I know there are a few topics out there on this already but I wanted to talk about it again and not be buried under dozens of responses.
I have been traveling in Europe numerous times over the past 10 years and except for my first trip with a school group that ignited my travel bug, all my trips have been independent. I’ve gone with friends and family and have always really enjoyed myself. Recently I had two weeks off in February and was in the position to take another trip. I couldn’t find anyone to go with and wasn’t keen about traveling alone at such a slow time of year on such a strict time schedule (silly “Real jobs ). SO I looked into a tour and settled on the Spanish Spree tour from Contiki. (The dates worked out the best, there are many similar tour companies so this isn’t a contiki promo.)
I was aprehensive about doing a tour after traveling on my own so much but after having gone I can firmly say it was a great decision. I still fall well within the 18-35 age range and met a lot of fun people. The trip was also incredibly low stress as you don’t have to think about anything; from accomodation to transportation, its all arranged. I have always enjoyed stepping off a train in a new, unknown city and finding a place to stay but I did get a lot more done in a day not having to worry about this. The entire two weeks was spent in Spain and our longest day on a bus was 6 hours. It was a great way to meet fellow travelers when traveling during a low season. Many of the travelers with more time continued traveling after the tour. I highly recommend it.
Having said that I know not all bus tours are like this. Cramming 15 countries into 2 weeks seems like a nightmare to me. I highly recommend independent backpacking as much as possible. But these regional bus tours maybe something to consider as an alternative if you’re on a tight schedule, traveling in a low season or want the logistics taken care of. I’d be interested in hearing what other people have to say or if anyone has any questions.
Budapest, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Mostar, Ploče, Zagreb, Budapest
Bucharest, Tulcea, Gura Humorului, Cluj-Napoca, Sighişoara, Craiova, Bucharest
Riga, Šiauliai, Kaliningrad, Minsk, Vilnius, Riga
Rome, Cagliari, Sassari, Ajaccio, Bastia, Leghorn, Rome