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Under the guidance of a roguish womanizer named Charlie, a group of American tourists have assembled in London for a whirlwind 18-day bus tour of Europe. Although Charlie plans to keep his evenings free by exhausting his charges during the day, he has failed to reckon with Samantha Perkins, an indefatigable Minneapolis careerwoman who is determined to get her money's worth while trying to decide whether she should marry her conservative boyfriend George. Following a day and night in London, the travelers descend on Amsterdam, and there Edna and Fred Ferguson have trouble keeping their somewhat oversexed daughter, Shelly, away from a young hippie named Bo, and Harve Blakely loses his wife, Irma, when she climbs on the wrong bus and goes off with a group of Japanese tourists. As the sightseers are hustled through Brussels, up the Rhine by steamer, and on to Switzerland, Charlie tries to add Samantha to his list of conquests, but with little success; even when she gets drunk on spiked fondue, she remains immovable. Upon arriving in Venice, Italian-American John Marino has a disastrous encounter with his relatives and is forced to jump out of a bathroom window into a canal in order to avoid being married off to his cousin. As the tour nears its end, Charlie is at last beginning to make progress with Samantha when her boyfriend suddenly appears; but by now certain that life with George would be too dull, Samantha sends him away. Reaching their final stop at Rome, Samantha is involved in an automobile accident, and Charlie has to free her from jail. That night, the long-lost Irma, dressed in kimono and sandals, arrives at the farewell banquet and discovers her husband dancing with the entertainers; and Charlie finally succeeds in getting Samantha to make love to him. At the airport the next day when he begs her to marry him, however, she realizes that he is irresponsible. Saying "I'm a square," she bids him goodby and boards an airplane bound for the States.