We are so excited, just a couple months away. Anyone that has taken this tour any last minute tips?
Start walking! Get in the best shape you can. Spend an extra day in Padua if you have the time. Read about how truffles grow. Get ready for a really fun tour!
Ditto Alan's advice!
-Add in stairs!
-I'd go for 2 nights ahead in Padua if you can.
-This is a FUN tour!
1) Agree with above posts, except that I'd get to Italy as many days early as I could to make sure that you are entirely over jet lag, acclimated, got some Euros in your pocket, feeling good about Italy and ready to rock. You can't be there too early. Spend the extra time on seeing sites not covered in the tour: Venice, Verona, more of Padua, or dozens of other places previously suggested on this forum.
2) If guides ask you not to take photos inside some buildings: DON'T.
3) When on your own time, be brave about interacting with locals. Use the phrases in the RS guidebook.
4) When ordering a meal or a gelato, make sure you understand the pricing system. Ask "how much?" often. Many US travelers get confused and end up complaining in the Tourist Scams forum that they were ripped off when they really didn't understand the system.
5) Go on any "free time" side trips where the opportunity is presented.
We did this tour last year at the same time you are going. We spent four nights in Padua ahead of the trip with a one day side trip to Verona. Ended the trip in Venice for 3 nights in an AirBnB.
1. Pack your suitcase weight it then unpack and take out all the items you really don't need! I did this 3 times and still was a bit over packed.
2. Getting in shape is important. Walking is best and be sure to have your shoes all broken in.
3. Bring your guide book. If Trina is your guide she covers items out of the guide book on the bus trips and I wish I had my book with me to follow along. She had extra books but there were other folks on the bus who used them. My wife had ours so I was left out. This year I have gotten a copy for my Kindle so I will be prepared.
4. If you drink wine bring a corkscrew (just be sure it does not have any foil cutting blade attached. My wife lost hers to TSA at SFO) so we had to buy a new one in Italy. There are so many great wines. Visit a local retailer and get them to recommend a bottle for your room. All the shop keepers spoke good English and were great in helping us out.
5. Change your seat in the bus to you get to me the other folks on the tour.
6. Make a point to ask your guide to go to dinner with you on one of your on your own dinners.
8. Have 2 set of electrical plug adapters and two different charger for your electronic devices. My wife had one for her side of the bed and I had a station set up for our camera, my phone, and extended battery packs.
9.Empty your suitcase one more time and repack it lighter than before.
10. If you are having a birthday, anniversary, or some major event let your guide know ahead of time. We had our wedding anniversary on our tour and we got some special treatment. There was a couple getting married just after the trip and the last night in Levanto was turned into a wedding party for them. That will be a night I will not forget for some time.
Above all else plan to have a great time. We totally loved this tour and all the places we got to visit.