Gate 1 is renowned for our escorted tours that provide quality inclusions at affordable prices – but did you know that we do the same thing on our independent packages?
Not everyone wants to travel with a group, we get that, and you might want a holiday that gives you the flexibility to indulge personal interests or see particular sights that you’ve had on your bucket list. You could even want to pre-book some of your trip and then do your own thing or add on other arrangements later. So that’s where Gate 1 can help and you can take advantage of our special rates.
Typically an independent package includes your accommodation and daily breakfast, then depending on the destination there can also be train tickets between cities or car hire and flights as part of the pre-arranged deal. Having the essentials taken care of gives you the time to concentrate on what matters most, having a great holiday!
We offer independent holidays in Europe, Asia and South America. Here are 6 of our most popular Independent Vacations and tips on what you can see and do in these exciting cities.
1. 8 Day Venice, Florence & Rome by Rail
Starting at under $550 per person, this neat little package ticks off the big 3 in Italy, with 2 nights each in Venice, Florence and Rome. Spend less time in airports and enjoy the value of Plan D in 3-star hotels, or lap up all the benefits of upgrading to Plan B with First Class rail and 4-star hotels. The optional tours are a great way to get your bearings and then enjoy wondering at your leisure later on. You can even choose a tour to take you out of the cities and expand your Italian experience, like the Half Day Chianti Tour that explores Tuscany’s famous wine region.
Top tip: Visitors to Venice will tell you it’s so easy to get lost along all those canals, so take the morning walking tour to guarantee seeing the Golden Basilica of San Marco, Marco Polo’s House and more!
2. 7 Day Buenos Aires Vacation
Affectionately known as the ‘Paris of South America’, even though its European flair is a little faded, this city is a must-visit for anyone who loves discovering new cultures, exploring historic neighbourhoods and immersing yourself in vibrant city life. There’s time to enjoy the atmosphere of the city’s major squares, including Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martin and Plaza Congreso. To discover more of Argentina beyond its capital, you can join in a traditional Gaucho party. This is a day to remember, complete with ranch activities, a typical Argentine BBQ and folklore show with live music and dancing!
Top tip: Don’t leave Buenos Aires without dancing the tango! This is your chance to step out of your comfort zone and into the arms of a professional dancer. Or if you really can’t see yourself on the dance floor, then make sure you see a tango show and discover why this alluring dance is a cultural expression, with a plot of myths, values and traditions.
3. 8 Day Irish Castle Fly & Drive
No need to rely on the luck of the Irish, this deal has everything organised. Fly into Dublin, pick up your car and enjoy 6-nights based in your own castle hotel. It’s an easy 50 km drive to the city, where you can enjoy views of the River Liffey, visit Trinity College and view the 8th century Book of Kells, or take time to appreciate Ireland’s most famous export at Guinness Storehouse. Travel further afield and you can enjoy a day in Belfast, a drive to Wicklow Mountains National Park for a glimpse into Ireland’s wild side or visit the mysterious burial mounds at Newgrange in County Meath.
Top tip: Make a visit to the scenic coastal town of Malahide, with a picturesque marina and diverse selection of boutiques, bars and restaurants. Its historic castle has been recently resorted and they welcome visitors to wander through its unique walled garden with exotic plants from around the world.
4. 7 Day Tokyo Vacation
This fantastic 5-night trip takes care of your flights and central accommodation, but also includes a half day city tour of Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine, Imperial Palace East Garden and Ginza shopping district. After getting your bearings you can make the most of your leisure time. Will it be strolling through Ueno Park, visiting Tokyo National Museum or really experiencing traditional Japan and enjoy a Kimono Dressing & Tea Ceremony Lesson?
Prices start from $1819 per person if you get in early and only $30-70 more per person during cherry blossom season!
Top tip: Get to the heart of Japan and visit Mt Fuji. You can pre-book a day tour that will take you through Japan’s scenic countryside to symbolic Mt Fuji, where you’ll ascend to the 5th Station on Japan’s highest mountain.
5. 6 Day Paris Value Vacation
Now don’t let anyone accuse you of being cheap when it comes to romance, because what this 4-night package lacks in big bucks is more than made up for with ways to impress your loved one. Hotels in the divine Montmartre district and all within walking distance of the famous Basilica of Sacre Coeur and alluring Moulin Rouge. You have the opportunity to visit Versailles Palace to witness the grandeur of French classical architecture, or cap off an extraordinary day in Paris with a Louvre Museum Evening Tour to experience the unique atmosphere of this impressive collection.
Top tip: See the ‘City of Lights’ at night. Paris comes alive after dark with flood-lit views of its most celebrated monuments, including Place Vendome, Pont-Neuf, Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Notre Dame and of course the iconic Eiffel Tower.
6. 6 Day Iceland’s Northern Lights
This trip tops our most popular list of independent packages and even visiting a country when it’s cold and dark isn’t a deterrent! Of course winter is the time of year to see the phenomenal Northern Lights and while they can never be guaranteed, this itinerary is specially designed to have a few nights available to give it your best shot at success.
Top tip: It’s worth booking your Blue Lagoon Experience. Located in the middle of a lava field in the pure, beautiful Icelandic wilderness is a pool of mineral-rich geothermal water that will be your most amazing spa experience ever! Only a limited number of entrants are permitted each day and it’s extremely popular, so if you don’t want to miss out, make sure you pre-book.
These top trips are just a small selection of the many independent adventures that you can enjoy with Gate 1 Travel. See our destinations pages and scroll to the bottom to discover all of our Independent Vacations and find a package that’s the perfect fit for you!