Whether you’re building a backyard deck or repairing a lawnmower engine, sometimes it’s best to enlist the help of a professional – and taking a trip to theatre festivals is no different.
For the past 15 years, Theatre Vacations has been connecting travellers with the best sights and sounds of the Festival cities. As the official package partners for both the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, Theatre Vacations offers fully customizable, all-inclusive travel packages to both the Stratford Festival and Shaw Festival. From play tickets to meals and accommodations, Theatre Vacations has you covered.
“People that travel from longer distances have no idea of the area,” said David Hyde, president of Theatre Vacations. “We live here… We understand the most efficient use of your time.”
Though he is equipped to handle large tours, Hyde’s company specializes in giving individual people, couples and small groups the full Stratford Festival or Shaw Festival experience. As well as arranging theatre tickets at the best prices, they’ll take care of rooms, meals, winery tours etc. all in a simple one price package.
Since Hyde and his team purchase in volume, they can pass along the savings to you.
Theatregoers can purchase and customize travel packages for either city by phone or at Theatre Vacation’s website – choosing the plays they see, places they dine and hotels they stay in. Hyde and his team take care of the rest, preparing a complete itinerary for every guest.
Hyde, a lifelong theatre lover, has been equally passionate about travel planning since he worked in the tourism business during summer holidays as a teenager. Even after he graduated teachers college and was offered a job in the field, Hyde chose to blaze his own trail.
“I love travel planning. I see the jigsaw of it,” said Hyde. “The biggest thrill for me is to see someone come in and visit these areas who has never been here before, because I know that once they go to Stratford or once they go to Niagara-on-the-Lake they are going to return.”
Hyde wants each one of his clients to have the best possible experience and goes above and beyond to make sure that happens – even taking covert trips to prospective attractions to scout them out ahead of time.
“We always go there, we stay in the hotels and see the service… We don’t sell anything we haven’t experienced ourselves,” he said. “It all comes down to using suppliers that provide high quality product and understand… what we expect for our customers.”
Hyde and his team are never too far away if you require them during your stay. After-hours calls are not routed to an overseas call centre but answered promptly by a member of the Theatre Vacations staff.
And though enlisting professional help to plan a trip might seem like a costly option, Theatre Vacations strives to keep their prices in line with what you would pay if you undertook all the planning independently.
Opting for an all-inclusive, pre-planned theatre package can take the stress off of busy people trying to piece together their own getaway.
“Having somebody else do some of the ground-work for us can be really helpful and allow us to enjoy the time we do have away from our busy schedules,” said Cathy Rehberg, media relations officer for the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
“If someone who knows about the community is planning your itinerary it helps you to have the best overall experience… You won’t miss the key activities that are going on,” she said.
Whether is a trip to the Stratford Festival or a overnight excursion to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the Shaw Festival, for Hyde one overarching philosophy informs all the work he and his team do.
“We’re dream merchants. We’re not selling anything tangible… But we’re selling you a memory or experience,” said Hyde.
Here’s where you can book Stratford Festival theatre packages.
This is where you can book Shaw Festival theatre packages.
Theatre Vacations’ services include:
- Passing along the savings of their volume buying at hotels and theatres.
- Providing you with an itinerary to make the best use of your time while in Niagara or Stratford.
- Taking you to Niagara Falls for sightseeing.
- Giving Shaw / Stratford patrons quick & friendly service all season, not just during office hours.
- All of the above services apply to groups as well and can include a professional tour escort.