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Ocolocorch 21-07-2014 10:05 AM

Package tour vs free n easy irony in cost for Europe
 
Hi peeps,

I am planning for my first trip to paris, venice, Florence and Rome for about 14 days. My intended plan as below

Sg to paris by air (muli flight/open jaw ccheapest airline)
Paris to venice by easyJet
Venice to Florence by italy rail (advanced tic so cheaper)
Florence to Rome by italirail (advanced tic)
Rome fly back to sing

I wanted to add more cities but worried will be too rush as I want to make way for the high probability of getting lost In a foreign country.
After some calculation I will incurr a cost of approx $3.5k per pax including budget hotels WITHOUT meals.

However after visiting the asa travel fair, I was shocked to see the price of package tour is soooo much cheaper compared to my planning. They even include 4-5stars hotels and meals! On top of that we will get to cover 7 cities instead of 4! This is an irony to me. F&e is always Cheaper when it comes to asiA tour, not when it comes to Europe tour. So I wondered why shd we pay more to do homework and plan when its So cheap to get agency. However I M still torn. I wanted a relaxing tour without being rushed or touch and go. It will be an obvious option if f&e is cheaper. Pls share your views. Thank u!

bearine 21-07-2014 01:08 PM

i went for both F&E and package tour. Package tour price can go down as they catered bus service, reducing walking time as they can stop directly in front of the place. Eurails are more ex. And food wise, nth fantastic, they got group pricing as well.

But the F&E experience is way much better. And dun have to wait for pple, and can explore or stay in 1 place as short or as long as you wish. Not having to go to places you not really keen.

Ocolocorch 21-07-2014 01:29 PM

Thks for d reply. Is the locations I mention easy to get lost? I bought guide books but the exact location of the place is not too clear and also no clear instructions on which bus stops to alight and go back etc so afraid of getting lost every day.. that makes me wonder if the pro of free n easy is really worth it esp given that is more costly. .

tanchoo1 21-07-2014 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87251160)
Thks for d reply. Is the locations I mention easy to get lost? I bought guide books but the exact location of the place is not too clear and also no clear instructions on which bus stops to alight and go back etc so afraid of getting lost every day.. that makes me wonder if the pro of free n easy is really worth it esp given that is more costly. .

Hi there,

Saw your PM too, decided it's better to reply here.

Why don't you give us a breakdown of your researched costs and we will comment on it?

City-hopping is always expensive, but F&E is always a much more enjoyable experience.

I have written some guides which you may find useful.

France For Around SGD 3,000
Paris For Around SGD 2,000

Ocolocorch 21-07-2014 06:43 PM

Thanks for the links,

I m planning to fly in April,
Open jaw Flight approx 2.6k per couple by Finnair or emirates to Paris
Easyjet to Venice approx $200 per couple with small bag allowance. Airport transfers approx $200 or perhaps more per couple from Paris airport to n fro city center, and venice airport to city center, Rome city center to Airport.
Trenitalia or italirail intercity 2nd class super economy rail for Venice- florence, Florence-rome $200 per couple taking into account of exchange rates fluctuations.
budget low stars Hotels near train stations for all cities approx $200 - $300 per night for 12-13 nights.
Total approx = $7K for a couple.

Ocolocorch 21-07-2014 06:47 PM

I have yet another question and i hope you can help.
trenitalia do not provide invoice for non italy residence as they gave warnings in their page regarding this. So are the tickets still valid? Or will they even send us the tickets? I dare not even buy now worried that they will not honor our booking. Thanks!

tanchoo1 21-07-2014 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87257481)
Thanks for the links,

I m planning to fly in April,
Open jaw Flight approx 2.6k per couple by Finnair or emirates to Paris
Easyjet to Venice approx $200 per couple with small bag allowance. Airport transfers approx $200 or perhaps more per couple from Paris airport to n fro city center, and venice airport to city center, Rome city center to Airport.
Trenitalia or italirail intercity 2nd class super economy rail for Venice- florence, Florence-rome $200 per couple taking into account of exchange rates fluctuations.
budget low stars Hotels near train stations for all cities approx $200 - $300 per night for 12-13 nights.
Total approx = $7K for a couple.

A couple of tips to cut down costs:

(1) Consider taking the train instead of flying Easyjet so that you save on those expensive airport transfers. Will take longer. So maybe break up the journey. E.g. Paris to Venice via Avignon. You also get to visit beautiful Provence.

(2) Public transport could be considerably cheaper than airport transfers. Consider that.

(3) Wow your accommodation is very expensive; but that's precisely because you are purposely choosing hotels near to train stations. How about using airbnb instead? The locations may be further out, but it should be considerably cheaper, probably leaving you $$$ to take a taxi to / from the train station when arriving / leaving.

(4) Consider renting a car and driving between Venice -> Florence -> Rome. It's a lot cheaper than taking the trains. Plus you'll get to see much more too.

(5) Consider visiting smaller towns and villages where the accommodation is just so much cheaper as well. Remember airbnb!

Lots to think about.

Ocolocorch 21-07-2014 08:00 PM

Renting car not possible as we are not familiar at all as first timer. TrAin esp overnight train is v ex in fact more ex than easyJet after comparing both prices from my research. I m trying to find out public transport. But in case I failed I hv to take taxi...will chk out airbnb! Thanks!

Nanako1 22-07-2014 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87257481)
Thanks for the links,

I m planning to fly in April,
Open jaw Flight approx 2.6k per couple by Finnair or emirates to Paris
Easyjet to Venice approx $200 per couple with small bag allowance. Airport transfers approx $200 or perhaps more per couple from Paris airport to n fro city center, and venice airport to city center, Rome city center to Airport.
Trenitalia or italirail intercity 2nd class super economy rail for Venice- florence, Florence-rome $200 per couple taking into account of exchange rates fluctuations.
budget low stars Hotels near train stations for all cities approx $200 - $300 per night for 12-13 nights.
Total approx = $7K for a couple.

if u dun mind Budget, can stay in those hostel kind. It only abt $50 avg or less per pax a nite for most and e condition is actually quite ok. At least those that I stay. Haha. If you have time can plan go Sorrento or Almanfi. Nice plc and from Almanfi can go Capri island where u can go this blue cave call Grotta Azzurra.

Nanako1 22-07-2014 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87251160)
Thks for d reply. Is the locations I mention easy to get lost? I bought guide books but the exact location of the place is not too clear and also no clear instructions on which bus stops to alight and go back etc so afraid of getting lost every day.. that makes me wonder if the pro of free n easy is really worth it esp given that is more costly. .

Can before you go, you can download the Map of the place you going in your mobile phone then you can use the map offline in case you get lost. Or you can use the WIFI at the place you staying and download before going.

Nanako1 22-07-2014 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87246686)
Hi peeps,

I am planning for my first trip to paris, venice, Florence and Rome for about 14 days. My intended plan as below

Sg to paris by air (muli flight/open jaw ccheapest airline)
Paris to venice by easyJet
Venice to Florence by italy rail (advanced tic so cheaper)
Florence to Rome by italirail (advanced tic)
Rome fly back to sing

I wanted to add more cities but worried will be too rush as I want to make way for the high probability of getting lost In a foreign country.
After some calculation I will incurr a cost of approx $3.5k per pax including budget hotels WITHOUT meals.

However after visiting the asa travel fair, I was shocked to see the price of package tour is soooo much cheaper compared to my planning. They even include 4-5stars hotels and meals! On top of that we will get to cover 7 cities instead of 4! This is an irony to me. F&e is always Cheaper when it comes to asiA tour, not when it comes to Europe tour. So I wondered why shd we pay more to do homework and plan when its So cheap to get agency. However I M still torn. I wanted a relaxing tour without being rushed or touch and go. It will be an obvious option if f&e is cheaper. Pls share your views. Thank u!

I spent 16 days( 11 day Italy and 4 days Paris) . All those you mention I got go, I even went more cities in Italy. These are the places I went in total of my 11 days in Italy.

1.Rome
2. Naples
3. Pompeii
4. Sorrento
5. Positano
6. Almanfi
7 Capri
8.Florence
9. Siena
10. Pisa
11. venice
12. Milan

the_dog 22-07-2014 04:55 PM

Since you intend to go to Paris, you can consider flying Air France to Rome. This will transit in Paris so you can visit this last on the way back to Sgp.

tanchoo1 23-07-2014 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nanako1 (Post 87278268)
Can before you go, you can download the Map of the place you going in your mobile phone then you can use the map offline in case you get lost. Or you can use the WIFI at the place you staying and download before going.

I use the Android app NavFree. Completely free offline maps for whole countries. I use it with my GPS (without using data) and I get a completely free and great navigation tool; both for driving and walking.

Has worked great on all my Android Phones so far: ZTE Blade, Lenovo A820, and now my Redmi (original). Works in Europe, USA, and even in sg.

Poplar_Tree 24-07-2014 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nanako1 (Post 87278399)
I spent 16 days( 11 day Italy and 4 days Paris) . All those you mention I got go, I even went more cities in Italy. These are the places I went in total of my 11 days in Italy.

1.Rome
2. Naples
3. Pompeii
4. Sorrento
5. Positano
6. Almanfi
7 Capri
8.Florence
9. Siena
10. Pisa
11. venice
12. Milan

My goodness, you went to so many places... could you share with us your hostels? must be exp jumping from hostels to hostels and stations to stations

Ocolocorch 24-07-2014 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the_dog (Post 87278572)
Since you intend to go to Paris, you can consider flying Air France to Rome. This will transit in Paris so you can visit this last on the way back to Sgp.

Hi this is a good idea. But possible to transit or stopover for 4 days?

Ocolocorch 24-07-2014 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tanchoo1 (Post 87291908)
I use the Android app NavFree. Completely free offline maps for whole countries. I use it with my GPS (without using data) and I get a completely free and great navigation tool; both for driving and walking.

Has worked great on all my Android Phones so far: ZTE Blade, Lenovo A820, and now my Redmi (original). Works in Europe, USA, and even in sg.

Hi I tried to download this app. It gives france and italy so I just download the whole country? Thanks

tanchoo1 24-07-2014 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87326948)
Hi I tried to download this app. It gives france and italy so I just download the whole country? Thanks

Yep. Just download the whole country.

You can even download Singapore maps.

Change the storage to your external SD card if possible.

Nanako1 25-07-2014 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Poplar_Tree (Post 87325470)
My goodness, you went to so many places... could you share with us your hostels? must be exp jumping from hostels to hostels and stations to stations

actually quite ok I stay hostel in Rome, Sorrento , Florence , venice in Italy. total I spent abt 6k plus in total for my whole trip including buying branded stuff. My air tic abt 1.4k for 2 diff airline, I buy return Paris but I took a flight from Paris to Rome. The rest is by train. The hostel I stay is as below for those I cant remember.:s13:

Rome - independence square inn
Sorrento - Tasso Suites
Florence - book one hostel but reach there can't contact the owner, end up go other hostel in same building but I cant remember the name. Sorry.
Venice - book through airbnb. It a house by a PRC uncle (ok only so can't remember the name
Paris- book through airbnb ( e owner Cecile Gianni‏ )

Ocolocorch 27-07-2014 02:23 PM

It is extremely stressful to do self guided tour to Europe, a place I hv never been to plus I seldom travel. After much research I m still not gaining enough confidence and felt really stressful knowing that I need to keep track on the opening dates for trains and flight bookings which are not yet open for next yr plus worrying about missed trains etc due to public transport delays n no choice hv to book expensive hotels near train stations. In the end I gave up. Have booked a 13d tour package that covers all my desired destinations plus a few more cities at around $3.5k, far below my budget of 5k per pax including meals and all transport. Downside is i will be travelling in early nov instead of my original plan in april nxt yr. I know I will be trading off my freedom. But its a dilemma for a first timer like me. Thanks for all your advices. They will come in handy for my future trip.

tanchoo1 27-07-2014 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87388569)
It is extremely stressful to do self guided tour to Europe, a place I hv never been to plus I seldom travel. After much research I m still not gaining enough confidence and felt really stressful knowing that I need to keep track on the opening dates for trains and flight bookings which are not yet open for next yr plus worrying about missed trains etc due to public transport delays n no choice hv to book expensive hotels near train stations. In the end I gave up. Have booked a 13d tour package that covers all my desired destinations plus a few more cities at around $3.5k, far below my budget of 5k per pax including meals and all transport. Downside is i will be travelling in early nov instead of my original plan in april nxt yr. I know I will be trading off my freedom. But its a dilemma for a first timer like me. Thanks for all your advices. They will come in handy for my future trip.

In that case, do a mixture. Extend your stay for a few more days in the last city where you can do F&E. That way you get some freedom, plus you already know part of the city.

Els_Ang 30-07-2014 12:42 PM

Hi tanchoo1,

I'm also intending to do a F&E next Mar with spouse and my 3yr old.

Currently intend to visit London, Switzerland & Florence. But, I think not possible to do UK/ France & Italy together right? Any suggestions for us?

Likely to be there for 16-18days including flight to & from SG. :)

tanchoo1 30-07-2014 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Els_Ang (Post 87461322)
Hi tanchoo1,

I'm also intending to do a F&E next Mar with spouse and my 3yr old.

Currently intend to visit London, Switzerland & Florence. But, I think not possible to do UK/ France & Italy together right? Any suggestions for us?

Likely to be there for 16-18days including flight to & from SG. :)

I need to clarify that I do not generally do, nor do I really encourage, city hopping in Europe. Distances are long, accommodation is expensive, and all you get are lots of tourists and crowds.

I much prefer to rent a car and drive around the beautiful European countryside. Soak in the sights and scenery and mix with the locals as much as possible. Also live like one; you'll find it far cheaper than expensive cities and all that expensive travelling around.

But to each his own.

tyongchi 30-07-2014 08:06 PM

Qatar having airfare promotion. We bought our tickets for about $1050 (all-in) two weeks ago travelling in mid Dec. I think price is now $1300. Price goes up in stages when the promotion tickets are sold.

We love free and easy, and we stay in a place for at least 3 nights. We dun like rushing from place to place. As an average, we spent about $4k per pax for 3 weeks travel. We usually stay in the local's accommodation.

Oh, btw, if doing free and easy tour, you need lots of planning - down to the daily activity or even which restaurant to visit for the day. But planning is I find the best part of the whole holiday. I learn many things and tend to remember them better even after a few years.

Zoysia 31-07-2014 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87246686)
Hi peeps,

I am planning for my first trip to paris, venice, Florence and Rome for about 14 days. My intended plan as below

Sg to paris by air (muli flight/open jaw ccheapest airline)
Paris to venice by easyJet
Venice to Florence by italy rail (advanced tic so cheaper)
Florence to Rome by italirail (advanced tic)
Rome fly back to sing

I wanted to add more cities but worried will be too rush as I want to make way for the high probability of getting lost In a foreign country.
After some calculation I will incurr a cost of approx $3.5k per pax including budget hotels WITHOUT meals.

However after visiting the asa travel fair, I was shocked to see the price of package tour is soooo much cheaper compared to my planning. They even include 4-5stars hotels and meals! On top of that we will get to cover 7 cities instead of 4! This is an irony to me. F&e is always Cheaper when it comes to asiA tour, not when it comes to Europe tour. So I wondered why shd we pay more to do homework and plan when its So cheap to get agency. However I M still torn. I wanted a relaxing tour without being rushed or touch and go. It will be an obvious option if f&e is cheaper. Pls share your views. Thank u!

i prefer F&E tour, when we are on our own in Paris, we can go shopping can go lafaye ,carrefour
the table wine is cheap about sing$2 a bottle.
Beside can also jump from one museum to another as there is an unlimited museum pass

ses009 31-07-2014 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocolocorch (Post 87388569)
It is extremely stressful to do self guided tour to Europe, a place I hv never been to plus I seldom travel. After much research I m still not gaining enough confidence and felt really stressful knowing that I need to keep track on the opening dates for trains and flight bookings which are not yet open for next yr plus worrying about missed trains etc due to public transport delays n no choice hv to book expensive hotels near train stations. In the end I gave up. Have booked a 13d tour package that covers all my desired destinations plus a few more cities at around $3.5k, far below my budget of 5k per pax including meals and all transport. Downside is i will be travelling in early nov instead of my original plan in april nxt yr. I know I will be trading off my freedom. But its a dilemma for a first timer like me. Thanks for all your advices. They will come in handy for my future trip.

So did you book with ASA in the end? Which package did you take up?

Ocolocorch 01-08-2014 11:43 AM

Yes I took up the central Europe getaway tour. Price is $2988 - $50 discount - $50 voucher. So its $2888 before taxes around $6xx subject to changes with Emirates. Cover 20 meals and 11 nights hotels at least 4 stars. Get to visit some cities of the 6 countries Italy, Switzerland, germany, Netherlands, Belgium and France. Can chk out their itinerary online.

shadow82 03-08-2014 11:33 PM

Sorry to hijack ur thread TS.

I juz booked the central Europe tour (Switzerland, france & Italy) with CS travel. Anybody knw whether CS travel is ok 1 anot? Wife insisted on going then booked liao. Kena worried cos nv do prior research first. sian.

mngedo 04-08-2014 05:03 PM

I am looking for package tour to europe in end Aug or early Sept. Chan brothers and CTC quoted S$3697 (tax inc) abit steep..? 11 Days

greenhse 04-08-2014 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadow82 (Post 87564746)
Sorry to hijack ur thread TS.

I juz booked the central Europe tour (Switzerland, france & Italy) with CS travel. Anybody knw whether CS travel is ok 1 anot? Wife insisted on going then booked liao. Kena worried cos nv do prior research first. sian.

Not too sure about CS, I booked a 12D Italy, Switzerland and France for my parent yesterday through CB.

Booked already dun need to look back, just look forward to the trip, hopefully it is an enjoyable one.

ses009 05-08-2014 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shadow82 (Post 87564746)
Sorry to hijack ur thread TS.

I juz booked the central Europe tour (Switzerland, france & Italy) with CS travel. Anybody knw whether CS travel is ok 1 anot? Wife insisted on going then booked liao. Kena worried cos nv do prior research first. sian.

How much did you book yours for?

ses009 05-08-2014 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mngedo (Post 87578982)
I am looking for package tour to europe in end Aug or early Sept. Chan brothers and CTC quoted S$3697 (tax inc) abit steep..? 11 Days

Flying on SQ? Emirates? Qatar?

alpc 06-08-2014 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mngedo (Post 87578982)
I am looking for package tour to europe in end Aug or early Sept. Chan brothers and CTC quoted S$3697 (tax inc) abit steep..? 11 Days

Depends on the places you are visiting and what airlines you are taking...

Ocolocorch 06-08-2014 01:53 PM

I think your price is reasonable as the dates u book are considered peak season. Diff seasons diff pricing. After intensive homework done I kind of feel wasted that all efforts gone to drain after I booked my package. But no regrets as I felt a huge sense of relief. I think all packages pricing thereabouts. Some slightly cheaper some slightly more e . Most importantly u like the itinerary and feel comfortable with the tour company.

CgSlacker 22-05-2020 02:41 PM

Anyone got good recommendations, want to pre book a tour to europe for next year for my parents

CgSlacker 25-05-2020 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CgSlacker (Post 127268182)
Anyone got good recommendations, want to pre book a tour to europe for next year for my parents

Anyone booked with Super Travels on their Europe Group Tours before?


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