My European Group Adventure: Why we chose a tour company for our journey.
Everyone should experience a trip through Europe at least once in a lifetime. For us, it was western Italy, Monaco, and France. A lot of people go for the “Backpacking” method, throw yourself out there with some cash and a couple of changes of clothing and hope for the best. We opted for something more stable, a group option on a pre-set destination tour.
I want to experience the gentle blow of Italian air on my cheeks, not the smug face if a valet that didn’t expect you to over book the hotel.
Traveling is stressful in a variety of ways, whether you are staying in your country or circumnavigating the globe. Do you have the right plane ticket? Do you take a train or a taxi? Will the hotel have rooms available when we get there? There is no point to the hassle when we live in the age of systems.
The Parisian candle light caressed our cheeks as we walked down the brick road, slightly inebriated and very elated.
A Parisian friend we met asked where we were staying the following day. “Somewhere perfect” was all I could muster to say. I was at ease, I knew not where we’d be led, only that it would be perfection…
It was late-November, ten friends were looking to make a life-long memory. After much discussion, we decided to book a tour company to take us through these three countries.
This is what they offered.
Pre-set hotels in the large cities.
Quaint motels and hostels in the small towns between.
Bus, van and pre-paid taxi transportation from airport to rooms.
Comfortable transport to destination during our stay.
Paid breakfast and lunch, daily.
It was ideal. Starting off in Milan and ending in Paris, we managed to stay for two days or more in 7 cities during our three-week excursion. Not once did we have to open our computers, or call a hospitality service. There was only one thought we could exhale, and that was “wow.”
You might be thinking this must be extremely expensive, but when you take into account the amount of money you would spend for every separate service: hotels, taxis, restaurants, hostels, and plane tickets only to name a few… this was a bargain.
We did have one issue.
It was late evening and the caravan of taxis dropped us off in a small town near Vienna. It couldn’t be more perfect. The moon was out and larger than we had ever seen. For most of us, it was the first time we saw so many stars in the sky. We walked into our perspective tiny clay rooms, absconded with grape vines. About an hour later as we had all settled into our new abodes, we realized we were at least 50 kilometers from the nearest store, and the drivers had left. The issue? We had no wine!
Our first instinct was to fret, but did you forget we are living a perfect stress-free adventure?
There was a vineyard behind the rooms and the landlord had no less than 400 bottles.