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Not committing to Best of Eastern Europe Tour

I recently posted that The Best of Eastern Europe was at the top of our wish list for next summer because of Prague and Krakow. However, I knew that 2 days in Krakow would leave us longing for more time. And I just couldn't make the final commitment (still have 2 days to benefit from the $100 early booking).
So now The Best of Germany, Austria and Switzerland Tour (GAS) is at the top of my list. The tour includes Salzburg (on my short list), and 3 nights in Murren, one of my favorite places. The tour ends in Vienna, so I think going to Prague for several days would be doable by train.
When on a RS Tour, I so appreciate having local guides for the different cities. Not sure how our experience in Prague would be as independent travelers. And much as I would like to include Krakow, I think we would save it for another trip. Poland looks so large on the map and so far east from Vienna and Prague. Four weeks is about our limit for a trip before we long to be home.

Posted by
1545 posts

Of course this is totally up to you and your preferences, so not sure if you're looking to be convinced either way. I will say from my experience the Best of Eastern Europe was one of the better RS tours I have been on and efficiently covered a lot of ground, more than I personally could have navigated on my own. That was what I was personally seeking from the tour - an overview of a big area with the idea I will return some day. And yes, you'll want to go back to some places, and it won't just be Krakow (I know that's not helpful...but it's true for me). If depth is most important to you, then pick the tour that spends the time you want.

That said, I spent time on my own in Prague ahead of the tour and it is easily navigated on your own. There is RS audio walking tour for Prague that is a substitute for having a real tour guide. I've not done the GAS tour but have traveled in Germany and Austria on my own and found it easy.

Good luck making your decision!

Posted by
285 posts

CL: I am “almost committed”to the GAS Tour. I posted mainly to inform those to responded to my earlier post of my decision. And also, to have people voice suggestions as to the feasibility of touring Prague independently. And perhaps go on to Berlin and fly home from there. But I don’t know if adding Berlin would be too time consuming to plan.

Posted by
440 posts

Sounds like the doubts are already in your mind so i would go with the GAS tour. Only you can decide

Posted by
1062 posts

I've done 6 RS tours, although not these, and loved everyone. But I always waited to book until I had a clear "yes" so that I wasn't committing time and money when I wasn't absolutely sure it was the right thing to do for me that year.
You have to decide if saving $100 each is worth the anxiety over making the wrong choice ...
That said, if you do book one of them now and save that money, you could put it towards hiring a private guide for a day in whichever city you add in on your own.
Happy trails!

Posted by
2466 posts

The great thing about booking a RS tour is you can't go wrong! Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
745 posts

In as much as I may have partially contributed for your "decision" not to be a part of the Eastern Europe Tour with my previous remarks, I do have a plumb for you regarding Prague.
Helena Sedlmajerova is the finest tour guide I have ever met. Not only is she recommended by RS, she is frequently requested by tour groups and river cruise ships.
Good luck booking her. Spare no expense - she is priceless!

Posted by
285 posts

Blue439 and others: The responses I receive to my posts are only valued if people are sincere and frank, without being overly critical or negative. And Blue, as much as I wanted to include Poland on our trip, the Polish person in our family was not adamant on going there. And right now, I am more excited about the RS GAS Tour than I ever was for "Eastern Europe." And thanks for the tip on the excellent guide in Prague. Going on our own and hiring a guide for a day would be cheaper than being in Prague as a tour itinerary.
Any suggestions for centrally located B & B's or hotels in Prague. Places with "breakfast includes" saves a lot of time (and money) in the mornings.

Posted by
1650 posts

After 16 European trips (all independent travel), we finally went to Prague on our 17th (May 2017). I had some trepidation about the language barrier and the different currency. Shouldn't have worried. We loved our week in Prague and would be happy to return anytime. (We also did Vienna and Salzburg on this trip - they were new to us as well.) We took the train from Vienna to Prague, which was fine. We were glad we had gotten a seat reservation as the train filled up quickly soon after Vienna. When we arrived in Prague we purchased public transit tickets in the train station and then took the tram to our apartment. Don't hesitate to include Prague in your plans!

Posted by
3173 posts

Not sure how our experience in Prague would be as independent

Why would you question your experience as 'independent travelers'?