Best of Europe in 3 weeks

I wanted to know if anyone had followed RS Best of Europe in three weeks itinerary. If so, how did it go?

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
1841 posts

This is not the answer to the question you asked but: I took that 21 Day Best of Europe Tour one summer. I go to Europe every summer for 11 of the past 12 years. Knowing what I know about travel in Europe, I would find it extremely difficult if not impossible to follow that tour on my own as it covered so much territory providing transportation, lodging and meals that I would have had a heck of a time keeping up with its itinerary. As with all RS tours, I have taken 11 of them, the pace is very fast. Good luck and happy travels.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7976 posts

I'll bet not successfully. Look at the basic premise: best. Having spent years in Europe, some of the places are tenth tier and a couple more aren't even worth spit. Regardless of opinion, there are just too many things to side-track you along the way. Rome? I don't even like the place too much, but I couldn't start to show you it and the Vatican in two days. Paris? I kind of like it, but you ain't going to see even the best of it in a couple of days in what's left after the obligatory stuff is done. Germany is a great injustice. Beaune and Haarlem. They're Mr Steves' fascination. So is the CT. They're not representative of much, just cutesy and jam-packed. What about all the countries, let alone regions, that are equal or better, but missing. Back to regardless of opinion. If you tried to cover that much turf on your own and restricted yourself only to specific sites and sights visited by the tour, you couldn't pull it off in that amount of time. A tour would have buses waiting at the door, meals set up, head of line privileges, etc. The drivers would know the routes cold and have reserved parking everywhere. Us regular toads have to flail around to find the museum entrance, find parking, get lost and unlost, wait in lines, look at six menus to find a place to eat, tote our own trash through the metro.......the list is endless. I don't take tours, but they're not evil. The problem is that you can't duplicate them as an individual.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1353 posts

Claire, One of these days i would like to go on an office RS tour, but for now i am soloing it. What you could do is to join one of his tours and see if it floats your boat. You will get an idea on how it goes and the pace. this is just my opinion, but considering the size of "europe" and how/who defines the boundaries, 3 weeks woudlnt do it justice period. I spent 3 to 4 days in Dublin, Edinburg, London, Paris, Normandy and Amsterdam and that took me 1 month and i still didnt see everything i wanted. I would add to that ...Best of Europe in 3 week... "enough to get you interested to come back" . also, unless that tour was personally tailored to you specifically, you would probably be left with wanting more. happy trails.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17776 posts

Claire, I suspect there may be a few people who have tried the RS "Best of Europe" Itinerary, and while it may be feasible, it's FAR too ambitious (IMHO). As the others have said, that Itinerary works best for people taking an organized tour where every detail is arranged. Trying to work out the logistics for that Itinerary would wear me out! There are too many destinations in that for a 21 day time frame (again IMO). Cheers!

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

Anyone would be wrong to attempt to take a R/S 3 week itinerary. Rick's tours are d by professionals that know the turf and how to get through their itineraries with great efficiency. Any tourist that wants to take such a fast pace trip should just take a R/S tour. I prefer to take in a smaller geographic area and tour it well on my own.
When I get older, I may go on tours. But the all inclusive, go everywhere bus tour is not for me. It's just too tiresome.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

I'll take the contrarian point of view. If money is not limited, and the traveler can use time efficiently, and just an overview is desired, it could be possible to run through Europe on this 21-days march. I did something like it on my first trip to Europe. In 1969 I had a Eurailpass that covered all of Western Europe. I made no train reservations and had a hostel reservation for only the first night. Of course, things have gotten more complex since then. I visited 6 countries and passed through a couple more in 4 weeks. A traveler out to get an overview could advance-plan a few stops, then fill in along the way. It is usually possible to buy a train ticket the day of or the day before travel. Rooms, hotels, etc can be found last-minute at train stations or by looking around. Computers are very useful for managing all this. We had no internet in 1969! The whole Trip could be planned out in advance, with reservations, train tix, etc. A good travel agent could set up part of the trip. Something usually doesn't work out, whether caused by illness, labor strikes, or weather. Just be flexible. I wouldn't expect that more than the most superficial overview would be possible with this many stops in 3 weeks, so don't plan on seeing everything. Just plan on coming back.

Posted by Richard
Los Angeles
633 posts

In my very limited experience I have learned.... Plan fewer stops and make most of your stops at least three days. Plan like it won't be your only trip to Europe. Even though everything looks close together the reason they are separate countries is because it isn't easy to get from one to another. If this is your first trip I recommend Paris and Rome with two more base destinations thrown in. Go slower, enjoy more. You'll want to go back again. P.S. Hearing Ed's view of Rome makes me now question his judgement.

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
611 posts

Could you do it on your own? I suppose....but not successfully. Keep in mind the related RS's tour has a dedicated bus/driver and there are many efficiencies with transportation, arranged accommodations and very helpful guide. If you like the itinerary, consider a tour or a shortened "My Way 14 Days in Europe" tour. Perhaps a combination of a tour and then travel on your own?

Posted by Tom
Oak Brook, IL
160 posts

Claire, Unlike most people on this site, I believe with thoughtful detailed planning that it can be done comfortably. My wife and I (age 62) just finished travelling for 35 days this past June. Five days in the States, immediately followed with 30 days travelling through 7 European countries (see my trip report '35 Day Adventure' from 8/29/13). Prior to this trip we had only been to Europe once for 2 weeks. During that trip we visited Salzburg, Prague, Vienna Venice, Florence, Rome and Positano. This trip we visited other cities to which we had never been. Our trip included: Overnight Plane 1 night Varenna 2 nights Monterosso 2 nights Florence 1 night Munich 1 night Rothenburg 1 night Bacharach 1 night Amsterdam 2 nights Bruges 1 night York 1 night Bath 3 nights London 3 nights Overnight Ferry to Normandy 1 night Bayeux 1 night Paris 4 nights Murren 4 nights
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Posted by Tom
Oak Brook, IL
160 posts

Continued from earlier post We planned everything in advance, trains, hotels etc. by ourselves, ..... with help from all the wonderful people on this website. Yes, it was fast pace but that pace was not a problem (for us). This trip was also probably too many one night stays for most people but it worked well for us. We intentionally planned this to be "an overview" trip and never felt rushed. In fact, had we stayed in several of the cities for 2 nights, instead of one, it would have been too long (in my opinion). Yes we were just skimming the surface throughout the trip but that was our objective. We now have a sense of where we would like to spend more time. The big advantage of doing it yourself is that you have flexibility and that allows you to adjust on the fly so you don't feel rushed. For example, while in Amsterdam, we planned to spend the afternoon riding bikes through Vondelpark. We visited the Rijksmuseum late that morning and liked it so much that we stayed at the Rijksmuseum a little longer and decided, at a moment's notice, not to do a bike ride. If you have planned your trip in detail by yourself, you know how to adjust on the fly, if necessary. Another example was during our visit to Murren. It was raining when we arrived and was cloudy with drizzle for the next two days. As a backup plan we did day trips to Luzern and Bern instead. We love the flexibility of planning and travelling by ourselves and will do so as long as we are able. We realize that someday we will be on the bus; hopefully not too soon! A possible alternative would be to start by doing an RS "My Way' tour. Whatever you decide, enjoy your trip!
Tom

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2696 posts

Hi, The basic question is whether your interests would be better served by participating in a tour for the three weeks or settting the trip priorities yourself. Both have their pros and cons, it just depends on which you value more. I would rather pick my own itinerary with consideration to time and distance, plot how to reach the place, accomodations, trains, without sacrificing flexibility, instead of relying on "their" judgement.

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
1353 posts

Unlike most people on this site, I believe with thoughtful detailed planning that it can be done comfortably i my opinion this is the key. Yes, it was fast pace but that pace was not a problem (for us). This trip was also probably too many one night stays for most people but it worked well for us. We intentionally planned this to be "an overview" trip and never felt rushed. In fact, had we stayed in several of the cities for 2 nights, instead of one, it would have been too long (in my opinion). This will be relative to the persons. Since this was your goal then its what you ended with and planned for. some people want the whole shebang and dont know whats in store for them. This is how i see/do it. If im going there anyway, why not stay a few days and do as much as i can in that time. I maybe able to see what i want so that when i go back i can skip or minimze my time there AGAIN so i can use that $$$ on a differnt place. but that is just how i think/do it. The big advantage of doing it yourself is that you have flexibility and that allows you to adjust on the fly so you don't feel rushed. i cant agree more. also, once youve dont your own trip planning, the next should be easier and hopefully you wil have the tools to do it on the fly or by winging it. i think Original Poster has some things to think about. IT will be interesting to see what happens. happy trails.