We did the 21 Day BOE several years ago, and it remains our favorite trip ever. I’m wondering if any of you have ever repeated it, and if so, was it a letdown the second time? I know we can’t replicate that first experience, but if we could recapture it to some degree, it would be worth it. It was just that good. What do you think?
I’ve seen posters here saying they did it more than once and loved it. We did it once and loved it too. I bet you’d like his other tours as well. Why not do a back to back tour? We hope to do Portugal and Spain back to back as soon as things are open and safer for all.
But, go for what you like!
We did the Greece tour the summer before last. What do you recommend for a good back-to-back combo?
Depending on your interests, I think Berlin Prague Vienna would go well with the Eastern Europe tour. I have done Berlin Prague Vienna and loved it! Even though the Eastern Europe tour repeats Prague, there’s not a shortage of things to do there. The other cities and towns are fascinating. As you might guess, Eastern Europe is on my list.
Another combo, is Scandinavia and St. Petersburg Tallinn Helsinki which would give you a thorough exposure to the Baltic world, complete with Vikings, and then Russia, specifically, St. Petersburg. Plus, so much more!
Enjoy your trip, please keep us informed!
If I had the time, I would definitely do it again. It was a great tour. I did it in 2008 so it would be interesting to see if anything has changed. Go for it!
I'd consider doing it again - loved it when I did it in 2014. I know more now and would be better prepared for the independent time. I'd also know what to skip (Neuschwanstein, lol) and how to use that time effectively (walking around the lake!).
I've done several back to backs. My advice is to choose 2 different cultures, not just 2 programs that are close together. For instance, I did Best of England along with Paris and the Heart of France. That was wonderful - different cultures, different food, different landscapes. I also did Villages of Southern England and Best of Scotland together and that was not as effective. I was thoroughly sick of castle ruins by the end of the Scotland trip (which surprised me!) and barely muster up any enthusiasm for the last castle on the trip.
I also did a back to back to back with Best of Europe...I stayed in Paris at that tour's end and did the Best of Paris, added another week in Paris with a friend and then flew to Venice to pick up the Village Italy tour. That was a wonderful combo - no real duplicates as we stayed in different places in the Cinque Terre area (Monterosso on the BOE and Levanto on VI).
We've also done the BOE twice. We did it in 2011, then when we had a milestone anniversary in 2018, my husband surprised me by saying he wanted to celebrate by doing it again. I enjoyed it both times; the route was pretty much the same, but having different guides (Jennifer, then Dimitri) made a big difference. And, like Pam, we were more experienced the second time, so made more plans for our free time. (And I feel the same way she does about Neueschwanstein.)
We have also done back-to-back tours a couple of times. In 2012 we did the Best of Paris, followed by the Best of Belgium and Holland, and loved them both. In 2015 we did the Best of London followed by the Best of Sicily. That was a nice combination, just because they were so different. And finally, in 2019 we did Paris and the Heart of France, followed by Best of Eastern France. Loved those, as well.
I don't think you can go wrong either way, but I would gently suggest you try one of two of the other tours before repeating the BOE. I could see being a bit let down the second time, because you'd be making comparisons to the one you loved so much.
If you’re considering the option of a back-to-back tour, I would look at pairing one of the France tours with the Best of Spain. The culture, scenery and food are uniquely different between the two countries. I have some lovely photos made into canvas wall hangings in my office from both of those countries - fond memories!
Otherwise, you could repeat your favorite tour and plan different activities for your free time. We have returned to towns we visited previously on RS tours and stayed more days. There’s always something fun to explore, and you would have the advantage of already being acclimated to some of the local transportation, etc. I do think it would be less fun if you were either trying to replicate your first trip (because it will be different) or comparing (second hotel/group dinner/tour guide’s info was better/worse than the first time, etc.)
Great question! My family took the 21 day BOE as our first tour in 2006. We have gone on several other tours since that time and have enjoyed each and every trip! Our sons were young teens at the time.
We are planning on taking the BOE in 2022 if tours are up and running again. This time my son would like to take his fiancé with us as he would love her to see as much of Europe as possible on this trip. ( It may be quite a while before they may be able to travel to Europe again after next year )
We had wondered the same as you, if it would be as enjoyable as the first time. I think such a fantastic trip would not let us down!
Hopefully if everything is back open, we plan on taking the first offered June tour!