Christmas came early this year, or so I thought.
A three-day trip to the Amalfi Coast for a sweet-sounding sticker price of €200 seemed like a steal at first. But I learned my lesson after blindly booking a trip with EuroAdventures, an organization that guides study-abroad students to various European locations.
In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to convince you, dear reader, why not to travel with EuroAdventures by paying homage to the holiday favorite “The 12 Days of Christmas.”
12 pages of bro lingo
“A day on the island of Capri is a must” is the opening line of the 12-page itinerary, which, although very true, promised more bro-like lingo to come. Unsurprisingly, I found myself reading phrases like “This is a chill day.” This trip is targeted at college kids, but rereading the adjectives “crazy beautiful” and the emphatic phrase “for sure” is just insulting.
An early bedtime for most, but this was the time a neighboring rooster started to crow. From 11 p.m. until 4 a.m., the unearthly sounds of this creature had us counting ceiling tiles.
This is the time we conveniently got locked out of our bathroom and my roommate spent her evening attempting to unlock the door with a kitchen knife.
9 varieties of birds
In addition to the one rooster, it sounded like we had eight other types of birds as neighbors. Not only was there a five-hour solo from the rooster, but the other 19 hours of the day were filled with the horrifying cries from, at the very least, turkeys, pigeons, chickens and crows.
We were greeted by a pack of eight dogs that emerged from the darkness when we reached our hotel. Immediately after the hotel attendant said the dogs were friendly, two of them started to fight – not exactly the warm hotel greeting I was expecting.
7 hours on a bus
The seven-hour trip from Florence to the Amalfi Coast on a coach bus didn’t sound bad to me.
But had the EuroAdventures advertisement said, “Also included on your bus ride are loud and incessantly chatting people, one person sitting right behind you with body odor reminiscent of rotten garbage, and one sexually overcharged young man putting the moves on every girl,” I probably would have reconsidered.
6 brain-numbing movies
Fortunately included on the bus was the distraction of a constant string of movies. But I should have seen the lineup from a mile away. I don’t think they played a movie without Will Ferrell. By the end of the ride, I could feel my brain dripping out my ears and my jaw lazily dropping as I turned into a EuroAdventures zombie.
I am cheating on this one, but while talking to one of the leaders he said Pompeii was a cool place to see “if you’re into that sort of thing.”
Um, yeah, I am into the sort of thing that entails visiting an amazingly preserved city and having the incredible view of Mount Vesuvius as the backdrop. And I think the 2.5 million people that visit there each year would agree with me.
4 hours of sleep
When the tour guides gave the group four hours of sleep because of their poor planning with arrival and departure times, I was a bit upset.
By rocks, I mean beds. The beds in our hotel room had absolutely no give. It was like sleeping on a park bench.
Our leaders were two late-20-somethings going through some type of quarter-life crisis. They clearly were reverting back to their college days, donning flat bills and rock-star sunglasses the entire trip. And one seemed to be allergic to his T-shirt, because he always had it off.
1 company never to travel with: