Tour or Indepenent Trip?

Old Jun 8th, 2001, 11:59 AM
  #21  
forewared
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Before you get suckered into anything Mike, do a search on this forum for the name "Rex Bickers" and read his past posts and the comments of posters here, and see if you want to "contact" him. (just a warning, don't do it!) This guy has a reputation for insane obstinancy, to the point of derangement. If you can't find any threads about him, post here again and we'll top them for you. He has even gone so far as to impersonate Fodor's editors on this board, in an attempt to control its content. <BR> <BR>You deserve to know who and what this guy is and how he has presented himself and acted out on this forum for past year. He only recently toned down because it finally dawned on him that he was losing customers with his shrill behavior. He has alienated most of the regular posters and newcomers to this site, and it's easy to see why when you know more about him.
 
Old Jun 8th, 2001, 12:17 PM
  #22  
Annette
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Hey, Old and Didn't Know It: I probably didn't explain myself with the "elderly" thing: I was trying to use the term with irony - no way 61 is "elderly" and I don't like the word anyway, for anyone. I only meant to say so many people perceive that those over 60 don't know how to travel independently and also that you can't travel independently in Africa or Asia. Obviously, my husband's big brother isn't "elderly" if he has been independently travelling - heavy on the camping and hiking - from Cairo to Durban since last Fall.
 
Old Jun 8th, 2001, 05:04 PM
  #23  
Andy
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Mike- I too,like others on this board prefer indepedent travel.....however, we did a tour 2 years ago that was THE BEST vacation we ever did--it was a wine/gourmet 2 star Michelin restarants/a few tiny 15 min. cooking demos and touring towns PLUS time on your own....LIMIT TO 14 people total on 2 mini vans--VERY 1st class and very reasonable....contact their website: <BR>Savour of France.com--they have different trips (each a week long) in France and Italy---you WILL love it..
 
Old Jun 8th, 2001, 06:59 PM
  #24  
Jerry Yares
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Just a comment from two newly-retired geezers who decided to spend their children's legacy. If we've never been there before, we let Rick Steves (www.ricksteves.com) take us there. If we have a feel for a place, we buy the Fodor guide, reserve the first night's hotel room and a rental car, and fly there. If we want to savor a place, we become temporary residents via a two-week Untour (www.idyll.com). Simple as that. <BR> <BR>Happy travels from Jerry
 
Old Jun 9th, 2001, 04:29 AM
  #25  
steve
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It has always been my opinion that if you have to ask the question, then you should take a tour. <BR> <BR>Take a tour if it is your first trip abroad. <BR> <BR>That aside, you will see more things on a tour because they schedule more closely than you can. If you don't like to make decisions and be in charge, then take the tour. <BR> <BR>If you want to be able to linger at someplace that interests you, then go independently. <BR> <BR>My best friend lived in Germany for 10 years, travelling all over on his own. But in the past 5 years or so, he has enjoyed tours where others can do all the logistics.
 
Old Jun 11th, 2001, 01:02 PM
  #26  
carol
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We took our first tour during a recent trip to greece and Turkey. Most of the trip was not via tour, it was totally spontaneous (including some significant itinerary changes on the fly), backpacking, booking domestic flights and rooms no more than two days ahead. <BR> <BR>However, we took a two-day tour in Cappadocia, in Turkey, and are really happy that we did. We flew from Istanbul to Kayseri and got a transfer to Urgup, and while we were there we took a guided tour. We saw more than the guidebook listed, went from morning to night instead of lazy starts and early siesta. We were in a small group, so we did not have to be embarrassed about following a person with a coloured card held over their head. <BR> <BR>I also plan to take more tours and cruises when I am older. Your luggage is handled, someone tells you the history and what to expect on your way from one place to another, and you stay in nicer places. But now I can still carry a backpack and cheap out on the rooms, so that I can do the trip faster by flying, and spend more on nice meals.
 
Old Jun 23rd, 2001, 07:37 PM
  #27  
j
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Hi! we travelled independently to England and Scotland, but in Scotland chose a wonderful guide for three days and certainly saw more than we would have alone. FYI the Idyll website is not a travel site, how does one go to untours. Joyce
 
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 03:27 PM
  #28  
MaureenGP
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Last year we planned our own 28-day driving tour of Spain. Last night, we just returned from 14-day Globus tour to England and France. Which did I like best? Both of them. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. A tour is definitely easier--you don't have to read maps, find parking, lug baggage. I think it's a good idea to take a tour when it's your first visit--I would never book a tour to a place I have already been. Follow your instincts--traveling in Europe is not that difficult. We mastered the Tube and Metro in London and Paris easily and went wherever we wanted. I think cities are easy, because of the mass transportation, and you would not need to take a tour to any large city. But, if you want to travel about the country, a tour can be much less stressful, depending on the person.
 
Old Jun 27th, 2001, 03:50 PM
  #29  
mimi taylor
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The most important thing is the person that you are travelling with. If they are open to adventure, non ture is the way to go. SERINDIPIDY is what I crave. If you go to alot of suggestes places yopuy will meet Americans, which is ok if it makes youy feel secure. We want to meet, know the French and finding places on your own, for us is exciting, and when you go off the beaten tracks, there are so many bed and breakfasts that asre better than some of the cheaper hotels in a big city. I hope I have been of help and have a wonderful vacation.
 
Old Jul 8th, 2001, 07:18 PM
  #30  
Al
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I absolutely love tours. To me, it is not a vacation if I have to worry about everything. I can just relax and show up and enjoy everything on a tour. I've done it both ways, and will always do a tour if I can afford it.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2001, 11:44 AM
  #31  
Nancy
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I have been on a few river cruises in Europe and in China for the experience of being on the river. They were wonderful trips, BUT, we were hurried through towns on our stops, not much time to ourselves. When I spotted an announcement for such as a concert in a church or some other event happening in that town, I knew I would have to miss it and get back on the ship. I was rushed out of Melk Abbey when I would have loved to have stayed and listened to the beautiful organ music. I happened to book a river cruise in France that a group of totally obnoxious people (mostly related) also happened to book, and this made the trip miserable. There were actual physical fights over the view tables! These are a few of the examples of what you will come up against. <BR> <BR>I now travel on my own and do my own planning which, like other posts state, <BR>is part of the fun. Or you can have a travel agent do the work for you. <BR>I would not go on a tour again, even when I get elderly I will rent an apt. or get a room in one place and venture out from there according to my ability.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2001, 08:26 PM
  #32  
mark
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Annette, I'm glad that you clarified the word "elderly". Some people think that anyone older than they are, is elderly. The older you get, the older the word elderly gets. Now you "youngsters" quit picking on us "old folks".
 
Old Jul 10th, 2001, 10:31 AM
  #33  
Nancy
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I will clarify: I use the term elderly for when I now longer can or want to fend for myself, and want to be escorted and taken care of (which is still better than not traveling at all).
 
Old Jul 11th, 2001, 11:43 AM
  #34  
Alma
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Mike, <BR>Took a 3 week tour with Collette Tours. We went to England,Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The tour quide was VERY knowledgeable and VERY nice. She had a great sense of humor and certainly made the travel in the coach fun. We had 40 people, ages varied from 18 to 70 something. These older people had more energy than I had.(I'm in my 50's) <BR>The hotels were in the center of town and we were had plenty of free time to shop or whatever. A few of the hotels were bought-out Hiltons and the food was just great. Collette included all breakfasts and most dinners. We had no extra options(that could cost $$$)on this trip. All was included in the price. Most of the dinners were at the hotel except for the Special nights at a Mediaeval Banquet (in Ruthin Castle,Wales) or The Laurels Singing PuKillarny, Ireland), An Irish dancing performance, A Scotish performance with Haggis tasting in Edinburgh, Scotland). I spoke to people on other tours and they said that they had no choice of dinners. They had Salmon EVERY NIGHT! We had 3 choices of each: appetizer, entree and dessert. I would love to take another trip with Collette. They are truly wonderful. <BR>I went to Paris for 10 days with Trafalgar and was disappointed with the tour guide. She was very serious and didn't even look to make sure that all were back on the bus. The hotel was OK. We had to carry our own bags into the hotel & the room. Now I don't know how it would be on a regular tour with them, we took the Free & Easy tour. That's where you have the hotel, breakfasts and 1 day of sightseeing included. Maybe it would be different with a reg. tour. <BR>I had the most fun on the British tour maybe because of the group. Anyway, check out the Collette website: www.collettetours.com. <BR>Have fun no matter how you go.
 
Old Aug 25th, 2002, 06:45 PM
  #35  
Tom
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A year old, but a good assortment of answers on a frequently asked question.<BR>
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 05:03 PM
  #36  
Jim
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Mike,<BR><BR>I haven't read through all your answers, but I urge you to read Rick Steve's book, "Best of Italy" so you can understand how easy it is to travel in countries like Italy and France. You will learn that you can travel for a month or six weeks for the cost of a 14-day guided tour in which may spend afternoons trapped listening to a sales pitch and evenings in hotels located far from where you want to be.
 
Old Aug 26th, 2002, 05:08 PM
  #37  
jim
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Mike, I see that a couple people have suggested Fodor guidebooks, which have many strengths. However, when it comes to hotel selection, Frommer offers a greater choice in all price categories and Lonely Planet gives information about more out-of-the way places and more specifics about how to get from one place to another by bus, train, and air.
 
Old Aug 28th, 2002, 04:11 AM
  #38  
Independence
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I say go on your own and take some tours while you're there. The ambience is much better when you can soak up the culture on your own, rather than with a group of people you don't know. Just do a lot of research so you know where you're going, and enjoy at your own pace!
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 05:39 PM
  #39  
Alissa
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I am planning a trip to Romania in the summer of 2003. I already know a lot of the places would like to visit. I have reasearched group tours and individual guides. However, many of the group tours, it seems, you have to stick to a planned itinerary and I don't like that. I want to do a more of the off the beaten track thing-if you will. The main must see for me is the Castle Hunedoara which supposedly Vlad once inhatied. In most tours I've looked at they don't even mention going there. Has anyone been to Hunedoara Castle? Also, does anyone have any recommendations for how I should get about-i.e. renting a car, riding a bike, coach, etc? Has anyome out there done a group tour and/or private tour, and if so what would you prefer? Is there a to company where I can kind of customize my trip and then have a tour guide accompany me? Like I have said I would like to see more of the not so visited sites. One more question-where can I find a translator? A response to any of these questions would be greatly appreciated!<BR>Thank You
 
Old Nov 16th, 2002, 07:36 AM
  #40  
Linda
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There are tours, and then there are tours. Some are the highly structured 12-countries-in-8-days kinds of tours, with every minute programmed and most meals provided, and some are the much looser types, taking care of transportation and hotels and maybe providing a half day tour of each city but leaving you on your own after that and providing few meals beyond breakfast. For people who can't afford a lengthy vacation or who are visiting a region for the first time, the latter format can be a cost-effective way to get acquainted with a city or region. Then on later trips you can do things more on your own.
 

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