I went to Italy on a guided bus tour for 11 days and this was one of the best experiences of my life. I highly recommend taking a trip like this before you’re 25. If you can do it alone, even better. Because you’re going to meet lots of people, many of whom will take you under their wing. I remember on my Italy tour, one of the girls who traveled alone celebrated her 21st birthday at a Tuscan farmhouse having the most incredible food and wine while enjoying the well wishes of her travel companions, which included a very happy me. Not to mention, all of us dancing the “Macarena” with a goofy Italian DJ. And the night before her 21st birthday, we all had dinner in this incredible piazza in Rome where I introduced her to Sambuca. Yeah, I’m a bad influence (see post #74, “Learn how to make a killer cocktail and always have the ingredients on hand at your place”) I’m sure that’s one birthday she’ll never forget. The other really great thing about a tour like this is if you go to a country where you don’t speak the language, everything is taken care of for you. We never had to buy a ticket to a museum, or worry about our luggage, where to go and how to get there. I’ve traveled the other way – driving 1,600 miles across Ireland – and I can tell you the days we took bus tours were the ones we looked forward to most of all. For my trip to Italy, every day was a bus day and every day was absolutely the best.
Word to the wise: If you want to go somewhere far away, a bus tour is your best bet. I wish I had done it sooner. I’m doing one again next year. And you should, too. Here’s the company I went with, in case you’re interested, they go over all over the world and I highly recommend them:
What do you think? Ever traveled with a group? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”
Travel with a group can be fun… just don’t let go of their hand…!!! The optimal size of the tour group should not exceed 30 people but be not less than 15… that’s what I think. If you’re alone and everybody else are couples (married or not) it limits the chances for socializing and making friends while exploring places. Actually, I don’t recall tours that I took but, maybe, because I like the independence and, in general, I am not “the life of a partry”… But I encourage group travel.
I think what’s nice about the tour I took, we had some independent time – just not too much. Which I thought was good because being a single woman in a country where I didn’t speak the language, I wasn’t that comfortable wandering off on my own. I know some people are less skittish about that and even prefer to do lots of their own exploring and even getting lost is an adventure, but not for me 🙂
Haven’t taken a bus tour since college. But I would do it again in a heartbeat (if I didn’t have my own personal travel planner/companion.) My experience was also great. Something like 7 countries in 14 days. Couldn’t have done that any other way. Especially if you factor in my tendency to get lost. And that’s just here at home! : \
Totally – I replied to an earlier comment regarding independence and its advantages while traveling. For me, if I’m somewhere where I don’t speak the language or know where I am, I appreciate the comfort of a group. And glad you had that experience early on. Where did you go?
I love this idea! And for the longest time I’ve wanted a good tour group recommendation–and now I have one! Thanks Eva!
Hi Norma, yes, seriously, it was the trip of a lifetime. I think my friend that I went with last year (she went with her husband as well), and I are going to do Globus again this summer, but no husband, just her and I. We’re thinking about France or a France/England combo. So I hope you’re able to find a trip and go – it’s a great way to see a lot of things – you kind of have to be prepared to hustle – but as someone once said, you can sleep when you get back 🙂