Best Tour Companies for European Trips

Old Jan 17th, 2022, 03:57 PM
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Best Tour Companies for European Trips

Booking a tour through a company seems like it will be the best option for me, as i am easily overwhelmed, so I'm looking for recommendations from people who have used tour companies for European trips. I'm looking for 25+ days, multicity, reliant on public transport, guided or independent.
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Old Jan 17th, 2022, 05:27 PM
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Intrepid Travel have a good reputation. Smaller groups; plenty of free time; central mid-priced hotels; use local transport when available; variety of ages depending on the tour style you choose. They are not always all inclusive but that allows you to decide which activities you'd like to participate in (for the optional ones).
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 09:21 AM
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Another vote for Intrepid. I imagine you will have a hard time finding another company that does long trips by public transport. G Adventures, maybe (mix of public and private transport). Possibly Imaginative Traveller, but they have gone dormant during Covid. Maybe Exodus, if you string multiple trips together. Actually, stringing trips together might open up more options, although public transport will still be a difficulty.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 12:07 PM
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I hear very good things about Rick Steves tours. I have taken two Road Scholar tours that I really enjoyed but they were not in Europe.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 12:18 PM
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I like Rick Steves' tours, but they are shorter, and use private coaches.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 12:20 PM
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For a little more perspective where the OP is coming from see the other thread (relevant discussion starts from post #49). I think she is looking for very low cost/hostel based tours.

October Europe Trip Itinerary
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 01:09 PM
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There are tons of websites you can look at to gain knowledge about tours. Look at reviews carefully. Look at itineraries carefully to make sure it is what You want, etc,

https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-b...orite-hostels-

https://www.encountertravel.com.au/e...s-for-singles/

https://hostelgeeks.com/best-hostels-in-europe/

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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 04:56 PM
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There are many guide books that detail many reasonable itineraries for Europe and various parts of Europe. Perhaps you may find them in your library. Do try to get over this normal need to see everything now. You are young and hopefully have decades of time. You could even just fly to someplace in Europe with a one month rail pass, one Europe guide book, and a cellular phone with data via local SIM card and just wing it. Having a companion would be helpful as you could more easily afford some inexpensive hotels and have little more security but you could do it alone. Housing should not be much of a problem in October. Its too bad you are not traveling in the summer as there are tons of young students traveling around Europe and it is easy to make friends. Meeting people from all sorts of places was one of the most interesting things about my backpacking through Europe. Easy to join others of your age in your exploration and they are a good source of knowledge.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 05:52 PM
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I feel like it it's way too much money to spend to just turn up somewhere and wing it. There's too much going on right now to be able to not plan things out. Of course I won't be planning every single detail, but I'd like to know at least my accommodation and transport will be organized so I can focus on actually enjoying the trip I don't even have to see 'everything', just enough to make it feel worthwhile to fly all the way to Europe from Australia. Maybe if I was travelling with my dad like we did to Japan, and he was taking care of all the important stuff so I could just wing it when we got there, things would be different. But I will most likely be travelling alone, 24 hours away instead of 8, with all the financial responsibility of this trip on me, and I don't think it would be wise. For me personally, booking a tour, even a self-guided one, would take a lot of the stress out of this holiday- barring problems arising with the company of course
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 06:27 PM
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Hi Miacharlie, I think what you are doing is very sensible. My first trip to Europe without a parent 34 years ago was partly through a tour company although I don't recall if it was Cosmos or Trafalgar. While it was sometimes frustrating because I would have liked more time in given destinations, it gave me a good feel for the lie of the land, and where I eventually wanted to come back to. I had short trips tacked onto the beginning and end of the tour, which although it started in the UK, I opted to start in Brussels and end in Paris, visiting Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France. I learned a lot through that trip. I would stop short of recommending the tour company simply because it was so long ago, but I think tour companies now are even more required because it would help streamline all the requirements. Plus you will meet amazing people on the tour. Do it, you won't regret it.

Lavandula
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 06:30 PM
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My brother has used Globus in the past. He can't be bothered to research anything and prefers to just be "shown around". Eat this. Look at that. Meet back here in 2 hours. Pretty expensive from what he told me but liked it.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 07:37 PM
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See my last post on your other thread. You have picked up on two (very) non-traditional 'tour' companies and I think it might be because you are looking on social media and not travel industry sites. Look at Cosmos, Globus, even Contiki. Some others. It may mean you'd have to book two tours back to back to get to all the places you seems to want to visit. I have a friend who won't travel independently and she has done that a few time . . . like a 2 week tour of eastern European capitals followed by a couple of weeks in Spain/Portugal. Not the way I'd travel but works for her.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 08:31 PM
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I'm actually looking at the companies that tourradar uses, since they have a list of them on the website. All the ones you mentioned are on there. That's where i got Voyista from. I'm looking at all the options that might suit my budget and such.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 08:52 PM
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What is drawing you to Tour Radar?? What I saw from them on your other thread was really (REALLY) awful.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 09:24 PM
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TourRadar seems to be a booking portal, they are not “using” tour companies but companies pay to be on their website and/or pay a commission. Kind of like a booking.com for tours. I think it might be better for shorter tours within individual countries, perhaps you can make it work that way. Getting from point a to point b in between tours is not that difficult with a bit of research and good planning.
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Old Jan 18th, 2022, 09:36 PM
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I can't stress enough how important it is to set some criteria when choosing a tour. You've already made a start on that but extend your criteria to include all the things which you feel would make for a great tour and those which would drive you batty. For example, central hotels, not eating together every meal, lots of free time, flexibility, small group - whatever it is that is important to you. I would hate a tour with 40 people, travelling around on a bus with a rigid timetable, staying out in the burbs and led around by the nose. Only with some sort of explicitly expressed criteria can you assess whether a particular tour would suit you. There is nothing wrong with the right tour - and everything wrong with the wrong one.

Don't dismiss the idea of booking your transport and accommodation independently (which is easily done) and supplementing with short tours of a day or a few hours in each place, if you wish.
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