Cancelled tour

May 20th, 2012, 03:37 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Well then perhaps a tour would be a good thing for you. In your first post you only said that you were concerned about the price of gas.

I've done several tours and enjoyed all but one of them. However, I've gotten more out of the trips I've planned myself. I remember much more of what I saw and did the things I wanted to do and avoided places I wasn't interested in that tours take you to.

I'm not sure why you were booking a tour through a travel agent when it's so easy to choose a tour and book on line. Some tour companies do not work with travel agents - you must book directly with them.
adrienne is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 04:25 PM
  #22  
ira
 
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Hi Gretchen,

>it is not a total anathema to do a tour and let them do the arranging.<

I agree. My remark was with respect to cost.

ira is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 04:37 PM
  #23  
 
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I'd pick one country: France or Italy. Public transportation is great. There's so much to see especially in Rome, you could give yourself a full week in that city alone with time to relax and not worry about rushing here or there. Then head to Pompeii, do the coast, go to Naples and Capri, take train up to Venice, then two days in Florence, and fly out of Rome.
PatriciaOne is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 04:41 PM
  #24  
 
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EVEN I think 21 days, if you've never been to Europe and this is your dream trip, is TOO much in one country. Of course you can do it, but, it isn't bad to have a mix and sampling.
By the way, 'way back up to the top--don't bother with MOnaco unless it is a REAL drive by--literally.
Gretchen is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 05:01 PM
  #25  
 
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HonHun; In 'Boot Camp' everything was organized and I didn't need to plan a thing either.

On these bustours from what I've heard you must be up, packed and ready to move on to the next destination.

So no sleeping late or if you are feeling ill you still *must* be on the bus on time.

I'm guessing we are about the same age, I've had a sprained ankle, a bad knee problem and going off-season a bad cold.
But was able to stay put in my hotel room for a day or two to recover (and daytime wine during the recovery was for medicinal purposes only.

Not a option on a bustour, you must still go on even if you pass on visiting a site and stay on the bus, there is still getting off for lunch and checking-in at the next hotel.

You move, eat, visit and sleep as a single Unit with basically no individual variations or allowances.

Just a thought and not a flame to those who prefer organized bustours. Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 05:36 PM
  #26  
 
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"EVEN I think 21 days, if you've never been to Europe and this is your dream trip, is TOO much in one country."

I agree with Gretchen with a 1st timer 'dream trip'.

Mine would be London-Paris, even the travel day would only be 1/2 of the day.

Paris-Venice.

Venice-Florence-Rome and again the travel day from hotel to hotel would just take up the morning.
Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
May 20th, 2012, 10:14 PM
  #27  
 
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With how you described your work situation-being a busy couple that you are- I agree with some posters about the Rick Steve's tours. I have never been on one of his but like the "My Way" aspect- he does all the planning for hotel and transport to various cities and you have independent days as you wish. If you go to his tour site he really lays out the itinerary and tells you what to expect. I like that!
I quickly looked at the options and it seemed like sticking to one country would be your best bet. Italy would be a great country to start as you are not stuck in a bus for longer than 5 hours at a time and not even every day (multi-European tour was too many bus hours). The Italy tour was 13 days. Gee, with that you can stay longer in Italy, add a journey to Paris and do another city before flying home.
cheapboxofwine is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 01:17 AM
  #28  
 
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I wouldn't spend 21 days in one country if this were my first European tour. You don't have to do a whirlwind tour, but with 21 days you could visit 3 countries easily.

Most people on this forum are independent travelers, so you will be encouraged to do likewise. Nothing wrong with that, but tours can be a good option also.

Not all tours are alike. You don't always leave early in the morning, and you don't have to walk lockstep with everyone else the entire day. I never did. Few tours move to a new location every day. Usually, only some meals are included, so you don't always eat together. Even if meals are included, you can certainly skip a meal if you like and eat somewhere else.

There are plenty of tours that have free time built in so you can go off on your own. Even if the free time isn't built in, you can still go off on your own if the urge hits you. Just make sure you let the tour director know so that he/she doesn't think you got lost.

Not all tours have 50+ people. My tour to China had 17 people. Not all tours are coach tours. Some are a mix of air, train, and coach. The variety of tours are almost endless, so if you take a tour, the key is to pick one that suits your style, interests, and budget.

You could also do part of your trip with a tour, and part of it independently. Or you could base yourself in a city, explore on your own supplemented by organized day trips, fly or train to the next city and do the same.

You could pick a company like Untours, which makes the arrangements for you and provides support like airport transfers and train tickets, but you explore the area on your own. They have a sampler package where you can stay in 3 different locations in 3 weeks:
http://www.untours.com/samplist.asp

I love independent travel, but it isn't for everybody and it isn't necessarily right for every situation. I treasure the tours I took on my first few trips to Europe. I saw and did more than I ever would have on my own, no matter how much I had planned.

Whichever route you go--escorted tour, independent, or some combination of the two, you can have a wonderful and memorable trip. Happy travels!
walkabout is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 01:45 AM
  #29  
 
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Untours home page:
http://www.untours.com/index.asp

Affordable tours: offers escorted tours and independent vacations:
http://www.affordabletours.com/

Virgin: offers escorted tours, multi-city vacations,and air-fly-car rental packages:
http://www.virgin-vacations.com/

Gate 1: offers escorted tours, independent, and air, hotel, car rental packages:
http://www.gate1travel.com/
walkabout is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 02:15 AM
  #30  
 
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<< On these bustours from what I've heard you must be up, packed and ready to move on to the next destination.

So no sleeping late or if you are feeling ill you still *must* be on the bus on time. >>

Not on all tours. Some tours are leisurely and you stay in one place for several days so you have the option to get on the bus or stay and do your own thing.

Trips with Road Scholar often go to one place for a week or two and you do day trips from that base along with lectures from the professors.

There are many different types of tours but I would avoid those that move on to a new place every day (such as Globus and Cosmos). You'll see very little on this type of tour except the scenery from the bus window.
adrienne is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 02:46 AM
  #31  
 
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AND another possibility would be part Elderhostel Tour--they are usually not that long, so it could be a combo?
Gretchen is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 07:30 AM
  #32  
 
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Globus has a division called Monograms which entails 2-3 major cities and you spend 3-4 days in each and are mainly on your own. They host only, don't escort so you can do what you want when you want.They will also take you to train station to go to the next city. This might work out for you.
MarthaT is offline  
May 21st, 2012, 07:51 AM
  #33  
 
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<< AND another possibility would be part Elderhostel Tour >>

Elderhostel is now called Road Scholar.
adrienne is offline  

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