hate to travel with tour group


Jan 30th, 2001, 07:06 PM
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hate to travel with tour group

we plan on a trip to Turkey this June but hate to be part of a tour group because we
are used to strolling around by ourselves and hiring a local guide at the sites. Anyone
know of a package deal to save on airfare and hotels, and maybe long distance bus?
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Jan 31st, 2001, 08:09 AM
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We were in Turkey in September and absolutely loved it! I agree with you about not taking a tour - while we were there only a week and didn't see that much of the country, it seemed an easy country to travel around. We found hotels were quite inexpensive - in the western Mediterranean (Fethiye and Kalkan) we paid between 12M and 15M turkish lira - that was about $27 - $35 Canadian. That included a room for 2, taxes and breakfast, so it seems extremely reasonable to me. These were not the cheapest hotels or pensions - just average prices. In one case, the hotel was used by a British package group. Buses too were inexpensive. We went from Marmaris to Fethiye, then Fethiye to Kalkan and back.

It seems like airfare is probably the killer. We flew into and out of Greece, so don't know what it would be to Turkey, but I don't think it would be cheap.

We hadn't booked anything in advance and that worked out fine for us. We ended up staying a couple of nights in Fethiye, which we hadn't planned. We liked the flexibility that we had. Tourism was down (according to hotel owners), so it was very easy to get a room without pre-booking.
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Jan 31st, 2001, 10:16 AM
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My husband is Turkish, so we go back every summer. We live in Toronto and have tried just about every route there is, including: Toronto to Istanbul via London, Paris, Madrid and Rome. Last summer we arranged the best deal Toronto - Franckfurt - Istanbul. You can do these route 2 differnet ways. Pick one airline that flys from your city to Istanbul via a major European city, or (as we do) buy a cheap ticket to a European city and then get a charter from there into Istanbul. This past summer was our best arrangement so far. Frankfurt airport has a website, and in there a list of all the charter companies selling tickets from Frankfurt to just about anywhere in Europe. Go to http://www.frankfurt-airport.de/en/t...reise_tel.html to get the list and telephone numbers. Within the Frnackfurt airport there is a a huge area of desks (100s of them) for these travel agents. We used TUI (last one on the list) and they even gave us train tickets for use within Germany to get to and from the airport. We flew straight to Bodrum for about $200 Cnd each.

To get the London tickets I went to Cheap Flights - they have a website as well, but I forget what it is. We end up paying about $900-1000 Cnd per person tax included.

Also, Turkish airlines flies into Chicago and New York - service is excellent. I have used them as well.

Finally, you mentioned long distance bus. The bus system in Turkey is great and very reasonable. You can go to the main bus station and you will find a number of companies offering tickets to any where in Trukey. It is worth while spending a bit more and going on the best bus - then you get 2 drivers (which means that they are rested), a host, and no smoking. You should be able to go from Istanbul to Bodrum (a 14 hour ride) for under $50 Cnd per person with the better company. I cannot help you with hotels, however, I did stay in a few when we were younger (and didn't have a child to carry around!). When you are in the smaller towns you can get away with a very inexpensive i.e. $20 max pp Cnd per night, including a Turksih breakfast. Go to the European board and do a search on Turkey or Istanbul - many peopel have recommended hotels in Istabul that are quite reasonable.

June is a beautiful time to travel in Turkey - the weather will be very nice and not too crowded (never go in August!) The peopel are so nice and helpful, it is a really great country to travel around on your own. Remeber that most of it, especially Istanbul is very European, so don't be concerned about your attire. If you are blond, you will attract some attention, but people will never bother you. And pack the bikini - the water should be warm enough to swim!

Hope this helps!
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Feb 1st, 2001, 04:36 AM
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Ariel, thanks for that info. We also live in Toronto and would love to go back, probably in 2002. The info on going to Frankfurt is great and I'll make a note of it next time. It's always airfare that's a killer!
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