Mercure Hotel Bad Homburg Friedrichsdorf

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stevemilo

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Oh, I'm taking about $3000 AUD with me. Would that be enough money for food, optional tours and a little shopping ?
 

JohnK

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I don't remember having to answer any sensitive questions entering any countries in Europe. At UK customs I was asked the purpose of my trip to UK and I just answered that I am in London for 2 days for some sightseeing and because I had to have a stopover in London due to the rules on my RTW ticket. He just smiled and waved me through after stamping my passport.

I think A$3000 should be more than enough. I budgetted to spend A$100 per day during the tour and did not get anywhere near the budget. Breakfast, all hotels have a wonderful buffet including eggs and cold meats, is provided every day and you have almost half the dinners included. The optional tours should cost around A$300-400 unless you include all of them.
 

GDSman

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Many years ago I worked as a Tour Manager for Cosmos (over 5 seasons), mostly in France but also did a few multi-country western Europe tours. The hotel locations varied dramatically from some on the outskirts of towns, some in almost rural areas but some bang in the centre of town. THe Cosmos philosophy was that the value of the tours (read low cost) was supported by going for price over location on hotels. As JohnK observes, for the majority this was fine as the tour days are normally really packed and people are generally pretty knackered at the end of the day. Those with stamina would often do the evening optionals - yes they are definitely a matter of taste but I would suggest not to do any of them would be missing out on a bit of the cultural enjoyment.
Going into town of an evening will be possible from many places on public transport or by walking, but there will be a few where it's simply impossible. Also hotel lists are normally only confirmed with your final documentation and even then are subject to change. We would occasionally arrive in a town where we habitually stayed at the same place only to have to relocate to an alternative due to insufficient vacancies. It never created a problem for me or the tourists, but did require a bit of flexibility.
My advice on touring would be to go with the flow - you are part of a tour that may have up to 50 people on it, so the itinerary is designed to give the majority the broadest and best experience of the countries they visit. Touring isn't best suited to highly independent people as they get frustrated by having to 'be back at the bus by 2' when they wanted an extra hour or two at a stop. However it is a very effiecient and economical way of seeing a lot of places with which you're not familiar.
I hope you have a great time. I still look back on my five years in the job as some of the most exciting, challenging and enjoyable work I've ever done - hopefully you score a really passionate guide (in the right sense) who makes the trip come alive for you.
 

stevemilo

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Thanks all for your help and advice. After the last couple of months I will need a holiday. All I can think of right now is being banned from the States. I hope this won't follow me on my holiday lol. Thanks again, Steve.
 

stevemilo

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Hi JohnK. Just wanted to let you know that I did the Comos Central Europe tour ages ago but just forgot to tell you about it. It's almost 6 months since my tour and I had a great time. Of course there were the obvious problems with a tour, hotels were pretty ****ty and far out but the main gripe I had was my tour guide and tour driver. They were very unhelpful and didn't really care about anyone or anything going on. They were in to each other but that's about it lol. Honestly though, the only place if I had to go back out of all the places I visited would be Vienna. The worst by far was Prague ! Just shocking !! Second worst was Berlin. Best place I visited though while on my holiday was Amsterdam/London/Hong Kong. Loved them !! Anyway, that's it on my end ! Cheers, Steve !
 
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JohnK

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stevemilo said:
Hi JohnK. Just wanted to let you know that I did the Comos Central Europe tour ages ago but just forgot to tell you about it. It's almost 6 months since my tour and I had a great time.
Thanks for the feedback. Glad you enjoyed the tour.

stevemilo said:
Of course there were the obvious problems with a tour, hotels were pretty ****ty and far out but the main gripe I had was my tour guide and tour driver. They were very unhelpful and didn't really care about anyone or anything going on. They were in to each other but that's about it lol.
I think we were lucky to have a very good tour guide and driver. I guess this is a little hit and miss. If the service is not so good then I would expect them not to be getting any tips.
 
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