There are benefits to visiting Europe on a tour. With a tour package, you have only one source for everything you need for your trip, from hotel bookings, and flights to sightseeing and ground transportation, even food, instead of having to book through multiple websites and suppliers. You don't have to worry about the little details that can derail an otherwise good trip because the tour company worries about all of that.
Still, for people who like to travel on their own, while also getting the benefits of a package, it's possible to visit Europe without tours. The key is to plan a well organized trip from the beginning, considering all of the details, to avoid mishaps.
Plan in advance what you want to see and do
Are there places you've dreamed of visiting, such as the Bridge of Sighs in Venice or the Louvre in Paris or activities that you must do? If you wish to ensure that you don't miss out, create a list of your must-see places and must-do activities. You can then plan your itinerary around the items in the list.
Visit places that are near each other
Once you've decided on the things you wish to see and do, consider the distances you will have to travel between them. Visiting Paris and Florence by rail during one vacation may seem like a good idea, but perhaps not when you factor the hours you'll spend traveling between the two cities.
Make arrangements for ground transportation
Getting from the airport after a long flight can be a stressful hassle. To avoid this, arrange for your ground transportation in advance. Also, plan out any rail trips that you'll need in advance as it can be challenging in a busy European train station to get the information you need.
Use a Travel Planning Service
Particularly for trips to places you've never been or for complicated itineraries to multiple destinations, consider the services of a travel planner.
A planner will put together your own custom package, providing the benefits of a tour while giving you the freedom of independent travel. You can then book the trip itself on your own. But if you have the planner make the arrangements, you have someone to call on if anything unforeseen happens during your trip.
Enlist private guides
With a private guide, you visit the sights on your own with a personal resource to answer any of your questions and tailor your sightseeing to what you wish to see, without having to wait on other tourists. Private guides often have a deep connection to the places you are visiting. It's a wonderful experience to tour a destination through the eyes of someone who truly loves the place and has intimate knowledge of it.