Bus tour travel across Europe



November 12, 2006|By San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

Can you recommend a travel agent who can help me book a trip to Italy? I'm looking for a bus tour that starts in London, drives through western Europe, then does a tour of Italy before returning to London through eastern Europe.

Globus has a 24-day tour that includes London; Paris; Nice, France; Florence, Italy; Rome; Venice, Italy; Vienna, Austria; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; Berlin; and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its last 2006 tour has departed, but you can book a trip that starts in May for about $4,500 per person, including airfare from New York.

Insight has a similar trip for $4,699 (including airfare). Cities include Venice, Rome and Florence. Generally, you can expect to stay in more upscale hotels than those offered by Globus.

On a trip to Kauai, Hawaii, my boyfriend and I offered to take a picture of another couple while hiking on the Napali Coast. After he took the picture, the camera dropped, damaging it. We offered to pay half the value, about $150, which the couple later accepted. I feel we made an ethical offer, but was it necessary?

Being asked to snap a photo of someone while on vacation happens frequently. We've done it ourselves. But you probably shouldn't have felt obligated to pay.

"The person who asks a favor of someone else takes the risk that the individual may take a cockeyed picture or may even drop the camera," said Kirk Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara (Calif.) University. "Yes, the good samaritan, out of the goodness of his heart, may want to offer it, but I don't think there's any ethical or moral obligation to reimburse the person."

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