Package tour vs free n easy irony in cost for Europe

Ocolocorch

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 
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