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Europe Trip Post-Study Abroad Planning

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Hi,

Just as a warning, the actual question(s) starts 1/3 of the way in.

I am going to be a sophomore in college next year (double major in English and Anthropology) and have the lucky opportunity to study abroad in England for the entirety of my spring semester. I will probably travel within the United Kingdom (yes - England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) as well as Ireland during the semester. I am going to be near Norwich. Any advice on what to do or how I might plan this? I believe I have a two to three week break in the spring as well as time on the weekends to mini-trip. However, I definitely want to experience the city I will be living in, so most weekends will be spent nearby the university.

The main question of this post starts here, now that you've got a bit of background information. My mother will be flying in to Europe (probably an airport in London) and will spending most of the month of June with me while we travel to a few countries in mainland Europe. I am hoping to get at least six weeks worth of traveling outside of the UK but my mother will only be there for around three weeks due to work restraints. I wanted advice on what countries and cities I should check out and how long I should stay in each city/town.

My mother will most likely want to see the entire UK and Ireland as well as Germany, Italy and France. I'd like to see many more countries but I know I'm limited with time. Do you think I should stick to this as a loose itinerary as I start to build it or do you think I could add a country? Should I only visit one main city per country?

Sorry that this is so long and quite vague. I would really like to get some advice from experienced travelers. This will be my first time out of the US.

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