I'm starved to travel! Looking at 2022 tours and thinking about doing either Best of Adriatic and Heart of France or Best of Paris on a back to back tour. What are the pros and cons of doing back to backs? We're 66 and in good health. I walk daily so I think I'd be OK for the physical bit. Just not so sure that I would love so many days of picking up and going to another place. Would love to hear from anyone that has done a back to back. Thanks for your help!
I think it would depend on how "truly" back-to-back the tours were. If you're planning on having less than 24 hours between tours, I'd say that's a bad idea (along with exhaustion/burnout, you'd also have to worry about transit issues and potential delays). But if you were to schedule in a few days' break, that's something else, especially since you'll be able to pack more into a transatlantic trip. A few summers ago, I did the RS Sicily tour and then, several days later, began a 9-day food tour of northern Spain. I spent the interim days in Menorca (which I picked because I wanted a low-key, reasonably inexpensive place to recover a few days that was also easily reached from Catania). I enjoyed the area, but mainly just relaxed.
In 2019 we did the Best of Paris and Eastern France back-to-back. We started with Paris, then the same day that ended, the Eastern France tour started. It wasn't bad because we were in one hotel in Paris for 8 nights, then it was about 1 1/2 hour train ride to Reims for the late afternoon start of the other.
Next year we have signed up for back-to-back 'Best of the Adriatic', and 'Best of Berlin, Prague, and Vienna'. That will be a lot more moving around, but we were cancelled from the Adriatic tour this year, and want to do them both. We'll have 2 days in between tours. We would have preferred more, but tour schedules and our own schedules worked out this way. The B-P-V tour has 3, 3 night stays, so it will be less moving around at the end.
RS tours have plenty of unscheduled time, so while you can spend lots of time on your own sightseeing, you can also build in some down time, if you feel you need it.
We've done a back to back tour with a different company and have one planned for this year ( still waiting to hear if both segments will happen). You do get maximum use of your airfare and only have to go thru jetlag once. The one challenge we had was finding a laundromat in London between the tours to get everything clean. Both tours were 2 weeks. The company we traveled with only charges you travel insurance for one trip so that is a savings. We were lucky that in the previous tours and the one planned this year, the timing and transport between the 2 tours worked out well.
We've done back to back tours twice, and have booked another two for next year. I agree with cslh324 about allowing a couple of days between tours, just to catch your breath. And it gives you some time to do more exploring on your own.
We're signed up for Loire Valley to the South of France for next spring, followed 10 days later by the Best of South Italy. That may seem like a long time, but we're going to want to spend a last couple of days on our own in France, then a few days in Rome before the second tour starts.
YMMV, of course, but I would definitely allow at least 2 or 3 days between tours, and more if you have the time. And don't forget to factor in travel time between your two tours!
We've done back to back at least once, maybe twice. It makes sense from the standpoint of geting the most for your airfare. And jet lag has to be dealt with only once. For those reasons we'll do back to back tours whenever we can. If it is a case of one tour ending and the other starting the same or next day, the logistics of getting from ending point to starting point will have to be considered. On the other hand, if there are a couple or three days in between then the logistics will be much easier and you'll have a little down time to boot.
We have done a number a back to back tours especially with cruises. For us, it works best if we schedule at least two, maybe three, days between each segment. Gives us a chance to do laundry -- critical for us since we use one carry-on each --- to resupply if we need something, catch up on emails, and finally just a couple days of doing nothing we find beneficial for preparing for the next trip. You know ----- the vacation from a vacation.
Like Frank, we've done a few back-to-back cruises, but that's easier than land tours because we spend so much cruise time sitting around and don't really get tired. I haven't tried b2b land tours, but if I did I'd want to build in some time between them for rest, laundry, and getting to the next start point. Pros of b2b: Just one roundtrip flight; possible insurance savings (as described above); more seen and done in the years remaining. Cons: Fatigue; cost.
Most people either can't afford b2b tours or can't take the time from work and other responsibilities. Bev's "problem" is a good one to have.
We have done back to back tours several times and have had 3-8 days between. Th longer one we stayed an extra 3 days in Paris, then train to Bruges and Brussels, then flew to Edinburgh a day before the Scotland tour.
All were fun.
It saves air time from the West Coast as well as adjusting to time change. Downside— 2 tours, plus time to acclimate before the first tour and time between, adds up to 5 weeks away (or more).
Hi Bev, if you select the Best of Paris tour, you are in the same hotel room the entire week which sounds like something you might prefer. I took that tour about five years ago, and I remember that we didn’t have any early meeting times on the itinerary. That would give you a bit of a break. While in Paris, give yourself permission to relax at the Luxembourg Garden and linger at an outdoor cafe! 😊
We have done several back to back tours. If I am going to Europe all the way from Vancouver, 2 weeks is just not long enough to justify the flight. We try to stay in the same region and it works best to have a couple of days off between tours to do nothing. You have to travel from one tour end to the next tour beginning. By the time you check into your new hotel, it is nice to rest a bit, do laundry, catch up on emails, etc. We needed some time off (early 70s). Another poster mentioned that with RS tours, you have plenty of free time. There is nothing wrong with kicking back and enjoying a coffee or a wine for a few hours in part of your free time.
Our last 2 back to backs were Paris and the Heart of France followed by Eastern France then another time Southern Italy followed by Sicily. All I can say is to start dieting now! The food is fabulous!
We were just confirmed last night on GAS followed by Best of Germany in Sept. 2022. I am so ready to travel again!
I am starved to travel also! I haven’t done back to back tours before but I’m contemplating doing so next year. I’m committed already to the Scandinavia tour, 5/22-6/04, with 2 friends. I decided to waitlist myself on the 10 Days Poland tour, 5/10-5/19, which gives me a couple days early in Stockholm to meet my friends before the beginning of the Scandinavia one. I’m also considering waitlisting myself on the 7 Days in Paris tour. I’ve had my eye on that one for awhile.
So many tours, so little time!