My son and I arrived home Friday evening from our 17 day trip to Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Prague. Here is our not so entertaining or clever trip report presented in categories.
Luke and I were planning to take the GAS tour in 2021. Because of COVID, that changed to a self driving tour of Iceland. We thought that taking a bus tour this early was too risky. Instead, we thought we would give traveling independently a try. I did 95% of the planning mostly based on destinations on his list. He wanted to visit some WWII sites, specifically Obersalzburg, as well as Prague and Budapest. I made him choose between the two final cities. My biggest fear was regarding train travel; more on that later.
Conclusion: Luke says that as long as I continue to enjoy the planning phase and we continue to hire private guides, he prefers traveling independently. I see value in both ways. I will continue planning independent trips as long as he is traveling with me and the destination is easily accessible. I will continue to take RS tours if traveling on my own.
Early arrival Munich, stay 2 nights. Two nights Berchtesgaden. One night Salzburg. Three nights Vienna. One night Bratislava. Six nights Prague. Early on, I posted my itinerary for comments. I decided to delete the thread because I was looking for confirmation and wasn't open to critiques : ) I could have enjoyed another day in both Munich and Vienna spending time in art museums. But Luke is not interested in that. For future trips, I think I will make more time for art and send Luke off on his own for the day.
Conclusion: Overall, we were both very pleased with the itinerary and the pace of travel. We both agreed that we would have been happy enough to come home one day sooner. We both were getting stimulus fatigue and my arthritic body was inflamed and sore. The very positive advantages of staying one day too long was that we gave up on our fit everything in mindset. We learned our neighborhood, we took strolls, we slept in and as another recent thread described, we were being instead of seeing.
I am an early buyer. I purchased our flights in early September. Our tickets CLE-ATL-MUC and PRG-AMS-DTW-CLE were $1700. This was premium select on the international flights and comfort plus on the domestic flights. I know many of you pay less than 1K for your flights, but I don't think that is possible from Cleveland and I won't fly in economy. Later, I had an opportunity to upgrade the ATL-MUC to delta one for $600 per ticket. I jumped at that. Being able to sleep on the plane adds a huge value to my trip. Both of us slept and neither of us suffered much from jet lag. We hit the ground running and had a full day of sight seeing day one. Four of our flights were on time and uneventful. Our flight from Detroit to Cleveland was delayed four hours due to our plane getting stuck at Dulles. The flights were Delta and KLM (PRG-AMS). Service was good. Having a sky priority ticket saved us in Prague. We arrived at the airport at 4:32 am for a 6:05 am flight. The check in counter opens at 4:30. There was a huge line. We could not check in online due to passport checks and COVID related issues. We had no waiting in the sky priority lane. I was able to check in online for our outbound flights. Delta fly ready worked the first time I tried it. They did want to see Luke's vaccine card and passport at the gate before boarding. The food offered wasn't so good, but it offered calories and a way to pass some time.