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Old 10-13-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
akheila
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escorted tours

we've looked at a few escorted tour companies previously. Now we are considering ABD. The cost is of course more then we've expected. Admittedly the smaller groups, Disney touch and some of the special experiences certainly have our attention. The cost is killing me though. For a family of 3 it looks like its almost $20,000. I must admit it seems we could do many trips for that.
I've read the thread "ABD convince me" its been slightly hijacked but provided some good info.
For that money (we are considering a few different tours, mostly Greece and Italy) typically how much extra have you spent on not included meals?

We have cruised, and done Disney parks until we can't stand in line any longer. We want to branch out...any advice would be super helpful!
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by akheila View Post
we've looked at a few escorted tour companies previously. Now we are considering ABD. The cost is of course more then we've expected. Admittedly the smaller groups, Disney touch and some of the special experiences certainly have our attention. The cost is killing me though. For a family of 3 it looks like its almost $20,000. I must admit it seems we could do many trips for that.
I've read the thread "ABD convince me" its been slightly hijacked but provided some good info.
For that money (we are considering a few different tours, mostly Greece and Italy) typically how much extra have you spent on not included meals?

We have cruised, and done Disney parks until we can't stand in line any longer. We want to branch out...any advice would be super helpful!
I know that looking at ABD gives people sticker shock, but it is soooo worth it. I am a DVC member and use my points to take ABD trips; otherwise, it would be cost prohibitive. Others would argue that my using my points for ABD is not the best value. Those are their issues. I ignore them and use them anyway!

I just did the ABD Greek Odyssey in July and the trip was fabulous!!! Disney not only takes you to a destination, it tells a story and allows you to meet the people of that destination. Yes I could have booked everything myself and visited the same sights, but I would not have experienced Greece the way I did with ABD. As a solo traveler, I don't think I spent more than 50 euros on the two dinners and four lunches we had on our own(I only eat two meals a day during the summer and always eat a full breakfast). I also came in a day early and stayed a day later to do more sightseeing. The guides always recommend restaurants to the guests so you can eat as expensively or inexpensively as you choose. Some days I just wanted a burger or pizza because I had already had my fill of regional food.

You really can't go wrong with ABD, but I understand your concerns about the price! I too have looked at other tour companies, but I kept coming back to ABD. ABD does what is does better than anyone else. That's how I justify the price.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:02 AM   #3
akheila
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Thank you for your reply. Everyone talks about the special perks....We have been fortunate enough to have been sprinkled with magic on some of our disney vacations. I guess we are leaning heavily to an adventure then!

I was reading a review and they mentioned daily pins? I think my daughter would get a kick out of these. Are they similar to they types they trade in the parks? or is this a practice that has also stopped.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by akheila View Post
Thank you for your reply. Everyone talks about the special perks....We have been fortunate enough to have been sprinkled with magic on some of our disney vacations. I guess we are leaning heavily to an adventure then!

I was reading a review and they mentioned daily pins? I think my daughter would get a kick out of these. Are they similar to they types they trade in the parks? or is this a practice that has also stopped.
Every ABD has themes for each day of the tour, and you will get daily pins that go with the theme of the day. These pins are very similar to the pins that are traded in the parks, but they are only (legitimately) available to people who take the ABD's. Every person on the trip gets their own set of pins. I really love them. They're a great souvenir, and a reminder of what you did each day. To my knowledge, there is no intention on ABD's part to stop giving out the pins. I'd be seriously bummed if they did.

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:53 PM   #5
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.....and a nice ABD lanyard to pin them onto............



...don't forget the SNACKS........kids love them....
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
akheila
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Well I have searched and compared and I think we have finally decided that our trip will be Germany. I'm sure we will have many questions now that we have a direction.

I think that for my soon to be 9yr old dd this will offer the most interesting adventures for her and a bit of nostalgia for dh (he spent 3 months in Germany while in high school).
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by akheila
Well I have searched and compared and I think we have finally decided that our trip will be Germany. I'm sure we will have many questions now that we have a direction.

I think that for my soon to be 9yr old dd this will offer the most interesting adventures for her and a bit of nostalgia for dh (he spent 3 months in Germany while in high school).
Sounds great! We still haven't decided which one to take next year!

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Old 10-26-2012, 11:04 PM   #8
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Akheila, I am glad you decided to go with ABD. Our family of 4 went on Viva Italia trip in June this year. As one of the previous poster mentioned I am also a DVC member using points to go on these trips. As a pragmatist you can calculate how much this trip would cost if you booked on your own. SO, our trip started in Rome, stayed at Hotel Berninini Bristol, which if you book on your own would be 550 euro or above, hotel artimino in Tuscany, and Luna Baglioni in Venice, trust me much higher than that. The location of these hotels is unbelievable. At the end of trip if you sit down and add up every experience and its cost, thse trips are reasonably priced and a very good value for us. Especially, if you are doing it with a 9 y/o kid. She will make so many friends and will have a great time.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
akheila
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With everyone's positive comments it was hard not to choose ABD!

Now I have another question.....how far in advance to book airfare! From what I am finding out of Denver prices are ok, but I see sales for up to Christmas...how long should I wait to book. I wouldn't want it to be last minute as I expect those prices would be quite ridiculous. On the other hand I would hate to purchase this week and see them much more discounted after the holidays.
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