How to Choose the Best European Tour for You
A European tour is often considered a dream vacation, but when it’s time to stop dreaming and plan the trip it’s easy to get stuck in the decision-making phase. There are so many world-class destinations in Europe that it can be challenging to narrow down an itinerary that will fit both your budget and your vacation days. If you think this might be the only chance you’ll have to visit the continent, you might make the mistake of overbooking yourself. There are a lot of considerations that go into buying an overseas vacation package, so check out our tips for choosing the best European tour before you commit.
Your Introduction to Europe
For those visiting Europe for the first time, it can be overwhelming to not only choose the destinations, but also select lodging, train passes and sightseeing tours. One of the major benefits of European tours is that all the logistics are covered. No haggling for a better room rate in Barcelona using your high school Spanish. And no time wasted asking for directions to the Parthenon. Experienced guides smooth out the time in transit and know exactly what tourists want to do and see during their vacation. As an added bonus, some European tour companies have special access to major sites and after-hours entry options.
Before you contemplate the where, think about the how. Are you thinking about taking the kids and making this a family affair? Or are you treating yourself to the luxury experience you certainly deserve? Maybe it’s a milestone anniversary, so romance is on the agenda? Choose the type of vacation you want and that will help narrow down the options. Also consider the type of transportation you’ll take. The larger and more well-known tour companies like Globus, Tauck and Cosmos will try to fill a large coach bus and you can expect a group of 40+ people. Smaller outfits may limit the number of guests at 12 and travel by van.
Dollars to Euros
Many travelers find that you can save money by booking a package deal instead of purchasing the airfare, hotel and transportation individually. Be sure to review your European tour operator’s offering of hotels by rating and location when making your cost comparisons. Don’t forget to include gratuities for your hard-working European tour guides and drivers in your budget.
The other advantage of package deals on European tours is that you can put down a deposit and then pay off the trip over time allowing you to spread out the cost over several months. In addition, you will have locked in your price months before you board your flight, so there are no surprise cost increases during the trip.
Start with the must-see’s on your list and evaluate which itineraries spend sufficient time at your most important stop. Maybe you’re finally getting to experience the glamour of Paris – check to make sure you have time to climb the steps of the Eiffel Tower and see what they mean by “the City of Light”.
Your Traveling Companions
Familiarize yourself with the typical traveler with your target tour companies. For example, Contiki is known for hosting twenty-year-olds searching for the party scene. If you’re into outdoor adventures like hiking Mount Lycabettus for one of the best views of Athens, don’t book yourself on a bus loaded with history buffs. But if you do want to be with the history buffs, check the tour company’s online reviews to ensure they have a local guide who will explain the rich layers of Greek history. Find the best fit for your tribe and then book the trip where you can meet and mingle with other like-minded travelers.
Help Protect Your European Tour Investment
After all the careful consideration you’ve given to selecting the best European tour, don’t forget to purchase a travel insurance plan to help you enjoy your trip to the fullest. From language barriers to more serious issues like the rising threat of terrorism, you should be prepared for the unexpected, especially when traveling abroad.
You’ll be glad you chose a travel insurance plan from Generali Global Assistance, that can help protect your trip costs in case of Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption. And, you can also rely on 24/7 Emergency Assistance from Generali to help deal with medical issues or travel disruptions during your trip.
It can be overwhelming planning a European Tour that you may have dreamed about your entire life. But, if you follow some of our tips, you’ll be on your way taking the best European tour for your travel style before you know it.