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Time Allotment & Travel Days (European Whirl)

17 Jun 2007 Jeremy said

Jeremy
Hey everyone. I am thinking about taking the European Whirl in May 2008, and so far haven't found any reviews of this specific tour on the message board. So I had a few questions, some general, some for those who were on one like this.

I intend to take a few extra days at the end in Paris, because I know that for me, one day will not be enough to see everything I want to see there. It seems like most cities the big things that are listed should have enough time to visit each one individually, so I am not as concerned (Prague Castles, Karlov Most, Riverboat Excursion for example). My concern is with Rome however. If next year's tour is like this years schedule, we'll have a night tour of Rome and a whole day for the rest. Is this enough time to see the Colosseum, Imperial Forum, Sistine Chapel, and other Vatican sites with some depth? As well as the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona during the day. I am a big photography fan and would really enjoy to be inside every one during the day for lighting purposes.

My next question is on the days that are traveling from one city to another. I was told that the bus would stop every few hours, and it is in some small towns. Does anyone have any indications on what to expect from those? Aside from Verona and Dresden there aren't any indication about what we'd see on the tour listing.

My last question is for this particular tour. But after the trip cost, airfare, insurance, excursions, and my extra nights in Paris: Is $1000 enough to cover Food and Extras [transport and entry fees for all but Paris] for 23 days if I will probably only drink on the dinner excursions when its included and will be charging gifts separate. It seems like that should be enough, but I don't know much about budgeting for the museums and things that are not listed as excursions.

Thanks for your help! I've been looking forward to doing this for over a year, and its still a year away.

-Jeremy
  • 17 Jun 2007 ptooma said

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Jeremy:

    My next question is on the days that are traveling from one city to another. I was told that the bus would stop every few hours, and it is in some small towns. Does anyone have any indications on what to expect from those? Aside from Verona and Dresden there aren’t any indication about what we’d see on the tour listing.


    Many of these small towns consist of 1 or 2 buildings off the main highway with a big sign that says “Autogrill”. Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->




    quote:
    My last question is for this particular tour. But after the trip cost, airfare, insurance, excursions, and my extra nights in Paris: Is $1000 enough to cover Food and Extras [transport and entry fees for all but Paris] for 23 days if I will probably only drink on the dinner excursions when its included and will be charging gifts separate. It seems like that should be enough, but I don’t know much about budgeting for the museums and things that are not listed as excursions.

    -Jeremy



    Well I hope you are budgetting in Euros, because the US$ is on a slippery slope downhill. Be prepared to budget in addition for bathroom fees, especially at the rest stops. Maybe 50 cents each time? Tip for the TM & driver. Admission fees. Lunch at perhaps 10-15 Euros. Dinner at 20-25 Euros. Bottled water 2 Euros/day. Better to budget roughly 100 Euros/day and bring $$$ home instead of running on empty. If you are not drinking, then maybe 85 Euros/day.

    - Vic

  • 17 Jun 2007 Jeremy said

    Jeremy

    Woah thanks for the fast replies! My current summer job is my basis for my Europe budget even though I will make more working until next May during the school year and tax return $ to have if need be. The last thing I want to do is come back with charges on my credit card to have to pay off later. I’m willing to go for broke but not that broke Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    It seems like I should book tickets for the statue of David and the Sistine Chapel for before I leave so I can avoid the line. That’d free up more time for revisiting other sites. Has anyone tried this method and does it work? [I saw other threads saying people were thinking of doing that but no real response of if it worked, and more threads where people wasted 3 hours waiting to get turned away]. I definitely think i’ll be getting up before sunrise that day if possible.

    mattyv – I’m planning on doing 3 extra nights in Paris in a hostel and then purchasing a 4 day metro and 4 day museum pass. I have a lot I’d want to see, with a whole day being just Le Louvre. Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> The whole reason I’m looking at Whirl is because it ends in Paris. I also have 5gb of memory cards for my camera, which, on my regular setting is 2500 pictures or 60 minutes of TV quality video. 1250 if I want to go super high quality but I can only imagine taking a few at that. And half of those are strictly reserved for Paris and Rome.

    ptooma – I suppose I’m content with rest stops. I mean, rest stops in Austria still have to have beautiful scenery. I can’t complain on going to Verona and Dresden either way! I just finished reading Slaughterhouse V right before I pre-booked Whirl and saw Dresden was a lunch stop and laughed since the book was set there haha. Thank you for outlining what exactly the 100euro/day basis is made on. I really couldn’t quite see how much goes to what before that.

  • 18 Jun 2007 Jeremy said

    Jeremy

    Oh one more question. On the online listing for each city it says like “You could go see the Anne Frank Museum, or go to a trout farm and fish” for Amsterdam and similar for other cities. Does Contiki send any information before we leave listing local museums and things most people want to do that are not on an excursion, and their prices as well as specific names? [The German Beerhall excursion, for example, doesn’t say which hall. Hoping for Hafbrauhaus]

    I can find most of the named places [Anne Frank House, Museums] online if need be, but some of the other ones that are general listings are more obscure especially if there is no website. Part of it is for more in-depth budgeting or pre-purchasing tickets if waiting to enter is a concern, others are just to find out what things may be available that I dont know about already Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->. I suppose I could check lonely planet or get travel books for those though, but if Contiki did that all the better!

    Its a shame I wont go skydiving in Switzerland, it looks so fun. I just cant afford that and the video [I’d have to buy the video].

    Thanks again!
    Jeremy

  • 18 Jun 2007 ptooma said

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    Do your research online before going on places you’d like to see. Your TM will probably have some info, but the nothing on paper. They will point out where on the map various places are located.


    — Correction –-
    If you are going to Munich, you will be most likely be having dinner (not included) at Hofbräuhaus Beerhall (Superior/Timeout tours).

    On the Concept/Budget Tours, the 20 Euro optional will bring you to an older beer hall called Munchener Haupt. The 20 Euros includes a meal (pork kunckle, or schnitzel or some sort of veggie meal), a stein of beer (people get thirsty Smiler<!-graemlin::)—> ), and some traditional entertainment.
    — –- - –- - –-

    If you do go parapenting, just take videos w/ your camera. I did.

    Vic

  • 24 Jun 2007 Jeremy said

    Jeremy

    So the 20 euro Bavarian beerhall excursion in Munich only includes drinks? I was also thinking of booking a tour of vatican city separate before I go to avoid the line and purchasing the Roma pass to possibly avoid the line for the Colosseum.

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