Proposed trip -
Duration: 3-6 weeks
Budget: $5000-7000 AUD. [3250 - 4500 ish euros]. We live in Sydney, Australia and would like this to include plane tickets.
Must see: London, Paris, Spain, Berlin, Rome and/or Venice.
Wouldn't mind: Switzerland, Amsterdam, Sistine Chapel.
Want to see: Lot's of little things. The priority is seeing a little bit of a lot of things, not seeing a lot of a few things.
Why: My partner and I are prioritising getting a house/mortgage young. We plan to finish uni, trip of europe, house/mortgage, trip of usa/can/mex, children as the order of life events. So aside from maybe a one-off trip to Ireland (where he has family), this will probably be the only time we see Europe.
We've only begun discussing this, and would likely go mid 2015, end of 2015 or mid 2016. Right now our best idea is to do this tour: https://expatexplore.com/tours/absolute-europe/ since our plane ticket would be $1800ish probably for return sydney to london, and spend a few days in london exploring ourselves before we start the tour.
We like that one because it's fairly low cost and takes us to the 5 must sees and lots of little places in between, since this is likely our only Europe trip. But at the same time, maybe we could plan a better one ourselves. We don't mind the 6 am starts, but we also like the idea of doing a very similar trip with a similar budget, but an extra day in amsterdam and an extra day in berlin. And we might be able to do this by cutting out places we don't mind not seeing, like maybe Austria and Hungary.
My questions are:
Given the 5 must see places, and the desire of the trip to be "seeing a little of a lot of places",
1. Would we be better off financially planning a trip very similar to that one ourselves?
2. Would be be better off in terms of time well spent (less coach time etc.) planning one ourselves? [We do want to see a lot of places though, so a lot of travel time either way]
3. If we did plan our own trip, is getting between our 5 must see locations by public transport easy? Is there a lot of airfare?
4. Which places would you recommend for the "seeing a little of a lot" portion? E.g. Sistine chapel - would a one-day vatican stop over be too difficult?
Thank you to anyone who took the time to read this and reply. It is very much appreciated.
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Proposed trip -