Thousands of West Country people will be taking to the road this Christmas and New Year to enjoy seasonal celebrations away from home.
Travellers have been stocking up on coach tour tickets in record numbers as the countdown to Christmas gets into full swing, according to leading West-based operator Bakers Dolphin, who are taking people from Bristol, Weston-super-Mare, Taunton and as far south as Cornwall away this Christmas.
Sales & Marketing Director Amanda Harrington said: “Our figures show that more people than ever before will be spending Christmas and New Year away from home. Instead of driving home for Christmas, more people are making it a yuletide tradition to take a trip away with family or a group of friends.
“To cope with the increased demand we added 37 new tours, to provide even more choice. Our Festive Breaks brochure was launched back at Easter this year, which is earlier than ever before, and bookings began coming in straight away. “Now we are experiencing a last minute rush and even before December had started we had more bookings than ever before.”
While roaring log fires and cosy cottages may to spring to mind more than breaking waves and beaches at this time of year, people have been choosing seasonal seaside breaks in increasing numbers over the years.
Amanda said: “That’s why we added new tours to destinations such as Paignton, Bournemouth & Poole and Brighton to our options for Christmas and New Year escapes. Christmas by the sea is now a very popular choice. “Cities are also popular and in the countdown to Christmas we have been taking people to the wonderfully atmospheric Christmas markets, as people to get into the seasonal spirit. New market destinations for us this year include Salisbury, Ludlow, York and Chester.
“Christmas is all about making memories with loved ones, and a coach tour provides people with the chance to do this while exploring exciting new surroundings rather than the ‘same old, same old’ at home.
“Bookings for four days or more come with free Home Link, where travellers are collected from, and returned, to their front doors so no one has to drive, which means your break begins the moment you step out of your home. “And by letting someone else take on the burdens of cooking – and doing the dishes – it means you can spend more quality time with your loved ones.”
Amanda added: “Travellers don’t have to worry about the other favourite part of Christmas, either; we’ll make sure Santa knows where to find you, so you won’t miss out on your presents, even if you are away from home.