Help with escorted tours to Italy!

Old Aug 5th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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Help with escorted tours to Italy!

Iīve been doing some research on escorted tours to Italy and Globus, Trafalgar and Insight have the same itinerary. Globus and Trafalgar prices are similar, but Insight is more expensive. I also researched the hotels in each town and Insight, although considered upscale in relation to the others, is not listing better hotels.
And the final question is: Globus or Insight?
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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You may want to do a comparison of the inclusions. Globus usually has many optional tours which you have to pay for locally which can add up. It used to be that Insight included more sightseeing options in their program.

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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Simone, you may get a few responses here but most people on this board are independent travelers. I have been to Europe three times: the first time was a Globus tour..different from yours but I was very happy with them, what we got,and their service. Also, I would consider doing a tour again depending on where I was going and the circumstances. My last two trips have been on my own. Globus tours all over the world, has been in business for years. Their website and brochures state very clearly your itinerary, what is included, what isn't included, and any opotional tours. I found that we actually could have almost every afternoon free and on our own if we wanted it that way. There ARE travel message boards for tours. I can't bring one up but if you google for "tour group travel message boards" or similar, you will find them and get a better input. I know I have located them in the past.

I don't know if you have been to Europe before. There are a lot of people on this board with a lot of experience and will be glad to assist you and many people have gone to Europe for the first time, on their own, and have done just fine. This does NOT suit everyone. I kind of went on my first trip at the spur of the moment. My brother and SIL were going, it sounded fun, I had always wanted to go, the price was right, my other brother was on leave from work at the time, so I talked him into going with me (his wife, my other SIL is a jewel by the way-she told him to go and have fun) and so off I went. It was a great introduction, a great confidence builder, I saw a lot of wonderful things, learned a lot of history, had a great time, and couldn't wait to go back. Have a great trip.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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I donīt like to travel independently. My husband and me (or I?) are very bad oriented and if we hire a car we loose a lot of time trying to find the right way. We can go alone to one city, like Paris, but the displacement always a trouble. There is also the problem of handling luggage. And etc, etc, etc. Thatīs why we like escorted tours.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 03:14 PM
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That's why I didn't try to talk you out of it. Independent travel is NOT for everyone, especially if you want to go and see several places. Anyway, I googled for tour group message boards and several popped right up.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 04:02 PM
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simone,

On my first trip to Europe, Italy, specifically, I went with Insight. I loved it. When I was doing my research, it did seem to me that Insight had slightly better hotels and for example in Venice, we stayed in Venice proper and not in Maestre (sp?).

Which tour are you looking at? Also, I think Insight does have more things included.

I've never traveled with Globus so I can't compare, but you definitely can't go wrong with Insight. Of course, a big part of the tour is the Tour Guide, ours was wonderful!

Any other questions you have about Insight, I'd be happy answer.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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I have to agree, that staying IN Venice would make a big difference. Our Gobus tour did stay in Maestre. I didn't know any better at the time, but having done it, and especially with a short amount of time, being IN Venice will make a big difference I think,
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 05:59 PM
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I totally agree with the advice on Venice. Pick the tour that stays in Venice proper and not Mestre. If it is a little more expensive, it is well worth it.

The hotels with different tour companies may be of the same star or quality level, but NOT of the same locations. Check for locations. You will want the tour package that has centrally located (in town and not on the outskirts) hotels.

My mother has gone on several tours to Italy and she says she much prefers the tours that have in-town hotels. She likes Perillo, by the way.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 06:49 PM
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Insight is owned by Trafalgar. You can get 8-12% off the Insight land tour price through www.trafalgartours4less.com.

My parents did Trafalgar through Italy and were very happy. The only difference between Trafalgar and Insight is that Insight's hotels are more centrally located. Hope this helps.
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Old Aug 5th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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Oops, I hit post too soon. Also Insight will have a few more "added on" excursions that you would have to pay for through Trafalgar. Not a lot, but a few. You just have to decide if you prefer to be centrally located or not. Trafalgar Tours also has their own message board where they compare Insight/Globus/Trafalgar. The competing tour companies are ****'ed out but you can figure the names by the number of ****'s.
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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Hi S,

>Insight, although considered upscale in relation to the others, is not listing better hotels.<

Don't just look at the number of ***

You need to check locations AND get references on the available hotels at www.tripadvisor.com and here.

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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Tnks for the answers.
I already checked the hotels in tripadvisor and all the extras. They are not much different in quality and location. And included tours are the same. Thatīs why I donīt understand why Insight charges 500 USD more than Globus. As to the hotel in Venice, Globus stays in Mestre and Insight in Venice itself, but near the termini, not in a central location.
I read some feedbacks from people that went with Insight and the hotels reported were much better located than the ones actually listed. And since Insight is considered upscale in relation to Globus, I was tending to choose it. But now, I really donīt know.
I guess Iīll have to choose one and hope for a good Tour Guide.
By the way, the tours Iīm looking at are Italian Mosaic (Globus) and Italian Escapade with Insight.
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Old Aug 6th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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Simone,

The Italian Escapade Tour is the one I did, it was fabulous! I really enjoyed it, and because of it, I am returning to Venice by myself this year. I so enjoyed Venice that I decided right there and then that I was coming back.

It's a great tour with alot included. You can have plenty of time by yourself if you choose or can do all of the extra excursion. My friend and I did many of the excursions and didn't regret any of them. In Venice, we did the dinner in Burano, and the night grand canal tour and proseco (sp?) in St Marks, it was wonderful. But during the day, we ventured on our own and went all the place. Even though the hotel is not central, it doesn't matter that much in Venice because it's all within walking distance any way. We walked from ST Marks back to our hotel...it was a long pleasurable walk. If they are still having you stay at the Continental, it's not the greatest hotel, in fact, it was the one that I didn't really like. But since we spent time there only to sleep and clean up, I didn't care, because at least we were in "Venice". I don't know if you've been to Venice before, but trust me that makes a BIG difference.

Either way, I'm sure you'd have a good time.
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Old Aug 7th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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Have you looked into Collette Tours? My friend and I are booked for a Collette tour called Italian Vistas at the end of Sept/Oct. Her travel agent, which booked the tour for us says that the hotels are more centrally located than the other tour groups. I have taken a Trafalgar tour to England in the past, and although it was good, some hotels were quite out of the way and you were stuck there in the evening. Also Trafalgar seemed to stop at more than average kind of bus/truck stop cafeteria stops for lunch, which considering the wonderful towns that you are visiting, we could have eaten in a lot of nicer places. The Italian Vistas tour includes quite a lot, so you may want to take a look at it. I don't know anything about Globus or Insight, but I think that Insight might be a higher end tour compared to Globus.
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Old Aug 7th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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I took a look at Collette too. Last year we did a tour with them California Coast) and it was VERY good, except for the tour director. She was nice, but needed to do her homework better.
The hotels of their tour to Italy seem nicer, but the starting and finishing points arenīt Rome or Milan. Since we will be flying from Brazil, where we live, adding connecting flights would make the trip more expensive. But itīs still another option.
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Old Aug 18th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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We are thinking of taking a Club ABC tour next spring to Tuscany. Has anyone had any experience with this tour group.
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Old Aug 18th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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What about Gate1travel? Anyone had any experience with them. We are taking several tours with them next month when we go to venice, florence, and rome. Heard about our hotels either? In venice, the Olympia, in Florence, meridania, and in rome, porta maggiore? Good, bad, indifferent? Thanks
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Old Aug 30th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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Just toured Italy with Globus. There are a lot of optional meals and tours, but for the money they do a great job.
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