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Dad wants to travel to Italy

Seattle
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336 posts
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Dad wants to travel to Italy

My father wants to visit Italy and I am trying to find an option that will work for him. As a little background, I have been to Italy twice recently and prefer to do my own thing, but that just won't work for Dad. A couple of ideas I have had are a cruise or some sort of escorted tour--problem is, I know nothing about such options. Any suggestions? (Wish I could be his tour guide, but I don't have any vacation time, darn!)

Vancouver Canada
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1. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

How old is Dad and how mobile is he?

Seattle
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2. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

He is very mobile--walking/stairs not a problem. He would struggle with finding his way around. He is in his mid 70's but has done very little traveling so touring on his own really isn't an option-it would be WAY too stressful for him. Organized tours definitely aren't my thing, but if I can't go with him, I think it may be his only option. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Kansas City...
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3. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

I am more often an independent traveler, but have also done a few Go Ahead Tours. I enjoyed them, and they generally have a nice mix of down time and tour time. And if he's going by himself, they offer a single supplement rather than having to share a room, which is why I took one of their tours in the first place. It's also nice when you're traveling alone, as he'll likely meet people in the group to spend some of the free time with if he isn't comfortable wandering by himself. And, as much as I love the planning, I have to say I did experience more on the tours than I generally do while traveling on my own since they take care of all the details and have all the timing worked out.

Ravenna, Italy
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4. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

Grand European Tours has a nice trip to Italy your father would enjoy. Most of the people on their tours are within his age group.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cancun, Riviera Maya
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5. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

I would not recommend a cruise for several reasons. The ports are in many cases not at all convenient to the city that people are coming to visit - for instance, Livorno is 2 hours from Florence, making for a long day.

Also, if one wants to experience Italy, why eat cruise ship food and be on board in the evenings when these cities are at their best? So much is lost in the process that a cruise makes visiting Italy a pretty generic experience IMO.

The cost of excursions is very high and those are affordable are done in large groups on tour buses. Personally, I cannot imagine that being my introduction to Italy.

I have done several Med cruises and about 20 trips by land and there is just no comparison.

If he needs the comfort of a tour, please choose one that has well located hotels and does not move around every single night.

Ravenna, Italy
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6. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

I agree book him a tour in the mid to high price range. the low cost tours usually have their hotels in the outskirts. I know of one tour that goes to Venice and the hotel is in Mestre! Another that goes to Venice and the hotel is at the Lido.

Be sure the hotels are in the centre of the cities!

He will enjoy a tour. Going alone..is deadly. If nothing else he will have to eat alone every day! Not good!

pittsburgh
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for Rome
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7. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

I agree that you should probably book him a tour that takes him to different cities and takes care of all hotels and tours.

Another option to consider would be for you to arrange hotels, and tours for him. This way everything is taken care of, including transportation and you and he can plan the trip that he wants to take, spending as much time in each areas as he feels comfortable with. There are a lot of good companies out there that give tours of the city. You could arrange pick-up/drop-off at his hotel and make certain they go at a pace he can handle. I arranged this very type of trip for my In-laws who love to take tours but wanted something more tailored to them. It was very easy to do so you might want to check out some of the tour companies and individuals to see what you can arrange and then compare it to what a group tour would offer and cost.

Donna

Seattle
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8. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

Thanks for the great suggestions. I totally agree on the cruise option. I think he will have a companion with him, so that would help. I would love to help him plan the trip, as I enjoy doing the research (thank you TA members!), and maybe with a companion that could work.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

Hi yesterday...

My first trip to Italy was with 'Nada's Italy' which has a 12 person limit on it's tours. They travel in vans, get lots of personal attention, have a lot of fun, see stuff and go places at a great pace. This was how I fell in love with Italy, and why I've gone back on my own (with my wife, of course) for many years now. It made for a wonderful non-pressure taken care of first time experience. Which is obviously why I recommend her tour. Check out her tours...they are a lot less now than when I went!

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cancun, Riviera Maya
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10. Re: Dad wants to travel to Italy

If he will be traveling with a companion, check out the Monograms packages by Globus. It is a great compromise between an escorted tour and independent travel as it includes hotels, train tickets and seat reservations, a walking tour in each city and all transfers in Italy. Hotels are quite good as well.