I see on the final day of our 14 Day Best of Spain tour there is just breakfast mentioned and end of the tour. Those of you who have been on these tours, do many people leave first thing in the morning of the last day?
Hi Vic, I haven't been on this specific tour, but have done 6 other Rick Steves tours. The tour is basically over after the final dinner on the last night. Some people have flights out very early the next morning so they're already at the airport when you're getting up. You may see some other tour members at breakfast if they have later flights. Others have plans to stay in Europe after the tour and go on to other destinations. So, basically, say your "goodbyes" the night before. Have a great trip!
I hadn't really considered this until now but on four of the five tours I've taken, had members of the group leaving close enough (or on the same flight) that several of us headed to the airport together. I suspect you'll find that holds true for your trip unless you've got some wacky flights (really early or late).
On the RS tours I've done probably 1/2 to 3/4 of the folks went home on the final tour day. I usually stay a day or two longer...or hook another tour onto that one, lol! Toward the end of your tour your tour guide will likely have everyone list their departure day and time then order cabs/shuttles for people going at similar times to share.
Things to consider - Will you have spent enough time in the departure city or will there still be things you want to see/do? Is the departure city awkward to access transportation from (Village Italy is what I'm thinking of)? Do you have enough time to spend a few more days? Does your budget for time and money allow for another tour?
I've done that tour in a prior incarnation - and most people did leave at (or before) breakfast of the final day. As a prior poster mentioned, many will share taxi/transport to the airport (or in my case, the train station to head back to Madrid). The guide will help group people into logical pairings based on flight/train time. The same process happened on my other three RS tours. In one case, I ended up traveling with the guide to the train station and shared a compartment for part of my journey toward home. It's totally up to you how you spend your final day, but your farewells should be made at dinner the night before. I'd suggest for the Spain tour that you take the train to Cordoba for an overnight on the way back to Madrid to catch a flight home. I did not do this and regret my decision to return straight to Madrid!
I recently finished a Best of Europe in 14 Days tour - it's really dependent on flight times as to how things work out on that final day. Our guide, Roy, arranged taxis with the hotel to pick up people in groups based on flight times. I think we only had 4 taxis for the entire group. On mine, we were flying out of Rome, and most flights back to the U.S. leave late morning or early afternoon.
We did the Best of Spain tour last month and stayed on in the same hotel for 3 more nights. The majority of our fellow tour members left before breakfast so we made our farewells the night before.
I recommend staying longer in Sevilla, it was my favorite city on the tour. I did is tour last month and stayed one week after the tour was over. 2 more nights in Sevilla, 2 in Cadiz on the coast, then a long train day to Salamanca for 2 nights, 1 night at a Madrid airport hotel. I could have stayed longer in Sevilla and then go to Cadiz and try to fly out of Sevilla. Salamanca was really beautiful and I am glad I visited there too!
Many people left on that day, fewer stayed one more night, some returned to Barcelona via train for a few days. One couple spent 2 more night in Sevilla then went to Barcelona for a few.
I have been on 5 tours and did find that at least 3/4 or more depart the morning the tour ends.
I am a veteran of numerous tours, it has been my experience that most will leave very early on the last morning. As mentioned, the guide will speak with each tour member ensuring arrangements for onward travel or connection to nearest airport are made and fully understood. I truly remember only a few tours where the guide was present during breakfast service to say a final goodbye to tour members. I have left very early from 4:00 AM (Village Italy) to around noon. It all is dependent on what I have planned; early morning flight, train, or transition to different hotel.
Been on lots of tours and 5 RS tours. It kind of depends on you and your plans. At times, the tours end in a cool place where a few more days of exploring would be fun. Other times, tour members will head off to continue exploring on their own or to join another tour. Of course, all trips end, so some people head home. IMHO most people who take a RS tour do more than the tour itself....before and/or after, they usually fit in something extra. It definitely makes sense to get to a tour a bit early to get over jet lag, but lots of people stay after the tour as well. If you leave on the last day, the tour guide will generally help you make arrangements to get to the airport.
Thank you all for the input. We already are adding a couple extra days for the tours starts in Barcelona. At the end we are planning to fly out the last day. Our flight options were giving us a 18-20 hour layover in Munich or Brussels on our first leg, so I am thinking of taking advantage of this and enjoying an added city. Leaving earlier in the morning gives us a good day on our layover. A nice little surprise to the trip!
I have taken 13 RS tours and on all of those tours I have seen a very few people leave the night before the final breakfast and right after that final dinner. I have seen more folks leave the next morning before breakfast to make connections for flights. I would think that more than half the of tour group goes to the final day morning breakfast. We always stay for breakfast and the rest of that day, or two or three, before flying onto our next stop.
Since we have the time and have paid to come all the way from Seattle, we always stay in Europe before the tour, or after the tour, or both. We have only scheduled an early morning flight once when we had to get back to Seattle for something or the other, and will never do that again. Our lives are too short to have to get up in the middle of the night to get to an airport for an early morning flight. Enjoy Spain - we did.
I have only done one tour & with so many people (our group had 20), there were a multitude of agendas. he final night of the tour was the "official" farewell, what with a dinner & final formal goodbyes. The next morning, several people headed home, some of us, leaving the hotel before we had the chance to fortify ourselves with a final breakfast. I left to catch a bus to the airport at around 5:30 a.m.., so I had enough time to enjoy a final night in Dublin, pack & sleep, before heading out.
Others, stayed on & continued their vacation (the tour concluded in Dublin), made their way to Scotland, or other parts of Europe. Personally, I tacked on a few days to the start of my trip, beginning in the UK, & as reluctant as I was to return home at the end of this trip, my bags were full to bursting.
Savor your final moments there, whatever you choose to do.
Some people have early flights home and leave before breakfast, others later in the afternoon. Some stay an extra day or more. Some go to other places. It varies a lot.
Unfortunately, calling the very short first and last days a 'full' day is an industry standard that RS seems to have to follow for competitive reasons. As an experienced RS tour member I figure they are the equivalent of 1/4 day.
Actually, many tour companies consider your transit time and first day of the tour and meeting your tour director late on the next day... the second day. I applaud Rick for being more up front than that.
To add to what most have already said - if not necessary to get home right away, stay longer and visit another city or area if possible. We did the best of Spain, arriving 3 days earlier in Barcelona and flying to Rome from Sevilla. I also could have stayed longer in Sevilla, wonderful city! I must also say, if looking for something to do to learn more about the city you are in, take a Food Tour!!! We have done several (Barcelona, Rome, Prague) they are fantastic and easily the best way to get to know areas outside of the tour package/group. We did ours before we met with the RS tours, and loved them.
Judy, I will be on the Best of Spain Tour next April, and will also spend some extra days in Barcelona and in Andalusia before and after the tour. I've read about several different food tours in Barcelona, different neighborhoods, different times and a range of prices. Which did you take, and what can you report about the experience?
We are on the Best of Spain tour starting Sept. 5th. We are adding on a few more days in Barcelona before the tour starts. And after the tour the flights we are considering are giving us a long layover in Munich. So I think we are going to take advantage of a 20 hour layover and spend the night somewhere in central Munich.
We did RS Basque tour and added on the 14 Spain tour last Sept/Oct. We loved all of Spain. As we were gone for 26 days when the Spain tour ended in Seville it was time to go home. But we were sorry that we didn't get to experience more of Seville. I would add more days there for sure!
I usually leave very early the last day of the tour to go home. The last dinner is enough for me to say goodbye and not linger. I am usually tired and ready to go home. All the tours I have taken have been great, but there's no place like home.