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BOE 14day tour August 29th?

My husband and I are going on our first trip to Europe and didn't know if anyone going is staying at the hotel the day before also? If anyone has tips on packing?

Posted by
985 posts

Most people try to arrive a minimum of one day before the tour begins to get over jet lag. You can find much advice by reading the packing section of this forum. Packing

Posted by
1205 posts

I have been on this tour and several other RS tours. Layer your clothes. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring one pair of shoes and one pair of sneakers. Just in case one pair gets wet if it should rain. Bring a rain jacket with a hood if you have it and a light weight jacket ( hoodie or other type of jacket) to wear under the rain jacket or alone. Just in case it is chilly like the Swiss Alps. Bring one pair of jeans and slacks. Very casual clothes, nothing dressy needed. Italy will be very warm, Swiss Alps hopefully will be mild and warm, but there you never know and Munich may be warm or chilly. I was there 2nd week of Sept 2014 and it rained in Munich. But short sleeves for Italy. Tops, slacks, sneakers, jacket. I always go in the day before a tour and sometimes stay a day or two after if possible. Paris should be very nice. Lots of walking, lots of standing, lots of sitting in cafes and eating. It will be amazing. Have a great time.

Posted by
1205 posts

I know you did not ask this but since is this is your first time to Europe, I wanted to give you some tips. I went on the BOE 14 day tour in September 2014 and loved it. I had been to all the countries the tour was going to and most of the cities, so I had an idea of what we would be seeing and what I wanted to do in my free time. READ the RS book on Europe for each section of each area or city you will be visiting. Write down what you think you will want to see even if it is more than what you will see, this way you have choices and depending on weather or what others may want to do you are prepared. No need to purchase anything in advance, except if you want to see an opera in Venice on the second night when dinner is on your own. If not, I would ( and I wish I had but my friend didn't and then she was sorry) go on the Venice pub crawl. Out of the whole trip that is my one regret I did not do. You go with a guide ( it is in the RS book) (not a RS guide) pay a small fee and he takes you and others that may not be on the RS tour to different bars to have a glass of wine and small plates ( like Tapas). I heard it was fun. I plan to do that if I get back to Venice. Plan what you want to see, museums, sites, even restaurants in your free time and dinners on your own. In Venice, you can see some churches, walk the streets, take a boat ride or go to Doges Palace for a tour and have a drink in the Piazza. I had been to Venice before and always wanted to go inside the Doges Palace so I did. Plus walked around a little. In Munich, it was a bit cold and rainy, so we went to the Residenz Museum which is the palace and it was wonderful. I love a good Palace and crown jewels! Went to a beer hall at night. In Paris, you can visit any number of museums ( make sure their open). I have been to Paris before, and being that it was a Sunday ( museums are free and super crowded) I went to the Luxemburg Gardens, the Cluny Museum ( not crowded) and the Pantheon ( yes their is one in Paris) and had lunch sitting outside. Never been to Paris, walk around see the bridges, go on a boat ride up the Seine, see the Arc de Triomphe. In Rome, make sure you see the Spanish Steps, Piazza Nouvona and have a drink on the piazza. If you want when you go to the Vatican, you can stay in the Vatican museum and spend the afternoon there after the Vatcian tour is over. Much to see in this museum. If you have more questions, feel free to pm me ( private message me) and I will be happy to give you more suggestions. I have tons of other suggestions but space is limited. Have two options, one if it is nice out and one if it rains. Have a wonderful safe time.

Posted by
1205 posts

More information on Rome
Rome -- If staying on to see the Vatican Museum is not what you want to do with your limited time in Rome, I do have other suggestions. I have been to Rome several times and still not have done all the things I would like to do. But do make sure you go into St Peters, even if you don't go back to the Vatican Museum. The metro stops right by the Spanish Steps. You can walk up the steps and there is a church to go into at the very top of the steps. You can have lunch at my favorite wine bar right near the Spanish steps, L'Enotec Antica ( been there twice) - lasagna just like my mom used to make, no kidding. Then you can take a walk to the Piazza del Popolo and there are two churches there to go into. Remember the best art is in all the churches. Take a look at the Rome section of your book and see where you would like to walk around and see. The art and the beauty of Rome is all around you and you don't need to go to another museum, having limited time, take a walk around an area to see Rome. The tour will take you to The Pantheon so you will see that and it is amazing.

I hope this helps you.

Posted by
1205 posts

Should it rain while in Rome, you could go to the National Museum of Rome, which is close to your hotel, I would only do it if it rains, as it is best to see Rome by walking around. There are so much to see that is outside and as I said as you are walking around if you see a church, pop in as you will be amazing by the sheer beauty of each church in Rome.
If you find your self back by your hotel, you can go to the Baths of Diocietian, the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria which has the most amazing Bernini's statue, St Teresa in Ecstasy, Church of Santa Maria Maggiore and around the corner is the church, Santa Prassede. All are in a short walking distance of your hotel.
It would also be nice to go to Piazza Navona -- we went at night as a group which is great and going during the day would also be nice. Great people watching place and a great place to have a drink or a gelato. So there are many options on how to spend your time in Rome.

I tell you all of this as it is a huge adventure you are going on and you need to be prepared as I am sure you are but it never hurts to read what other people did. Do look at the RS scrapbooks on line on this website, they are a wealth of information!

Posted by
1205 posts

Beaune, France --- lovely little charming village -- Take the tour of Hotel Dieu which is a hospital, self guided tour, they give you earphones to hear the walking tour of the hospital and very interesting and different. I have traveled a lot and never saw anything like it. Should not take more than an hour or so, maybe less. Then just walk around the town and see all the little streets and shops, lots of shops, lots of window shopping, very well done windows. Lots of places to have a drink, eat and relax. But you are only there one day and will have a nice wine tasting and dinner with the tour. So your afternoon will be spent walking around the town and seeing the Hotel Dieu. You can also take a walk around the walled city. ( We did not have time to do as we did not spend as much time as you will in Beaune, they changed the tour a bit, we went to the Lourve in the morning before going on to Beaune). Nice relaxing day, could have stayed there an extra day.

Posted by
1205 posts

Go to the Trocadero as it is a great view and see the Eiffel Tower and across the street is the Trocadero which is a great place to really see the Eiffel tower and take photos of the tower. You can get a bite to eat or a snack or fruit in Rue Cler which is right near the Eiffel Tower.
If you are coming in the same day as the tour you could still go see the Eiffel Tower after the tour goes to Notre Dame and Latin Quarter or you could go to my all time favorite museums, the D'Orsay which is an old converted beautiful train station and houses all the French Impressionists art, start at the top floor and work you way down to the ground level. And if time, small museum, but stunning is the Orangerie Museum ( near the Lourve) which houses the very large water lillie paintings of Monet. Again start at the top and work your way down.

Posted by
14153 posts

Packing as in what to take or packing as in how to get it in the suitcase?

For the 2nd I use Eagle Creek sil-nylon compression packing cubes. I used them on the 21BOE and it was so helpful when you are changing hotels every other night.

If it's what to take, here is a link to my Trip Report from the 21 day BOE from 2014 which may (or may not, lol) be helpful to you! I was gone a total of 8 weeks for this trip, so you could likely manage with less for 2+ weeks.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tours/21-day-best-of-europe-8-26-14

I suggest you start out by writing out a packing list and don't let yourselves get carried away and pack more! I also suggest you do a test pack this weekend. Make sure you have all your toiletries ready to go. If you are just doing carry-on you'll need to fit them in to a 1 quart ziplock bag with each bottle being 3 oz or smaller. (Yes, this can be done!)

I'm glad you all are going to get there a day ahead. It really helps with the jet lag.

Have a wonderful, wonderful time on this tour!

Posted by
474 posts

Great post as we get ready for our upcoming trip. Just a note which I am sure the OP knows. The tours no longer go to the Vatican. I am finding it impossible to figure out what to pack

Posted by
2485 posts

Great thread!

Ann,
So many wonderful tips for Venice and Rome -both are on my upcoming trip, 17 Days in Italy tour. Any ideas for Florence?

Judy B

Posted by
1205 posts

Florence -- you stay on a vineyard, very nice place and there I crashed and took a nap when we checked in. Not a small room so you can really spread out and relax. There is a pool and you can go swimming, weather permitting. You have a day in Florence, time is limited there. But staying on the vineyard was nice and being out of the city was relaxing. Different than the hotels. Walk out and see nature and mountains. Not too much time in Florence on your own. Read the book and see what you want to do. You may want to walk around and pop into a church or two. You do go to two museums that day. We went to the American cemetery outside of Florence, which was sad but very interesting.

Well, I think I covered the whole tour. Of course there are tons of things to do on this tour that I did not do or cover. You have limited time, so pick the thing that you think you will enjoy most and do it and have fun! Make sure you have enough batteries and memory cards for your cameras and bring bandits and good walking shoes,

extra bag for Venice is needed, do not bring your suitcase, just an over night bag with the clothes you need for that stay. You take a boat to the hotel, walk over little bridges and up stairs in your hotel. So having a suitcase is not good at all!!!! You leave the suitcase on the bus locked in storage area. Just bring what you need for the Venice stay.

Sunglasses and layer your clothes. Very casual tour, no sport coats or dresses needed. Bring your own earbuds, you will need it for some of the walking tours. Have a wonderful safe time!!! There is plenty to see and do in Paris, not just what I suggested, so read the books to see what you can do.