guided tours of europe?

Old Apr 20th, 2016, 05:03 PM
  #21  
 
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Good for you, spaarne, if that suits you.

I planned independent trips for my late husband and me for 40 years. At this point, I don't care to travel alone. It's what works for me.
elberko is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2016, 05:18 PM
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We have done predominantly independent touring (a lot of which was using Rick Steves) BUT have taken one guided tour also (England, Scotland and Ireland since we did not want to shift with the left hand and see high shrubs on a lot of unmarked roads).

In my opinion, there are a few key things as mentioned above that you need to decide for either independent or tour company, like where do you want to go, how long will you be gone, what are your interests (museums, churches, mountains, shopping, palaces, etc.), how much are you willing to spend. For independent travel, do you like all the detail work (which I do even though it can be frustrating and very time consuming) of choosing cities, picking hotels, setting up day plans, etc. I hate it when you get someplace, if traveling with friends, husband, etc, and they say "What do you want to do today? and the answer is I do not care what do you want to do?". With limited time prioritizing what you really want to see, making day plans with back up plans for rainy days, and unplanned closed exhibits.

For us the tour we took was great, it was CIE. Our guide driver was excellent, and local specialty guides that supplemented him were great. In selecting the tour we considered the size of the group (we had 25), number of meals included (all breakfasts, most dinners (10 out of 13), no lunches), were all admissions to sights included (yes), limiting number of 1 night stands (the most tiring), I think our tour was a 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2. Also variety of sights we actually wanted to see. I made a list from an RS guide book of what we wanted to see and then compared 3 tour companies. CIE got about 80% the highest, it is unlikely that any tour company will hit 100%.

You can also plan on starting earlier than the tour starts and staying later. In our case, it started in London and we went in 3 days early and did everything we wanted to combined with the tour including using London Walks for day tours to the Cotswolds and Pub crawl. We ended in Dublin but covered everything with the tour.

Basically, the more prepared you are, the better either the independent or the group tour will be. Also, take a look at trip adviser for sites you may be interested in as well as specific tour operators. They give a lot of opinions there too.

With all that in mind, Happy Travels.
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Old Apr 21st, 2016, 01:48 PM
  #23  
 
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This is why they make vanilla chocolate and strawberry ice cream. To each his own, no right or wrong, no need to insult either wishes. This subject on here always gets "testy." Not sure why, we all don't have to agree. It is what suits people best.
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Old Apr 21st, 2016, 02:24 PM
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Most of us would probably like large rooms, a hotel with a bar and room service, complimentary fruit baskets and large screen cable TV with free wifi. Unfortunately not all can afford such places.

I'm with elberko. I have done tours with Tauck, National Geographic and Rabbies, and I still mostly travel independently, but I also enjoy being with a tour group as it lessens a lot of the hassles as well as keeps me sociable. I usually combine some independent travel with a short tour. While I really enjoy traveling independently, I do think some people are just better off doing a tour for any number of reasons and that's absolutely fine. It's not about whether one can easily travel on their own; it's about what they prefer to do.
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Old Apr 21st, 2016, 02:43 PM
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conseerge is nice.
As long as you don't split the word it is ok for me.
I'll a candle.

We took some guided tours in some remote countries, and I was glad we did.

On our honeymoon we met two couples we stayed friends forever since and more recently we did a cruise on the Nile and had some great post trip meetings with a nice group.

But usually we go on our own. For now.
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Old Apr 21st, 2016, 03:45 PM
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I once knew an older couple who traveled all over the world. They would take a tour first and if they liked the country or area they would go back later on their own. Worked well for them, and for me since they brought me lovely souvenirs.
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Old Apr 21st, 2016, 05:00 PM
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What is a conseerge anyway?

It is one of things that protects a computer from lightning.
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Old Apr 21st, 2016, 08:51 PM
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I did one 14 day rs tour about 7 yrs ago, with my then 11 yr old dd.

All but one hotels had ac and elevators.

All hotels were nice, and the one in Paris was a modern three star. But then anyone who travels alot knows that the star system in europe is nothing like the star system in the States, there are 2 stars that are nicer then 3 stars.

I recommend Rs Tours even though i travel independently, this tour was unique as it was a FAMILY tour so my dd had lots of children to play with, they did the same itinerary as the regular 14 day tour but are designed specially for famlies.

We never once had to be on the bus at 7, yikes, thats like a Globus tour my ex Mil once took, she came home exhausted and said none of the hotels were central.
justineparis is offline  
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