Italy - tour or plan ourselves?

Feb 10th, 2004, 10:37 AM
  #1  
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Italy - tour or plan ourselves?

My fiance and I are planning a 12-14 day honeymoon to Italy at the end of Sept-early October. I have been to Italy once in high school on a tour. My fiance has never been to Europe at all. We like the idea of a tour because it eliminates a lot of the work on our end, plus gives us more confidence since we are new to this.

However, most people seem to feel that planning our own trip is best. Will planning our own trip cost more money? If a tour is the best idea, can you recommend any particular tour companies? Where do we start???

thanks
Erin
erin_rob is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 10:47 AM
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Good morning, Erin
I think that it is up to you depending upon how confortable and have the savi
to locate your hotels, location and etc., making the necessary transportation arrangements either rail or air. We did take tours in the beginning but afer a couple switched to
making our own arrangements after we were confortable with makeing all arrangements. If you are not comfortable with making the arrangements by almeans take a tour.
There are many excellant tours such at
PerilloTours and CIT..Would also suggest whether or no not you take a tour limit yoour travels to the main 3
Rome-Florence and Venice, This will allow yoo ample time to really be on your honeymoon and have plenty of free time for yourself... Richard of LaGrange Park, Il..
dickv2 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 11:17 AM
  #3  
rex
 
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I do not think that a tour will cost you more money - - but it depends on how you measure it. Will a tour include some things that you don't particularly value? Probably. Will a tour allow you to pack in more "seeing of actual sights" - - it can, in some cases, because they know the tricks of where to park the bus, how to get you in to some places at an appointed time (where reservations are not always readily made). Might they pack more into your days in general? Well, possibly, because THEY will make you get up and have your bags down on the sidewalk at 7 am in some cases, and you would not push yourselves to do that. Might you make the occasional bad choice of a hotel, or a restaurant, or show up for a museum that is closed for restoration? Yes, you might. But will you discover restaurants that are way better than what they have picked for you? At least some of the time, I bet. Will you have a wonderful picnic lunch from bread, meat, cheese and wine some impulsive day? - - instead of the box lunch on the bus that they pre-purchased for you at the same (or higher) price?

Stuff like that can and will happen.

There are pros and cons. If my own daughter(s) should come to me with the same question (they might or might not; one IS engaged as of two nights ago, as a matter of fact, and her fella has not been to Europe; she has, twice in the past five years) - - well, clearly I would help plan it for them.

Each person's situation is different.

Either way, congratulations on your new life in marriage... and...

Best wishes,

Rex
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Feb 10th, 2004, 01:26 PM
  #4  
rex
 
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Bringing your message back "up to the top" since it is your first post here, ever. You may not know that you can retrieve your question by clicking on your own name.
rex is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 02:07 PM
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my wife and I joined a package tour (rome-florence-venice) offered by Aitalia, the airline company. We picked a three-star package which let you reside at 3-star hotels at all three cities. We think the deal was pretty good.
zeroch is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 02:18 PM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi erin

Since you have a few months, you might enjoy doing it yourself.

OTOH, you are also planning a wedding.

However, picking the right tour is no less troublesome that planning it on your own.

Have you any idea of what you might like to do with 12 - 14 days in Italy?
ira is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 02:21 PM
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zeroch's suggestion may be the one for you--check "independent" tours with Alitalia or other tour companies. Your hotels, airport transfers, and transport between cities are all booked. Some include a basic half-day tour of the cities. The big cost differential is hotel choice--cheaper hotels are not very central.
ellenem is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 11:38 PM
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I think part of the adventure of travelling is trying to do it on your own. Having said that, I did take a wonderful morning tour in Vienna that I'm so happy I did. I got to see things that I would have never seen on my own, and met some really nice fellow Californian's on the bus.
The planning isn't that difficult, and I'd go with half and half. Why don't you organize your hotels with your airfare, and when you arrive in each city, you can decide if you want to take a tour or not. Rome is a place that you might want to do that, but in Venice it isn't really necessary, because everything is so manageable on foot. Eventually you run into everything you'd want to see.
It's up to you in the end. How much alone time you want with your new husband and how comfortable you are in a foreign country.
Start checking out prices on packages and seperatly. You may find your answer there.
Ciao,
Melissa
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Feb 11th, 2004, 05:01 AM
  #9  
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thanks rex for bumping me up to the top

ellenem - i think the independent tours may be the way to go? i just started looking into that yesterday. we can still get group rates with the freedom to do what we want.

any negatives to doing the independent tours?

Erin
erin_rob is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 05:26 AM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi erin,

Negatives to doing independent tours: Can you arrange the same tour yourself for less money?

A lot depends on what they are giving you, eg, airport to hotel transfers?
ira is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 05:48 AM
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negatives on independent tours...

Yes, as ira says you may be able to make the arrangements more cheaply yourself. But it sounds like you're not interested in doing the research--you must be busy enough planning your wedding.

I've traveled independently without packages as well as on "independent" packages. With either method, you set your own agenda for the day, the best part of independent travel. Usually I choose a package when traveling with friends for a quick, angst-less trip and to benefit from off-season rates.

My recent experience with Italiatour (Alitalia) was much like other packages I've seen. Included are airport transfers, hotel, breakfast, a morning city tour, transport between cities.

The biggest issue for me is hotel location. That is what really decides the price of the package, and may decide your enjoyment of the trip. For example, Italiatour's Rome lowest-priced hotels are not very central. You would have to move up a few price levels to get a more central hotel with major sights nearby. In Florence, Italiatour's hotel choices were reasonable-- since the city is small, even the least expensive hotel was a short walk from the sights.

Choose a package based on hotel choices. Get good maps or search the internet for the hotel's website so you see where the hotels are located before you book. (You should do this if you were making your own plans as well.)

If you choose a package, you will learn a lot about Italy and be able to plan your return trip on your own.

Either way, you'll have a memorable honeymoon.

When I consider one
ellenem is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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soory about that last line--leftover edit
ellenem is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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sorry (I must learn to proofread)
ellenem is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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I never proof read either.
Mel
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Feb 12th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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My fiancé has never been to Europe, and although I have, it has been on tours previously. But we're planning our Italy honeymoon ourselves. I am a detail-freak, so it is right up my ally. If you aren't, it might drive you a bit crazy. But honeymoon planning has been a great distraction for when I would get tired of wedding planning!
Jun04ItalyHoneymoon is offline  
Feb 12th, 2004, 05:42 PM
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My husband and i are planning our first trip to Italy this Sept. with the help of wonderful people on this site. There is a tour company that caters to 18-35 year old( if you are in that bracket). It is www.contiki.com . A fiend of my daughters went on one and liked it very much, but i don't know much about the accomodations. At least with something like that there wouldn't be a large percentage of seniors that you may get with another comapany. Good luck on your plans and your upcoming marriage!
smacknmo is offline  

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