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Pammyjo May 4th, 2003 01:07 PM

Escorted tours
We are looking at doing an escorted tour. Since we have never been to Europe and used a tour company, which tour companies cater to lively 50 year olds? Thanks

anitafla May 4th, 2003 02:54 PM

There are so many good tour companies to choose from My first question would be your budget. If you would like very upscale I would recommend Tauck. If you have moderate to firt class I would recommend Globus. It also depends what type of tour you are looking for. Do you want 1 or 2 nights in a city or do you want more time in each city.

Any questions, please ask. There are so many variables.

cmt May 4th, 2003 03:19 PM

"Lively 50 year olds" make up a large portion of the clientele of walking tour companies. I've been on about five walking tours in Italy, France, and Greece and I've enjoyed them. The groups ranged in size from 6 to about 15. Ages of the people on the walking tours that I've taken have ranged from early 30's to late 70's, but I think mid-50's are particularly heavily represented in these tour groups. Some of the companies I've toured with are: BCT (acronym for British Coastal Trails, but it does not do just Britain), Italian Connection (also has some non-walking tours, very professional and well planned), Ciclismo Classico (offers primarily biking tours, but also some walking tours), and Country Walkers. I've heard that some people love the tours offered by ATG (Alternative Travel Group, based in Oxford, UK). For NON-hiking tours, you might consider museum travel programs. Many museums offer tours. Smithsonian tours look good, but are extremely expensive--far beyond my price range. British Museum has some very interesting looking tours, not as expensive as the Smithsonian.

Poetlaval May 4th, 2003 03:28 PM

If you like tours with an educational bent and an academic guide, I have found British tour companies that cost 1/2 to 1/3 of similar American companies. I have toured with "ACE-Study Tours", a non-profit, and Andante, and am about to leave on a trip with Martin Randall Travel. I have also seen the British Musuem Traveller brochure and it looks great. All these groups have good web sites.

I have found most travelers are retired, but you can ask the company about the age range on a specific tour.

nancy May 4th, 2003 06:17 PM

Grand Circle - I took their Thailand tour and was very impressed - excellent guide and all the sites I wanted to see. Haven't taken any to Europe (except Spain/Portugal/Morrocco) as I would prefer to do that on my own; however, I am eyeing their Eastern Europe tour. I was signed up for their extended vacation tour to Malta with an extension to Sicily but cancelled as my traveling companions got sick. I was so disappointed and will probably sign up for that one again.

The Spain, et al, tour was with Travalger and but I signed up thru a community college in No. Calif. with professors on each bus. However, the Travalger guide was very good.

From what I can determine, the more you pay the more likely you are to stay in city centers. If this is an issue, you need to look at the more expensive tours. Any questions, e-mail me at [email protected]

ronkala May 4th, 2003 07:27 PM

Don't use Cosmos, a less expensive division of Globus. The hotels they use in Great Britain are seedy and worndown.

lyb May 4th, 2003 08:04 PM

Insight Tours are known to be very good. You might want to look at their tours.

onthego May 12th, 2003 06:59 AM

Pay a little extra and take a first-class tour. You'll end up paying the difference in "optional" tours once you get to your destinations anyway. We took a Far & Wide tour last summer and spent about $700 each for the "optional" tours -- we found we could have taken a really top-notch tour (like Taulk) and not only gotten our money's worth but had a higher quality tour and stayed in more central hotels.

Gerhardt May 12th, 2003 07:22 AM

My wife and I have taken a number of tours with Grand Circle. We are great fans of theirs. However, we are in our mid-60's and frequently felt part of the "young crowd". If you are a lively 50 year old, I doubt if you would be happy with them. In fact, if I am not mistaken, at least one of you has to be over 55 to book with them. You may want to look into their subsidiary, Overseas Adventure Travel....younger, smaller groups...and more demanding. I don't know what OAT has in Europe, though.

cigalechanta May 12th, 2003 08:13 AM

POELAVEL, curious, did you name yourself after that town in Provence.
Did you buy any pottery there?

cigalechanta May 12th, 2003 08:28 AM

sorry, poetlaval.

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