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Go or No Go? Must decide by tomorrow

Sincerely, we must decide by tomorrow whether to join with this trip, so any input from this forum would be greatly appreciated.

Our daughter is participating in an 18-day study abroad trip to Greece with her community college this June/July. Due to the low # of participants, they are willing to open this trip to family members as well. So we are considering this. Here are some considerations for us:

  • My husband and I are 60, but in good shape, so we are not too worried about keeping up with the crowd.
  • He and I are taking a self-planned (thank you RS!) anniversary trip to Italy May 4-25, but we anticipate that 1 month between these trips is enough 'recovery' time. Yes??
  • We have no opportunity to modify the itinerary for this Greece trip. It's either "go" or "no go". I am somewhat concerned there is no downtime in the itinerary below, but I expect we could forego 1 or 2 day-trips to relax in Tolo. Any thoughts on which day-trips to give up?
  • Daughter is ok with us tagging along (she's actually excited about this); She has her own roommate.
  • The cost of the trip is $3650 per person (including airfare), and a few lunches & dinners are included.

Here is a condensed itinerary by day:

Friday, June 23: Evening departure from Dulles.

Saturday, June 24: Arrive Athens, transfer flight to Heraklion, arriving 8PM. Hotel in Heraklion (2 nights)

Sunday, June 25: Public bus to Knossos, then visit Heraklion Archeological Museum.

Monday, June 26: Morning Flying Cat to Santorini; Coach to Akrotiri (Ancient Thera); Overnight in Santorini (1 night).

Tuesday, June 27: Visit to Archaeological Museum of Ancient Thera; Flying Cat to Mykonos, arriving at 3PM. Free time. Hotel in Mykonos (2 nights).

Wednesday, June 28: Morning to Delos; tour site and museum; return to Mykonos.

Thursday, June 29: Early Sea Jet to Rafina: ,Coach transport to Temple of Poseidon; Afternoon coach trip to Athens; Group dinner at outdoor taverna in the Plaka. Hotel in Athens--Plaka? (2 nights)

Friday, June 30: Walk from hotel to visit Agora, Agora Museum and Acropolis; Afternoon visit to Acropolis Museum; Possible visit to Kerimeikos and Museum.

Saturday, July 1: Depart Athens early for bus drive to Delphi (3 ½ hours).; Visit Shrine of Apollo and Museum at Delphi; Afternoon departure via Patras to Olympia (4 hours); Overnight in Olympia (1 night).

Sunday, July 2: Walk from hotel to Ancient Olympia and Olympia Museum; Depart Olympia by coach after early lunch to Temple of Apollo Epicurus at Bassae (2 hours) in late afternoon; Coach to Argos (3 hours) for group dinner, then on to Tolo (1/2 hour); Hotel in Tolo (6 nights).

Monday, July 3: Bus to Nafplio (1/2 hour); Visit to Palamides Castle; Optional afternoon visits to Archaeological Museum, Museum of Peloponnesian Culture, or Bourtzi Fort in Nafplio, or free time for lunch and shopping in Nafplio.

Tuesday, July 4: Bus to Asine, then to Tiryns (1 hour) and Mycenae (1 hour). Stop at Midea/Dendra on the way back from Mycenae.

Wednesday, July 5: Bus to Epidauros (1 hour) followed by afternoon stop in Nafplio for lunch and shopping, possible optional museum visit(s).

Thursday, July 6: Day cruise to Hydra and Spetses.

Friday, July 7: Bus to Corinth (2 hours), visits to Acrocorinth Ancient Corinth site and Museum; Afternoon return to Tolo for group Greek music and dance dinner.

Saturday, July 8: Depart Tolo; Bus to Corinth Canal (2 hours); Stop for lunch in Eleusis and visit to shrine of Demeter at Eleusis before driving on to Athens in late afternoon. Hotel in Athens (2 nights).

Sunday, July 9: Walk/metro to National Archeological Museum; Free afternoon; Farewell group dinner at a souvlaki place in the Plaka.

Monday, July 10: Return to U.S.

Posted by
4637 posts

If I was deciding for myself I would go. But I am hesitant to give advice to somebody else I don't know. Only you know your financial situation, your interests, your stamina etc.

Posted by
92 posts

great opportunity to travel with your daughter! i would go.

Posted by
6511 posts

An 18 day tour for $3650 (including airfare) would be enough to sell me. Only you can know if you're physically and mentally up to another quite active trip one month after returning from another tour. That part wouldn't deter me either. With any tour, you should be able to participate or not in any of the activities at your discretion, so that is an option if you need some down time.

If you're looking for votes, I vote go.

Posted by
158 posts

Not too many one-night stays.... you are right, you can always skip on something if you get tired.

If you have the time and money, it sounds like a very memorable experience with your daughter!

Posted by
6 posts

Financially, this is not a strain. We had set aside some funds for traveling and this will not exhaust them. It's more a matter of the cost vs. the value derived. I haven't had much chance to research, but this looks like a good price-point for the number of days, etc.

I am interested in history and culture of the region, more so than 'resort' amenities and activities. I called the faculty coordinator this morning, and was assured the hotels have A/C (one amenity I will not forego), and there is some downtime, as many of the planned activities leave afternoons & evenings free.

Posted by
2950 posts

It's a bit rushed for my taste but for the money it's a fairly decent tour. I say go for it.

Posted by
441 posts

If you can afford it, this will be a priceless (see what I did there?) opportunity to make lifetime memories with your daughter. As we parents grow older so do our children. As time goes on, your daughter may have a job, marriage and/or children that prevent her from being able to travel with you. You and your husband may not have the health or wealth to travel. Those windows of time when schedules, interest, health, and finances align with parents and adult children are rare. Having said that, if you do go you should sit down ahead of time and clearly discuss "ground rules" about how much time you will spend together as a family as opposed to her spending time with her friends. Clearly you have a good relationship with her or she wouldn't be "excited" to have you along, but it is still a good idea to frankly discuss the expectations you all have about things like curfews, independent activities, budget etc.

Posted by
1002 posts

I'm with Nancy, this seems like a great price for this trip. GO!

Posted by
13700 posts

I have to say, $3650 including airfare and hotels for a solid 15 days of sightseeing + all of the transport this itinerary involves is a really good price.

The itinerary is challenging, and it promises to be quite hot (I've been to Greece in July) but if you think you can manage it, then sign on the line. I would check that your accommodations have air conditioning? As this sounds like a student-level trip, that may not be a given? Take advantage of the few free hours/optional visits to rest up and re-charge should you need to! It'll help to have 6 nights in Tolo without having to pack/unpack/move on.

Yes, a month is plenty of time to recover before heading off to bella Italia! Oh, while we're on the subject, come home from Greece with a nice stash of euros so you can hit the ground running when you land in Rome (or wherever you're flying into.)

Posted by
448 posts

Airfare included! Affordable to you! Asking on travel forum!?
Only you can decide, but another yes vote. I think most of us would jump at the chance to go, especially if your daughter is "excited" to have you along. Priceless memories will be created.

Posted by
15051 posts

My feeling is that your Italy trip will prepare you for Greece. You'll walk and climb a heck of a lot more in Italy than you would at home. The hard part will be keeping up an exercise regimen during your month at home so you maintain that fitness.

On any decently run tour, if you feel that something is too much for you physically, the tour guide will offer suggestions for things you can do on your own - whether it's an alternative plan for a day or just sitting at a cafe or on the bus when the group goes on a strenuous hike. The first Sunday sounds like it might be difficult, just because it's your first day on the ground after the long-haul flight. But you'll see how you feel. Maybe you'll want to skip seeing Knossos, or you'll go and then want a nap instead of seeing the Museum back in Heraklion. Your guide will be able to tell you how strenuous the walking is in Knossos and help you decide if you're up to it.

Posted by
2051 posts

And yet another "yes" vote. I think this is an opportunity not to be missed. To me the key would be (if you're concerned) to just sit out sipping something lovely and cool when you feel the need to do that. Your daughter can fill you in on what you (may) have missed. Plenty of recovery time! I loved Greece and this sounds like an amazing opportunity and I just bet you will have a great and memorable time!

Posted by
1016 posts

Its is a very comprehensive tour and you will be hitting many of the highlights in Greece. As others have mentioned the pace is too fast, with seeing too much in too little time but for the price, the experience with your daughter and with this itinerary We would certainly make the go decision.

I suspect you will pick up the Greece bug on this trip and will find lots of places where you will want to make return trips to Greece.

Posted by
2359 posts

When opportunity knocks, take that fork in the road -- or something like that. One additional reason to go: it sounds like the trip has had unexpectedly low sign-ups, so maybe if families like yours do not participate, that might call into question whether the whole trip will be a go. So, you will be helping to assure that your daughter and other students can take advantage of this great travel and learning opportunity. You know your daughter, but I agree with the suggestion that you discuss up front any ground rules about how much time you will all spend together, etc.

Posted by
6 posts

Whew! In less two hours we have received many wonderful responses, all "yes" votes. I now wonder why we ever hesitated. Thank you for your thoughtful responses, keen insights, and charmingly mixed metaphors. We are going!

Posted by
1307 posts

Glad you decided to go. We can address your concern of about 1 month between trips. In 2014 we were in our late 60s and had a trip planned and paid for to France in March when our son and family suggested we go to Italy with them in February. Unable to change our France plans and not willing to pass on a trip with our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughters we went with them. After two weeks at home we went to France. Our trips also involve a lot of walking so we were concerned. It may be that the excitement of the trips kept us from being tired but we were able to enjoy both trips and had experiences we will never forget. And we still talk about the fun we had with our family! Hope you have a great time on both your trips.

Posted by
13700 posts

Oops! I'd advised you to ask about aircon and see now that you'd mentioned that you'd done that. I also see that your Italy trip is BEFORE Greece. Very sorry, I somehow skipped over that but same applies there: come home with euros from Italy to have in hand for Greece! I need glasses... :O)

Posted by
2898 posts

I have been to virtually all of the places mentioned, and have to say the few that I haven't (Bassae) are VERY difficult to fit into an independent tour ... Whoever is planning this trip really knows the territory .. not enough tours of the Argolid (Peloponnese) include Tiryns & Argo & Asine ... and Eleusis too. Wowee.

If you want to look at something to "X" out, I'd say that daytrip to Hydra & Spetses -- you wlll have been to much more scenic isles already, that's an easy miss. And tho Corinth is famous, the Ancient Corinth site doesn't measure up to all the others on the list ... and altho Acrocorinth offers a lovely high view, so does Palamidi behind Nafplio (you can taxi up the back way to the top, then walk DOWN the 999 steps) ... you could have a day to yourself there and get way from the crowd at Tolo beach, by going back to that lovely little cove at Asine.

That's a Great price if it includes airfare ... and it appears that you'll be able to have dinners on your own. (take me along!).