I’ll weigh in—I also do photo books for every trip through Mimeo, an extension of the Apple Photos app. I’m not super creative, but once I learned how to use the program, it works really well and affords a great deal of flexibility. The hardest part is narrowing down the number of photos, but I can also add journaling. I do not take many photos with my pad or phone while on tour, but rely on my dslr.
On a totally separate issue, I have a question. In that we will likely be rebooking our K&T tour for next year, we are considering doing a back-to-back with SA Elegant Adventure. In that we will both be 70 when we go and the likelihood of our getting back to Africa in years beyond 2021 is slim, we thought doing back-to-back might be more feasible. I wanted thoughts from others whether this is too much or not. I welcome your advice. Thanks.
Jan - If you can make the back to backs work I’ll be jealous. I did the K&T trip in 2015 and would love to do the SA trip, but haven’t been able to make it back. I say go for it if you’re OK with the combined duration, including any extra days between the trips. You’d likely need to do laundry at some point. Hope it works out.
Thanks, Sam. I’ve got dates selected—it would give us a 2-day break in Capetown between tours. Hopefully, there will still be availability.
Jan - You’ve probably looked into this, but is the weather acceptable in both areas if you do a back to back?
We once did a trip to Europe that was the length you envision. We found that we were traveled out by the time we were done - definitely ready to go home. What's the longest trip you've taken? How did you feel at the end of it? As Sam says, you'll need to plan on doing laundry.
Some considerations -
Figure out which trips you will do and how many days you will have to allow between the trips. Not only does affect your cost and trip duration, but also you will have to figure out what to do with your time in between. We looked at one back-to-back trip and ruled it out when we figured out that we had a five day space to fill in between.
Take a look at the flights. It's a long way to Africa and many people end up going through London or Amsterdam. The layovers can make straight through travel tedious and many choose a layover day in those cities. Again time and cost.
Finally, given that COVID-19 is still a potential issue, what would you do if one trip was canceled and the other was going? Rescheduling your air segments at the last minute could be tricky and expensive.
If you do both trips, be sure to report back in the forums when you do. I'm sure others will want to hear about your experience.
Jan, can’t remember if you have been to Africa before. As you probably know I have been six times. I would never consider doing a back to back. I love going to Africa but it is a very tiring experience despite the fact that apart from the One with the Gorilla trek, you hardly get any exercise on most of the Africa tours. I also agree that especially now with Covid considers it could become complicated if one was cancelled or changed.
Time of year is also a consideration because of the rainy seasons.it can get very cold in South Africa in their winter, reverse of ours.
Laundry is no problem it’s very cheap in Africa and one of the few places I don’t care how much I get done. Plus there is no need to take dress up clothing. Elegant South Africa requires slightly different attire for the city parts as Johannesburg and Cape Town are modern cities.
Right now, I don’t think Africa tours will work in their current form, just one thing for example, the small planes that are used could not be used, they would not pass any form of social distancing.
Finally, 70 is not old!
Inasmuch as I was still working pre-coronavirus, I could only take a 1 month vacation once a year. We took a Tauck trip and then added independent travel before or after (I.e. Land of Rising Sun plus Thailand; Portrait of India plus Singapore and Hong Kong). Last year, we did K&T and then added 8 days in CAPETOWN. We created a day by day itinerary - did a number of excursions, hired guides.. for us, it worked! This year, we HAD planned to do a 2 week road- trip from Lisbon through Southern Spain - then ferry to Tangier and then to Rabat to meet up with Tauck’s Morocco tour. There are 5 travelers: we are all good travelers and planners, ranging in age from 64 to 74. We’ve been doing this for 5-6 years. We figure that once we fly somewhere, we should see the most we can! After 4 weeks, we are ready to come home. This works for us!!
I was just going to suggest we reach out to Nancy, but she beat me to the punch.
The archives have a number of threads about back-to back tours- pick an area, do a forum search using "back-to-back" as the search terms.
Back-to-back is especially common for Africa tours- K&T + Botswana or K&T + Elegant Adventure. It is possible and can often be done with only 2 - 3 days in between. Tauck will even help you find the right combination. In one case the traveler was having trouble, until Tauck suggested changing the sequence of tours which made it all work. Flights can be problematic. In one case I remember the traveler was doing K&T followed by Elegant Adventure and for some reason, to avoid too many down days between tours, had to fly from Nairobi to Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia then to Capetown because Ethiopian Airlines (pre 737 crash) had the best fare or something. It all worked for them. No doubt it would be tiring. I would do it in a heartbeat (my wife would be headed home! )
Alan S - I've found that about 20% of the photos I've taken make it into the books. Your point is well taken as it is hard to pick and chose but when you do it is usually the best ones. I also have pictures used as spreads across 2 pages. In our African book we have 2 separate spreads of our balloon ride - one not to long after liftoff when everyone was freezing and a second when the sun came up. They really look awesome! We also have Lioness and Leopard photo spreads. Pretty amazing. All the pictures downloaded to Shutterfly are maintained in their system as long as they exist. I've even thought about doing a book with the best of pictures from every trip in one book! I'm not an art person either - an accountant - and I've found once you do get started and learn the software it is fun. Some evenings when I force myself to start I wind up doing 3-4 hours easily. This type of project was perfect for the virus stay at home routine. To date we have 7 books with Egypt and Romantic Germany next.
I have been doing photo scrapbooks of my travels for about 30 years. Most of my albums are the 3 ring variety type with pictures, postcards and mementos of the trips. I have only begun using the on line photo books for about 3 years now. It is alot easier. I have been using the Mixbook software as they have a variety of templates and you can add stickers and various embellishments like scrapbooking if you choose or just keep it simple. It is a very easy software to use. I try to pick out the best images that really sum up the trip and I leave several blank pages when I am planning out the design so that I can paste in the local currency, stamps, postcards and other mementos I collect on the way. I enjoy looking thru these books so much, especially during these days of staying home. In addition to the books, I have also been putting together a video for each trip that includes all of my favorite images, short videos and a selection of music from the area that I traveled to. I try to pick up CDs in each country so that I can get some local flavor.
For a 2 week trip where I traveled to Cuba in 2017 on a Photography and Cultural Tour, one of the members of our Group asked each of the travelers to submit 12 of their favorite images from the Trip and he put together a book using Blurb Software. He took a picture of each of the travelers, 17 of us, and listed our name, City and State and type of camera we used for the photos. He then sent us a link to Blurb and we were able to purchase as many of the books that we wanted. This book is one of the most cherished souvenirs I have of that trip. What a wonderful idea.
AlanS and Virginia_Travelers, we have photo books from every trip we’ve taken over the past 17 years. I started with the old Kodak Gallery, did a couple with Shutterfly, and then began using Mimeo when I started using a Mac. I usually do a 10x13 book and include 2-page spreads on a few really good photos. My husband and I took our honeymoon in Alaska 17 years ago, which was the last trip I took using a film camera. I just recently scanned the best of our photos into digital format and created a book that came out quite good considering. Now our collection is complete. With Tauck, we’ve done Classic Italy, Australia/New Zealand, Paris & Provence, Maritime Provinces, Treasures of the Aegean, Peru & Galapagos, and Costa Rica, and we were supposed to go to Africa in August. Maybe next year??
Also, thanks to those of you who provided comments on whether to do back-to-back Africa tours (we have not been to Africa before). It is giving us some food for thought as we consider re-scheduling the Africa trip for July/August 2021. Hopefully, we will have a coronavirus vaccine by then.
We flew Kenya Air at the end of K&T on a direct flight (Nairobi to CAPETOWN). The only hitch was that flight was scheduled only once each week. Thankfully we only had 1 day to kill. We spent an extra night in Nairobi —during the day we toured Karen Blixen House/museum and Giraffe Center.