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Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

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girasoledonna
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Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

So long story short I am staying in London 7 days and a friend of mine is coming to London and we're crossing paths for a day or so - she booked this totally guided tour to Paris for a day with a first class ticket on the train so they feed you breakfast and dinner. The entire thing costed me $450 bucks. I purchased it mainly cuz she already had and I thought we'd have fun together as opposed to me traveling alone by myself after she leaves... but the tour includes the following...

Escorted day trip including the Palace of Versailles:

See world-famous landmarks, including the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Notre Dame Cathedral during a bus tour. Then take an elevator to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower for breathtaking views of the city below. Finally, head to the leafy suburbs for a guided tour of the glittering Palace of Versailles, including the Great Royal Apartments, Hall of Mirrors, and the Queen's Apartments.

- Reserved Eurostar seats (Standard and First Class seating prices differ)

- Fully-escorted bus tour of Paris

- Entrance to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower

- Admission to either the Palace of Versailles

- Complimentary pick-up from London hotels

- Complimentary welcome pack

- First Class option only: Includes breakfast, dinner, and refreshments served on the Eurostar

Ok so did I get ripped? Remember I am from the STATES so our dollar is worth less than the Euro so buying ahead of time in dollars saves money......

Thanks!

-GZ

Detroit, Michigan
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1. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

Is this through Golden Tours? If so, I took that tour a few years ago - but we didn't go for the first class option.

It is a very full day, and doesn't give you near enough time in Paris or Versailles, but it will give you a good overview. I didn't think it was a waste of time or money. It actually gave me the confidence to try it on my own next time - something I was a bit afraid to do since I speak very little French.

UK
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2. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

No you didn't 'get ripped'.

You have bought a Rolls Royce product rather than a Ford, with an expected price hike for that :-) but I think this would be be the going rate for this kind of thing.

If you DIY'd it you could perhaps have done it for 1/2 to 1/3 the price but you would have put some effort in yourself, not get the guides, and probably you will see a little bit more than by yourselves even if its a little more organized to make sure you can fit it all in.

As its a done deal I suggest you sit back and enjoy the ride :-)

Hitchin, United...
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3. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

It works out at £250, so seeing as you're travelling "first class" on Eurostar (probably leisure select as there's no such thing as first class, leisure select includes meals and drinks) then the seat is in the region of £80 or thereabouts. Add in a guided coach tour of Paris with entry to attractions (I'm not sure of the cost of these) but you have to be approaching the £200 mark.

Rip off? I probably wouldn't go that far, but it sounds like it's a little on the expensive side. I'm not the best judge though, I don't really do day trips.

winnipeg
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4. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

You most likely could have saved quite a bit by doing the above mentioned activities yourself.

Remember, you used a tour operator and they do not put together these packages for free...if you wanted rock-bottom prices you should have researched everything well in advance and booked your Eurostar tickets the allowed 12 weeks ahead.

However, if you do not like to research and plan your trip or be on your own then paying for the services of tour operators could well be worth the money to you.

girasoledonna
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5. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

I didn't have the luxury unforutnately of planning it myself - I am leaving in two weeks and couldn't get tix on the Eurostar 12 weeks in advance. This whole trip was sort of last minute! I booked it because my buddy was doing it and at that time I only had 3 days in London, but now I have more and wish I could spend more time in Paris. But I'm visiting 5 countries in 5 weeks and I'm spent on planning, so a day where I just "follow and they lead" will probably be nice.

I just wanted to see how close the to price of DYI it was - but I think a trip on the EuroStar with food, guided day tour, free entrance to Versailles and E. Tower is probably pretty good now that I think of it. I just wish I was doing all of that - then staying in Paris overnight :) But I'll just have to save Paris more in depth for next time!

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

I'm with kayb, I don't think that one day is nearly enough time to even get a glimpse of both Paris and Versailles. For that reason you'll have the merest hint but perhaps be left with a bit of a 'what was that again?' feeling on the return Eurostar journey.

As far as the price, it's not out of line if you're travelling in Leisure Select. I do like my creature comforts and choose that class of service if the fare is acceptable, and you will enjoy the deferential service on board the train.

My only concern is that there will be precious little time for you to get off the bus and walk a bit on the streets of Paris, one of the most pleasant things to do in that lovely city. Seeing it by bus isn't quite the same as strolling the boulevards and letting the city wrap itself around you.

But it's a good start. You'll have an idea of how to go about planning a trip on your own for your next visit.

girasoledonna
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7. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

What would happen if I did the tour but didn't take the Eurostar back? Could I spend the night and next day there and find some way to return to London the next day? I know that I would lose part of my price since I paid for first class... I'm just trying to find a way to see the tour with my friend but get a little more time in paris...

Stanley, Falkland...
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8. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

You could catch another train or flight the next day. But it will certainly cost you. Simply check Eurostar or airlines to see what a walk fare costs one-way.

Hitchin, United...
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9. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

I think a one way ticket on Eurostar can be as cheap as £35, but you'll have to book it in advance, specify an actual departure time, (non flexible) and be prepared to travel off peak (usually mid to late afternoon).

Redlands, California
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10. Re: Booked a $450 tour to Paris - Pretty sure I got ripped!!!

We took a similar guided day trip to Paris in 2006. The only differences were we rode the Eurostar standard going and Leisure Select (first) back so that we could have dinner on the train. Instead of going to Versailles, our trip included a guided tour of highlights in the Louvre. We really enjoyed the trip and actually had a couple of hours at lunch time to wander and shop.