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A Travel Director’s Guide to Touring Europe

17th January 2018

If there is one person who knows all of the tips, and can answer all of your questions about guided holidays in Europe, it’s a Travel Director.

Kassie Jones became a Travel Director when she came across CostSaver’s recruitment page while browsing their website looking for her next holiday destination. Eight years on, she still loves showing guests her favourite places from Morocco to the Balkans, and everywhere in between.

So what can she tell us about touring Europe? Read on for her favourite places, must-have items and tips for the best guided holiday experience.


How did you become a travel director and with CostSaver?

Travel has always been something I was interested in – but I never imagined it would become my career. As a kid I would collect travel brochures from travel agents and tear out the travel section of newspapers making lists of where I wanted to go. In my mid-twenties, I returned from a Europe holiday and was looking on the CostSaver website for another adventure when I came across the recruitment page. I still remember thinking there was no way I would be lucky enough to even be considered, but several interviews and an intensive training trip later, I made it to the road. 2018 marks my eighth year working for the company. It has been an amazing journey and although we work hard and are constantly busy helping to deliver people’s dream holidays, I now understand what they mean when they say it never really feels like you’re working when you love what you do.


What makes touring with CostSaver a great way to holiday?

CostSaver is great because all the essentials like transport, porterage, accommodation and a Travel Director are included in the trip cost, with ample free time for guests to tailor their holiday. Our guests have more options and choice on how they want to spend the money they saved by choosing CostSaver, once they get to their destination. Travellers can use their savings to climb the walls of Dubrovnik, splash out on a tasty seafood dinner, or put it towards one of our amazing optional experiences.


What is your favourite destination and why?

This is a question that I constantly get asked but always find it difficult to answer. Every city and country has its own charm that makes you fall in love with it – whether it be the food, people, culture, weather or scenery. If I really did have to choose though, I would say Croatia.

When I first visited in 2006, I had no idea where it was located on a map! It didn’t take long for its spectacular scenery, friendly people and diverse range of food to win me over and I’m not at all surprised that it has become one of the fastest growing travel destinations in Europe. It really does have something for everybody – rich history, a stunning coastline, fresh seafood, balmy weather, tiny villages, popular cities and magical mountains.


Can you share three must do things in Croatia?

The whole Balkans area is simply exquisite – you are constantly surrounded by amazing vistas and photo opportunities, but if you do get the chance to visit you must…

  • Visit Plitvice National Park – full of waterfalls and crystal clear lakes, a serene and scenic walk through this park is a highlight for many guests.
  • Walk the Dubrovnik City Walls – the best way to get those postcard views you see anytime you read anything about Dubrovnik. The walls are two kilometres long, but there are three exit points so you can choose to do only a small section. However if you’re not up for the walk at all, one of my favourite hidden gems is a little bar located on the city walls called Buza. It’s the perfect spot to take a break and enjoy refreshment with an amazing view.
  • Take a boat trip anywhere in the Balkans. The Adriatic sea has some of the clearest water I have ever seen with stunning shades of blue, green and turquoise, it would be a shame to miss seeing it from the water itself.


What are the must-have items when touring that travellers shouldn’t forget?

  • Packing cells – great for compacting your luggage and separating items so they are easy to find. They’re great for touring as you know where things are and don’t have to pull your entire suitcase apart every time you stop.
  • Travel money card – ATMs are widely available across Europe. Travel money cards offer competitive exchange rates and take the hassle out of carrying large amounts of cash with you while travelling and having to find the best rates and money exchange when you arrive.
  • Walking shoes – many European cities are heritage listed or protected, meaning they are often pedestrianized with uneven cobblestones and no escalators or lifts. Be best prepared to explore these majestic places with a comfortable, sturdy pair of walking shoes.
  •  Journal – whether you use a tablet or bring a small notebook, keeping a journal or brief record of each day is a great way to remember everything when you get home. Our travellers see and do so much in such a short period of time, so it’s great to keep some dot points of places visited and highlights. It also helps with captions if you’re making a scrapbook or photo book on your return home.
  • Power converter – CostSaver coaches have charging points available on board, and it is always best to give your gadgets a full charge in your room overnight. Beware of buying cheap adapters that don’t convert voltage as well.
  • Neck pillow – not only useful for the plane ride over and back, our coaches are really comfortable but a neck pillow allows additional comfort when taking a nap or positioning yourself for the beautiful views outside the window.


What’s something you find people are most surprised about when travelling with CostSaver?

Our guests are always surprised at how much they are able to see and do on our trips. Travelling with us means that they don’t lose time planning what to do, how to get there, or making bookings and setting timings. Travel Directors like myself take all that hassle out of it for them, which means that the time they have on holiday is spent enjoying themselves. We are always looking for new trends and unique and different sights and experiences to share with our guests so they not only get to see the well known highlights, but get a good taste of the culture, people and hidden treasures along the way.  


What are the most popular Optional Experiences on offer?

CostSaver’s Optional Experiences all allow our guests to experience each destination more closely. In the Balkans, love the ‘Jewel of the Adriatic’ experience is a favourite, where we take a day trip to the island of Hvar, famous for its celebrity visitors, lavender and wine production. A home hosted evening in Sarajevo is also popular, where guests are hosted for dinner by locals. I cannot recommend it enough – every guest walks away boasting about the experience with their host family, the food and the uniqueness of the night. They always finish their trip saying it was a highlight.

For information on the latest Costsaver deals and to book, visit your local Escape Travel store or call 1300 273 482.