My wife and I are planning to take a Trafalgar Tour of England, France,
Italy, and Switzerland next year. The name of the tour is "European Jaunt." Have any readers ever had any experiences with Trafalgar Tours?
Good or bad, I'd like to hear your reviews. Particularly, if you experienced the "European Jaunt." How was the quality of the tour guides, hotels, restaurants, transporatation etc? Thanks so much for your responses! Any helpful hints would also be greatly appreciated.
I went on a Trafalgar tour around the UK. It was good because the tour director was very informative and it was a great bunch of people. What I didn't quite agree with were the optionals. I took up some of the optionals, things/places that I felt would be worth it. The snag about these optionals is if you didn't take them up, then you have nothing to do during the time allocated for the optionals. If the optional tour happens in the morning, then you would be stranded at the hotel (most hotels aren't exactly in city centre) with practically nothing to do until the coach returns to get you. However, it also depends on the tour director. I've had friends who went on tours where the directors allow people who did not pay to join the optionals simply because they did not want to go back to the hotel to pick up just a few people who did not join. So pack 'em all in! The hotels were ok, food was nothing to shout about. But, overall I would say it was a great experience. I definitely saw so much more than I would have had I travelled on my own.
I went on an Insight Tour, and my parents have been on a couple of Trafalgar Tours. Some things of note are:
- these tours are an excellent way to see a lot in a short time
- most tours have "optional extras" that are quite expensive (eg, meal and a show) and you can feel a bit obligated to join in (and pay)
- most of the hotels used to be quite central, but the cheaper the tour, the more out-of-town the hotels might be. For instance, Venice Lido is quiet away from Venice proper.
- most of the time, your porterage is included. Check this, as it's very good not having to lug your bags up and down stiars/elevators, etc whilst trying to find your room.
- the food is generally only average, but certainly not bad
- most of the things you do and see, you can do yourself for probably a cheaper price, but the tour takes the organising and planning out of it.
- most of the people on the tours have similiar interests to yourself, but you get the occassional pain in the neck
- travelling times on the bus are quite acceptable, however you may find yourselves eating lunch at an odd time
- you will be compelled to tip your guids and driver at the end of the tour, and generally they want a fairly large amount. The choice is always yours.
- you will have a great time, but it can fee like you're on a school excursion at times.