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European Destinations.com

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Apr 22nd, 2010, 07:36 PM
  #1
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European Destinations.com

My wife and I are looking to go to Italy this summer for about 10-12 days. I found the www.EuropeanDestinations.com website and they have some pretty good itineraries and reasonable prices, from what I can tell. I just want to know if anyone out there has used this website and or have heard anything good or bad in regards to this site? If anyone out there has done and Italy trip and has any suggestions we would really appreciate it. We are wanting to go to Venice, Florance and Rome. Thanks.
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Apr 22nd, 2010, 07:59 PM
  #2
 
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You will find that many of the folks on these forums are do-it-yourself types, and plan their own itineraries, make their own bookings, etc., rather than take canned tours arranged by an agency. Ask us specifics, and I'm sure you will get answers.
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Apr 22nd, 2010, 08:17 PM
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Venice, Florence and Rome are easy to visit on your own. Just book your flight open jaw (in to Venice and out of Rome). You can train between the cities. Venice/Florence takes 2 hours and Florence/Rome 90 minutes. The historic centers of all three towns are very compact and easily walkable.
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Apr 22nd, 2010, 08:59 PM
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European Destinations is not a tour company. It charges a fee to book flights and hotel accommodations for a reasonable price. You then travel on your own. It is probably similar to a travel agency.

The poster are asking if anyone has used them, hopefully someone who knows something about this organization will be able to respond with helpful advice.
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Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:21 PM
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Sounds similar to Go-today.com or Gate 1 Travel (you'll find plenty of reviews for these on Fodor's if you do a search). I don't find these types of packages to be a good deal as there are always huge gateway add-ons unless you are on the east coast. The cheapest package is usually very basic hotels that aren't in the best locations and then you have to upgrade for amenities/location. Usually the air/fly packages are better deals. Go-today does let you extend your return flight at no extra cost so you can book their cheapest package (like Florence 6 days) and then stay a couple of weeks longer extending your return and booking your own hotels.
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Apr 22nd, 2010, 09:25 PM
  #6
 
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Be very careful if you decide to use them, they have a very bad rating with the BBB. We have checked into them recently and they could not answers the questions about the complaints against them. My husband and I are planning the same trip as you, Venice, Florence and Rome. We are very comfortable planning it ourselves, with much research. Good luck!
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Apr 23rd, 2010, 03:51 AM
  #7
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What type of sites does everyone use to book your own hotels and trains for Italy? Do most people use sites such as Travelocity, Orbitz ect.? I am very new to not traveling through the Military and I am unsure what the best route to take is. Thanks for all of the responses so far.
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Apr 23rd, 2010, 04:18 AM
  #8
 
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I'm no expert, but we plan and book all our trips independently. I use this site A LOT and I also like tripadvisor.com for checking hotels. We find we get the best deals on the airline websites, but we are in Australia and have less choice than Europe and the States.
Hope that helps a little.
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Apr 23rd, 2010, 06:30 AM
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No, most people on this website don't use Travelocity, Orbitz, they use Fodor's to plan all their trips. We use a few websites to look for good airfares. I use itasoftware.com which is a search only, you can't book through them, and then book directly with the airline. You don't have to register to use them, just click guest. It may be cheaper to fly to Milan and train to Venice so check prices into Milan and out of Rome also.

Ask for hotel, apartment, B&B suggestions here. Check apartment reviews on Slowtrav.com. Check hotel/B&B reviews on Trip Advisor (don't believe all the reviews there - you have to weed through what the truth may be).

You don't need to book trains in advance for these cities as there are at least two per hour unless you are traveling on a major European holiday. To check train times, use the Italian train company Trenitalia. For all trains/prices to show, enter a date within 7 days. Schedules for summer (which start mid-June) won't be on the website yet, but won't change much. You can't use their online purchase as they don't process US credit cards.
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

This three minute video shows you how to use the ticket machines for the trains. The first half is for the old machines and the second half for the new. In the main stations you will probably have the new machines.
http://www.webvisionitaly.com/search.php?ref_genre=8#

State your needs, how many nights (hotel nights), not days, in Italy (don't count the overnight flight), hotel budget (in euro) and whether you prefer B&B, apartment, etc. Current exchange rates: http://www.xe.com/

The fast trains (AV/ES)take about two hours between Venice and Florence. Cost is about 45€ 2nd cl which is more room than economy on an airplane. The train station in Venice (Venice SL) is easy to get to from the historic center as is the station in Florence SML. You will probably be able to walk to your hotels. It only takes about 20-30 minutes to walk from one side of the historic center of Florence to the other side. The train from Florence to Rome takes 90 minutes and the price is also around 45€ 2nd cl. Rome is quite a bit bigger so you will probably want to taxi from the station to your hotel.
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Apr 23rd, 2010, 07:52 AM
  #10
 
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ttt
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Apr 23rd, 2010, 08:33 AM
  #11
 
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For what you want to do, there is a lot of good advice about logistics in the Rick Steves Italy guidebook. He tells you things like where to find the bus, etc.

For airfare, you might find a slightly cheaper fare through a consolidator (someone who buys tickets in bulk and resells them to the public). The problem with these is that the tickets may be totally nonrefundable, and you cannot change them. If you buy through an airline, it's much easier to deal with if there's a problem, and you can change or rebook for a fee (usually $200 - $300 per ticket to Europe). Like KYbourbon, I use ITA software to look at airfares (leave sales city as BOS - it's irrelevant).

For hotels, you may find a slightly better deal on Travelocity or Expedia or hotels.com where you have to prepay when you book the hotel. However, I never buy non-cancellable advanced bookings. I would use this option only if the cancellation policy is reasonable (e.g., 48 or 72 hours). If you still want a package, I've heard people are happy with COSTCO's packages:

http://www.costcotravel.com/#13_euro...ROM20081219___

The great thing about booking hotels yourself is that you can choose the location. For most of us, location is a lot more important than amenities. Tour companies will book you into a "4 star" hotel in an inconvenient, and not very central location. People on this board are happy to tell you where you want to be located in each city.
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Apr 17th, 2013, 12:24 PM
  #12
 
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We have come to use Tripadvisor as our first site for finding lodging. It shows you where hotels are, their tariffs, locations, amenities and (most important) traveler reviews. From Tripadvisor, when you find a hotel to book, popups showing availability and tariffs from most of the big travel sites (booking. com., Hotels.com. etc.) will let you book from there. I've come to use booking.com for a variety of reasons.

As to rail, once you get your itinerary, go to TrenItalia to see train schedules. You may be able to get rail passes, but as you are going to do the Big Three in Italy, do an open leg ticket--fly into Rome, out of Venice, or vice-versa. That way, you'll only need to get tickets for two legs of your trip.

I generally book direct with the carrier I use (Delta as I live in the ATL and it's sort of patriotic), but you can also find flights on all major carriers on Tripadvisor.

Buon Viaggio.
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Jun 11th, 2013, 02:15 PM
  #13
 
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I used them already and even though I also booked trips by myself it was an easy way to book everything all together in one page only, it made it really easy to connect several destinations and the connections/transfers between these
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Jun 11th, 2013, 02:31 PM
  #14
 
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I wouldn't presume to say what most people on this website do, but I certainly have used Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz to book various things. Mainly hotels, but also airfare. If you want a ticket split between two different airlines that aren't partners, you can't book it on the regular airline's website, for one thing, and you can on those websites. At least you used to be able to, that's why I used them. And they can give some good deals on hotels, actually, Orbitz is particularly known in Mexico, for example.
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Oct 3rd, 2013, 01:47 PM
  #15
 
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European Destinations is NOT a reputable or customer service friendly site. I have basically been robbed of $2500. I recently booked my 4th trip in 3 years with European Destinations. There was an error with my airline ticket, so I was told by European Destinations that my only course of action was to cancel the two tickets that were booked and repurchase two new tickets. I was told that I would get a refund on the tickets that were canceled minus a cancellation fee of $275 per ticket. I was not happy about the cancellation fee and was told that I could put in a request to wave the cancellation fee. Then the day before I left for my trip after calling multiple times and getting the run around was told that not only was not getting reimbursed for the cancellation fee but I was not getting a refund on the balance of the canceled tickets. I asked to speak with a supervisor and was told I would get a call back from one but it’s now two weeks later and I have yet to hear a word from anyone at European Destinations. I called multiple times to speak with someone and still have been told I would get a call back. You would think after my loyalty to the company having used them 4 times in 3 years and after referring countless people to their site that they would have taken more care and consideration in my situation but obviously they do not care about keeping customers.
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Oct 3rd, 2013, 01:59 PM
  #16
 
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yeah, I wouldn't ever use a website to book a regular airline ticket except in unusual situations like I mentioned at the top (different airlines each way, etc.). But I notice you don't mention who made this error, I suspect it was you. That is always a problem when you try to change a ticket like that in some way, with all vendors, and it usually would be a cancellation fee. And you don't say how long it was from the booking to when you wanted to change it. So actually, I wouldn't think that would likely get waived.

But you would get the difference between the new fare minus the cancellation fee on a regular airline if you tried to change it, so you should get that.

So that would be wrong to not get a refund in your case, I agree. On regular airline website, I don't think it would work quite that way, it would be considered a change to a ticket, with change fee, but not completely purchasing a new set. Unless maybe the error was a completely different person on it, or something.

If you have a legitimate complaint, you can try suing them in small claims court where they are located. If this really is recently, you can try your credit card company for regress.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 03:33 PM
  #17
 
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JnJSanDiego, I've used booking.com, Hotels.com, and tripadvisor to look for hotels and lodging in Europe. (and the U.S). I especially like booking.com. I use tripadvisor mainly to read user reviews and see actual tourist photos of a hotel or place. Some hotels will also have a web site with an English option and you can book the room online or call them.
Make sure you check the maps to see where they're located in relation to the sights you wish to see in any given place. Places on the edge of town might be cheaper, but you'll make up the price in transit getting there if you can't walk...

You can also check tripadvisor and FareCompare for flights and to compare prices.

It's fun making your own arrangements and a lot cheaper. And you get to see what you decide to see, and stay in a town for as long as you want.

For instructions and advice on bus and train travel, I'd check out the FAQs on the tripadvisor forums or search/ask here.

I also recommend Rick Steves' most recently published guidebooks for researching transportation between places. He gives very detailed instructions how to do this.
I don't care for his suggested itineraries myself, they're too fast-paced for me, but those are very well-laid out as well.
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Oct 4th, 2013, 03:37 PM
  #18
 
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Oh I just saw he asked in 2010. My bad, sorry!
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Dec 16th, 2013, 12:14 PM
  #19
 
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Hello merkin125, your post is not very clear to me, I used them and recommended to all my friends and relatives, can you please explain what was the issue with your ticket and how did everything end? Thank you
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