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GAS Tour Sept 2023 Germany, Austria, Switzerland tour Concern Hotels and Long Bus rides

I am concerned about three issues with this 14 day tour:
1 ) Hotel Air Conditioning
Concern: It will be cool enough to allow us to sleep well, shower, hair dryer use and dress in a hurry without sweating. I understand AC will not be on the max level of American expectations. Just worried about it
2) Hotel in room conveniences
Concern: not having an in-room WC/Toilet in the hotels. The hotel listed for Vienna is Pension Noossek. It has only 32 rooms with some shared WC/Toilets in hallway.
3) Bus rides:
Concern: There are very long bus ride times listed as 5 - 7 hours for many of the days. I know Switzerland would be wonderful to see. We are not hikers but expect to enjoy lite 2 mile hikes and views. With a high number of long bus rides we are considering switching to a different tour and checking the cancellation policy.
All responses are greatly appreciated.

Posted by
1729 posts

Go to the 'shared bathrooms' post in this category not very long ago. It should relieve stress about bathrooms. I have been on 8 R Steves' tours and your bus ride is broken up with stops...sometimes to eat or get a snack, sometimes to view a site. It is not 5-7 hours stuck in the bus for 1 long drive. You should be able to check which of your hotels have a/c. Just contact the tours email at your tour account. Most of the tour hotels I have stayed at have hair dryers, but when you get your hotel list go to their websites to confirm.

Posted by
2052 posts

Hi Melissa,

I did the GAS tour several years ago and enjoyed it very much. I see you are from New Orleans. I wouldn’t expect the weather in Europe in September to be nearly as hot/humid as compared to what you’d experience at home. If in doubt, ask at the hotel reception about how to work the AC. I made the mistake of thinking a room in southern France didn’t have air. It did but I didn’t know how to turn it on.

Here’s the link for the shared bathroom thread

Others have already addressed the long bus ride concern. Drivers stop every hour and a half to two hours for a break. The rest stops are very nice in Europe and many have restaurants and gift shops attached.

Hope you have a great trip!

Posted by
547 posts

Bring Dramamine if you have the slightest tendency to motion sickness.

I was on the Switzerland tour. The buses are very comfortable. I napped a lot on the long rides.
We did have 2 instances of motion sickness. One took her meds early enough to head it off. The other did not. Making for a most unpleasant ride.

Posted by
531 posts

I went on the GAS tour in 2019 (late September through early October) and there was no shared bathroom at any point. Never needed AC along the tour as it was fairly cool, esp in Switzerland. Yes some of the bus rides are long, but there is plenty to see along the way and your tour guide will (hopefully) do a good job of keeping you educated and entertained en route. The hiking is wonderful in Switzerland and the views are breathtaking!

(Surprised the Pension Nossek is still on the tour. Definitely one of the less desirable hotels on that tour. I will leave it at that.)

Enjoy, relax, and go with the flow!

Posted by
2099 posts

re: concern #3 - the bus will stop every 1.5 to 2 hours for a rest break (there are EU regulations for the drivers that require breaks) or stopping to see sights along the way. So that 5-7 hours is spread out over a whole travel day. That time is well spent watching the views, napping, catching up on journals, reading, etc. I've taken 4 RS tours and don't remember one time that the bus ride felt too long, with the exception of the last bus day in Ireland (and that was primarily due to my pub visit the night before).

Re: concern #1 - if you sleep hot, perhaps consider a portable/rechargeable fan (like this for example).

Posted by
5 posts

I went on the GAS tour in July/August 2022 and it was great!

  1. I went in the summer and don't remember having too many air conditioning issues. Most of the hotels at least had a fan. I couldn't figure out how to use one of the fans for a bit, but once I did, it was fine. Some of the hotels had A/C and others I kept my windows open. It should be cooler in September so think you'll be fine!
  2. I had an in-room WC/Toilet in all the hotels we stayed in. We stayed at a different hotel in Vienna.
  3. The bus rides are broken up with stops/lunch so you don't feel like you are on the bus all day. There may be 1 or 2 longer days on the bus, but that was nice to relax and watch the scenery out the windows. You'll love Switzerland hikes and views!

Have you found out who your tour guide is? Mine was Donald, and he was fantastic!