We only hope this experience does not deter them from future trips to Europe. Certain countries are a little more tourist friendly in accommodating long term stays (1-6 weeks). Farmstays, Agrotourism, VRBO, B&B's, Apartment/Condo's are good options but can be quite different in each country, sometimes even non existent. For example, we found it difficult and expensive to book extended stays along the French Riviera, Norway, Sweden and Ireland. However, the interior of France was a different story. Italy, Spain & Portugal, just to name a few, offered lots of options for reasonable, extended stays.
I have attached an email from John & Carol, briefly describing some of their frustrations.
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 1:27 PM
Subject: Europe In 24 Days!
Just wanted to let you know we came home from Rome on Friday. We didn't intend to............ but there was a bit of a misunderstanding with our travel agent(s). If you’re interested, read on.........If not............you all know where the delete button is!! We won’t be offended...........we just don’t want to have to tell the same story over and over! Who knew travelling could be so exhausting?
We were unable to find a long term place to rent, other than a regular hotel room, so we decided to email our travel agent last Monday "just to see what our options would be if we decided to change our return flight to an earlier date". Our agent was not in on Monday, and we couldn't access our file because the agent had originally made the booking, so John called our travel agent in Winnipeg and spoke to another agent. She was just supposed to "do some research on flight times and the difference in change fees and get back to us", but somewhere along the line she decided to take it upon herself and book us back to Winnipeg!
When we got into our hotel room Tuesday night, we discovered an email from our regular agent asking if we had received our change of flight details. Thank goodness she emailed us, because we hadn't received anything from the second agent! We surely would have missed our flights, which had already been booked for Thursday morning unbeknownst to us!
After numerous emails back and forth with our initial travel agent, we had her change our flights to Friday at 11:30 instead. Tuesday night we were still a long way from Rome in a beautiful little town called Rapallo (near Portofino). We would have had to drive all the way to Rome on Wednesday, and would have missed seeing any of the Rome highlights as well. Because the change had already been made, and we were being billed any extra $1000 as a result, we decided we would be okay to come home Friday........... if we could at least see the Vatican & the Coliseum, etc on Thursday.....which we did........well, the Coliseum, sort of........but that’s another story for another time!
We will have to discuss the extra charges and the whole scenario with our travel agent(s) now that we are back, but once we actually knew we were going to be going home early, we were okay with that. Initially John felt so bad when he realized what had happened........ but it surely wasn't his intent or his fault! That being said, we were kind of tired of looking for a new hotel every day, and John had had more than enough of the crazy, busy traffic and the drivers in Europe any way! So..........that’s why we’re home early! We loved every minute of our trip, and will certainly go back some day, but there really is no place like home!
P.S. We have over 700 pictures of our time in Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria & Southern Germany. So needless to say, we won’t be emailing them! If any of you are interested in seeing any, please let us know, and we will be happy to share. We are having the pictures printed. We are picking them up this afternoon. We will put them all in an album........ that you will all be welcome to see..........if you so desire.......... on your next visit to our house! J
Take care. Talk to you soon. Hope all is well with everyone!
Carol & John