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Old 09-04-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
Minnie824
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ABD first trip...questions

DH & I are looking into doing the England/France trip in the summer of 2014. At the time our DDs will be 12 & 9. So, for now just some basic questions. When do the 2014 schedules and trips come out? I'm definitely a planner so I'd like to book in advance when it does. How much is due at deposit time? Are you able to cancel? When is the balance due?

For anyone who has done this trip..would you be able to give me a rough estimate of how much extra you think it would cost for 4 people (not including air). I just mean, extra dinners, or sight seeing, etc.

How many people are normally in a group also? Thanks for any info you can provide!
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Minnie824 View Post
DH & I are looking into doing the England/France trip in the summer of 2014. At the time our DDs will be 12 & 9. So, for now just some basic questions. When do the 2014 schedules and trips come out? I'm definitely a planner so I'd like to book in advance when it does. How much is due at deposit time? Are you able to cancel? When is the balance due?

For anyone who has done this trip..would you be able to give me a rough estimate of how much extra you think it would cost for 4 people (not including air). I just mean, extra dinners, or sight seeing, etc.

How many people are normally in a group also? Thanks for any info you can provide!
For 2014, new itineraries will be released anytime from late May to June/July, as past years. Deposit is $300pp and you can cancel without penalty till 14 days after booking. Balance is due about 90 days before the itinerary starts.

Group size can vary from the teens to a max of 40-44 guests.

You can research ahead of time for extra tours you want to do outside the actual ABD tour. London and Paris are easy places to navigate.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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tufbuf pretty much answered all your questions, so I just thought I'd say Welcome! Feel free to ask all the questions you want! It's a friendly group here who love to help others have fabulous vacations!

I've done the Knights & Lights trip, and really loved it. I traveled solo, so I don't know that I can really help you with costs for a family of 4. But there are plenty of folks here who have taken this trip, so hopefully you should get some answers soon.

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Old 09-04-2012, 09:37 PM   #4
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Welcome! It is a friendly group! I love this board
One thing I often do ( because like you I'm an uber planner and always ahead of the gun) is look on the website at the prices of the trip for the current year during the dates I want the next year. It will certainly give you a ball park idea. Of course, booking early seems to benefit in getting a slighter lower price, (or at least I noticed after we booked prices went up a bit for the same dates) and each year prices can go up, so you won't be able to figure it exactly, but it will give you a ball park idea!
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:09 PM   #5
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How much money do you plan for the meals that are not included and the tours you take during the 'on your own time'? Do people venture out on their own during these times or do you find that you have been so busy that you need the break to recharge? TIA
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:29 AM   #6
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How much money do you plan for the meals that are not included and the tours you take during the 'on your own time'? Do people venture out on their own during these times or do you find that you have been so busy that you need the break to recharge? TIA
That really depends on where you are going! Food in the cities of London and Paris are expensive (if we are still talking Knights and Lights as the OP was) but we found that we could also stop at a little chacuterie in Paris or even the Harrods dept store in London and get some substantial "lunches" ( meat pies, cheeses breads fruit) and just eat in our room or the nearest park. If you want to do budgeting for other locations; I always find a good guide book helpful. I like Frommers or Fodors for early research purposes, for cultural tips and budgeting. Then I like to get a DK book because the maps and photos (especially of the interiors and highlights of museums and historical buildings) are so good. Just looking at the average price per entree for the restaurants in the area where you will be will give you a budget idea.

As for staying extra days, and planning extra touring, again, I would imagine that depends on the itinerary. In our Latin American itineraries, activities in the "big city" were not part of the ABD, so we went early and stayed on afterwards to experience those.
With the Europe trips, it appears they are designed to have blocks of time open because there is so much to do in European cities and some may want to shop, some go to a museum, others to a famous park; so the "free" time allows you to customize and you would definitely want to plan some activities. These don't have to be expensive! I went to London and Paris in my salad days and I spent hours in Jardin du Luxumborg, and strolling the left bank (Paris) and Hyde Park and Kew Gardens (London) and never spent a dime.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by TexasMouseFan View Post
How much money do you plan for the meals that are not included and the tours you take during the 'on your own time'? Do people venture out on their own during these times or do you find that you have been so busy that you need the break to recharge? TIA
I hate to say this but American fast food joints (McDonalds, Burger King, KFC etc.) are springing uo everywhere. We just returned from Budapest and you guessed it. On the main pedestrian mall the big three had crowded stores (from locals). Rick Steves has a number of good books about Europe and he gives you alot of info about what you should be doing and tips that let you feel more comfortable exploring on your own. There are a large number of small resturaunts that you can duck into for a quick bite. Traveling alot in Europe it is amazing how many speak English (especially in the tourist areas) or are very helpful finding good local food vendors. Plus your guides are quite informed about where you are staying and can direct you to what you want easily. The tours takre into account that families include kids so the activities are not as fast paced as an adult tour whose pace is quicker, or at least a lot we have done pre kids.Us personally see the time clock ticking and try to squeeze all the sightseeing in that we can so we are out exploring on our free time. The plane ride home gives you plenty of time to sleep.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the information and suggestions! I've requested the official information packet from Disney, but its definitely more helpful to get input here from people who have been on the trips before.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie824
DH & I are looking into doing the England/France trip in the summer of 2014. At the time our DDs will be 12 & 9. So, for now just some basic questions. When do the 2014 schedules and trips come out? I'm definitely a planner so I'd like to book in advance when it does. How much is due at deposit time? Are you able to cancel? When is the balance due?

For anyone who has done this trip..would you be able to give me a rough estimate of how much extra you think it would cost for 4 people (not including air). I just mean, extra dinners, or sight seeing, etc.

How many people are normally in a group also? Thanks for any info you can provide!
"it all depends". Lol. We had a total of 22 in our May group, including 2 "guides in training" doing their shadow trip and a ABD manager.

We were a family of three, daughter almost 19. We had a lovely afternoon tea at the Chancery Court on our "on your own" time in London and went to see Les Miserables on the West End. The day arrived in London we went to Kensington Palace and took the tour and had lunch, plus the Underground fares. After our welcome dinner, we stopped by a pub around the corner from the hotel, at the recommendation of our guide.

We ate lunch at the Tower of London, at the Louvre, and dinner on the Champs Élysées at George V Cafe, also on the recommendation of our guide Francesc. Aside from that, I think all our other meals were included.

It was the trip of a lifetime - let us know if you have any other questions!

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