Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 04:55 PM
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My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe this summer. As it is our first time we want to see all of it. We want to definitely visit England, France, Italy, and Spain, and anywhere else we can cram in. The drawback is that we only have about 2 or 2 1/2 weeks to do this. Should we try to see it all or should we focus on one area? We're both poor students so we don't know when we will make it back that continent. You all seem like world travelers -- any advice?
Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 05:00 PM
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Those are all great places to visit but, yes, it would be crazy to try to see all 4 of those countries in 2 or 3 weeks.

You won't always be poor students. You will have other opportunities to see these places, they'll still be there when you finish school. Also, you will spend less money if you're not traveling internationally. Pick one country and do it more thoroughly. I think it will be a better experience, you will spend less of your precious time and money traveling, and will really get to know a place.

If you try to visit all 4, you'll feel like you haven't really gotten to know anyplace.
Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 05:02 PM
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My advice to you, based upon our own experience, is to not do too much in a short time. You will be covering a large territory. If you cram too much in, you'll feel tired, stressed (& there will be lots of arguing) & unable to really relax & unable to get to know the places you are visiting. Take your time, think through where you'll really want to go & focus on those places. Try to allow at least 3-4 days per city.

If you get bitten by the travel will be don't worry that this is the trip of your lifetimne & that you have to see it all. Take it slowly. You'll appreciate it in the long run.

Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 06:04 PM
russ i
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I agree 100% with the above 2 replies, I would limit it to one or 2 countries. My first time to England I had 10 days, which I divided between 4 days in London, 4 days in the countryside and 2 days in Paris (took the Eurostar). Was 2 days enough time in Paris? Absolutely not, but I got a taste for it and knew I would go back for more. When I eventually made it back to Paris I spent an entire week, and even it was not enough time. On other various trips I spent 10 days in just the Provence region of France; 14 days in eastern and southern Spain (Barcelona, Valencia, Andalucia); 2-1/2 weeks in just northern Italy (Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice and Lake Como). On none of these trips did we see everything, but they were all great.

There is more than one right answer. Consider the following:

3 Capitals - 1 week each in Paris-London-Rome My friend just got a round trip ticket from London to Ancona, Italy for $30 for next week, so it does not have to be expensive. You can even take a day trip from each to get out of each city, such as Bath, Canterbury or Cambridge from London; Chartre, Versailles, or the Loire Valley from Paris; Orvieto, Tivoli, or Pompeii from Rome.

2 Capitals and some countryside For example 5 days in each of London and Paris, with overnight trips to some of the places listed above, or further, such as Mont St-Michele in France.

1 country You could almost do justice to France or Italy in 2-1/2 weeks. France could be Paris, Normandy, Loire Valley and Provence; or Italy could be Rome, Florence, and Venice, with a stop in a couple Tuscan hill towns in between.

Let us know what you decide, and have fun!

Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 06:10 PM
russ i
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On the first option above I meant 5 nights in each of the 3 capitals, not one week (althoug a week would be great, I wanted to stay within your timeframe).
Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 07:07 PM
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we have now been to europe over 10 times but our 1st trip was on a tour bus.we made many friends from all over the world. use the tour to decide what to see more of on your own the next trip[and there will be a next trip]p.s. relax and enjoy
Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 07:13 PM
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Hi! Your plans remind me of the movie "if it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium" See if you can get it in the video store. You'll change your mind about "doing" Europe in 2 1/2 weeks.
Old Oct 2nd, 2001, 09:30 PM
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Liz, in answer to your question: yes.
Old Oct 5th, 2001, 11:09 AM
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What fun! However, I too agree with the replies above. Limit yourself to a country or two. I once visited Zurich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Munich/Fussen and back to Cologne (where I was living)in about 5 days and that was a little too much as I ran out of time towards the end. If it were me, I'd go for "mainland" Europe and leave the UK for later, but that's a personal preference. If you pick a "central" area you may still be able to fit quite a bit in. France/ The Netherlands / Belgium. Or Germany (Bavaria)/Austria / Switzerland or Germany / Italy.

Good Luck!
Old Oct 5th, 2001, 05:31 PM
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"poor students"- southern europe is half the price of northern europe.
Spain & Portugal are particularly cheap, also eastern europe.
London is twice the price of the rest of UK.
It is a long way from England to Italy.
Old Oct 7th, 2001, 12:05 PM
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Try making it 3 weeks at least.Try travelling overnight on trains,even if it means backtracking at times.U CAN DO IT.I have done it in 1999.My suggestion:
2 London
2 Paris
1 Lucern
1 Switz.Interlaken
1 Zurich,Appenzell,Rhinefalls
1 Barcelona
1 Rome
1 Florence,Pisa
1 Venice
1 Vienna
1 Salzberg
1 Innsbruick
2/3 days day travel.
U CAN DO IT.U need tremendous energy & will.ONLY CRAZY PEOPLE can do it.Contact for any help.Take a Eurail Pass.Stay in hostels at Interlaken or Geneva.
Old Oct 7th, 2001, 12:20 PM
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Way too much! Pick one country and see that. My favorite thing to do is visit a big capital, then head for the countryside. That would work for any of the countries you have named. Just seeing big cities is not seeing a country.
Old Oct 8th, 2001, 12:33 PM
Dallas, Texas
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Frank, how safe is Portugal for an older woman traveling alone?

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