Married over 50 years, Bob and Bonnie Bunger share a mutual love of travel, lifelong learning, and making new friends. In 1998, they decided it was about time they explore Europe. After much research, they chose a leisurely pan-European vacation with GET. Their hope was to get acquainted with each country they visited and to see which ones they’d like to return to in the future. It seems their plan worked, and the retired Oregon school teachers have depended on GET for 22 years, going on 35 trips! They’ve explored Iceland, Turkey, Greece, South America, Africa, Egypt, and beyond.
“First, we did Leisure Europe, and we went through about ten different countries,” Bob recalls, and Bonnie reminisces, “That really got us interested, and we decided we wanted to go back to explore the countries more.”
“I really enjoyed the South Africa tour with the safari,” Bonnie recalls. “We just had a ball. They got you up early and took you out to see the animals. Then while we were out there, they’d set up a table, and we’d have coffee in the morning. In the afternoon, when we went out, we’d have cocktails out in the bush. It was just a totally different type of thing to do.”
“I liked Egypt – going through the pyramids and all the stuff that was 5,000 years old, and the history part of that,” Bob says. “Also going to China and walking the Great Wall and seeing the Terra Cotta soldiers was a highlight.”
Their first experience booking with us, exploring with a Travel Director, and having a full and authentic itinerary, convinced them going on a guided vacation was a more comfortable and enriching way to travel. “If you go on your own, you have to plan out everything,” Bob says. “We like to be doing something and moving all the time. We prefer to go sightseeing and doing things other than shopping.”
“We like the fact that we are taken care of, where everything is done,” Bonnie says. Traveling on their own, she recalls, was fun, but not the most relaxing way to go, “You have to know some of the language and tote your own luggage around. In some of the train stations, that’s not the easiest thing to do.” Bob adds, “We also enjoy having the historical background of the areas we’re going through as we’re driving along on the coach. And the Travel Directors are extremely knowledgeable, very warm, and helpful.”
Meeting new people is an added draw for the Bungers. “Seems like, on every tour, we pick up with one other couple and chum with them,” Bonnie says. “But one of the things we decided when we first started traveling is that we’d prefer to start the trip without knowing anyone as that way we get to know everybody in the group.”
“We met a couple on one trip, and the husband had priced out what it would cost to do it on his own,” Bonnie says. “To stay in the same hotels, eat at the same type of restaurants, and cover transportation, ended up being much more expensive. So that’s another plus for traveling on a guided vacation. But even if it was more, it’s worth it for us!” “And if we traveled on our own, my co-pilot wouldn’t be that great as far as reading maps,” Bob adds with a laugh.
Over the years, Bob and Bonnie have become part of our travel family. As they live close by, they often pop in our office to say hi and chat. When the holidays come around, the Bungers join our fun and celebration. We’ve marked retirements and promotions, family additions, and more significant life events with them. They’ve spent 22 years exploring with us, and the whole team looks forward to their visits and hearing stories of their latest travels. We get excited when they stop by, as it’s always a new adventure with the Bungers.