Hi Cmoms,

My parents just came back from a 12-day europe tour that covered Italy, Swiz, Germany, Belgium, France and England. They had a wonderful time. Since we heard June to August would be a good time to visit Europe, we planned their trip in June.

I thought of sharing few things that would be of interest to our cmoms who plan for a europe tour. This 12 day package was booked thru SOTC. They were very professional from first. They gave the instructions till how much to tip for the bus drivers and the itinery before my parents started from here.

Phone: They advised for the Matrix phone which came in handy for my parents as we were able to be in touch with them all the time.

Weather: Except for swiz all other countries were warm it seems.

Hotel:The hotels were all 3 star. The rooms were clean and comfortable.

Food:They were provided with breakfast and dinner (which is inclusive in the tour package cost). Only for lunch they went out. The breakfast was continental except for one day when they were served south indian food. The dinner is indian food (both south and north indian). They were guided to taste the food of the country like pizza at Italy, chocolates at belgium etc.

Guide: There was a guide who came with them – not only to explain about the tourist places, but also to get what they wanted (for eg, if someone wanted to go to ATM etc).

Commute: The to and fro europe is flight. The whole tour was in a volvo bus. They were a group of 38 people and a volvo bus took them to all the countries. The bus was comfortable it seems. They had to commute in train at some places (like swiz and paris to london).

Site seeing and places covered: They were given enough time to see the tourist places. They were not asked to see quickly and come over. But there was not much time given for shopping. There was some shopping time (alloted) in paris it seems. Apart from that the touring itself kept them busy. Since it was a continuous walking around the tourist places for 12 days, my parents were a little tired. I am sure for young people it shouldn’t be the case. It seems many kids were also there in their tour.

Break: They gave breaks for toilet, coffee/tea etc for 2 hrs or so. Once they board the bus after breakfast, they are left in the hotel around 7pm. That was a good resting time for my parents.

Any negatives? In swiz they were taken to Alps which was 11000 ft high in a train. My parents felt dizzy bcoz of the low oxygen at that level. Fortunately there was a doctor in their group and they asked them to take deep breaths and they were sort of ok. But they couldn’t go for tour that evening and stayed in the hotel itself. They got a bit afraid and nervous too. I wish the guide has told this before so that they cd’ve avoided that visit.

All went thru well? actually no. They missed the return flight. I got tensed as soon as they told me this. I didnt know how they’d handle, but the whole group was left out 🙂 so they took care of my parents. They were provided a hotel for the night’s stay and the food for the one day they stayed in Doha to catch the next flight.

They came to my home early morning itself to see my kids off to school. They have missed them so much.