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Old 10-16-2016, 10:47 PM
Location: Looking over your shoulder
30,341 posts, read 27,804,382 times
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Originally Posted by SFBayBoomer View Post
Europe has wonderful trains. TAKE THE TRAINS!

Ideally, get a Eurailpass!
^^^ I'll be taking the train into France from London and then {somewhere there} transferring to bus most of the trip until I get to Rome according to the tour information so far.
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:35 AM
10,847 posts, read 11,265,341 times
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Originally Posted by Ceira View Post
I just got back from a 2 week bus tour in Asia and I'd never do it again - it was exhausting.

We lived out of a suitcase for the entire time (one night in each location).

We had to be up at 6.00 a.m. every morning to give us enough time to shower, dress and have breakfast before the bus left at 8.00 or 8.30 a.m.

We spend each day walking to all the places of interest, no free time on our own.

By the end of the 2 weeks everything was a blur, it was way too rushed and generally we suffered from information overload
. Tour guides talking endlessly, taking us to the tour subsidised shops where we were subjected to intense sales pitches. (This might only apply to Asia since I've never been on a European bus tour).

There were places where we would have liked to spend more time to explore on our own, but we had to stay with the group and follow the flag bearing tour guide.

The coaches were very comfortable, the drivers were excellent and yes, we were in that "mature" age group, but one thing I learned is that coach tours are not for me!

I'd never recommend a coach tour to anyone.
That's my understanding as well.

Very early hours (6am is typical), hotels far from interesting parts of the places, too little free time, overly ambitious schedule. Often you are forced to visit places that are not interesting to you too.

And you said it perfectly: after all the exhausting trips, "everything was a blur", because one gets to stay at one place for 1 hour, sometimes 15 minutes.

I am in my 30s, and I only do day tours occasionally, only for places that arranging for transportation is a huge hassle. Europe is safe and convenient, probably the best place to do self guided trips. It is unimaginable to visit Paris, Rome and Vienna in a tour bus yet people continue doing so every day.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:09 AM
Location: Wonderland
44,840 posts, read 36,186,607 times
Reputation: 63504
I've traveled all over Europe and I always rent a car, even in the UK. I much prefer being in charge of my own destiny! The few times I've ever gone on any tour with any group (other than the Hop On Hop Off buses), I've regretted it.

Recently my husband and I were in Boston and there was a tour bus loading up one morning while we were at the hotel. WITHOUT EXCEPTION every single person looked grumpy, tired, and irritable. My husband and I remarked about how UN fun hanging out with any of those people seemed.

Not only were they grumpy, they were even rude to us and we weren't even with their group. No thanks.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:30 AM
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,251 posts, read 19,550,442 times
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If you can get a tour bus map route, then why not rent a car and do that tour yourself?

You're going to see the exact same things, only with much more independence.
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Old 10-17-2016, 11:30 AM
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
9,219 posts, read 8,306,163 times
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I've done bus tours and they were exhausting.

We prefer to rent and apartment and travel by train.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:07 PM
3,137 posts, read 1,823,690 times
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I just posted about this recently. I went on a bus tour in Europe but it was years ago. I think parts of Europe are no longer safe to travel to and I would probably avoid them now.

The thing about bus tours is you are on a schedule, the same schedule, every day. We had to be awake at 6 a.m. every morning, the bus left at 7:30. If you weren't ready, the bus left without you. I was with a friend who had issues getting along with some of the other bus tour members, kind of a long story.

I don't think I would recommend a bus tour, I think it's better to do touring on your own. There are a lot of "mini tours" for half a day, a day or just a few hours, that you can go on.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:33 PM
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I have done it and it's not for me. I don't like that kind of structure when I'm on vacation. I prefer to sort of wing it as I go and go wherever the trip takes me.

I have heard far better things about river cruises or actual cruises if you want to see a lot of cities in a short time. I know many people who do those to figure out where they want to go back to later.
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:48 PM
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I honestly do not remember having to be up at 6 or 630 every day. I am an early riser so its not a problem for me, but I recall having fairly leisurely breakfasts and heading out more like at 9 or 930. I suppose the tours we were on were much more flexible time wise. We had a fair amount of time to peruse places or go on ahead within a city.
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:39 PM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,902 posts, read 9,673,850 times
Reputation: 4987
All of these comments just reiterate what I said in my post #5. Tour bus experiences vary widely depending on the tour company.

If someone has a specific question about a specific tour, then they can ask. I did mention that I was on a Rick Steves tour; I'd be interested to see what companies some of the posters here had problems with.

BTW, our tour bus only once left before 9:00, and we would never, ever leave someone behind!
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