Affordable European Spring Break

Jul 6th, 2007, 06:30 AM
  #1  
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Affordable European Spring Break

My family of 3 wants to go to either
Eastern Europe
Ireland
Scotland/English Countryside
Italy
Provence

for spring break 2008. No particular preference, but affordability is key. What would ya'll recommend? This break would include Easter.
Leonora is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 06:33 AM
  #2  
jay
 
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How long do you have? Have you been there before?
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Jul 6th, 2007, 06:35 AM
  #3  
 
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Define "affordable" One person's affordable is another's hovel.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 06:42 AM
  #4  
 
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On-the-ground costs will be cheapest in Eastern Europe - but airfare could easily throw off the equation. What are your interests? Beaches? Castles? Cities? Countryside?
bobludlow is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 06:52 AM
  #5  
 
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spring weather. I would plump for southern continental europe which means italy or provence using your list though montenegro or coastal spain can be just as warm.

If going north then the climate really puts a spoiler on it

bilboburgler is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 06:53 AM
  #6  
 
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Given that Easter is in late March next year, the weather may not be the best time for the courtyside - then again the weather isn't good now in the UK! You need to decide what it is that you want to see and what will be open. Many tourist sites in the UK(national trust properties, etc) start to open Easter weekend for the start of the the tourist season. My choice would be an Eastern European city break - though for Easter weekend the prices may go up.
Maria_H is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 07:02 AM
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How about Croatia...
amp322 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 07:02 AM
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If you have a whole week, then renting a gite or apartment in France would be economical and fingers crossed the weather should be nice and mild (although it can be anything these days...this year, Vienna in March was warmer and sunnier than July in Brussels, so far anyway, but Krakow in March 2006 was freezing cold with snow every single day of our trip).
Rent as small a car (diesel) that will reasonably accommodate the 3 of you and your gear.
Flights to/from Paris should still be reasonable for March, fingers crossed.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 08:00 AM
  #9  
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Thanks and keep those suggestions coming! I live near a beach, so a beach is NOT a necessity. We like exploring different cultures--foods, habits, everything. I'd like to keep costs under (well under?) $5000. My husband probably won't stay in anything under a 3 star.
Leonora is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 08:38 AM
  #10  
J62
 
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I'm assuming you are coming from the U.S. Flights from NY to just about anywhere in Europe will run $700 or $800 to $1000, so scratch off $2500-3000. That leaves you with $2500, or $350/day for a week.

If you rent a car, that'll cost you about $100/day, so your budget makes Ireland or Scotland/English countryside or Provence difficult. Those areas are better visited if you have a car, in my opinion. Others may disagree.

In Italy you can use trains to get from city to city - relatively cheap - about $50 one way Rome to Venice 2nd class per person. Shorter distances are less. Hotels in Italy run anywhere from $150/night on up. A good option may be to rent an apartment as you can save a lot eating 1, 2, or even 3 meals in some days. Check www.slowtrav.com for recommendations.
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Jul 6th, 2007, 08:51 AM
  #11  
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Here's why I'm thinking using a company like Go-Today might not be such a bad idea. Unfortunately they don't have their trips during my time frame posted yet.
Leonora is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 08:55 AM
  #12  
jay
 
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I would do Italy or Provence. The weather would be warmer I believe.
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Jul 6th, 2007, 09:34 AM
  #13  
rex
 
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<< I live near a beach, so a beach is NOT a necessity.... I'd like to keep costs under (well under?) $5000. >>

Does $5000 refer to the fact that you are originating in the US? Your airfare will depend (in part) on whether you live... a) north and east of the Shenandoah Valley, b) west of Juneau, or c) almost anywhere else in the US. And I assume that all three members of your party are over age two.

I'm not sure if Eastern Europe is as cheap as some people seem to think (Moscow is now the world's most expensive city); it doesn't seem that there is a lot of expertise here on this forum for other countries in Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Russia) - - is this where you want to go? Moreover, it costs a lot of time and money to travel all the way to Eastern Europe.

I think Provence is a good destination for budget spring travel (Portugal might be a little bit cheaper, but perhaps no more than 10% difference).

Are you attracted to self-catering accommodations (apartments, cottages, gites, a small house?) - - take a look at www.gites-de-france.com - - chances are you can find lodging for 3 at under 400 euro for a week ($550 USD). Assuming you find air travel below $2250 for three (under $1650? lower? - - again, it all depends on where you will originate), then I think your meals, intra-Europe transportation and expenses for specific attractions can still leave you under that $5000 mark.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Jul 6th, 2007, 01:27 PM
  #14  
 
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I guess another concern is the Easter holidays. Prices will surge before and after Easter, esp. in towns with a lot of pilgrims. Also, decent rooms will be hard to come by. My parents once toured in Italy during Easter and were stunned by the price increases.
Barkinpark is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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Prices will surge not just because of pilgrims but because of school holidays. Some countires have a two week break at Easter.
I would suggest you look at renting a cottage in whichever country you decide upon. But book it early so you have plenty of choice.
hetismij is offline  
Jul 7th, 2007, 04:40 AM
  #16  
 
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Gites de frane is a sure fire bet but if you hav the tme and need to keep prices down use the tourist info web site for the local area. France is made of Department and a short google will tell you which is where. Google the department name with innformation touristique and find the offical web site. Then llok at local accomodation this could surf direct to a single string of adverts or town adverts with their own accomodation.

After all this the prices will be down on gdf and you get a bigger selection
bilboburgler is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 05:51 PM
  #17  
 
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Costs for Eastern Europe, especially for accommodations, vary a LOT. I did very well in Slovakia for not much (outside the capital), and Ukraine isn't too bad, but I thought accommodation in Poland was pretty expensive. Also, how do you define 3-star? Do you have to have room service and a pool? Because if so EE will not be cheap.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 11th, 2007, 06:28 PM
  #18  
nbujic
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most of Eastern Europe is rather cool
that time of the year. Italy or Spain
might be a better choice.
 

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