Well you heard all about my two months in Europe with my best ladies from high school. Now to see a different way to experience Europe, I have asked my friend, the lovely Janna of Nerdy Disney Traveller, to tell us about her experience travelling parts of Europe solo and with a group Contiki tour.
Now that Veronica is done sharing her previous travels around Europe and before she leaves me to go move to England, she’s asked me to share my experiences as a solo traveler both by myself but also as part of a tour group.
During my trip to Europe in 2012 I spend a good portion of my time visiting friends and family in Norway and England, but what was I supposed to do for the other 3 weeks? I hadn’t really planned that far in advance and didn’t plan on being a freeloader on my friend’s couches for full two months. There were plenty of options: go see friends in other countries I hadn’t seen since I worked at Disney, travel around on my own via the Euro-rail or, my parents favourite option, come home early. Of course the last was defiantly not an option and I wasn’t too keen on traveling around all of Europe on my own, so I took my time and decide to spend a week adventuring by myself in Denmark and then 2 weeks on a Contiki tour.
My first adventure was my week in Denmark, Copenhagen, where I spent hours getting lost on the cobble stone street and staying at my first ever hostel (Generator Hostel). I found it to be a great option for my stay, they offered free wifi around the hostel and it was well kept and clean. Over the next few days, when my dad wasn’t trying to FaceTime me, I spent countless hours taking tours, walking through all the palaces, historical museums and this time trying to get lost on purpose. I ended up spending a lot of time climbing up different churches bell towers, but by far the Church of our Savior was my favourite.
The other favourites from my week in Demark was the canal tour that took you on a backside tour of the city (I took it twice). It went through passageways where the old palaces used to be before they were destroyed and got to what was left of them. It took you to see the Little Mermaid statue (only to see that back of it, I did go to see the front side of it too) and every other historical location accessible by water. I also had a chance to visit the world’s 2nd oldest theme park, Tivoli, which was home to a gorgeous flower garden, freak shows and rides.
Over all I LOVED Copenhagen! I’ve always been a big church/museum/historical site buff so this was a great option for me. Out of all the places I visited in Eruope this was my favourite by far and I plan to go back one day.
** If you’re thinking of visiting Copenhagen I’d defiantly recommend getting the Copenhagen Card. Not only did it get me into about 90% of the parks for free, but it also included many of the church’s and museums, plus the fantastic perk of included free transit for the days the pass is valid. It even also gave discounts at certain restaurants and shops. **
The other two weeks of my three weeks traveling solo were spent on a Contiki tour. I had originally hoped to convince someone to take a tour down to Egypt (Veronica and I are going fall 2016!!!!!!!) but with the way things have been the past few years and especially 2012, I knew that going was defiantly not an option, so in the end I chose the European Discovery with Contiki. I had chosen this option as I wasn’t certain how I felt visiting that may countries by myself and wanted to having something that was a bit more structured for my first visit, so I could fit in as many attractions as possible. Plus it was the best tour that gave me the bang for my buck, it gave me the change to visit (if you count driving through) 8 countries with multiple stops in a few of them, with the added bonus of being able to stop and see all of my friends from Disney along the way.
Here are just a few pro’s and con’s that I found during my trip:
– Price includes all your transportation, breakfasts and accommodations
– Also includes certain extra activities or meals (visiting the Eiffel Tower)
– Scheduled so your family is able to know where you are
– Offers extra activities you may not have thought of trying ie: white water rafting in Tyrol or going to the Swarovski Museum in Austria or a Sex Show in Amsterdam
– Safe way for anyone to travel around Europe by themselves
– Great way to meet new people from around the world
– Pre-scheduled so you only have a certain amount of time in a city
– Roommate assignment to someone you may not know
– Spending 8+ hours average confined on a bus
I did really enjoyed the option for traveling around Europe for my first time and I would recommend it to anyone who is going by themselves. Not only did I meet some really great people, I saw attractions that I probably wouldn’t have though to go see, I got to see all my other must attractions and even got to see an old roommate from Disney in Munich and a fellow attractioneer at Disneyland Paris!