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HELP NEEDED FIRST TIMER

Old Nov 15th, 2004, 05:25 AM
  #1  
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HELP NEEDED FIRST TIMER

THIS IS MY SECOND POST ON THESE QUESTIONS, PLEASE BEAR WITH ME. I'M LOOKING FOR ANY FEEDBACK ON THE TOUR GROUP ABERCHROMBIE AND KENT. SPECIFICALLY THE CONCIERGE RAIL TOUR ROME, FLORENCE VENICE. WE ARE LOOKING TO TRAVEL AUG. 2005 10 DAYS FROM NEW JERSEY. WE THINK A PRIVATE TOUR IS THE WAY TO GO, BUT WONDER IF IT IS NEEDED, OR IF WE SHOULD BOOK OURSELVES AND ARRANGE FOR PRIVATE TOURS LOCALLY.THIS IS SUCH A SPECIAL TRIP FOR US I WANT TO HAVE THE BEST EXPERIENCE WITH THE LEAST AMOUNT OF STRESS. THANKS IN ADVANCE
etk401 is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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Hi etk,

I haven't used that group, but since you are new here, may I give you some friendly advice?

1) To see your other post, simply click on your name - and all of your posts will come up.

2) Titles that are descriptive get more responses, because then people know ahead of time what you are asking about. "Need info on Abercrombie and Kent tour of Italy", would draw more attention.

3) Please don't use all capital letters. In forums, as in emails, capital letters equates to shouting.

OK, to answer you last question - most people on this board will recommend NOT using a tour - it is an independent travel forum and we, for the most part, use this website to help us research so we can plan our own trips. Rome, Florence and Venice are pretty easy to do on your own, and this forum can give you great ideas on hotels, transportation etc - just do a search for Italy or the individual cities.

On tours in general - have you ever done one? I went to Italy on a tour because I went with my aunt and that's what she wanted to do. There are pros and cons. If you search this site (type "tours" in the search box), you can find lots of older posts that outline the goods and bads of doing a tour.

Hope this helps a little. Maybe if you give some info about your likes/dislikes and travel style, we could give some input as to whether a tour might be for you.

Besides possibly reducing stress (although I think this assumption could be questioned) what about a tour seems favorable to you?

Good luck and happy travels,
Karen
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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 03:57 AM
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I suppose if you have no time to plan ,you might go with a tour group.
Part of the potential "fun" of traveling to Italy is the planning.
Tour groups do that for you.
jabez is offline  
Old Nov 16th, 2004, 03:45 PM
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Abercrombie & Kent is probably the most luxurious way to travel. And, if you're only concentrating on the 3 cities you mentioned I'm sure they'll do a terrific job.

I used A&K for my trip to Kenya after reviewing at least 20+ companies. I figured it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime trip. I could not have asked for more. The accommodations were excellent and the tour guide was terrific. I wish I could afford to travel with them again.

Having said this you could go it alone pretty easily at much, much less cost. Train between the 3 cities and use day tours within each.

If you'd like my more personal review of A&K, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]
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Old Nov 17th, 2004, 01:15 AM
  #5  
Melissajoy
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etk401, I considered various fully escorted tours for our first family trip to Italy and then decided to do it independently, based on advice on-line.

It was an awesome, amazing trip! You can definitely do it on your own. Especially for Rome, Florence, and Venice...transportation is easy...just take the Eurostar between those 3 cities...it's a nice ride on a fast train.

Lots of info on-line about independent travel. With independent trips, the more you research, the better time you have.

Having experienced the delights of independent travel, I will never take a fully escorted tour...

You can hire a private licensed guide for a few hours tour in the city if you want. We did that in Rome to tour Ancient Rome (colosseum, roman forum, Pantheon...) It's much nicer to have your own guide instead of being herded around in a big group.

I am 48 and my husband is 49, and we found independent travel to Italy with our son, 22, and daughters, 17 and 18, to be exciting and rewarding...It wasn't stressful because it was well-planned.
 
Old Nov 17th, 2004, 02:54 AM
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Hi
what are the details of the tour?--if you provide them, people here can help you plan an independent trip for comparison at least. A ten-day trip, three cities, with at least 1/2 to 2/3 of a day taken up in getting from one city to another, leaves you with 2-3 days in each city. Plus, your arrival day from NJ is not usually an efficient one, due to fatigue. For me, the above facts lead to inherent stress right off the bat. Many people here agree that 4 days in Rome is a minimal amount of time to scratch the surface.

My first suggestion if you go on your own is to pick only two of the three cities. If not, then fly into Rome or Venice, and fly home from the other, to avoid backtracking. I'd also consider flying between Rome and Venice--flight is less than one hour, train trip is 4.5 hours. Rome to Florence and Florence to Venice are much shorter train journeys, and you can go in the evenings to maximize sightseeig time.

I hae files on those cities; if you'd like to see them, email me at
[email protected]
elaine is offline  
Old Nov 17th, 2004, 04:03 AM
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If you are new to Europe, going on an escorted tour is a great way to get your feet wet, if you are uncomfortable out on your own. I personally find tours very enjoyable, as is going independently.

While I have not toured with A & K (as they are very high priced, and I usually go with Mid-Priced such as Insight Vacations), I have heard nothing but great things about them. It is a very upscale tour company who will pamper you.

--Marv
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