The more one travels, the more one wants to wander off the beaten track, to leave the crowded tourist attractions and the hustle bustle of persistent hawkers behind. Some people are very skeptical of package tours. I certainly am (especially when I see a busload of noisy, visor-wearing, waistcoat-clad tourists arriving someplace with huge DSLR cameras hanging around their necks). But when visiting a continent as vast as Europe, a group tour can be just the right thing. I went on an 18-day bus tour through nine European countries a few years ago. To this day, I look back on that trip with great fondness. Here is why.
I was young and poor and working some incredibly ‘interesting’ jobs in England. I didn't have the time or the money to travel alone to a leisurely itinerary. I wanted to see as much I possibly could in a limited time and with a limited amount of money.
I managed to do just that and visit some of the greatest sites in the world because I found an affordable package bus tour. The trip included all our accommodation, most of our meals and even entry to some of the tourist attractions. There was no way I could have travelled those distances, seen all of those places or booked all that accommodation if I had organised it on my own.
I really didn’t have to think much.After a pretty stressful few months, I really went on holiday. All I had to worry about was making the bus on time. On these package yours, nearly everything else had been organized for you. You can get on with having a good time.
I made friends for life.Spending hours on a bus with fifty people and singing the Glee version of “Don’t stop believing” will do that to you. Ours way a young group of people and we had such great fun. There are few places in the world I will travel to and not have a place to stay.
I have a very clear idea of the cities and countries I want to go back to one day.Even though we only stayed at each destination for one or two nights, we got a good idea of where we were and we saw most of the main tourist attractions.
I know now which places don’t ‘wow’ me as much as I expected and the places which stole a little bit of my heart.
I chose the tour I wanted to go on. And you can too by choosing the tour which best suits you. Have a look at some of Flight Centre’s nine tour companies. Do you prefer tostay in hotels or ‘rough it’ camping and bunking in youth hostels. Which countries do you want to go to? What length of trip are you looking for? You can even choose which country to start and end in.
There is a tour designed for all ages, all budgets and all travellers. Tumultuous history, architectural masterpieces, timeless traditions, culinary treats and a cacophony of cultures in Europe await you!
By: Philippa Francis