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18 days in Europe (Flying Open Jaw into Istanbul and out of Barcelona)

18 days in Europe (Flying Open Jaw into Istanbul and out of Barcelona)

Old Apr 15th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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If budget is driving this trip, then follow the cheap flights and lodging. But TICK-TOCK-TICK-TOCK. You don't have a lot of time for dreaming, and you've already spent 5 days just seeking opinions here.

(You don't need to change hotels Nice/Monte Carlo... They're only 13 miles apart.)
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Old Apr 15th, 2012, 03:09 PM
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JFYI there are now also non stop fights on Turkish Air from Valencia Spain . You may be lucky with their pricing. ( some great RT deals since they started this route).
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 05:39 PM
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Just wanted to say thank you again for everyone's suggestions and offer our final itinerary.

We are flying into Istanbul and staying for 4 nights.
From there we are flying from IST to Marseille (got a $66 Airfrance flight!) and taking the TGV to Valence from Marseille. We plan on spending 2 nights in Valence and then taking the TGV from back south to Nice and spending 4 nights and checking out Monte Carlo as well.

We will fly from Nice to Barcelona and spend our final 7 nights in Barcelona with a day trip or two to areas around Barcelona likely including Montserrat.

Very excited! Thanks again for all of the great suggestions!
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 05:57 PM
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Can I ask about the $2500 per person budget. I assume that this does not include airfare - and that you have already payed for yuor air tickets. If you are going to try to buy air tickets out of the $2500 - leaving you perhaps $1200 per person for 18 days - you don;t have nearly enough money.

You need to allow for transit between cities (even at budget prices can take most of yuor budget), transit within cities, hotels, meals and sightseeing.

You have been given a lot of advice on cutting back on the number of places you go - but before you do that I really think you need to run a detailed budget on this. (Last summmer my 18 year old DD and 2 friends did 5 weeks - living modestly but not super budget (they wanted hotels with AC in hot climates) and she spent almost $9000 including air and train between cities. Strongly urge you be sure you have money enough to cover realistic costs (do remember that prices in europe for everythng are likely to be higher than in the US - esp if you don;t live in a major city.)
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 08:45 PM
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The $2500 (More like $3000) is not including my flights to and from Europe.

I've already booked all of my hotels, long train rides, and internal flights and have spent about $1150 on that. (hotel room costs are being split between 2 people)

Istanbul Hotel for 4 nights $469.40/2= $234.70
Ataturk Airport to Marseille France Flight= $66.00
Marseille to Valence TGV Train= $33.00
Valence to Nice TGV Train= $40.00
Nice Hotel for 4 nights 500/2= $250
Nice to Barcelona Flight= $80.00
Barcelona Hotel for 7 nights $825.00/2= $412.50

So this will leave me with about 100-115 dollars a day for local transport, food and entertainment.

Daily Budget-
Breakfast- $5
Lunch- $10
Dinner- $20
Snacks- $5
Local Transport- $20
Entertainment (Museum fees, fun things)-$40-55

My two days in Valence will be with family, and therefore will cost less, and the first day in Istanbul and last day in Barcelona will just be transport to/from the airport. So my budget will probably look closer to around $115 per day (not including accommodation).

Thanks for this good kick to write out a budget. Visualizing it is very helpful.
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 12:46 AM
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I assume you are talking about US dollar. You should also take into account "loosing" money due to exchanging money form your $ to local currency. Especially when on a tight budget.
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 01:46 AM
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Be sure to read the small print on all those low cost flights The luggage sizes and requirements are strictly enforced on many of them. Always cheaper to ay for luggage online than at airport.

I think your food budget is low, unless you make your own sandwiches, buy fruit, etc. from supermarkets a lot of the time.
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 02:33 AM
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You have excellent advice on this thread.

You have chosen to stay longer at the more expensive locations where your daily budget will be fiercely strained.

However, you can at least save on your few days in istanbul, if you do not fall for the allure of cheap shopping.

Istanbul is the best among the cities you will visit in terms of cheap and good street food.
Simit, the round thin bagel like sesame buns that are everywhere are excellent for only TL1. A little cheese and some ayran (diluted yoghurt drink) will be about $3 together with the simit.

Try the "gozleme" at other spots and the chicken gyros are cheaper than meat ones. Fish sandwiches at eminonu are also cheap and tasty.

Never order fish for lunch or dinner (usually very expensive) unless you do not mind eating small horse mackerel, cleaned out but fried whole looking at you with cataract eyes.

Salads are always good. Chicken dishes are cheaper and Kofte + Piyaz is thoroughly recommended at special kofte restaurants.

If you go to Ortakoy, try the Kumpir (jacket potato) with a multitude of fillings.

You can walk to most historic sites in Istanbul and for the Bosphorus, take a regular commuter ferry for the price of only a single token up the Bosphorus from eminonu after 5PM and come back by bus, getting off at Bebek or Kurucesme for evening entertainment.

You will not find the likes of the supper clubs, Sortie or Reina between Kurucesme and Ortakoy, smack on the seaside, anywhere at Nice or Barcelona. If you go at ten PM or so and can manage with a single drink, yur budget will not be hurt much. (should dress as smart as possible)

Spending your nights at the old town or even on Istiklal in mid June will be a waste of time when all the action is up the Bosphorus. Only Cihangir area should be cool for you with its more old neighborhood and bohemian atmosphere and not inundated with tourists.
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