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Combining Tours?

Has anybody tried to combine a Best of Paris and Best of London tour? We are thinking of traveling to Paris in Sept 2016 and like the idea of staying in one place for 6 nights, thus our interest in the Best of Paris tour. We are thinking of arriving early and would stay on a few days, as I hate to make the long trip for only one week. We have also thought it might be nice to take the train to London at the end of the Paris RS tour and join the Best of London if it can be coordinated. One concern, we have never been on a RS tour and wonder if we are trying to fit in too much. I have a husband who is not wholly excited about travel, but once there, embraces the experience and does well, hence my trying to do both cities while I have him engaged in the experience. We are both quite fit, so think we can manage the physical part of a tour like this. Would love thoughts about this, thanks for any input.

Posted by
16860 posts

I believe that quite a few customers have chosen that combination and I would not consider it too much, particularly since each tour allows free time. (Full disclosure, I tend to think that any tour under 14 days is too short, and also like to make the most of my plane ticket.)

The direct Eurostar train is a quick, easy way to connect the two cities. Tickets are cheapest (about $65) if booked months ahead, and tend to go on sale 4-6 months ahead of your travel date (maybe 9 months ahead for a few departures, but that's really not necessary).

Posted by
853 posts

A few years ago we did a South Italy tour and then flew to Paris and did Paris in 7 days. It worked well for us, so that at the end we wouldn't have to pack and move around. You wouldn't have that problem and I think your idea is very doable. I'm with Laura, I like to make the most of our airline tickets! You'll have a great time, go for it!

Mimi

Posted by
1188 posts

Does anyone else have some good combo ideas? Art & Architecture? Food & Wine? Etc.

Posted by
1173 posts

Do it! First let me say, I have done two week long tours many times. I took the Rome tour and the Istanbul tour back to back. I flew into Rome, then after the tour was over, flew to Istanbul, then after tour was over, flew back to Rome, spent one night in Rome hotel near airport and flew home from Rome. Bought two round trip airline tickets, Newark to Rome, Rome to Newark, and ticket for Rome to Istanbul, Istanbul back to Rome. I did the same when I went on the week long tours to Paris and Prague, ( when they had the week long Prague tour) flew into Paris, (went on week long Paris tour) flew to Prague from Paris and and after the Prague tour flew back to Paris and flew home the same day from Paris. Was able to fly home the same day and not have to stay one night in a hotel. Just bought two round trip airline tickets. Went on the week long Rome and Florence tours ( when they had Florence tour) and took the train from Florence to Rome. Flew into Florence and home from Rome which was the nice, just a train and no additional flying between two cities. I have done other tours this way, but no need to explain, you get the picture.

I would see if they have two tour weeks that match up for London and Paris that are back to back. If they do, see which one is first, it may be Paris and then London, or it may be London and then Paris. Either way fly into one city, take train to the other city and fly home from the second city. I have been on both week long tours ( Paris tour twice) and they are wonderful tours.

Your not trying to fit in too much. Two cities, two hotels, two weeks of being in wonderful cities. Have a great time.

Posted by
672 posts

We've done quite a few back to back tours and even did one that combined three tours (London/England/Scotland). I think the back to back plan works great, but we do prefer to have some time between the tours to relax a bit and be on our own schedule. We like to stay in Europe for around five weeks, so there are many combinations that have worked for us. However, three tours in a row was too much! I think that combining the Paris and London tours would be great.

Posted by
2627 posts

I think you have hit upon a wonderful idea! I have traveled to London and England many times, and I was just PMing a friend yesterday about the possibility of taking the Rick Steves Paris tour after my next trip to London. Look at "open jaw" airfare round trip tickets when checking prices. Fly into one city and out of the other.

The other option would be:
1. Fly into London, Rick Steves Best Of London Tour.
2. Eurostar to Paris, Rick Steves Best Of Paris Tour.
3. Train from Paris to Amsterdam. Stay 2 to 3 days, fly home from Amsterdam.

That sounds like a great trip to me! You're going to have a great time on the Rick Steves city tours!

Posted by
31 posts

We are doing Paris and the Heart of France followed by Best of London next month. We have added a few extra days on our own in both Paris and London. In the past we have done Best of Southern Italy followed by The Best of Sicily, and The Best of Scandinavia followed by the Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg tour. There are many tours that can be paired if you have the time and money!
I agree that trying to do three back to back is probably too much. I prefer to keep them in the same general area so that we can easily connect by train, although the flight from Oslo to Tallinn was relatively painless. It is nice to have a couple of days in between tours.

Posted by
8245 posts

Red-faced and raising my hand to admit I did 3 back to back to back tours last Fall. I did 21 Day BOE followed by the 1 week Best of Paris followed by the Village Italy tour. I started with a few days in London and took the Eurostar to Brussels, then the fast train to Amsterdam a day before my 21 BOE started. I also spent an extra week in Paris and a few days in Venice between the Best of Paris and VI tours. This was not too much for me and I was not ready to come home! I did the first 2 tours solo, met up with a friend for the extra week in Paris then met up with my brother and SIL for VI. All the tours were very different and all were wonderful!

I'm apparently on the opposite schedule from Rhonda, lol as this Fall I'm doing Best of England followed by Heart of France with a week before in London/Salisbury/Bath and a few days after in Paris. (BTW, I had been to Paris in the 70's and did not particularly like it. The first night with the BOE tour the guide, Dimitri, said...If anyone has been to Paris and not liked it, I will change your mind and you will Love it after we are there together. I am not sure how he did it, but yes I love Paris!!)

I agree with Laura too...once I fly over I want to get the most out of my ticket! I am retired and pretty fit, walk-wise. I do try to get up to being able to walk 10 miles before my tours. I needed that level to be able to manage the 21 BOE. To me Best of Paris was not as strenuous as the full touring days in Amsterdam and Rome.

If you have the time and money, do both!

Posted by
31 posts

Pam - no need to be red faced about doing three tours! Even though I think it might be too much I would like to give it a try sometime ( just so I would know for sure).

Posted by
117 posts

Wow, what a great response! Thanks to all for your input. I am now even more excited to take our first RS tours and look forward to seeing which back to back tours we are able to coordinate in the fall of 2016. Appreciate all the positive "go for it" comments!

Posted by
350 posts

I think the idea of combining two city tours is great. I like longer stays for many reasons and the city tours give you that with a minimum of bus time. Since Paris and London have great connections via rail, boat and air, they are a natural.

FWIW, if you want a real contrast do Paris or London combined with Istanbul.

Posted by
53 posts

My wife and I combined the Best of Paris and Best of London tours in 2011. We flew into CDG, did the tour in Paris, then took the Eurostar over to London, did the tour, and flew home out of Heathrow. I highly recommend it. We booked our Eurostar tickets well in advance and got the cheapest fare. We had an early train out of Gare du Nord, had breakfast on the train, slept a little, and we're in London early enough to do a bit of wandering.

Posted by
817 posts

if you never have been to paris and London, I would do it. I have never done on a back to back RS tour, but last year this time in august I was on the 14 day best of Ireland and my fellow tour mates continued on and did the Scotland tour after our Ireland tour. They said it was perfect. If the timing works, go for it!