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Pay in advance for day tours?

Greetings,
My friend and I are doing 10 days in Europe hitting a few places including Amsterdam, London, Rome and Venice. We want to do two day trips for sure - 1. Stonehenge 2. Pompeii/Vesuvius/Naples

We have found some companies including Viator and goldentours.com and a few others with what my friend considers to be decent prices. I am not against it but I have this sneaking suspicion that maybe we should wait til we get to Europe and not book in advance. I know that when I go to Vegas and other places they usually have day trips to places like the grand Canyon or to see a show or something - but they give big discounts the day of because they are trying to get it sold. Is this the case with day trips in Europe or is it best to go ahead and book a seat or we may end up missing out?

Posted by
7822 posts

Have you found other day tours for these cities that don't require advance payment? I would look on Trip Advisor for suggestions as well as reviews. Compare prices, read the reviews and then make up your mind. If it is a private tour, rather than you joining a group tour, then you will probably have to pay at least a deposit, or perhaps the full amount.

Do be aware that Viator is not a tour company itself, they just sell tours from other companies, adding a hefty mark-up. Not something I would want to spend my money on, when better alternatives are out there.

Posted by
11450 posts

Skyy,, you are going to Europe for ten days.

You understand that when you stay in a place for two nights you have actually only allowed one full day there,, each time you move you will use AT LEAST half a day,, checking out of hotel, getting to train station or airport.. then the travel, then getting from train or airport to next hotel and checking in.. so leaving optimistically 1.5 days in a place.. so .. you want to visit say Rome,, and only have one full day there.. because the other full day you will leave the city early for a daytrip.

I suggest you edit. .. ten days is not enough time to do everything you want. I would beg borrow or steal to make it at least a 14 day long trip,, airfare is so expensive,, make it worthwhile coming over.

As Sarah said,, Viatour is not a tour company, they just sell tours. You can probably find same tours a bit cheaper yourselves.. and you are right, you do not need to prebook ... EXCEPT.. you have only allowed 2 days in most places and it is easy to find tours full. I was in Paris one summer and couldn't get a daytrip I wanted to take for three days.. unfortunately I was leaving in two days! The desk clerk tried helping me too.. we must have phoned like 4 or 5 companies.. Some daytrips do not run every day.. maybe every other day.. so its easy to find them full .. this would not be an issue if you weren;t on such a tight timeline, so since you are pretty sure of which are "must dos" I would work my trip a bit different .

You haven't mentioned when trip is.. but europe is pretty busy year round,, and when some of those places are a bit quieter ( like now till about April) the tour companies often just operate with less tours.. IF going in summer don't count on them having empty seats to fill.... If going off season you may hit it lucky.. but you are travelling thousands of miles and have said you really want to do these two daytrips.. wouldn't it be dissappointing to get that close and then not be able to go!

I think with ten days you should stick to three destinations.. especially with daytrips..

If you haven;t bought your air tickets yet be sure to buy open jaw or you will end up wasting a day getting back to departure air city..