So I am excited to see that quite a few people have been coming to the blog and checking everything out. What I am even more excited about are all the questions that you all have been emailing me or sending me through the Contiki Forums. To help out some more, I'm going to post all the questions that are sent to me in this post (I'll update it daily) with answers to give you even more information on what to expect. So keep reading and keep sending questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
1. How do we get into the cities each day?
Most days, if you are traveling with Contiki, the bus will take you directly into the city and you will have time to explore and then there will be a pick up point at a specific time. This is the easiest way to get in and out of the cities. If you want to stay in the city and explore longer, then you are able to (as long as the bus isn't leaving and going to the next city or else you will be left behind) and you can get a train or a taxi back to the hotel depending on which city you are in. In the small towns you visit (such as St. Goar, Lucerne, or Innsburck) you can even go into town and then walk back to the hotels. Larger cities, such as Rome, where you are staying quite a bit away from the city center, the bus will drive you to the train station, then you will take the train into town and again there will be a time that you need to meet the bus at the train station to get back to the hotel, but if you want to stay out later, you can grab a taxi at the train station back to the hotel later in the evening. In Paris, I choose to take the train everywhere and get the bus back at the end of the day and that was very easy to do, so in larger cities, the train is a great option.
2. Can I get the refer a friend discount if I have already booked my trip?
Unfortunately no, the refer a friend discount has to be given at the time you book. Also, in order to get it you also have to book a trip that is 8 days or longer. If you haven't booked your trip yet and want to get the refer a friend discount email me at email@example.com with your name and email address and I will set it up for you and contact you with more information.
3. Did I feel rushed on the Discovery Tour?
The European Discovery Tour does move very very fast, however, I personally felt as though I had enough time in each of the cities and did not feel too rushed. I also planned out what I wanted to do before I left, so I had a plan when I went into each of the cities. I think I may have felt more rushed if I was trying to figure out what to do in the time period we had in each of the cities. So I recommend looking up things to do in each city you will be visiting and at least figuring out the tope things you want to do in each city.
4. How many hours a day were you on the bus?
This really varied from day to day depending on where we were and where we were headed. I would say on average we were on the bus for about 4 to 6 hours each day, but most of the time we were sleeping or our tour manager kept us entertained. We did have a few long 8 hour days. The ride from Florence to Lucerne will seem like it is taking forever mostly because alomost the entire bus was sick and hungover.
5. Were there a lot of romances on your tour?
Every tour will be different, but our tour had quite a few couples on it to begin with and then there were a few romances that popped up throughout the tour between tourmates and then with tourmates and locals. Don't go expecting that you are going to have a romance...if it happens, it happens, and if not, you are going to be having a ton of fun anyway, so don't worry about it!
6. Did you use your IPOD a lot?
I used my ipod on the bus to help me fall asleep and sometimes at night to fall asleep too. I also have an ipod touch, so at hotels where there was wifi, I was able to use my ipod touch to get on the internet which was nice. I would recommend if you are thinking about bringing it to bring it. It is helpful to have to block out noise if you want to sleep on the bus or read in peace and others are being loud. Its also a good thing to have if you want to block out the world and have some "me time"
7. Would you recommend going solo?
If that is the only thing that is holding you back, then yes go solo. I loved going by myself because then I didn't need to worry about making sure anyone was happy and that I was doing what they wanted to do and what I wanted to do in each city. There are also going to be quite a few people on each tour that are there by themselves, so you won't be the only one. I really liked going by myself and making new friends. And I wandered around Paris by myself the last day and was so happy to have done that. So going by yourself is fine. Just make friends!
8. How much are drinks and can you get more than just beer and wine?
To be honest, I really don't remember how much drinks were. Some I know were as cheap as 2 euro for a shot or a beer and others were as expensive as 12 euro for a mixed drink. You can get more than just beer or wine, but those options will be the cheapest for the most part. I ended up drinking mostly whiskey because that is what I like, but I also had my share of wine, beer, and whatever the local drink was.
9. Do all tours visit Dachau?
This one I'm really not sure about. From all that I have heard from people on other discovery tours, they have all went to Dachau on their tour, so my assumption is yes. If you are interested in this, that might be something to ask when you are booking your tour.