So, I'm finally going to be able to goto Europe this year!
Since I'm going solo and this will be my first time in Europe, I'm thinking about a Contiki Tour and part solo.
That just about hits most of the "must see" cities, I think. For another 7-8 days, I will visit my friend in Vienna for 3 days and another 3-4 days in switzerland.
Should I do the tour first or do my solo backpacking? Logistically, which do you guys think is better?
Personnally I would do the Contiki tour first then backpacking second. The bus tour can be pretty exhausting especially if it's a party group that you are with, so the backpacking second gives you a chance to unwind and relax. You also might meet some people on the bus trip that you want to backpack with after the trip or get good things to do and sights to see from other people on the bus trip.
Just my two cents.
The pro of going solo first I can think of is my baggage will weigh a little more end of the trip, so if I went to the Alps first, I wouldn't have to carry as much when I'm hiking, but I guess I could just limit my souvenir buying.
You can also ship stuff home if you go solo later - unless you are a very experienced traveller you are bound to bring stuff along that you don't really need. When you ship home your souveniers, it is an ideal time to ship home all the unnecessary things too.
BTW, if you want to hike the Alps, you'll only need a (large) daypack. You could consider to leave everything but the most essential with your friend, picking it up later before you go home. (You can also put the visit to your friend at the end of your trip, then you can forward your stuff to your friend while you hike around in Switzerland. DHL has some competive rates and is quite fast.)
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 21, 2007, at 4:32 PM by t_maia ]