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10 day Euro Open Plan - Travel Help

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Mar 17th, 2011, 12:39 PM
  #1
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10 day Euro Open Plan - Travel Help

What is the most wallet friendly way of traveling in Europe?
I don't have a set plan for what I am doing with my last 10 days before heading back to North America but I will be done with school in Florence on August 6th and will be flying out of London on Aug 16th so I am trying to figure out what to do with that time in between. I like the idea of overnight trains for travel but when I try to figure out what the costs would be like it gets muddled because you can't search fares that far into the future or the sites are in different languages. PLEASE help!!!
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Mar 17th, 2011, 01:49 PM
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Search for fares a couple months out to get an idea. Overnight trains sound ok, but if you dont sleep its not much fun.

With 10 days I would choose 2-3 places and focus on that. Have been travelling in Italy? what have you seen? You could spend 3 days in Venice, fly to Paris, spend 3 days, then eurostar to London for remaining time.

Or you could just do Paris and London.

Use www.whichbudget.com to look at cheap flights.

Paris to London book 4 months in advance for the best prices www.eurostar.com
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Mar 17th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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I don't know how hold you are, but as you say you are in school, maybe you are 20s????

My kids have all studied abroad (now ages 21, 22, 24), 6 months at a time, various countries. While they liked trains, only one kid did an over night train. She said she'd never do it again - she never slept. Plus it was very expensive, though less so than flying. It was basically her only choice where she was.

My kids found that the cheapest method was the cheap airlines - jamikins gave you a good website to get an idea. You should factor in that you only have 10 days and if you want to suck up 10-12 hours or more on a long train ride or fly and have more time on the ground.

I too would choose to head to Paris if you haven't been yet. You could also head to Amsterdam for a few days as well. South of Amsterdam, near Germany and Belgium is a lovely smaller city, Maastricht. Great student town, great shopping.

Look at the whichbudget website above and plug in "Firenze" for your starting airport and see which destinations come up cheap. THat's how my kids decided several of their trips.

Now, all that being said - I LOVE trains myself. Really really do. But if I had just 10 more days to spend, I'd probably consider cheapo flights first.

Have fun!
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Mar 17th, 2011, 02:40 PM
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"if you want to suck up 10-12 hours or more on a long train ride or fly and have more time on the ground."

If the 10-12 hours are overnight the train will be faster, and the cost should be offset against a night in a hotel. Train stations are in the city center, so you don't have to get yourself to and from the airport, nor do you have to get to the station two hours early to go through security. Ability to sleep on trains varies widely - I usually do well in couchettes on western trains provided no-one else is getting off in the middle of the night.

See seat61.com for loads of info on European trains, and bahn.de for Europe-wide schedules - although you'll need the country-specific sites for prices. Most of the country-specific sites have an English-language option, although you may have to search for it. Be careful with the French site, which will try to send you to the more expensive RailEurope site to book. Even if there isn't any English, it's usually pretty easy to figure out - departure station, arrival station and date and time of departure are all you need to enter.
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Mar 17th, 2011, 03:07 PM
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What jamikins said.

Overnight trains can be useful, but I wouldn't do too many of them. I did one on my study abroad trip and I wasn't much good the next day. I had a couple of friends who used them several times over their two weeks of travel, and they spent a lot of their trip delirious, I believe. thursdayd is right, though - flying takes up more time than just the flight time, so I'd only do it for long hauls (Rome to Paris or something).

Stay in hostels. If you use Google Chrome as your web browser, it will translate pages for you - not exact, but gets the job done.
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Mar 17th, 2011, 06:43 PM
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Some overnight trains do not have seats for sitting up - they have only berths - which makes them very expensive versus a night in a hostel. Also - many trips are not long enough to have undisturbed overnight trains.

If you really want to travel cheaply bus is cheaper - and budget airline can also be very cheap.
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