I’ve got a secret and I am going to let you in on it.
This past April I had the experience of a lifetime.
I was the youngest person by at least 25 years on a river boat sailing along the Danube River in Eastern Europe and it was the best trip I’ve ever been on.
Me and 100 or so other senior aged passengers explored Eastern Europe and I’ll never travel abroad any other way. Let me tell you why…
Grand Circle Cruise Line knows exactly what a travel experience needs!
They base their whole trip off of one word Education.
But let me elaborate.
Out of a 2 week trip I went to 4 countries and 7 cities. In each city I got to meet a local that they arranged for us that either brought us to their home, their school or a hot spot in town and gave us a real lesson on life in Eastern Europe. Now and in the past when they were living with the iron curtain. We all got to hear real life stories, and experience real life circumstances of Eastern Europeans while also seeing all the hot spots, hearing all the history from a first hand person and doing it all in a less tiresome way. When I was 21 I went to Europe for the first time and toured it all by myself through 4 countries and 7 cities same exact situation but i had to schedule everything alone and walk myself around the city or sign up for tours. With Grand circle they make the whole agenda, you get to stay with the same people through every experience and learn from a person that stays on the ship with you for the whole 2 weeks.
I spent the exact same amount of money when I was 21 vs. now. and by far my money went way further on the ship. Touring alone i had to buy my own meals and set up my own tours and research things constantly at my hostiles so that I wouldn’t miss anything. On Grand Circle they take care of all of that for you while you sit back relax and are fed 3, 5 star meals a day. All of your luggage stays in one place while you get to just take what you need off the ship each day and do whatever you want. We went to thermal bathes and a castle in Budapest, a school and families home in Bratislava Slovakia a Winery, Opera and Concentration Camp in Austria, a quaint adorable small down in Prague called Czechy Kremlove and Prague.
The entire trip was 100% the best trip I have ever been on centered around learning hands on and close up. Even the bus rides through cities and onto new cities was filled with no pressure, open dialogue question and answer whenever you wanted. This trip was by far the best I have ever been on. Part of that was easily the kindness and service from the workers on the ship, tour guides from Grand Circle and the pure genuineness of the entire operation. Second part of that experience was hands down amazing because of the age of the other passengers. While everyday multiple times a day I was asked if I was enjoying myself and if I liked traveling with senior citizens I admitted that at first I thought it would be weird but instead it was perfect for me and I realized that by the end of the 1st day. Older people really know how to sit back and enjoy life, they go to bed at a normal time say 10:00 and have wonderful table discussions at every meal. They took a real interest in me and my life and offered timeless advice on questions I had. I helped them work their cell phones, to contact home through facebook messenger and to save photos when they were running out of space on their devices and in exchange I got to help them down stairs and through crowded areas and help keep on eye out for pick pocketers. I took a genuine interest in each of the friends i made and in exchange I gained about 50 sets of grandparents for 2 weeks. While we continued to get along like old friends I realized I was a much older soul then I realized. While people always say when your in your 20’s its the time to back pack it and stay in hostiles and party until 4 AM I think it truly depends on who you are. I experienced what some would say is a post retirement trip and learned at 24 that its not just how you should travel in your 50’s its how you should travel all the time.
I can’t write enough about this experience and I could go on and on about Grand Circle Cruise Line. They have trips on trips to choose from, Eastern Europe to Thailand and a whole different category of trips where you travel with only 15 people and are on foot through countries experiencing them a bit more close up like an amazing race type feel without the racing part. Super market type tasks where you collect ingredients and a local teaches you how to cook a meal. Check out their website and find the trip the best suites you. I can promise that whichever you choose you will not be disappointing. If you want a more in depth explanation of my particular trip. Check out my previous blogs labeled by each country I explored.