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A couple of months in Europe. Lots of questions.

A couple of months in Europe. Lots of questions.

Old Oct 28th, 1999, 09:49 AM
jacki bert
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A couple of months in Europe. Lots of questions.

My husband and I are planning on going to Europe for a few months starting mid Sept 2000. We have no idea where to start the research because it can get overwhelming. First things first, does this sound like a good time to go? We love the cold so that is not a problem with us. Would it be best to purchase a Eurail pass? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Any suggestions about people opening their homes to travelers from the US? Thank you, jacki
Old Oct 28th, 1999, 11:13 AM
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iT'S NOT really cold in most of Europe in mid-September. But the season is changing and you have to be prepared for both cold and hot. I would first determine a list of places you want to visit, how much time do you have, what is your travel budget, and what kind of style you want to go in. I would start at the Library, and check out a bunch of books. If you can't decide on a country or countries then check out a couple on each country. And read, read, read. Once you do this, the trip will start to fall into place. Let me know if I can help you along any further.
Old Oct 28th, 1999, 11:15 AM
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If you're interested in staying for a few months then you will need some summer clothes depending on what country you're in when you arrive, and then you will need typical fall and winter clothes.
Old Oct 28th, 1999, 11:29 AM
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Hi Jacki,
don't let the planning overwhelm you, it should be fun! My first suggestion is don't worry about details like railpasses yet. Start with the basics -- where, how long, and how much. You must answer these questions before you can figure out everything else. I would start by writing down the places you have always wanted to visit. Then go to the library and get a couple travel guides for those places, and also buy a map of Europe. Then you can start to figure out where things are and what sort of itinerary makes sense.

There's a great thread here somewhere about planning. Search on "How do you plan your European trip" or something similar. It has many valuable tips.

I think September is a great time to start your trip. Maybe start in the more northern countries, and work your way to the Mediteranean as it gets colder.
Old Oct 28th, 1999, 11:34 AM
dan woodlief
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Yes, you will likely want some type of rail pass. What to get can depend on where you decide to go. Look at Rick Steves "Europe Through the Back Door" for a good discussion on rail passes. For initial planning, try using your own knowledge and interests (eg., family heritage, historical interest) and a series of general European guidebooks (eg., Rick Steves, Frommers, Fodors, Lonely Planet, Let's Go) to help make a long list of places to consider. Then look at country specific guides and books with lots of photos if you can find them to help narrow the list further. As you learn more, you will change your mind several times. I know I always do. You will need to consider weather (eg., more open in mountains of Switzerland outside of the winter months, maybe too cold for Scandinavia, too rainy, etc.), cost of different countries (Switzerland expensive, Portugal inexpensive), and many other factors. Personally, I think anytime is a good time to go to Europe, but a lot depends on your interests. If you want to lie around on the beaches, then certainly this would not be good for most of Europe.

Given that you have several months to spend there, certainly you may be able to see a lot without whizzing past everything. You should definitely plan some downtime with such a long trip - maybe every couple of weeks. Some places lend themselves to this better than others.
Old Oct 28th, 1999, 12:20 PM
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Hi Jacki:

you might want to check out a site called www.untours.com. It's an organization through which you can reasonably rent local housing plus a car in different parts of France, Italy, Eastern Europe, perhaps Scandinavia. Each rental is linked to a local untours staffer who is your resource for trip planning info, restaurants or markets, entertainment, etc. It sounds like you might like their setup. I have friends who used them in Provence and loved it.
Old Oct 28th, 1999, 01:21 PM
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Hi, Jacki,
We did what you're planning and September is a fine time to start. We led off around Sept. 1 with northern Europe (NL in our case,) then moved south through France & Switz. to Spain and Portugal, leaving Europe at the end of October. The weather was fine, sometimes chilly or wet (especially in Alsace and the French Alps) but never disagreeable.
I would strongly suggest leasing a car for that long a time or else the train costs will kill you and your range of movement will be much too restricted. Check out http://www.eurodrive.renault.com/ for Renault's (very affordable) lease-sellback program.
Homelink International, http://www.homelink.org/ is a large home exchange club that might appeal to you if you want to limit your travels to a couple of areas and really experience living as a resident ("saturation" is possible with that long a period.) Homelink also offers listings for people who want to "exchange hospitality." Otherwise, there are thousands of B & Bs (or their continental counterparts) where meeting the locals will be easy.
Happy planning.
Old Nov 2nd, 1999, 03:58 PM
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HI can I join you??? a few months!!! WOW!!
Yo Hablo espanol tambien!!!!!

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