go! Holidays||No||No||
|No response||No response|
|National Holidays||The majority do, but customer has to contact hotels||No specific answer||When we book people onto our holidays and they request vegetarian meals it is marked down as a special request to the hotel. I would say the majority of the hotels we use do cater for vegetarians but we cannot guarantee this 100%. Therefore I cannot answer your questions and you would need to contact each of the hotels individually.|
|Yes, but included fish*||Yes, if advised in advance||
*By definition, vegetarian dishes must not contain animal flesh (meat, fish or shellfish).
So that is what the coach companies tell us, but what do you think? Please share your thoughts on how well they are doing – and your catering experiences, good or bad – in the comments below.
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