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European vacation w/ limited walking

JeffW

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After scoring $500 travel vouchers on our recent flight to Nassau (Harborside), my 80+ yr old parents said they'd use it to go to Europe if my wife and I come with them. My father is in great shape; my mother doesn't have the stamina to walk great distances. My wife is in a similar position, due to back problems. Actually her and my mom, and myself and my father, match up well in regards to capabilities.

Any suggestions for a way to pull this off? If there was a commercial tour that catered to people with less mobility, I'd at least start there. I can't say I'm fond of a heavily structured tour, though if there's some time for my father & I to do some exploring, that could be an option.

If I found our own hotels near bus or subway stops, that could help, though it may not help at some of the sightseeing locations (I don't think my mom could tour the Vatican w/o being in a wheelchair).

Any ideas? The only country they've been to so far is Switzerland, so London/Paris/Rome would be top choices for them (my wife & I have already been to the first two).

Thanks.

Jeff
 

Sir Newf

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Just returned from a week in Rome for mom's 80th, it was great. Tons on day trips on buses from hotel (all major hotels)- we stayed at Rome Cavalieri-Waldorf Astoria (aka Hilton), fantastic. We took the Orbitz Vatican audiance bus tour, dropped us off for very close seats (23rd row) to hear the Pope. Also took 'open-air' bus tours all around Rome for a few hours- very easy for 80yr olds...If you are interested, PM me and I can send you info on these day bus tours...each were approx $20-$55 pp (Euros)...It was a very nice trip,:)
 

vacationhopeful

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Think about Eastern Europe - Budapest, Prague and/or Krakow.

More favorable exchange rates as NOT on Euro yet. Hotels and food cheaper also, as not yet on EURO. More laid back and MUCH friendlier to Americans.

These are all small cities and easy to get around with tours or cabs. Plus, the metros, buses, trams are cheap and go everywhere. As much culture as the Western capital cities.

Krakow was were John Paul II was cardinal before being elected pope - the cathedral is inside Wawal Castle. It has a walled Old Town which was NOT bombed during WWII and the square is one of the largest and very lovely - complete with horse drawn buggy tours. The 1000 yo salt mine might be too much for the ladies - but is 450 deep caverans are a World Cultural treasure. Aushwitz is only an hour away with bus tours there everyday - one of the most unforgetable places in the world. Krakow is a direct train ride from either Prague or Budapest (day or night sleeper) - dining car during the day (linen table cloths and china)/sleeper car at night.

Budapest would be my 2nd choice. Remembering your history, Hungary was founded by the Huns Tribes in 896 and when it was planning it 1,000 year anniversity party in 1896 - they were part of the very rich Austro-Hungarian Empire. They built a subway (one of the first), a Expediation Fairgrounds, a new Parliment Building (based on and bigger than the London Parliment), and the Opera House (an accoustal gem - day tours or a performance a must, smaller than the Vienna Opera House). The mineral baths (spas) are a cultural element that opens at 6AM (before work) and closes around 9PM - 4 hours soak is less than $10. I am sure all will enjoy a good soak to get a busy day going. Plus, they have a vast history of coffee houses and Viennese pastry. Rent the Rick Steves DVD on Budapest (filmed about 5 years ago) - when I went as solo/independant tourist and saw the video 9 months after I returned - that is EXACTLY what I did and how it looked.

Just my 2 cents ....
 
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Passepartout

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Take a look at Grand Circle Travel. http://www.gct.com They used to be sort of sanctioned by AARP, though privately owned and at that time catered to 'over 50' travelers. Mobility is mentioned on all their tours. We've taken a couple of them, though we preferred their more active arm, Overseas Adventure Travel www.oattravel.com.

Wonderful trips. A bit pricey, but after each one we've been on, my wife and I both say that we've seen/done stuff we just couldn't have seen/found on our own. Great value.

OTOH, we took FIL, 90 yrs to Scotland on our own. We borrowed a wheelchair there at no cost, toured distilleries, castles, had a private van ride up the interior of Edinburgh Castle and right into the chamber with the crown jewels. The line outside was a block long! Most of the time 'Dad' just used the wheelchair as a walker. IMO, Great Britain is more accessible than the continent.

Jim Ricks
 
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Glynda

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Cruise

What about an European cruise? Then you could schedule the easier tours or two could stay aboard and two go exploring when they wanted to.
 

Mimi39

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Princess European cruises have shore excursions designated as EZ that are for people who need tours that don't require much walking. We're taking their Baltic/Russia cruise next August and will be taking these because my husband as somewhat of a mobility problem.
 

JudyH

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Look on the ElderHostel web site, many of their tours are catered to the older traveler. They stay in some reasonable hotels, not just college dorms, etc.
 

funtime

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I would keep it simple

I would keep it simple. It really depends on what they would enjoy doing. You could stay in London and see a lot of theater if that is what they might enjoy. Maybe London and then Paris and then home. Or London and a heritage city - in other words Dublin if they are Irish, some other city if their roots are European. One week or ten days tops. Better to wish that you had more time than to be over taxed. Funtime
 
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