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Guided day trip complaint

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Dec 4th, 2012, 09:48 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19
Guided day trip complaint

I took a day trip from Madrid to Toledo and now I am very annoyed. Toledo is as wonderful as I expected. I bought a full day trip as I hoped to explore it on my own for a couple of hours. I opted out of lunch by the same reason. An operator's web site did promise a leisure time.
Then at the lunch time, tour bus just drove everybody for lunch sufficiently far from the walled city, so by the time when we figured out how to get back, it was a time to return to the bus.
Then we were driven to some local glass workshop - no option to get out of it. After we visited their souvenirs shop, it was back to the city.
As far as I can tell, the only difference between half-day and full-day tour was this tchatchka's place.
I do not understand why tour companies are behaving like that. I do not mind when they bring you to the 'recommended' restaurants or souvenir stores, but why do their waste our time by forcing us to go to all these cameo/glass/jewelry factories?!
If you are not able to go on your own, is there an option to arrange for private tour or is it prohibitively expensive?
What do you think?
annv11 is offline  
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Dec 4th, 2012, 09:51 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,647
They take you to these places because they get a commission on the purchases.

If you don;t want to do a tour - you can simply hop on a train and visit whatever you want yourselves.
nytraveler is offline  
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Dec 4th, 2012, 10:01 AM
  #3
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I usually do go on my own. It was a long time since I went on guided day trip, this is probably why I am so upset with their practices. Unfortunately, there are some reasons, why I had no choice but buy a tour this time.
I do understand they tour guides receive commission. I do not mind that much all these 'best place to eat/buy silver/balsamic vinegar' etc.
I do drew a line at wasting time with all these factories, especially when it comes in place of ANY time to explore on your own.
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Dec 4th, 2012, 10:38 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 174
We chose to do Toledo on our own taking the train from Madrid. We had a guide book and we took a tourist train from the city. (Not a real train)It is a good way to see the city quickly and then you can go back to the sites that interest you. We also use the hop on hop off bus if they are available to get us started.
There are a lot of good tours and for a lot of people this makes sense. My wife and I prefer a slower pace with less museums. We like to stop at unique areas that may not be on a tour. The freedom to stop and have a snack that is not scheduled.
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Dec 4th, 2012, 02:54 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,121
There is nothing novel about this - on tours in any corner of the world. They do it because it creates a certain pressure to make purchases that many people don't seem to be able to resist, and the tour companies get a commission from it. If you want to explore on your own, that's usually quite easy - in this case a trip from Madrid to Toledo on your own would have been a piece of cake. Why would you not have been able to do this on your own? You probably would have saved a good bit of money as well. It's useless to sign up for tours and then complain about how they are conducted - presumably you had some advance notice of what the schedule was.
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Dec 4th, 2012, 03:42 PM
  #6
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19
I was ith people who were reluctant to do it on our own and I did not want to be too pushy. Based on web side description, I expected that if we will take a full day trip we will have at least 1.5 hours of free time.
I was OK with other shortcomings of the tour bus. Sometimes you have to settle for what wouldn't be your first choice
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