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Old 10-04-2017, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,097 posts, read 45,613,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
On a personal basis, I'm totally in agreement with you. But my sense is that the DH doesn't really WANT to go, and a tour is the way the OP is getting him to agree. I hope he has a great time and will be more open to travel in the future.

I'll only add that it is possible that they might fly into Gatwick instead of Heathrow.
It isn’t that he doesn’t want to go...he does. I just know he’s uncomfortable if he’s left to his own defenses in a strange place. I do not not wish to contend with him if he’s going to get all tense. As for me, I could care less if I’m “lost”, because what’s the difference which new place I’m in?
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,069 posts, read 19,002,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
It isn’t that he doesn’t want to go...he does. I just know he’s uncomfortable if he’s left to his own defenses in a strange place. I do not not wish to contend with him if he’s going to get all tense. As for me, I could care less if I’m “lost”, because what’s the difference which new place I’m in?
You've reminded me of the first time I took my husband overseas. He was 54 when we married twenty years ago and had never been out of the country except all inclusives in Mexico and carribean cruises - which, in my book, don't count as 'leaving the country. He had never even had a passport.

Most of my family is English and elderly. I wanted them to meet him before they were gone. AND I wanted him to enjoy more adventurous travel experiences. So, I figured start him out slowly with a trip to England. They still speak a version of English, the food is familiar, and nobody had to drive. We visited London, my family in Colchester and a few days in Bath. He learned the charms of a real B&B and travelling by train.

He liked that we'll enough that I expanded our horizon - Thailand with a group tour. He loves Thai food, knows that I love all things Asian, and finally agreed with doing it on a group tour. We had a blast, even blowing off some of the included sightseeing and meals to go off on our own.

In the years since, we've gone to Malaysia, Borneo, Costa Rica, Singapore, Chile, South Africa, the Canary Islands, various places in Europe. We drove and LIVED in Ajijic, Mexico part time for 2 years. He's become a huge fan of travelling, particularly if there's a home exchange involved. (We've become spoiled by exchanges and dislike staying in hotel rooms anymore).

GentleArts - may your husband be as easily swayed as mine.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,034,238 times
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That’s an ambitious plan for a limited number of days. You could hit the high points of England and maybe Wales on an organized tour and combine that with a few days independently in Ireland before or after. We did that, flying to Dublin after a tour. We stayed in a small hotel that was down the street from the National Museum, near Connolly rail station, and that had a bus and tram stop across the street. We bought a transit pass that gave us unlimited rides wherever we wanted to go. We had a great time, taking the rail up the coast to Malahide Castle and riding the tram and buses all over the city. Dublin is very walkable so when the weather was nice, we enjoyed strolling around. We saw a lot in only 4 days. We plan to visit Ireland again, and when we do we will do as much travel by rail and tram as possible.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,680 posts, read 16,098,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Nobody takes the tube from London-Heathrow to the city these days. You take the Heathrow Express train to Paddington Station and then taxi to your hotel from there. From the baggage carousel to the train, you have a baggage cart to push. Same thing at Paddington Station to the taxi queue.
Actually we do, and the Piccadilly line trains out of Heathrow are pretty crammed, so we're hardly the only ones. But there are plenty of different ways to get toward the city at many different price points and I think that having so many options is awesome.

Our rule of solo travel has morphed into a three night minimum in an area to avoid the 'if it's Tuesday, then this must be Belgium' feeling. (Exception- one night at an airport are hotel the night before an early flight going home can work well) For a tour, I'd aim for two night minimums per stop because you can relax and enjoy someone else doing the driving and, more importantly, the parking on the travel+attractions days.

I feel tours have their place in leisure travel, and in your case, I'd go for one that takes a more relaxed path through the countryside before a couple of days in London solo. Get your travel legs under you, gain some confidence, and then turn yourselves loose.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:59 PM
 
579 posts, read 169,903 times
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keep the trip small so you'll remember easier. I'd recommend London. Stay there for ten days. You may also head over to Paris on the high-speed rail for a couple of days and stay near the center of town and take a tour or two. Then return to London. Take the train back to Heathrow to return home. That's really all the advice you need, if I do say so myself for your first trip. Please re-post and let us know what you decide.
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:39 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
9,143 posts, read 3,000,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
We know we want England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Our families are from there, and we’d rather go there than try to go to a lot of different countries.

We have it narrowed down to a few tours, or an NCL cruise. The durations are 11-12 Days.
We are fairly fit, but no spring chickens, so all the choices are age appropriate.

The cruise is appealing because there’d be no schlepping luggage on and off a bus. The meals will be predictable and abundant. Drawbacks are it goes from port to port, but not the interior of the countries, and also I’m afraid it would be full of decrepit old people and we wouldn’t have as much fun as we would with a tour group.

Our tour of choice is one in which we are on our own for arranging flights and hotels before and after, and we are responsible to get ourselves to the pickup point. I know my husband pretty well and he would not like to have to figure out getting somewhere on the London tube while dragging luggage.

Tour choice 2 seems to offer assistance in booking flights and airport transfers, etc. so that is how we’re leaning, but tour 1 is with a company that my daughters family has used so we know they’re good.

Call me confused.

I recommend a small tour group, travelling by roads. You'll see a lot more of the real country and be less likely to catch some epidemic illness, as can happen on a large cruise ship. As you say, the fellow travelers would tend to be more active and better companions. A little exercise carrying in some bags, won't hurt. And the variety of sleeping and eating places, would be much greater.
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:47 AM
 
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I generally hate tours yet I can see the appeal for some. Why don’t you just rent a car and drive around? Maybe not in London as driving in a city that size could be stressful. Get to heathrow, take a black cab, drop your luggage at the hotel and Uber around there. You see so much more if you do things on your own, with all of the information available on your phone, including downloading a moon guide or lonely planet to give you some direction. If you must take a tour, research the hell out of it before you book. Most of the cool, local hangouts that let you really see the country are not going to be on a cattle bus though.
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Old 10-05-2017, 03:07 AM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,511 posts, read 8,758,289 times
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If you know the places (cities, towns, etc) your ancestors came from, you can get a more accurate feeling where you want to visit. I traced my first US roots to Inverness, Scotland, and recently visited there and the surrounding area for a week.
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,097 posts, read 45,613,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frihed89 View Post
If you know the places (cities, towns, etc) your ancestors came from, you can get a more accurate feeling where you want to visit. I traced my first US roots to Inverness, Scotland, and recently visited there and the surrounding area for a week.
As I said, unfortunately, we will not be driving ourselves anywhere, since I’m not having my vacation ruined by a husband who has a poor sense of direction. However, I know the address, in Ovendon, of the house my great grandparents lived in before they came to the US, and we also know there’s a “Hubby’s Last Name” Wildlife Preserve and a hamlet in England. Since we have an uncommon last name, there must be a connection.

This first time, we’ll just get a good overview.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:21 AM
 
3,567 posts, read 2,369,965 times
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If it's liable to be your only trip to Great Britain, I'd do a group grand tour by bus or rail and hit all the highlights. But my wife and I hate traveling without itinerary, we're too indecisive.

If you have some particular destinations in mind, get on Google Maps (or your preferred equivalent), switch from Driving to Transit mode, and see how hard it is to get between them. Or you might do a group tour with a personal visit tacked on to the beginning or end.
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