Archive for Thursday, August 31, 2006

Local residents organizing trip to Europe

August 31, 2006

Students, parents and teachers have an opportunity to travel to Europe economically and hassle-free.

Basehor residents Chuck Watson and Diane Buchholz have teamed up to try to recruit a few more people to join their group to receive a 2006 price for a 2007 trip to Europe through Education First Educational Tours. Watson said these tours are a perfect opportunity for students to go to a part of the world they have never seen.

"Adults are more than welcome, but they're geared and priced toward students," he said. "They put everything together in bulk. If you tried to do it yourself, it would be three to four times as much."

Watson said he took his first EF Tour about three years ago and was so impressed that he took another one the following year. He said he has been receiving information for the tours for several years.

"I'm kicking myself that I didn't start doing this 20 years ago," he said. "It just seemed too good to be true, but they really do produce all that they say."

Buchholz said her experience with the company also has been positive.

"I have found that the company is reliable and efficient," she said. "They go out of their way to make sure everybody has a good time."

There are several organized tours to choose from, and the Watson and Buchholz group will travel to Germany, Italy and Switzerland. The trip will be a total of 13 days with 11 of them in the designated countries. Travelers will start out in the heart of Germany and visit several German cities and sites including Rothenburg, a city that has barely changed since the 16th Century, and Neuschwanstein Castle, which was built by King Ludwig and served as the model for the Disney World castles and Munich. Visitors will also see glass blowing in Venice, the Lucerne Region of Switzerland and Heidelberg, one of the oldest cities in Germany. The last leg of the trip will be spent in Paris visiting the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Louvre.

"There are a lot of good stops and interesting sites and it allows you to test your language skills," Watson said. "If you're worried about your language skills and getting around, this is a wonderful way to do it. There are excellent tour leaders who are with us 24 hours a day until we go home."

Round trip airfare, all hotels, ground transportation, admissions and breakfast and lunch are all included in the price of $2,576 for students and $2,966 for adults. Watson said all of the hotel rooms are nice, clean and have a private bath. Students are usually three to four to a room while adults sleep two to a room.

Watson and Buchholz have nearly 30 people lined up to go on this trip, which is scheduled late May. They are looking for about 10 more travelers.

Watson said not all the money is due at the time of sign up and there are a few different options to pay for the trip. He said several students are planning on attending and are working hard to come up with the funds through car washes and saving money from part time jobs.

"It would be a great graduation present for someone," Watson said. "It prepares students for future travel and being on their own in college. It's a great way to meet new friends. They can also use it for credit for high school or college."

To receive more information or to join Watson and Buchholz group, contact Watson at (913) 724-1661, (913) 627-7928, chuckf16d@yahoo.com; or Buchholz at (913) 724-4224 or diane0550@aol.com. Those interested can also view the Web site at www.eftours.com.

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