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European Vacation Planning

Aug 17, 2007
When planning a European vacation, most likely you will decide to either explore by yourself or go on an organised package tour. Going on a package tour is a good choice if it is your first time to visit a country, as you will benefit from the experience and knowledge of the tour company.

You do though, end up with a tour designed to give you a taste of the country without scratching too much below the surface. This is ideal for your first visit as it allows you to decide where in the future you would like to re-visit.

A good package tour should provide a variety of different experiences so that all tastes are accounted for. This usually involves visiting famous landmarks, buildings, galleries, museums and shows. Add a choice of optional activities into the mix and you have all the ingredients for a successful European package tour.

When choosing a package tour company to book with, make sure you check out all their credentials. Check how long they have been in business, what tour facilities they provide, their tour choices and their backup procedures should things go wrong. It's also worth considering booking a tour direct with companies in the country you plan to visit. Many European countries have successful long established coach tour companies.

It can be a cost effective strategy to just book your flights to the country of your choice and then join up with the tour operator. London is an ideal base for US travelers to pick up a European Coach Tour. Fly over to one of the London airports, stay the night in a hotel and then join up with your coach tour company the following day.

There are numerous coach tour companies in the UK that offer regularly scheduled European tours. Some trips start with a crossing from the port of Dover, England to the port of Calais, France. When in France tours usually head straight to the capital Paris for a one or two night stay. Popular cities often included in European coach tours include, Bruges, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Lucerne, Milan, Rome, Florence and Venice.

A popular choice amongst coach tour operators in the UK is to offer channel crossings via the channel tunnel on board the Eurostar train. The crossing from London to Paris can be less than 3 hours. Taking the ferry would at least double that time, if you took into consideration the journey from London to the departure port.

If you are planning to go on a European vacation on your own, without the backup of a tour company, be sure to allow plenty of time between connecting travel arrangements. A planned 2 hour gap between connections is a good general guide that will allow for some transport delays.

Whatever way you decide to go, whether it's on an organised tour or you prefer to travel on your own. Learning a little about the countries and customs before you go is always a good idea and can actually add to the excitement of your trip. There are many guidebooks, videos and dvd's available for almost all of the European countries. These can really add to your overall vacation experience and help you to better understand the countries you visit.
About the Author
Steve Thomas writes about European vacation planning and maintains a website dedicated to European vacations. The website has numerous articles and information on Europe tourism and includes a selection of online travel videos at http://www.myeuropeanvacations.com
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