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We had the best time, should my parents do the same?

We had the best time, should my parents do the same?

Old Jun 26th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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We had the best time, should my parents do the same?

A few years ago my husband and I took our teenagers to Italy. No tours except for private ones. We started in Venice (Murano etc) for a few days then took the train to Rome for a week. Rented a car and headed south to the Amalfi Coast. Seeing Pompeii, Capri, Ravello etc. Some might say we missed great locations but we only had two weeks and it was the best trip ever.
Well, my parents, young in their 60's, are planning to go for the first time with their friends next April. They want to go with Taulk Tours which will cover all of the above and Florence, Cinque Terre and more (jammed packed). Their friends want to go privately. I suggested our itinerary but what was good for us may not be good for them.
Any suggestions on a good itinerary ??? They are going for 2 weeks also. Should they give up Cinque Terre, Florence or Positano? All are unique and wonderful.
lmc07 is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2006, 04:52 PM
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<<...but what was good for us may not be good for them.>>

This is true. They should choose their own itinerary, whether it's a ready-made itinerary with a tour or one that they develop independently.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Replicating trips is not always fun for the travelers. You end up with a lot of expectations and the situations are never the same (weather might be hotter or wetter, attractions are closed or under scaffolding, etc) so I think that handing them your itin and saying "do this" is a pretty dicey situation. However, I would encourage you to tell them where you had a great time and why. That way at least when they get somewhere they will have an idea of what to do.

I have found that people who want to do package tours really want that security, so if they are not comfortable with something private, that is their cup of tea (though their friends need to understand that and maybe decide to travel separately).

As a rule, I try not to suggest places to leave out unless I am sure they are a waste of time to the fullest, and even then I am cautious. So, I wouldn´t go around saying "avoid place A, or, Place B is boring." Instead I would say why you did or did not like a place and see what they decide.

I would never leave out Cinque Terre or Florence, though I would not mind skipping Venice one bit. See why I never tell people where to not go?
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 05:15 PM
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Everybody is different, we have different outlooks in life, different tastes etc..,
I believe that your parents should go ahead and take the tour..it would be so much easier for them , everything is taken care from the museums tickets, to transportations, restaurants etc.It would be for them a safe and worry free voyage .
Later on they can always go back and explore the country on their own.
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Old Jun 26th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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May I suggest that one way to help would be to ask them questions such as: how much walking do you want to do? how much time do you want to spend transitioning from place to place (hotel room/city, etc.) which usually takes a full day? would you rather explore churches or museaums or both? do you like to sit and quietly enjoy a view or be with a group to experience a view? do you need down time or do you want to go, go, go? A tour provides a level of security but there are other ways to feel secure in a different country. What is it about the tour that attracts them? Maybe this is just the way for them to feel comfortable and to enjoy the experience. It takes all kinds...
All these factors help build an itinerary.
Weezie is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2006, 04:26 AM
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Hi lm,

It is unlikely that your exact itinerary will be what they would find most intersting, but it has got to be better than a tour.

Two weeks is plenty of time to do the Big 3, or to take a leisurely drive through Tuscany, or to visit the AC or CT.

There is lots of time to plan a custom visit.

ira is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2006, 04:42 AM
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If their friends are confident in traveling independently and are willing to take the lead, that may give your parents the desired security. In that case, you may wish to communicate to the friends the highlights of your itinerary, and reassure your parents about how wonderful it was to tailor the trip to individual preferences.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 04:56 AM
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My experience so far with people who opt for tours is that they 1) have fear or simply don't want to "bone up on" how to handle logistics in a foreign country where they don't know the ropes & don't speak the language and 2) fear of or inability to deal with luggage transfer issues. A very few have health issues, and feel safer in an organized group, but that's a different thing....

Perhaps if you knew what attracts them to the tour, you could offer some perspective & advice. Many are shocked at how how often a tour means up & at 'em in the very early AM, and in some cases, regimentation even as to rotating you through your seats in a bus during the tour, and no ability to just walk out the door of your hotel on your own time to explore because the hotel is too far from the historic center of town, or whatever. Not all tours have these dreaded "features," but there certainly are trade offs in personal freedom and you take pot luck when it comes to others on the tour with you.

But, as others have said, ultimately it is their choice. If they are well informed, surely they will make the right choice for them. Nice that you are trying to help them on the information front! Maybe armed with specifics, they will opt for the independent route with their friends rather than the regimentation (some have more, some have less....) of a tour experience with strangers.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:31 AM
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Slightly off topic, but this is kind of funny. My parents have traveled extensively in the US but had never been to Europe. They are rather shy and reserved people; not a lot of adventure in them. However, they wanted to do something terrific for their 40th wedding anniversary - so they essentially took our honeymoon!

My husband and I had honeymooned a few years before in Interlaken. We convinced them that Interlaken (and the surrounding area) was beautiful, clean, and English was spoken. They stayed not only in the same charming little hotel my husband and I had stayed in, but in the same ROOM. It sort of creeped my husband out, but for them, it was so comforting to know that someone they trusted had been there before. (They did, however, plan their own day to day itinerary.)
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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I've gone on my own and on tours. Both have their advantages. For a first trip, the Tauck Tour will be great.

Let them do their thing and you do yours.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 07:03 AM
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For a slower paced tour, they might want to look at Grand Circle Travel. They usually stay several days (4-5) in each location and have a day of sightseeing and then a free day with tour options available. They also have some cultural activities such as a meal at a local home/farm or a language lesson. They have a dine around restaurant option where they give you a voucher and you can go to any of the restaurants on the list.
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Old Jun 27th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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My husband and I are in our 60s and always plan our trip. We see the preparation time as part of the trip. We love being independent and we usually pick places where Larry, my husband often speaks the language. My sister and her husband, however, always travel in a group. They prefer group travel because they 1) don't speak any foreign language and are uncomfortable 2) enjoy the social aspects, 3) don't have to worry about their luggage, 4) hate dealing with all the transfer issues, 5) don't want to drive, feel too old for buses, but want to see the countrside, 6) don't want to deal with forever picking out decent restaurants, 7)like the information they receive from tour docents and other experts 8)don't have time or energy to plan the trip, and so forth.

People seem to like Taulk a great deal. IMO, there is time for the 'big three" plus CT. Whatever your folks decide, there will be compromises. It will be interesting to hear what they decide. Keep us posted.

justretired is offline  
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