The preparation begins.....
Trip Start Jun 06, 2013
14Trip End Jul 04, 2013
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Now that the annual Rick Steves Tour Reunion and Test Drive A Tour Guide sessions are over, it's time to start giving some thought to which part of Europe I'd like to visit this year and which tour to take. After perusing the latest tour brochure and speaking with some of the Guides, I’ve decided to explore Spain, which is a part of Europe I haven’t seen yet. I’ve also decided to try a another type of tour, a My Way tour, which will be a different type of tour experience from what I’ve been used to for the last six years. All hotels and transportation are provided, along with a Tour Escort, but there are NO guided tours in each city or group dinners or other activities. Of course, at some point I’ll also be spending some time in Italy, as that’s a "constant" every year. The next step will be to start putting the wheels in motion.
2013 Mar. 15 – Friday
I now have an Itinerary more-or-less finalized, the tour booked with a deposit and some of the other arrangements made. In choosing that particular tour, cost was one important factor as I wanted to keep the cost at a reasonable level, especially after going somewhat "over budget" last year. I suspect that in future years, I’ll have to be more conscious of money concerns with my travels.
2013 Mar. 31 – Sunday
All arrangements are now in place, and all Hotels booked for the portion that I’ll be on my own. The process seemed to be even easier this year than in the past. One other change this year is that due to family circumstances, I decided to travel in June rather than September. I have travelled in June on previous trips, the last time being 2010 and this should be a nice change.
I still have a few details to finalize, including working out sightseeing for the Spain part of my trip. Hopefully that will all come together quickly once I receive the Spain Guidebook. I also have to work out most of the small details such as which Pack I’m going to use, packing lists, etc. Now it’s just a matter of waiting, which is often the most difficult part.
2013 June 5 – Wednesday
I spent most of today getting a few last minute details sorted around the house, and finishing packing. It seemed like there was a never ending collection of "little things" that had to be done. My main Backpack is still quite heavy, even though I’ve removed a couple of Guidebooks and other items. At the last minute, I decided to switch to my larger Backpack, as I was having trouble fitting my gear into the smaller one. Hopefully I don't regret taking the larger one.