I am considering booking a guided tour to Rome, Florence and Venice .I've never done the group tour thing( 20 people) but feel it would acclimate me better to a country I've never travelled to.
Any suggestions or comments about tours are greatly appreciated.
I was thinking of going by myself at Easter to Italy. Couldn't decide whether I want to go to Venice or Rome or Milan.
My opinion is that tours are pretty crappy because you have to go with the other people that you may or may not like to places that you may or may not want to go to at their pace, not yours.
Self guided are ok because you go at your own pace and to places that you want to go to.
I'd rather research which places I want to go, how to get there, where to stay and go at my own pace. I think it's more exciting.
I'm thinking the same thing. I really want to travel to Italy on my own, maybe Rome and see what happens from there. I didn't know they did group tours though. Do you know everyone in the group or are they strangers?
I agree with sunset1999, I would like the thrill of going to a place not knowing anything and just finding my own way. However, I'm a little unsure about booking everything. Do I just book a flight and then find a place to stay once I'm there? Or do I book a place to stay beforehand?
If this is your first trip to Italy, tours are a good way to get introduced to the major attractions and you don't have to worry about getting lost, etc. The downside is you end up spending all your time with people from your own country and not interacting with locals. Also, the restaurants they take you to will be geared towards tourists so the food you eat will not be authentic. You also won't have very much time to explore on your own or spend time in places that interest you because you're on a schedule.
I went to Europe with a tour group once, never did it again. I have a lot more fun planning my own trips, going at my own pace, and discovering all the cultural quirks that make me feel like I'm traveling outside my comfort zone.
I normally try and get the airfare then book the accommodations... I'm not adventurous enough to go somewhere I don't know without having a place booked and then having to walk around for ages trying to find a place to stay. I was in Austria last year on a week's self guided cycle tour and this group of cyclists came to my hotel looking for accommodation. The hotel was locked and closed for the night because it was in the middle of nowhere and the locals go to sleep early. So I guess they had to go and find somewhere else to stay. It's a big frightening if you don't know the language and having to find somewhere stay... unless cost is not an option. But then the place might be really crappy with lots of bad reviews about it... you would never know. I hate lugging my bags around as well because they get so heavy.
I think I'm going to go to Venice over Easter and just staying at the YHA hostel. YHA is a cheaper option since I'm going by myself to a very expensive place (especially during easter). The added bonus (after some research) is that the hostel is on an island close to central Venice.