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40 days in Europe! Need help with planning

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Hello everybody! I'm planning a trip to Europe for July 2014 (from the 1st of July to the 20th of August). I am from Argentina and I will take the plane directly to Amsterdam because I am visiting my boyfriend and his family.
These are the countries I must visit:
The Netherlands (around 10 days)
Italy (around 7 days - my boyfriend's parents invited me to Sottomarino)

These are the countries I'd like to visit but I don't know for how long:
England (esp. London)
Ireland
Germany
France (esp. Paris)
Spain (esp. Barcelona)


So, my questions are:

Which cities do I have to visit in the countries I mentioned and why? For how long would you do each?
Is it possible to add any other country? or would you skip any?
Is it better to travel by train or airplane? Which companies do you know?

Thank you very much!!

  • Report Abuse

    It would help, in designing an itinerary for you, if we knew what you are interested in - why these countries? That would give us a better idea of the places you would most enjoy, and how much time to allot to them.

    Since 17 days of your trip is taken up with the time you'll spend with your boyfriend and his family, you really only have 23 days to see the other (some of) the other five countries. That's not a lot of time, especially because they aren't all contiguous. Which of those countries are most important to you? (I definitely wouldn't add anywhere else in.)

  • Report Abuse

    You have 51 full days and 17 are accounted for with your preferences already. That leaves 34 days.

    Your questions are very broad and don't really have any absolute answers so let's break this down a little.

    Since you state "especially" for London, Paris and Barcelona, we can mark them down as "must sees". If you give each of them 4-5 days (let's say at least 4), you will be down to 22 days.

    You will be "in" The Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, and England. You want to include Germany and Ireland to that list. It does not appear that you will need to any more time in the Netherlands after your 10 days with hosts.

    A couple of obvious efficiencies arise - you can visit other places in France moving from Paris to Barcelona, and other places in Germany moving from Amsterdam to Italy - presuming you take the train and don't fly instead.

    There a couple of questions that really need to be answered before any detailed suggestions can be given on routing and modes of travel;

    - Will you have to fly out of Amsterdam, too, or can you fly out of another city like London, Dublin, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Venice, etc.?

    - Are you willing to fly between cities such as Rome/Madrid and London because there is no way to see all that you want to see and travel in anything resembling a straight or even semi-direct route?

    - Where the heck is Sottomarino and do you know when you will be traveling there? I am presuming you will spend the first 10 days in Amsterdam - will you then go immediately to Italy with your boyfriends family or is there a set time later in your travels when you need to be there?

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