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HELP! Tour cancelled...Should I proceed on my own? Where?!

HELP! Tour cancelled...Should I proceed on my own? Where?!

Old Dec 5th, 2000, 06:32 AM
  #1  
Lauren
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HELP! Tour cancelled...Should I proceed on my own? Where?!

I had a 28 day tour of Europe planned for Dec 28-Jan 24. It's been cancelled! Should I attempt to venture into Europe all alone, on my own? Where should I go? I have found roundtrip airfares from Atlanta (near me) to Milan for $322, Amsterdam for $328, and Nice for $339. Should I start in one of these cities? I would really like to go to London. I don't know what to do... Please help. I would also need hotel advice--nothing too fancy or expensive.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 06:50 AM
  #2  
Paige
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Have you tried checking with a travel agent to see if there's another tour you can join?
Have you been to Europe before?
Where else do you want to go?
If you're comfortable going on your own, go for it! If that scares you, maybe cut your trip down to a week or so and just concentrate on London (or wherever).
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 06:52 AM
  #3  
Beth Anderson
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where in Europe did your tour go - were you happy with that? and how much had you planned to spend with them? a lot of times, you can go cheaper on your own, if you do the research.

If you really want to see London, start in Amsterdam. Hit Brussels, Paris, London - and wherever else you fancy. Heck, you could spend 10 days each on London & Paris, & 4 days each in Brussels/Amsterdam if you wanted.

With 28 days though you could start just about anywhere & still manage to get around without too much hassle.

As a start, I would suggest taking a look at where you WOULD have gone - and decide if you want to follow that path, or cut certain cities out. A lot of times they send you to too many places in too short of a time. Try to stay at least 3-4 days in an area - more, if you can find a good place to day trip from.

the good news is that because it is winter, you won't have as much trouble finding hotels - even just winging it (then again I've been very lucky even in high season with winging it...)

good luck, let us all know what you decide & where you think you want to go.

Beth
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 06:54 AM
  #4  
elvira
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Why not use the itinerary of the tour? Obviously, you wouldn't have booked the tour if the destinations didn't appeal to you. If you give us that itinerary, we can all help with information on transportation, hotels, etc.

I really REALLY hope you're not a travel agent trying to use the folks on this board to design a tour for you to sell. Please assure me you are not. I'm sorry that my cynicism has manifested itself today.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:00 AM
  #5  
Lauren
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I've never been to Europe before. I'm not too worried about being on my own. (I'd be crazy to say that it didn't bother me *at all*, though.) My tour visited London, Paris, Nice, Bordeaux, Madid, Rome, Amsterdam, Lichtenstein, Brussels, Rhine River in Germany, Switzerland, and a few more places. It was a lot in a month, but I was looking forward to being on the move.

I would like to fly into Amsterdam. Spend a few days there. Then perhaps go to London and Paris. I am interested in, as crazy as it sounds, animals/zoos/aquariums, art museums, antiques, and meeting people.

I am 19 years old, if that matters at all. The only thing I need in a hotel is the feeling of safety. I would like to keep my spending on hotels to a minimum; however, I don't want a "dump." I just don't plan on spending all day in the hotel room, just sleeping there, so there's no reason really to have some grande room.

Thank you, Paige and Beth for responding so quickly. I'm so frazzled! LOL I don't know what to do!
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:03 AM
  #6  
Lauren
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Elvira,

Travel agent, I'm not LOL Actually a college student sitting in a computer lab with about 4 browsers going at once, trying to research hotels and cities!
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:06 AM
  #7  
Lauren
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The itienary was as follows:

London (2 days)
Paris (2 days)
Bordeaux
Lourdes
Madrid
Barcelona
Nice
Montecatini
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:09 AM
  #8  
Lauren
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cont.

Rome (2 days)
Venice (2 days)
Vienna (2 days)
Innsbruck
Lake Lucrene (2 days)
Rhineland
Amsterdam
Back to London
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:11 AM
  #9  
Paige
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Why don't you check on rail passes? That's a place to start at least. Buying point to point tickets may be cheaper, depending on where you decide to go, but a pass is a lot more convenient.
Since you're 19, I recommend staying in hostels. They're usually nice enough and you get to meet other people your age doing the same thing you're doing. Sorry I can't give you any links on that but probably someone here can. I think you need to get a membership card (??). I think you can get a book that lists all the ones in Europe.
Years ago I took my first trip to Europe with a friend, traveled around for 6 weeks using a rail pass, stayed in hostels, met lots of cool people and had a blast. I hope you can do the same!
Oh yeah, you ought to buy a guide book right away. Something else to consider is a Thomas Cook timetable. I don't know where you can get one (someone here knows, I'm sure) but it makes planning rail travel a lot easier, especially if you're making it up as you go along.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:12 AM
  #10  
Beth Anderson
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Hi,

well, I do think your tour took you on way too many cities - to do on your own, especially! do you really want to lug your own luggage every other day? (there must be a reason they call it luggage! ) you really don't want to check out every single day to go find something new. You'll wear yourself out that way.

You should look into hostels, seriously. Most of them are quite clean, very cheap - and just full of other young solo travelers. You'll meet a ton of people that way & have new friends to hang out with while you go on your city jaunts. Just make sure you follow your instincts -if you have a funny feeling about the people you meet, don't go places with them!

I'll follow up more later. gotta run!

Beth
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:15 AM
  #11  
lauren
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paige,

Checking out hostels now...thanks. I am assuming there are trains that travel all over Europe? Would it be feasiable to stay in Amsterdam a few days, go to London for a week or two, and then to Paris for a week or two?
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:18 AM
  #12  
Beth Anderson
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Hi,

re: your last post - yes it is quite easy to train from Amsterdam to London then Paris. just don't waste money on a Eurail pass if you really are only going to 2-3 cities. Only get the Eurail pass if you think you are going to make max use of it- otherwise it is cheaper to get point-point tix, and, the eurail pass does not work on Eurostar (that I am aware of).

 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:21 AM
  #13  
Paige
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If you were planning on taking suitcases, consider a backpack instead. Don't pack too much since you'll have to carry it.
I agree that your tour itinerary is too much, unless you really want a whirlwind tour of Europe. Since you're traveling alone, you could just plan it as you go and stay longer if you want. You'll probably meet people as you go and have people to travel with for some of the trip. If you're nervous about it, maybe you should start in an English speaking place (Amsterdam is good enough - everyone there speaks English).
It sounds like you're capable and willing to go it alone, so go for it!
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:24 AM
  #14  
Lauren
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I think I've found a cool hostel to stay in while in London.... It's actually a "chain" hostel with 5 hostels in London.
http://www.st-christophers.co.uk/html/interface2.htm I might post a topic seeing if anyone has stayed here.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:29 AM
  #15  
Beth Anderson
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I stayed here once in London - near Golders Green tube if I am not mistaken. A very nice part of town. (posh)

Hampstead Heath Youth Hostel
4 Wellgarth Road, London NW11 7HR
Tel: (0)20 8458 9054/7196 Fax: (0)20 8209 0546 Email: [email protected]
Close to the parkland of Hampstead Heath - a quiet retreat at the end of a hectic day sightseeing in central London. Close to the tube, easy access into the centre of town. A beautiful hostel in one of London's most upmarket areas.

 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:31 AM
  #16  
Lauren
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Thanks Beth, Paige, and Elivra for all your help! I have to scoot off to work. I'll be off and on the forum all day checking for more information. I will also call my travel agent to see what she advises.
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:48 AM
  #17  
Sue
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To check out rail passes, go to www.forsyth.com. In rail passes, go to Eurail passes and scroll down almost to the bottom where there is a 5-day (in 2 months) pass for $233. Even if you only go Amsterdam-Paris-London, that would give you two other days to travel on a whim. It is only good for France-Italy-Spain-Germany-Switzerland, so you would have to pay $45 extra for Netherlands, so maybe it's not worth it. Plus the Eurail pass is not good for England. I don't know how they work the chunnel train. They do send you an abbreviated Cook's timetable with the pass.

I think with that much time, I would still get a pass and plan 5 trips with slightly shorter times in each city (4-5 days). For instance, you could go Amsterdam-Munich-Venice-Nice-Paris-London.

Forsyth's also has a hostels entry where you can order the hosteling membership pass ($25), etc. I don't know if it is needed because I have never been that route.

This sounds like an *adventure*. Have fun!
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 07:51 AM
  #18  
Howard
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You obviously need help. If you fund my trip, i will act as tour guide and trip planner!
 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 08:46 AM
  #19  
elvira
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19 years old, the stamina and strength of youth, SMALL backpack (get one that has wheels and a handle so you can drag it i/o packing it) and a railpass:
Fly into London - 3 days
Eurostar to Brussels - 2 days (alternative here is to fly or take overnight ferry London>Amsterdam and skip Brussels, giving you 2 extra days to add somewhere)
Amsterdam - 3 days
Paris - 4 days
Lake Lucerne - 2 days
Innsbruck/Vienna - 4 days
Venice - 3 days
Florence - 3 days
Rome - 3 days Fly home from Rome

Hostels are inexpensive, but you give up privacy (and sometimes you are locked out during the day, which means storing your stuff somewhere or dragging it with you); convents also rent rooms (they often have a curfew) for less than the cost of a hotel room; get a second-class railpass (there's a cheaper one for the under-26 crowd); if you have a 6-8 hour train ride, make it an overnight one - you save time (traveling when you can't sightsee) and money (cost of a couchette or reclining chair is sometimes less than the cost of a hotel room); never sacrifice safety or health to save money; be sure to eat well - inexpensive doesn't mean poor food or starvation (buy groceries i/o eating in restaurants to save money, if you have to); pack 2 weeks before you leave, then unpack half (hoist the backpack over your head; put it on and climb 5 flights of stairs; walk one mile with it - you'll see why I said unpack half).

 
Old Dec 5th, 2000, 08:49 AM
  #20  
Sue
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Another good site for student rail passes/hostel stuff is www.counciltravel.com. We used to use it when we took groups of students to Europe. They also issue an International Student ID and offer discounted airfares.
 

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