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Have you ever "jumped" the (tour) bus for the day and done your own thing?

Have you ever "jumped" the (tour) bus for the day and done your own thing?

Oct 16th, 2002, 02:52 PM
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Have you ever "jumped" the (tour) bus for the day and done your own thing?

Doing my first trip to Tuscany in three weeks and my tour bus is going to Assisi/Perugia on Wednesday, and I want to be in Siena for the weekly market on Wednesday. How bad I want to be there---I'm not sure but know that I can easily get there by myself by bus or train from the town in which I am staying.

Question, how upset do tour leaders get with non-conformists?

Anyone have any experience.

If if means that I don't get any wine (whine) with my dinner.....well then....

Oct 16th, 2002, 03:25 PM
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Yep, on a party tour too Montreal. canada.. my fraind and I made it too montreal and just left the tour and returned on it 4 days later.. the guide diddn't seem too minde. but I think one of those full tour things would be a bit different.

traveling on a full tour and being a non-comformist is an oxymoron.
Oct 16th, 2002, 03:37 PM
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It is a cruel trip when you want to non conform and you are shackled to the group. I have bitten my lower lip when I want to linger somewhere or return later in the day (or go earlier in the day) and you are locked into a tour. You can ditch the tour group if you know where their meeting place will be at all times, but then it isn't fair to the rest of the group to wait for you at the bus.
You can arrange with the "leader" the day before to make special arrangements to "let you be on your own" for a day.

Next time go it on your own.
Oct 16th, 2002, 04:13 PM
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Good question, Roco! Just let your trip leader know that you will not be joining them for that day as you have plans of your own. There always will be those are sick, tired, or not up for the planned group trip that day...so if you are ready to explore on your own, go for it.
Oct 16th, 2002, 04:55 PM
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I leave on a group tour Saturday. It will be interesting to see how the guide reacts when I tell "her" that I have other plans for at least one day and will miss the get acquainted dinner.
I've heard that some guides do get upset with those not taking the planned tours or not signing up for optional tours. I wonder if this is because they resent the loss of tips?
Oct 16th, 2002, 06:23 PM
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Of course you can ditch the tour for a day; just let your tour guide know. Any decent guide will not care. They just don't want to wait for you or be worried about you. You only need to know your hotel name so you can return that evening. Generally, tips are paid at the end of trip and you don't need to cut your guide out for the day you don't travel with him. That would be a bit cheap!
Oct 17th, 2002, 11:09 AM
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I took tours in 1999 (Trafalgar, Europe) and 2000 (Insight,Italy only) and left the tours quite often. At first the guides seemed a little worried but when they realized that I was very well aware of my surroundings and would be back on time at the appointed destination they were OK with me leaving the group for a day. However, they were not too thrilled when I did not take the group optionals yet managed to do the optional on my own (at a fraction of the cost). It just took a little research before the trip. For example, an Amalfi coast drive to Positano was abt. 26 euros. I took a local bus round trip for less than 5 euros. I was sitting at a cafe eating gelato in Positano when the tour group walked by - 40 people all following the leader - YUK! In Capri, the blue grotto tour was cancelled due to "bad weather" yet I went to the dock and made it to the blue grotto by myself. The tour guides were especially not thrilled when a couple of others decided to follow my example and venture out on their own for the optionals. I didn't let it bother me and I didn't deduct from the tour director tip because I wasn't with the group 100% of the time.

The Italy trip was my last tour that I took. After this trip, I decided that I had had enough of traveling with 50 strangers and following an umbrella through europe. I'm also a planner type so was tired of having my every minute planned for me not to mention the demonstrations (shopping visits with tour kick-backs). I've been to europe 3 times since 2000 all without a tour and had a much better time. It was also less expensive and I feel like I really got to know the culture better.

Don't worry about leaving your group, it is YOUR vacation, and have a great trip.
Oct 17th, 2002, 12:18 PM
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Thanks for such a thoughtful answer. This tour will have an unbelievable number of people--70 on two buses. Take cover, here we come, but it will be my "IN".

I have gotten so many ideas and so much help from Fodor's that splitting for a day or two won't bother me after hearing your thoughts. The only thing I could think of that would be worse than 70 people on two buses would being tied together on the walks like they do for field trips in nursery schools. That would be hysterical--a true photo "op."

I've even decided that although the last evenings dinner in Rome (after a quick pass-through) will be "free", who needs it!!! I need a "real" italian fix of the natives, not a buffet line of Olive Garden-type food to remember Italy by.

I know know, I will return, but not on a tour---and I haven't even left!!

Oct 17th, 2002, 01:02 PM
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Why are you on a tour in the first place?? I'm surprised anyone ever goes back after one of those nightmares. (All heard 2nd hand, I am too adventurous to be led around by some guy w/an umbrella).
Oct 17th, 2002, 02:20 PM
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It seems funny to me that you would decide to go on a tour, if doing "your own thing" is important to you. Travel, especially in places like Western Europe, is so darn easy to arrange, and then DO, especially with the help of the internet.

I realize this is a personal matter, but to me being stuck on 2 busses with 70 other tourists and a SCHEDULE to keep would be my absolutely worst travel nightmare come true.
Oct 17th, 2002, 03:05 PM
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I agree, cancel now Roco before it is too late! You don't sound like the lock-step type of person, you have a personality and value your personal time. Bail out!
Oct 17th, 2002, 03:16 PM
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Just had to share another "tour" experience with you. We passed one tour group where they all had to wear the same scarf and hat - men and women alike!

If this is your first tour you'll learn quickly to skip the meals and use the time to venture out on your own. That's another thing I did whenever I could. Lot of time it was the only "free time" in the day! Be forewarned however: on the tours I took in many cases the hotels were NOT centrally located. I'm not talking about a 15 minute bus/subway ride into town. I mean another town 45 minutes away with no possible way to even venture back to the main town. You are a captive. This happened to me in several cases when I took the "cost-saver" trip and in Venice, Vienna, Florence to name a few cities. The following year I didn't take the cost-saver option and the hotels were a little more-centrally located but still not in the old historic sections of town.

I don't know your situation as to why you took the tour since you do seem like the adventurous sort, but it's probably too late to cancel without huge penalties. I'm sorry if I sound like a downer about tours and I definately didn't want to depress you before you left, but it's best to be prepared for it! Just go enjoy Italy no matter who you're with and how you got there - focus on the positive and you'll have a great time. I DID have a great time both times I took tours - you just have to be prepared for it!

Please let us know how everything went when you get back.
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