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4 replies
bus2Alps tours
ejwhite87
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I am looking to do a few “mini” tours while backpacking in Europe. I found bus2Alps and they have AMAZING prices. 589 Euros for a 10 day trip from Rome to Greece with accommodations/transportation/some meals?! Has anyone done any of these tours? Are they fabulous or a waste of money? Are there hidden fees? I can’t find any reviews on the web.

I am leaving from Los Angeles with $5000 for 22 days
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I am leaving from RDU with $3000 for 22 days
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I am leaving from Raleigh, NC with $3000 for 14 days
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I am leaving from Raleigh, NC with $3000 for 16 days
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oldlady
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I looked at the website. It looks like a reasonable deal, and I see no reason to assume it’s a waste of money. I did not find any negative reviews, but I would guess that the couple of “award winning” and wonderful reviews I read were written by folks who get some sort of compensation from Bus2Alps. The particular tour you’ve picked appears to be a reasonable way to work out the logistics of getting to a couple of Greek Islands and between Greece and Italy. You can probably do it cheaper on your own, but it will be a lot of work and you’ll have to figure out how to get to the ferry terminal on your own, etc. I’m not a fan of tours, but this one seems OK.

Price really only covers transportation, lodging and breakfast. Most activities are optional (and perhaps over-priced) and even for the included ones it appears that you have to pay your own admission fees to museums, etc. As for hidden fees you’ll have tips for overall tour guide and tips for drivers and guides on included and optional day trips. Beverages will probably be extra (and perhaps over priced) for any included dinner. The events may be at taverns with over-priced drinks and/or cover charge. Food, snacks and any sundries on the ferries will be overpriced, but that’s a fact of life, not an issue with the tour.

I would find out about the accommodations on the overnight ferries (I think you’ll want to upgrade to a cabin if the tour only covers a hunter’s license to try to find an empty deck chair) and see if any “high season surcharge” is included if you’re traveling in July or August or maybe in June. For that matter, the whole tour is probably much more expensive in June, July, or August than the quoted price for May departures. Ask the exact hostels/hotels where you’ll stay — which might be an interesting exercise in itself I would be wary of any hesitancy to provide this or if they provide a longish list of places they use. Then check locations (don’t want to be an hour away from all the action) and reviews here and on other hostel booking websites. Push harder for an exact hostel if there’s a big variation in the reviews and/or location of the places on the list. Chances are you’ll end up with the worst if there’s a big variation between best and worst in there list of accommodations.

Since you may be traveling alone, I would check into “single supplement.”. Sometimes tour prices are based on double occupancy and booking solo may nearly double the price — sometimes it’s a legitimate up charge and sometimes they’ll try match you up with a roommate, but sometimes it’s just a rip-off.

oldlady
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Found one bad review: http://www.tourradar…
Another blog, which was a general travel log as opposed to a review of the tour, mentioned staying in a 12 bed dorm with 1 bathroom — not great accommodations, but sometimes what you get for the cheapest price in a popular hostel.

Everything else seems to be positive, but a lot of it seems to have come from the same press kit — similar articles in various college newspapers, similar interviews with the same tour guide, YouTube testimonials, several pictures of the same group of girls having a great time — were those pink satin dresses all they took with them? The blog seems to be Weekly reviews which are obviously posted by Bus2alps and individual posts that are oddly worded — they say positive things but seem to avoid the kind of wording you’d use in an actual review of a trip you’d actually taken.

If there’s a student travel agency (like STA) in your town, ask what they’ve heard.

klaible
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Hey I saw your post and I was looking into doing a Bus2Alps, 16 day, Western Europe tour over the summer. Two of my very good friends did a Bus2Alps tour for Oktoberfest last year and they LOVED it. They actually recommended it to me. They said there weren’t any hidden costs or you didn’t need to worry about a “single supplemental charge”, but they did have to pay for their own food and meals etc.(I think that is pretty clear though when booking). They also said their tour guide was fantastic, very informative and great suggestions. They even still talk to him almost a year later! My only concern because it is cheap is that it will be too college focused and I am not interested in a trip that is all about drinking and partying. I haven’t been able to find many reviews on it and so let me know if you find any.

wellsronald18
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It totally depends on person to person to judge this kind of tour, some love it and others hardly like it.