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Old 01-12-2019, 02:55 PM   #101
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It always amuses me when I hear people say they will take escorted tours when they are older . I have been on two escorted tours and that was in my 40's . They are brutal .Up every day at 6 and touring to 7pm then dinner and bed so you can do it again. I am now 71 and there is no way that type of travel interests me .Slow travel is they way to go as you age .
I find myself agreeing. I will admit the escorted tours I have taken have been, overall, interesting and helpful. I've gone to places and had experiences I may have never found on my own.

But, the activity level can be intense. I am finding that I often prefer cafč cruising around a city. Take the bus or tram to Point A where I visit a museum or see an interesting sight. Then wander to Point B via and eclectic unplanned route, stopping often for coffee or wine and a pastry or gelato. I will pay extra to sit at a nice table with a view. I wander down streets I never heard of and poke my head into all sorts of stores. Sometimes I talk to a local or fellow tourist. Often I find great photos. When I get to Point B I take the bus or tram back to my room where I rest for a few hours. The trick is that Point B has easy access to public transportation. Later, in the early evening, it's out again to see the night lit city at a leisurely pace.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:03 PM   #102
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It always amuses me when I hear people say they will take escorted tours when they are older . I have been on two escorted tours and that was in my 40's . They are brutal .Up every day at 6 and touring to 7pm then dinner and bed so you can do it again. I am now 71 and there is no way that type of travel interests me .Slow travel is they way to go as you age .
That's very true (we did that twice) but it just applies to mainstream tours.

You can find more upscale tours that have some flexibility and common sense built into them (For cruises, Tauck, Lindblad/NatGeo, and Viking (to some extent) are examples we have used, and OAT often offers some good options for land tours).

But these days we mostly tend to do what Souschef recommends. Find a good tour, then use their itinerary to craft your own version of it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:44 PM   #103
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Go to R. Crusoe & Son and get them to put together a private tour for just the two of you. That's how we did Peru - the young wife and I with our own guide and driver. They took care of us from the minute we got there until the minute we left. We had a basic itinerary, but we varied it to suit our interests and moved at our own pace. Quite expensive, but worth every penny.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:53 PM   #104
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Go to R. Crusoe & Son and get them to put together a private tour for just the two of you. That's how we did Peru - the young wife and I with our own guide and driver. They took care of us from the minute we got there until the minute we left. We had a basic itinerary, but we varied it to suit our interests and moved at our own pace. Quite expensive, but worth every penny.
Great idea! We did the same thing in Cornwall, with a guide called Cornish Welcomes.
We would do one big thing each day, and a number of small tours. Our host knew all the byways to get around.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:42 PM   #105
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+1 on local guides and drivers (and blow that dough!). They enrich the experience and become part of the memories. Having said that, DH and I are going in the opposite direction and taking a classic group "guided tour" of Greece this spring. I'm laughing already.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:40 PM   #106
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+1 on local guides and drivers (and blow that dough!). They enrich the experience and become part of the memories. Having said that, DH and I are going in the opposite direction and taking a classic group "guided tour" of Greece this spring. I'm laughing already.
We found that Tauck tours, although pricey, are worth it. You stay in first class hotels, and have choice of menu for meals.
On a recent trip to Canada, we were put up in Fairmont hotels. The tour is also more leisurely paced for an older, more affluent group

The caveats I have about bus tours are the time it takes for 40 people to get on or off a bus, and if you are at all mobility limited,like DW is, climbing or descending the steps more than 4 times a day can be difficult.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:53 PM   #107
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I love Europe. The history, architecture and culture are fascinating. We also like the food...
I have enjoyed travel in the US and Canada the same way. Their history is quite recent compared to that of the Old Wold but still very interesting, and being American does not mean you know it all.

When visiting National Parks, we always spend a lot of time at the Visitor Centers to see the displays, and to watch any film that is shown. Of course being retired and taking month-long trips at a time means we have time to do things others cannot.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:48 PM   #108
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+1 on that. It is bags outside at 7 AM, an the bus at 8...
DW and I have the solution, however. We look at the tours and find one that is interesting, and use their itinerary, BUT at our pace...
YES!

In our recent trip to Provence, I looked at tours to see where they took people, and one of the day tours from Marseille took people to L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to their famous Sunday Market. And we were going to stay right inside L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (a small island surrounded by the two branches of the River Sorgue). Son of a gun!

I juggled the itinerary so that our stay included a Sunday, and man oh man, we almost missed out. They actually have a market going all days of the week, but the Sunday Market is the Mother of them all. This Sunday Market was visited by the locals too, not just the tourists.

All this talk makes me wants to go back.
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:33 PM   #109
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I booked apartments through hotels.com. The maps, reviews, cost, pics of the exact rooms I booked are there. The apartments are huge and beautiful. This is the best value for a vacation. Now I have to wait 5 months until we leave The planning is so fun! I keep picturing the cafes, castles, old world feel, historical events...the U.S. has beautiful parks and beaches but you'll never get the historical experience like this.
I hope that you will post the details of this trip. I have always wanted to go. My grandmother was from that location, but it was still under the Emperor when she left. My mother wanted her to take the two of us with her to visit when she went, but grandmother never did.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:18 AM   #110
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Next month we are going for a week to SW Florida just to dry out from our new PNW home.



Then in June, two weeks in Scotland with Road Scholar with a little unscheduled time on each end to explore Glasgow and Edinburgh.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:34 AM   #111
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I love to walk the streets, looking into shops, seeing what food they have in grocery stores. I like to see how people live their daily life.

Recently, when we started to use Airbnb, we thought it was great to live in a real home, and see what people use for kitchen appliances and utensils.


Me too! I really don’t like all inclusive resorts unless they are beach/dive resorts on a private island.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:40 AM   #112
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+1 on local guides and drivers (and blow that dough!). They enrich the experience and become part of the memories. Having said that, DH and I are going in the opposite direction and taking a classic group "guided tour" of Greece this spring. I'm laughing already.


We mostly did a self-guided stay in Greece and loved it, but one day we hired a guide and did a private tour of a goat cheese farm followed by a cooking class at an organic farm. Wonderful day!

A friend of mine does a lot of OAT tours. I wouldn’t want to try to keep up with that pace!
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:48 AM   #113
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So far in 2019, I only have two trips planned. Key West with my DH at the end of January and Disney World in December with my son, DIL, and grandkids.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:46 AM   #114
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Currently juggling....contemplating a cheap flight from Gdansk to Kiev
Booked the flight, and also what appears to be a nice little airbnb in Kiev.

https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/13376745...s=1&s=Fj72EWbi

At this point we've (tentatively) decided that we won't make any more advance plans, but will decide which way to go when we're in Kiev in the latter part of May.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:18 PM   #115
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We love to travel in the states as well. We do want to see more of Canada also.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:22 PM   #116
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We love to travel in the states as well. We do want to see more of Canada also.
Especially as you get a 25% discount in Canada, due to the exchange rate
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:43 PM   #117
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I didn’t know that sunset.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:37 PM   #118
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We found that Tauck tours, although pricey, are worth it. You stay in first class hotels, and have choice of menu for meals.
On a recent trip to Canada, we were put up in Fairmont hotels. The tour is also more leisurely paced for an older, more affluent group

The caveats I have about bus tours are the time it takes for 40 people to get on or off a bus, and if you are at all mobility limited,like DW is, climbing or descending the steps more than 4 times a day can be difficult.
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We mostly did a self-guided stay in Greece and loved it, but one day we hired a guide and did a private tour of a goat cheese farm followed by a cooking class at an organic farm. Wonderful day!

A friend of mine does a lot of OAT tours. I wouldn’t want to try to keep up with that pace!
DH booked this Globus trip last summer; here’s the itinerary, which is followed by a three-night Aegean cruise; total cost including air from Chicago is $3760 for the two of us https://www.globusjourneys.com/tour/greek-escape/kga/. I didn’t even know he wanted to see Greece, and I think the okay group trip we took last spring to Ireland with relatives perhaps appealed to him with no planning on our part (vs the amazing Spain trip we took this fall with friends, after two years of DH planning an awesome itinerary down to the tiniest detail using TripMaster). I don’t ever mind being perceived as a tourist because duh, we are, and am looking forward to it and seeing it with DH. We have traveled a lot so this is just another little dancing lesson for us.

SousChef, I hear such good things about Tauck but this one likely will not come near that level.

Scuba, I told DH we can skip part of the group stuff and get a guide on our own considering this trip as is is pretty reasonable. I am sure we will be up at dawn every day!
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:47 PM   #119
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Last night some friends asked us if we'd like to go see Ireland this summer. That's an invitation we wouldn't turn down but we might have to scramble to make arrangements. Any suggestions for tours or tour companies would be appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:03 PM   #120
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Me too! I really don’t like all inclusive resorts unless they are beach/dive resorts on a private island.
When we were still working, we loved just to be able to get away, relax, and do very little.

But now that we are relaxing all the time in retirement, heck I have my own high-country boondock 2nd home where I can go hide from people, when I travel I like to go see new places, walk the cities, do some hiking, etc...
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