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- If anyone has hotel recs for
please let me know. Needn't be aspirational or vendoming-it; hotels in good locations at reasonable cash or points prices will do just fine. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
This trip won't be a typical travel hacker's trip, but it is enabling us to go to Eastern Europe for a month with little need to get it all organized. The organized tour portion is set and the flights booked. Here's how it is shaping up:
Oct. 6 - Depart PDX - combo of UA and TK flights
Oct 7-13: Berlin - 7 nights (but really just 5.5 days since 1.5 days will be devoted to celebrating the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippor on Oct. 11-12).
Oct. 14-15 - Warsaw, 2 nights (so we'll have extra time in Warsaw which is where the tour starts)
Oct. 16-30 Join this tour: http://www.odysseys-unlimited.com/tours/europe/discovering-eastern-europe
Oct. 31-Nov. 2 - Prague (extra time in Prague which is where the tour ends)
Nov. 3 - Vienna (extra time in Vienna, done as a stopover on the outbound ticket) When we realized we'd be flying home from PRG via Vienna anyway, and were having trouble booking the PRG > Vienna leg, it was suggested we add a stopover. The space we needed was available and we are happy for an extra day here.
Nov. 4 - Fly home to PDX from Vienna - combo of OS and UA flights
The tour price seems quite reasonable. We paid $2895 pp for:
> 15 nights in good hotels (Hiltons, Radissons, etc.)
> all breakfasts
> 10 lunches/dinners
> services of a tour director and some local guides
> all entrance fees
> land travel from WAW > Krakow > Budapest > Vienna > Prague
> all gratuities
> $100 credit toward another adventure.
That's $199/day/person. We could do it for less on our own, but for a first-time visit to countries where we have no experience or language skills, and little inclination or time at the moment to plan a full itinerary for seeing Eastern Europe, it seemed like a reasonable strategy for us. The tour portion offers a nice combo of guided activities and free time; blessedly no time for guided shopping; and we are happy to do some of the lunches and dinners on our own.
The only time we took an organized tour was a week in rural China. If we enjoy this as much as we enjoyed that, we'll be fine.
Do send any hotel recs or other advice my way! Thanks.
PS - We used the Saverocity Award Booking Service to book the tickets. That tends to be the most stressful part for me - figuring out how to best/most efficiently use my points, dealing with phantom space, forgetting some of the many tricks and tips I should have in my toolkit to find award space and save money/miles, etc. - and I am glad I did. All the award space was booked at the lowest saver level. I am quite happy with the final routing and working with Matt's team was a pleasure.