AS lot to ask, but PLEASE assist me!

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Aug 30th, 2007, 12:01 PM
  #1
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AS lot to ask, but PLEASE assist me!

I am planning a trip for 4, departing
San Antonio May 24, 2008, returning via Paris June 20, 2008 OR returning via London. I can't decide which is more economical to do! Yes, I am currently doing time consuming research trying to hit all the angles, but thought some of you might have previously experienced my dilemna and could help me make the best decision. I am trying to weigh tickets (Eurostar?) trains back and forth from London to Paris. Here is the itineary as it stands now:
May 24 fly into Heathrow
25,26,27 in London
May 28, train to Paris
28,29, 30, 31 in Paris & Euro Disney
June 1 overnight train to Rome
2 arrive Rome
3 board ship at port out of Rome
June 15 return to port and Rome
15,16,17 Rome
June 18, 19 train Germany before on to Paris?
June 20 fly out of Paris

OR
(second verse, almost same as the first)

May 24 Depart US
25,26,27,London
May 28 Eurostar to Paris
28,29,30,31 Paris & Eurodisney
June 1 overnight train to Rome
2 arrive Rome
3 Board ship
June 15 return to Rome
15, 16, 17 Rome
18 fly BA from Rome?) or train back to London?
19 London
20 Fly back to US

Do I save enough in train & or lodging to warrant open jaw, or just go in and out of London? Too much or too little time in any of the three cities?

Thanks in advance to all you travel gurus!

Opps,header should read "A lot to ask"

Judy
travlintoes is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2007, 12:21 PM
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The only difference between the two itineraries is the very end, is that correct?

I think you will want to fly open jaw from Rome. I'm not sure what Germany is doing there -- are you just overnighting somewhere in Germany? Seems like a waste, to see "Germany" in a single day. But you could open-jaw back from Germany as well.

As far as costs go, open-jaw flights are not necessarily more expensive. They may even be less; the only way to find out is to plug the dates in and see what prices come up.

Certainly, even if they cost more, with open-jaw flights you will save the money and wear-and-tear of additional, rather pointless, train journeys.

I would plug your travel dates into a general flight site like Travelocity, and see who flies the routes you want. If they are all on the same airline, such as BA, my experience is you will usually get better prices by going directly to the airline's site. Obviously this won't work if you need multiple airlines.

In short: I would be surprised if an open-jaw itinerary cost more than a round trip from Heathrow PLUS the additional train fares. I KNOW it will be much easier on your mind and body to fly open-jaw.
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Aug 30th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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You don't mention the prices, so its hard to know what is economical, but I would open jaw out of Rome. If you use the same airlines to fly over and back, you aren't penalized for doing open jaw, its just that its usually cheaper to fly from London or Paris than it is from Rome (so the Rome leg costs more). You can use budget airlines to get you back to Paris or London, but I can't imagine that once you add in that cost its that much less than flying home from Rome, and you waste a day in transit. I would fly home from Rome. If you think 5 days in Rome is too much, plan a day trip or over night to some where near by.
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Aug 30th, 2007, 12:40 PM
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I'd do open jaw - fly into London and out of Rome. (and I'd again seriously consider LGW rather than LHR). It's rarely more expensive to do, especially if it's the same airline, and you do save on transportation costs, hotels etc by not backtracking to the same city.

Yes, I'd definitely take Eurostar from London to Paris. IMO it's less hassle, certainly more fun and about the same time as flying when you consider time to/from airports, security lines etc.

Cut out Germany in 1st scenario or going back to London in the 2nd. I'd take those days at the end and add those to London (or maybe Paris). As it is, you're really only giving yourself 2 full days in London - you'll be arriving morning of the 25th (if you're leaving SA on the 24th), will have some jet lag and then you're leaving on the 28th. I think you're short changing your time to enjoy London.
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Aug 30th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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travlintoes - just as an ex of options available on open jaw, you can fly to London and out of Rome with only one change of planes from SA each way on Continental. SAT - IAH (or EWR) then IAH (or EWR) - LGW; FCO - EWR, then EWR - SAT. While we prefer foreign carriers to cross the pond, I thought it might help to give you some possibilities showing the open jaw can be pretty convenient.
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Aug 30th, 2007, 05:11 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts. I'm considering the Rome departure or, possibility somewhere in Germany. Checking fares, etc. Forgot to mention, have one American Air FF miles ticket. Two will be paid for mostly with World Points and 1 in cash. World Points allows tickets up to $800 for in/out same airport but only $600 for open jaw. Plus, I'd have to pay the difference in cash for the overage
for either way I went. But, still less than full fare!.
I'm sure I'll be posting many times before this trip is finalized. One thing I need to check on is train fares but can't seem to get fares that are over 2 or 3 months out. Keep on advising me! Thanks. Judy
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Aug 31st, 2007, 06:27 AM
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Judy - someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but you usually can't get train fares more than 3 months in advance.
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Aug 31st, 2007, 07:38 AM
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You can take AA to London..AA has two popular routes from SA.
SAT/Dallas/LGV
.....Or..
SAT/Chicago/LGV

Your returm flight from Rome would be:
FCO/Dallas/Sat or

FCO/Chicago/SAT

I usually take AA when I fly to Europe from SAT.
Buon Viaggio,
AnnaMaria


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Aug 31st, 2007, 07:44 AM
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You can't get train fares for more than a few months out. Pick a day of the week that corresponds to the day that you are traveling and it will give you an idea of the fare at least.
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Aug 31st, 2007, 08:19 AM
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Basically your two plans look fine.

However, you really should fly into London and out of Rome (or vice versa).

If you visit Germany, it should come just before or after Paris.
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Aug 31st, 2007, 08:30 AM
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I know this may be picky, but I think if you plan to return from FCO on AA, you'll probably have to go through ORD or JFK. I don't think AA has any direct/non-stop flights from FCO to DFW.
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Aug 31st, 2007, 08:32 AM
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You should also consider flying from Paris to Rome. That's a long train trip and there are probably lots of cheap flights.
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Aug 31st, 2007, 01:58 PM
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dfr4848, there is a direct flight from FCO to DWF..I have taken it before..This schedule is from aa.com.

Departing
Airport/City Code Airport Name City
FCO Rome Intercontinental Airport Leonardo da Vinci Rome Italy
Arriving
Airport/City Code Airport Name City Name State / Province Country
DFW Dallas/Fort Worth International Dallas/ Fort Worth Texas United States
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Aug 31st, 2007, 11:52 PM
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It's 1:30am and I can't sleep! Ok, I've read all your posts and greatly appreciate all comments.

Several of you suggest we fly out of Rome. Decided to try it but no available flights during the week we need them! AA is our carrier and we really can't change. So, decided to fly out of Nice. I know,why Nice? I love the area and want to share it with my kids AND is a place AA flys.

Can get a night train Rome to Nice very inexpensively and also would save on a night's lodging. Would have a Couchette for 4. Then could spend better part of 2 days in Nice area before flying out on June 20. ( Fare is about same as flying out of Paris.)

Backing up a bit, we also plan a night train from Paris to Rome, just for the experience and fare not bad either-- if what I find is accurate. Question is, can we safely (time-wise) take the night train from Paris on June 2, arrive Rome a.m. of the 3rd and get to our port for cruise departure that day? Is that pushing it a bit or safe enough? Just trying to carve out another day in Paris. ( Flying from Paris to Rome just doesn't grap me at this moment.) Thought we might see some lovely areas before dark and part of Italy in the morning before arrival in Rome?

Humm. As I write, I am starting to realize the practiabilty of flying Paris to Rome, but again,would be safe to fly on the 3rd (day of our cruise depature) or necesary to fly in on the 2nd and have lodging expense? I. obviously, have many decisions to make! Your comments are making my brain cells work a little harder. Thanks and keep them coming. Judy
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Sep 3rd, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Question is, can we safely (time-wise) take the night train from Paris on June 2, arrive Rome a.m. of the 3rd and get to our port for cruise departure that day?

Three questions: 1)What time does the train arrive? 2)What time do you need to board ship? 3)How far is shp terminal from train station?

One point to consider - trains (unlike flights) pretty much always arrive on schedule.
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Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:02 PM
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bardo 1 -- Ship departs 7:00pm June 3 at port of Civitavecchia. I think it's about 50 or so miles from Rome. I don't have our overnight train booked yet, but understand will get into Rome before noon, Was also told by another post that trains go to the port city fairly often--I think they said twice an hour? Much cheaper than other modes of transportation to the port. Glad to hear the trains are so time dependable. Really want to board by 2 or 3 pm at the latest. Think thats a workable plan?
Thanks. Judy

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Sep 3rd, 2007, 01:15 PM
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<<< May 24 fly into Heathrow
25,26,27 in London
May 28, train to Paris
28,29, 30, 31 in Paris & Euro Disney >>>

Right in the middle of English school half term - if you can avoid London & Disneyland Paris like the plague as they'll be BUSY BUSY BUSY BUSY - did I mention BUSY?

If I was you I'd start with Germany, travel to Rome, do the cruise and finish with London and Paris
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Sep 3rd, 2007, 04:06 PM
  #18
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AlanRow--Wow! I had no idea (nor even thought) about their school terms. Thanks for the heads up. At this point in my planning, I COULD change my itinerary around. Much food for thought. And yes, you did mention BUSY at least once. Germany--lots to see, not sure if enough time. Have a total of 4 weeks and the cruise is June 3-15. Have to get my calendar and check dates to see if enough time for Germany too.
Thanks. Judy
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Sep 3rd, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Judy,

It's absolutely workable. Your train will likely arrive in Rome before 10am giving your 4-5 hours to reach your ship by 2-3pm.
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Sep 3rd, 2007, 05:43 PM
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Judy - when we did the Paris- Rome overnight train we arrived in the late morning, which would leave you plenty of time to get to port to embark. If your kids have not experienced this before, it would be neat (said the old fart - kids may take a different view.) I'd be more worried about delays with air travel than the train.
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