"Experience Italy"

Aug 14th, 2013, 08:04 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 13
"Experience Italy"

Has anyone used "Experience Italy" in Sacramento, CA, for their travel arrangements? I've heard good things from a few people in the area. I'm overwhelmed with the process of trying to do this myself. Thinking the peace-of-mind knowing all is arranged by a professional could be the way to go. It's our first trip to Europe---family of five.
KarenBolinger is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,521
Most people on this board plan their own trips. Unless you are planning a very long trip or to obscure places, I'm not sure why you would find it overwhelming. If you are hitting the highlights of Italy just books flights into Venice and home from Rome. Train between the cities you want to see. You can get hotel suggestions for each city on this forum. It's very easy.
kybourbon is online now  
Aug 14th, 2013, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Hi KB,

Into Venice-out of Rome is really quite easy.

> It's our first trip to Europe---family of five. <

Tell us more about the travelers.

ira is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,878
I'm in the area and while I don't generally use tour companies . . . Experience Italy is very well know around here. They give lots of promotional talks/programs and have been around for a long time.

I find that group tours to most parts of Europe cost a lot more than doing the same level of accommodations/etc on your own. When you multiply the tour cost by 5 you are in to MAJOR numbers. There are economies not possible on a group tour. Like renting a two bedroom apartment for the five of you instead of paying for all the double/single rooms on the tour.

But if you are a 'tour person' I'd think Experience Italy would be a good choice.
janisj is online now  
Aug 14th, 2013, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 340
We are a family of five and recently came back from Italy. I agree with the above posters. You don't need a tour company to help you navigate Italy. Italy has a superb train system, most people understand/speak English (especially near the areas you will probably want to go) and there's tons of information on the internet (including on this forum) b/c frankly Italy is one of the top 5 most visited countries. Honestly, do it yourself! We're here to help
layanluvstotravel is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 603
I have planned four trips to Europe and am generally comfortable with it, but depending on whether I am under other stress, it can seem overwhelming to me too. If you work full-time and have kids, then you're probably so busy that you don't have the time to put into researching all the nuances, especially as a first-timer.

My advice for a first trip to Europe is: keep it simple. One country and two or three locations maximum. For example, you could have a wonderful trip to just Rome and Tuscany and get both the city and rural aspects of Italy without a lot of planning stress. You just need to pick a hotel in Rome and a rental in Tuscany (Chianti would be good). And you need to book plane tickets and a car rental (you want a car in Tuscany for day trips), and that's mostly it. Italy and France, in our experience, are relatively easy for Americans to drive in, if that is a concern for you.

Mainly, don't plan a long trip that requires you to move every 2 or 3 days, because the more moving you do, the more research and planning you have to do. There is more than enough in Rome and Tuscany for a first time traveler to Europe to have an incredible trip.

And people on this forum are good at answering specific questions you have, like "how is car rental different in Europe and where should I pick up my car when going from Rome to Chianti?" For those kinds of issues you can get very quick responses to help clarify what you are uncertain about.

And I would agree, doing it on your own will most likely save money and give you a better experience overall.
voyager61 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2013, 10:06 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 6
I think before your trip you should contact different travel agents and also hotels they arrange your trip very easy.
robertharris is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 03:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,962
Sorry, no experience with this company, but...

My brother and his wife decided on a month long European trip and felt much the same way you do. They didn't have the inclination to take the time, and wanted the decisions made and done.

They could have stayed twice as long or saved 50% if they'd done it themselves; their money, their choice.

Sorry, I'm one of those do-it-yourselfers. I like to research and plan because 1) I feel I know where I'm going an what I'm wanting to see 2) I have more control over the quality of the experience 3) Even if I don't end up doing half of what I researched I am happier knowing what my options are...makes for a more opportunistic/flexible experience 4)on a set budget, I feel I get more bang for my buck.

...back to your company...You can always check the Better Business Bureau and see if there have been any complaints filed.
klondike is offline  
Aug 15th, 2013, 03:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
I don't know about this company so I went to their web site to see what they offer. There's not a lot of information on their web site. I guess if you can afford to do this for 5 people then go for it. But you should have some sort of idea of what you want to do otherwise you'll be on their trip and not on yours.

Be prepared to tell them what your interests are (cities, small towns, nature, beaches, etc.) and your budget. It looks like they're a small company so you'll be paying a lot of money.

Have you looked at Untours or a Road Scholar family trip?

adrienne is offline  

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