I was so fortunate to travel with Adventures by Disney (ABD) on their Central Europe itinerary this July. I first discovered ABD reading trip reports on the DISBoards about two years ago and dreamed about it ever since. When the 2014 itineraries were announced last May, we decided to take the plunge and book the Central Europe trip with our 2 children (ages 15 and 11) and my in laws.
ABD’s are undeniably expensive, but we were able to save a bit in several ways. First, we booked through Costco Travel. For each reservation, we will receive a Costco Gift Card for about $700 shortly after our return home. Because we had 3 reservations for the 6 of us, this definitely adds up. Also, we were able to purchase the four round trip tickets to Europe for my immediate family using frequent flyer miles. Tickets seems to be about $1400 each so this was another substantial savings. Finally, we used hotel points to book our pre and post night stays.
My family loves to cruise. We weren’t sure how a land tour would go, and I was a bit concerned about packing for 12 days away from home and repacking for several hotels. I purchased four sets of packing cubes from ebags.com. I can’t believe I have taken a dozen cruises and countless other trips without packing cubes! They definitely helped us stay organized and helped with packing and repacking.
Our family invested in the Global Entry program before our trip. This is a trusted traveler program through TSA. With Global Entry, you are directed to the quicker TSA PreCheck line so you can keep your shoes on, and you don’t have to take liquids or electronics out of your bag. More importantly, re-entry into the USA is a breeze as you simply put some info into a kiosk and you are on your way, avoiding the hundreds of people in line with customs and immigration. Our Global Entry is good for five years, and was already well worth it.
We began our trip with an overnight flight to Frankfurt from Charlotte on US Air. None of us slept very well, but the flight was fairly comfortable and we enjoyed the wide range of audio and video entertainment at our seats. Once in Frankfurt, we had to gather our baggage and recheck it on Czech Air as that leg was booked separately (using Chase Sapphire Reward points!). All went smoothly and we landed in Prague about 9:30am.
I had reserved transportation from the airport to hotel with Prague Airport Transfers based on recommendations from TripAdvisor. Our driver was waiting as we left the baggage claim area and helped us load our luggage into a clean, comfortable van. I think we may have had the smartest driver in Prague- a young man working on his Master’s Degree in Economics. It was only his third day as a driver, a job he took to work on his English. He was informative and friendly on the 45 minute drive to the Prague Marriott. It was a great welcome to a beautiful city.
Stay tuned for more about the Prague Marriott and how we spent our days prior to starting the Adventures by Disney tour!