London, Paris, Rome

Apr 1st, 2002, 06:31 PM
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London, Paris, Rome

A friend and i are planning trip to these three places in August but we just realized that in August is when the majority of Europe take their holiday vacation. Does anyone know if we'll miss much on our vacation? Another thing is that we were planning on taking Contiki tours? Does anyone recommend it; your knowledge about this would sure help out a lot.
Apr 1st, 2002, 09:06 PM
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This will sound way too negative, since you will undoubtedly love Europe on such a trip, like many of "us" here do. What you will miss is:

Tolerable weather in Rome

Uncrowded attractions everywhere

Certain mom'n'pop boutiques and restaurants in Paris.

The freedom to explore when and where you want

The anxiety of being very much totally surrounded by non-English speakers

The charm and wonder of rural Europe (the best part).

The need to have to make decisions, when you feel so uncertain about the logistics - - hotels, transportation, etc.

Many of "us" regulars here are a biased bunch - - strongly in favor of independent travel, anti-big bus tour companies, fans of the lesser known and smaller towns and villages.

Hard to give you an appropriate answer from that slant.

Best wishes,

Rex Bickers
Westerville, Ohio

Apr 1st, 2002, 09:18 PM
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New York, London, Paris, Munich, everybody talk about mmmmmm POP MUSIC
Apr 2nd, 2002, 05:37 AM
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Rex's advice and comments are excellent and I'll add these:
Major tourist sites will all be open, but you will indeed be dealing with heat
(esp. in Rome) and with crowds.
Some people like tours because the details are taken care of and especially on a first trip it relieves some anxiety for some. For others it increases anxiety because you may find that some of the places you've always dreamed of spending time in
(the Louvre, the Vatican, whatever) may be getting short shrift due to tour scheduling. Not definite, just possible. You also may end up spending more time on a bus than in actually getting to know each place, even superficially.
Also, you have to understand tour language. "On our way to the Louvre we'll see the Eiffel Tower" may mean that you'll PASS by the Eiffel Tower, not that you're actually going to stop there. That's just an example.
Planning for those major cities isn't that hard really, once you start, and for some of us planning is half the fun.
You can get advice on taking trains, what the stations and airports are like, how to get from the airport to the hotels, how to get passes for some museums to reduce time waiting in line, etc.
If you do decide to plan on your own,
you can do searches here on those cities. I also have long files which I'll be happy to send if you email me.
If you decide on a tour, I'm sure you'll have a great time and it will give you ideas perhaps for more independent travel the next time.
Enjoy your trip.
Apr 2nd, 2002, 05:44 AM
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Nina, How many days do you have for this vacation? The 3 cities you named are all wonderful, but seeing them all in one trip could be overwhelming. You might want ot consider just visiting one or two.

London in August is less "abandoned" by the locals, compared to the two others, is also much cooler (on average) than Rome, and nothing is closed just because it's August. You might want to visit just London (and perhaps Paris) this time and save Rome (and maybe Paris) for your next trip.

Hav never heard of Contiki tours, but agree with other posters who encourage doing it on your own. You can get lots of planning help right here!
Apr 2nd, 2002, 10:05 AM
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to the top
Apr 2nd, 2002, 04:46 PM
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Wow; hmmm now you people got me really thinking. This is our first trip out on our own and taking the tour trip sounded much better that way we were able to see all things on our journey; but you do have a point about being on a tight schedule. The tour lasts about 12 days including traveling time. There was one trip that we initally found on the virgin airline site that seemed great (London and Paris & hotel stay/no tours included) and then when we found a trip that included Rome for around the same price thats when we couldnt resist! hmmm i am a bit hesitant about going on tour guided trip because i would like to see things at our own pace but yet still want to see all that these beautiful places have to offer. Anymore thoughts/suggestions/knowledge would be extremely appreciated!
Apr 3rd, 2002, 12:06 AM
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More destinations means less value on a tour like this.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 05:34 AM
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Just try to scope out the actual time you'll have in each place, if you have to call the tour company to ask some specific questions, don't hesitate.
Transportation from each of those cities to another, whether by bus, train, or plane, will take all or at least half of a day, and that's assuming everything goes smoothly. That even applies with independent travel. By the time you arrive at the hotel, get settled, etc, you'll be lucky if you have a few hours left that day for sightseeing. "We'll arrive in Rome in time for lunch" may mean that you don't really get out and about until
2 or 3pm. It sounds like you'd have about 3 full days in each city, unless the "travel days" you mention also includes your arrival and departure daysfrom overseas.Then your 12 day vacation is down to about 2.5 days in each place. How do you feel about that?
You have chosen three of the largest and most fascinating cities in Europe.
2.5 days in each would only frustrate me, but that's me, not you.
I do understand the lure of adding in a 3rd city for "free", but if it were me I'd keep it down to London and Paris, and save Rome for a later trip to Italy, if that's feasible for you.
Apr 3rd, 2002, 07:24 AM
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toppin' that, poppin' that

mm. pop music

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