I’ve been thinking about the beginning of our European travels lately. I think it’s because I want to help send others to Europe for the first time since I’m now selling travel. I want to make sure that when I send someone off to Europe, they get the absolute most out of every moment. I’ve been thinking about some of the best ways we made the most of our trips so I can share what I know with you.
One of my favorite things that we did was one of our first trips. We took a bus tour through Italy over Christmas and were lucky enough to be in the Vatican on Christmas day. Our tour stopped in Pisa, Rome, Sorrento (Pompeii), and Florence. I know, I know, it sounds so touristy but there are great reasons why a tour is a great choice. I’ve made a little list of really good reasons to take a tour. Buses are popular but they aren’t the only mode of transportation for tours now. Tour groups take trains, smaller vehicles, or even river cruises (more river cruises are starting to cater to families and young travelers). All that is for another blog post. In the meantime, enjoy:
5 Reasons Why You Should Book a Tour in Europe Instead of Planning Everything on Your Own
- You get more for your money– A tour often includes all your transportation, a tour guide, hotel accommodations, and most food. The tour agencies get group rates at hotels and restaurants and that saves you money! They also get group discounts at places like museums or for excursions so you’re paying less for things that you would want to do even if you weren’t on a tour.
- Tour guides know EVERYTHING– One thing that I really loved about our Italy tour was that our tour guide was knowledgeable about everything from each area’s history to what store had a free restroom (not something you find often in Europe). She would give us some great advice before our free time and it really helped. Example: she told us about this amazing wine store in
an ancient wine cellar. We never would have found it if we were traveling on our own.
- You end up getting more in-Tour buses leave one location early in the morning so that you get the most of your time at your next stop. This is an excellent way to force you to get up earlier than you normally would. Plus, you can wear comfy clothes and sleep on the bus so you’re not really missing out on the sleep.
- They take you to the best places– Tour companies work hard to find the best quality stores, restaurants, and excursion companies so that their clients are happy. Happy clients mean repeat customers and new customers through word of mouth. You’re less likely to waste money on fake cameos in Naples or coral necklaces in Sardinia if you’ve got someone that knows where to buy the real stuff.
- Riding a bus is clean and green– Carpooling is good for the environment but riding a fuel efficient, clean burning bus with 60 of your new friends is GREAT for the environment. Other perks: you don’t get lost and you can stare out the window and enjoy the view and there are some beautiful views to enjoy.
Please enjoy our slideshow below. Keep in mind, these were taken the same year that Instagram launched (they’d look way cooler if I’d taken them now). If I ever had thought in a million years that I would have a blog, I’d have tried harder to take clear, beautiful pictures. I’m actually working on a post about improving travel photos. Thanks again!