Some people I talked to before I went on the trip couldn’t believe I’d pay the $1,400 for a group travel experience when I could have done it on my own for cheaper, but, in reality, traveling with Expat Explore was cheaper for me as a single traveler than on my own. Also, I’m the type of person that hates to travel alone, so paying just to have some company would have been worth it for me. I’m also the type of person who isn’t fond of being in charge of travel plans, so having the logistics mapped out was an invaluable benefit.
For example, two of the hotels we stayed in, Ramada Innsbruck Tivoli and Holiday Inn Express Schiphol in Amsterdam were both $200/night during the time period we were there. They were both on the nicer range of places we stayed, but assuming the other hotels we stayed at averaged $100/night, the hotels alone were at least a $900 value, not to mention that a majority of our breakfasts and lunches during the trip were included as well as the tours and transportation from country to country. There’s honestly no way I could have done this trip alone and been able to visit as many places as we were able to visit during this group trip for that price.
I’d highly recommend this trip as a fun way to get a taste of Europe! If I could go back and change anything I did, I’d get to Amsterdam a day early in order to properly adjust to the time difference, and I would have stayed an extra day in Paris and skipped the Belgium trip.
As far as the tour itinerary itself, I would have liked more planned activities on the first day in Amsterdam, since it was a very short tour day. Considering that the majority of the group arrived by noon the first day, it would have been easy enough to start the tour day around 1-2 pm instead of 5 pm.
Or, as an alternative, it would have been ideal for the trip to begin and end in Paris, rather than in Amsterdam. Amsterdam was an expensive place to stay, and with the tour company expecting people to arrive a day before the tour started and leave the day after the tour ended, it was not an ideal location for people to have to pay for an additional 2 nights to stay in, especially if you’re traveling alone as I was. I paid €200 to stay in a hotel the night after our tour ended, whereas the hotel we stayed in in Paris was only €50.
Overall though, it was an excellent trip! As you can see from the length of these posts, the schedule for each day was full and provided a lot of value for the money and time spent. I wouldn’t go on the exact same tour again, but the tour served its purpose in helping me find several places in Europe I’d like to spend more time in during future trips.
If you’re thinking about it, just go! You’ll be happy you did and wonder why you waited so long.