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#1 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 07:14 PM

My mother ( whose partner passed two years ago) had decided she wants to go on vacation to Spain. She's not totally comfortable with going solo, so she wants to do a tour. At least for the majority of the trip. There is an added complication of it needing to be Jan - Feb. The one operator suggested to her (Roads Scholars) only had a trip that sounded really lame, so I wanted to try to find something better. I've looked at a few options that I knew of, but Spain in winter is a real constraint.

Any operators people here would suggest. My mom had traveled a bunch in Europe up until my parents divorce 20 years ago, always independent, never packaged, it's just the solo thing.

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#2 prasantrin

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 07:22 PM

I've been looking at tours. We're trying to cram as much as possible in a short periods of time, though. Is she looking for something more leisurely? Does she want a "best of" type of tour? Or does she want to focus on a specific area? Different tour companies specialize in different types of tours. I'll post some names I've found when I get to my laptop. But for starters, we're probably going to go with Colette. There's also Globus, Intrepid, Insight, G Tours. The other ones I have are more specialized.

#3 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 07:29 PM

More special might be good. I think she'd like to do something relatively slow. Like ten days in a regular of Spain.

She def is into gardens, design,food, wine.

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#4 splinky

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 08:07 PM

might be cheaper to offer to pay for a good friend or two, to go with her. if they are all able bodied and experienced travelers it'll be more fun


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#5 voyager

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 08:32 PM

A friend, also adverse to tours but not wanting to go alone, has had great luck with university-sponsored tours.   In her case, UCLA.   She has done several in each France, Italy and Spain, usually choosing one centered on food and wine.    Are there such options near her area?   In most cases, one need not be an alum book one.   


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not my monkeys.


#6 Orik

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 10:32 PM

Something like this? 

 

https://www.firebird...ours/best-spain

 

Haven't used them, just trying to get a direction so I can ask Madrid hotel peeps. 


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#7 prasantrin

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Posted 20 October 2018 - 11:17 PM

For group tours, we had also looked at Petrabax (they have January/February tours).

 

And if your mother finds a friend to go with her, or decides she'd rather travel solo, we had also looked at Made for Spain and Portugal and Magical Spain



#8 StephanieL

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 12:33 AM

My parents have taken many tours with Grand Circle Travel, which caters to older travelers.  They've used Grand Circle for China, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, and the Baltic, among others.  They have an Immersive Iberia tour that might work, but they have other land tours of Spain.


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#9 SLBunge

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 06:02 PM

My parents have used Grand Circle and Globus. Their descriptions of these tours sounds boring and way too focused on tourbus trips for me but they love them.


Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#10 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 06:53 PM

Something like this? 

 

https://www.firebird...ours/best-spain

 

Haven't used them, just trying to get a direction so I can ask Madrid hotel peeps. 

I think what she wants is more of a 8-10 days in Andalucia, small group, geared towards culture/design/food & wine.

 

 not following a flag around as they do BCN, MAD,Granada, Valencia etc one day each, bus to the next town.


"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#11 StephanieL

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 08:09 PM

The New York Times has an Andalusia tour.


"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." --John Steinbeck

 

"Insanity runs in my family.  It practically gallops."--Arsenic and Old Lace

 


#12 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 08:28 PM

Looks wonderful. But no departures in her window.

"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#13 Orik

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 05:17 PM

Something like this? 
 
https://www.firebird...ours/best-spain
 
Haven't used them, just trying to get a direction so I can ask Madrid hotel peeps.

I think what she wants is more of a 8-10 days in Andalucia, small group, geared towards culture/design/food & wine.
 
 not following a flag around as they do BCN, MAD,Granada, Valencia etc one day each, bus to the next town.


Ah. That's quite a bit harder that time of year, but I'll ask.
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#14 Anthony Bonner

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 05:49 PM

yeah - I think she's realizing that what she wants doesn't exist. instead I think she's decided as long as she has a few set group activities in each city she'll be cool.

 

So now I've got to figure that out.


"This is a battle of who blinks first, and we've cut off our eyelids"


#15 prasantrin

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 12:59 AM

If the time of year is more or less fixed, then if I were her, I'd choose a group tour with a lot of free time (like G Tours) and during that free time, hire independent tour guides who specialize in her interests.

But it sounds like if she could find a like-minded friend or two to travel with, arranging a personalized tour would be ideal for her.