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Obligatory "2 Weeks in Europe - First Time" Post

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It's both my wife and my first time outside of the United States.

I've seen lots of itinerary-specific questions (which will be coming at some point, believe me), but I'm more curious in the general travel trips you may have for someone traveling to Europe for a couple of weeks (May 2013) for the first time.

The current plan is some combination of London, Paris and somewhere in Ireland - probably Dublin.

Specifically:
* The current plan is to fly from Boston to London, Eurostar from London to Paris, fly from Paris to Dublin and fly back home to Boston from Dublin. Is this the most efficient way of doing this?

* Do you know any tips around train tickets? I've only used Amtrak in the US, and it's pretty much one price, sit where you want. We're (actually) really excited about the train ride from London to Paris, and would hate to screw it up!

* What's the best way of handling money between USD, GBP and Euro?

* My common sense says to grab one hotel room in each city and use that room as home base for the duration of each stay. Is there a reason this would be a bad idea?

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