Hello - anyone else signed up for the Best of Europe in 21 days starting September 25, 2022? It would be great to touch base prior to the tour starting. I'd like to get input from others as the date approaches on how to prepare for Covid requirements for each country.
As mentioned in your other thread, I’m not on your tour date but this remains one of my favorite tours! As an RS guide from another country said…this is a tour that has blockbuster sights every day! I looked back at your other thread and it looks like you have had a date change? This will be perfect timing, especially for Switzerland.
I’d say if there are still requirements in place for each country you’ll get specific direction from the office AND your guide will have procedures in place to make sure the rules are met.
I would plan to take N95 masks for every day. Although they are readily available in Europe this tour moves at a steady pace and it might be a pain in the neck to shop for the mundane. When I spent a month in France in Sept/Oct, I took 34 masks with me. I like the 3M Aura N95s. I get them at my local Home Depot in boxes of 10, each separately wrapped. I just bagged them in a couple of gallon ziplocks and slid them in the outside pocket of my 22” carry on.
Hand sanitizer, on the other hand (haha) was literally everywhere in France. I’d taken a tiny bottle that I carry in my purse plus two 3-oz bottles and never even got thru the tiny bottle. It was at the entrance to every store/restaurant/museum/hotel so don’t carry more than a small amount.
Fun to plan, isn’t it!
We and another couple are scheduled for the BOE tour starting September 4th. We are still on the fence about going. Same as you, we are hoping to get some feedback from others taking the trip. However, we can't wait too long because we need to book airfare and pre/post hotels (which btw we haven't heard back from in two months).
A couple major sticking points for us are mask wearing and Covid tests. We are more than happy to wear masks, but just not for long hours on the bus and then in the attractions. I honestly don't know if I could do it for that long a stretch, especially since this is a strenuous trip anyway. If we were on a tour with short bus times it would be okay, but 4-7 hours for
10 days, not so much. And of course because we are traveling to different countries, we may need to take several Covid tests. It's not clear to me at this time how that will be worked out.
This tour is a once in a lifetime trip for us and the expenses are not minimal, so we want to have the best experience possible. While it's possible that things will miraculous get better, I'm sceptical.
Thanks for the response. I too am hopeful things are much improved by September. Our flights from Seattle to London to Amsterdam and returning from Paris are all booked and paid for (1st class on British). First and last hotel are set. Not worried about wearing a mask in most indoor facilities or on the bus most of the time, but do want to learn what if any testing requirements may be involved. It is probably going to change between now and then, but my hope is anyone going on this tour will share their learnings regarding testing along the way.
I am very confident the RS team will advise us as to what to do and when. This will be our 3rd tour with them and they are experts in virtually all things travel. My advise is go ahead and book your trip and make all the arrangements. It's too much of an opportunity you may regret later if you don't go. I don't discount the discomfort of wearing a mask....(just returned from a trip to Hawaii and wore it for 6 hours on a plane), but it is minor compared to the sights you will see, the things you will learn, and the great tour experience.
We are more than happy to wear masks, but just not for long hours on the bus and then in the attractions. I honestly don't know if I could do it for that long a stretch, especially since this is a strenuous trip anyway.
I suggest checking with the tour office about this because it is my understanding that wearing a mask pretty much at all times is required. There is still time for a refund if that's the way you choose to go.