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14 Day Best of Europe Alums Your advice, tips, comments

I am going on the 14 Day Best of Europe in Sept 2014. I am as single woman and traveling alone on the tour. I would love to know what advice, tips, comments, observations you have about this tour and what you thought was important to bring. Please share your thoughts and advice. What did you not bring, that you wished you did? What did you bring that you did not need. I know that the less your bring the better, but was wondering what was worth carrying. And where did you go as far as sightseeing on your own that was a must see. Any recommendations on places to eat, especially if they were near your hotel? This may be best answered by people who went on the tour this year. I am sorry that they did away with the full reviews as I found that very helpful.

Thank you for your sharing your thoughts, feelings and ideas! Much appreciated.

Posted by
4 posts

Ann,

Sorry that you have not gotten any replies to your post, yet. I am interested in the same things that you mentioned, as my wife and I plan to take the same tour in Spring 2015. I would very much like to hear your thoughts upon your return. If you prefer not to post on here, please e-mail me at treeder@aol.com.

Good luck and have a wonderful trip.

Tom

Posted by
38 posts

I did this itinerary on the My Way tour in May, 2013 so I'm not sure what sight-seeing is included in the fully guided tour.

I have a couple of recommendations about Monterossa al Mare. In my opinion, this is the best place to have laundry done. People in my group brought their dirty clothes in the morning and it was delivered back to the hotel in the afternoon. And it was quite inexpensive compared to Lauterbrunnen ( 25 Swiss francs for one load!!). Information is Via Molinelli, 17 - Lavarapido-in the new town.

La Barcaccia Restaurant, Via Molinelli,6/8-in the new town- has mixed reviews on Trip Advisor, but we enjoyed it very much. They serve pizza as well as full course meals. We found service to be friendly and efficient and good food. We also got there when they opened about 7:00- it got very crowded.

Posted by
16 posts

I did this trip a few years back at the end of September, early October. You definately need to bring a jacket, small travel umbrella, rain jacket or poncho and clothes that layer easily. If you go up to Jungfrau in Switzerland or the Schilthorn it will be cool in September. I use space bags to compress any jackets or sweatshirts. Makes it easier to pack. Also it may be cooler in Austria as well. When you get to Italy it will still be warm, especially Rome. So as a part of your layering clothing have light weight shirts to wear under things where it is cooler and to keep you cool in Italy. The tour takes you to most major attractions. Make sure you have the Guidebook ETTBD sends you as it will have other suggestions for the best places to visit and places to eat. I always eat at one of Rick's reccomended restaurants in the book in every city we go. Do some preliminary planning to have some idea of where you may want to visit according to your interests and compare it to the tour itinary. I highly recommend if you have time to go to the Galleria Borghese in Rome as it is not part of the tour. to see the pieces of Bernini and Carvaggio. Also the grounds are quite lovely. You do need to make reservations and can do it online. I suggest doing it before you leave or at some point early in the tour and not when you get to Rome.Otherwise, you may not get in as it fills up fast even in off peak seasons.In Munich I reccomend St Michael's Church to see the Wittelsbach crypts, particular Mad King Ludwig.. especially since the tour takes you to Neuschwanstein Castle.
Hope this helps..

Debbie

Posted by
2 posts

Hi Ann - I checked my notes from the same RS tour in 2010 and another independent trip to France in Sept. 2011 and offer the following ideas:

  • Closed-toe walking shoes. After trial and error I was most happy with a sturdy pair of Coach sneakers. Also loved the Ecco sandals I took.
  • Slipper socks for the plane and longer bus rides.
  • Travel umbrella and rain jacket/windbreaker
  • Take no more than 12 items of clothing. This number includes sweaters/jackets but doesn't include pj's/undies. 3 or 4 bottoms and the remainder tops of varying weight/sleeve length. All tops should match all the bottoms. You can get ideas from Pinterest searching "capsule travel wardrobes", the Vivienne files blog and une femme d'un certain age blog. They have excellent 12-item wardrobes. Jeans are fine everywhere if you are comfortable in them. I took leggings type from Chicos that are stretchy and a little dressier.
  • If you have room in your suitcase after packing everything DO NOT just throw in one more top or pair of pants as I have done more than once. You don't need them and they'll come home clean.
  • You don't need any dressy clothes. Use a scarf or some jewelry if you want to step it up.
  • If you don't wear dresses or skirts at home, don't take any on the trip because you won't wear them.
  • Magellan has little dissolving laundry sheets and I've also seen them in travel/luggage stores. It's not like doing a load of laundry but they were perfect for a freshening up. A couple over-the-rod clothespins were very handy.
  • If the tour is still the same, you'll have 2 opportunities to swim. You can decide if it's worth toting a bathing suit.
  • Your guide will likely give you excellent suggestions for activities on your free days and might even do something that you are invited to join. Also he/she will probably suggest very good restaurants.
  • Don't drag along every face/eye/wrinkle/moisturizer that you use at home. You can manage for 2 weeks with just one all-around moisturizer and a sunscreen. And you don't need the TSA 3 ounce size of anything since you probably use only a finger-tip dab for each application. Last trip I used a contact lens case (the kind with screw on lids) and put moisturizer in one side and sunscreen in another and I had plenty. Your hotels will provide soap.
  • I always take a pkg of hand wipes.
  • Most hotels don't provide wash clothes.
  • Plastic knife, fork, spook if you spend a few meals picnicking or dining in your room. Your hotel will usually let you borrow a corkscrew if you need it.
  • Baggies in a few sizes. Handy for snacks, wet items. Grocery store plastic bags can keep dirty shoes away from clothing.
  • I took binoculars but didn't use them.

Hope this is helpful. I'm sure you will have a marvelous time. Enjoy!