First Europe Trip! Assistance Needed!

Old Jan 13th, 2024, 10:28 PM
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First Europe Trip! Assistance Needed!

Good day to all, I am new here so bare with me as I figure out how to use this on my phone.

I am from Canada and I will be visiting my friend in France for her wedding next year around the first week of June! I plan to head out for the beginning of June (between the 1st and 4th), and my boyfriend will be my plus 1!

How long would you suggest staying in France to get a good trip out of it? Im talking food, history and scenery (although I know everywhere will be amazing but Ive never travelled and I see so many people on social media having a great time but I have no idea where to start)! The wedding is in Bornel, France, on the 6th. I would probably stay there until the 14th to spend a couple days with my friend and her fianc/husband!

Id like to note that we would also like to travel to Spain, Switzerland, Italy and possibly Greece! We are trying to plan ahead so that we have finances and book off time in order so we know what were working with and what we can actually afford to do. Switzerland and Italy are a must though!

With that being said, if anyone could kindly give any information and/or recommendations on the duration of stays in each country, what places we should check out in each country (historical, scenery, food, maybe places to stay - if not an Airbnb), and lastly maybe a rough estimate of how much money i should realistically be saving for this haha

Thank you kindly 🩷

Last edited by lysandramattadeen506; Jan 13th, 2024 at 10:32 PM.
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 07:07 AM
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Welcome to the Fodors Forums. We moved your topic to the Europe Forum and tagged it for the various countries
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 07:26 AM
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Um, would you suggest to a first time visitor to Canada that they take in Newfoundland, PEI, Niagara Falls and the Rockies?

The countries you name are so far flung, and each full of such vast options, that you’d need at least all summer.

if you absolutely must have Switzerland, and you have at least two more weeks available after the 14th, then perhaps enjoy Paris, your friend in Bornel (though I do not know what, other than hanging out with her and other guests, would fill your time there for a week plus), one other region in France (Champagne? Alsace? Burgundy? Loire?) and one region in Switzerland. Fly home from Geneva or Zurich.

Good food, history and scenery are everywhere (well, maybe not so much scenery around Bornel).
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 08:51 AM
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As noted, you would need the whole summer or more to cover everything you have in mind. I suggest you get a few guidebooks and decide what your must-sees are. You will need to pare it down and give more information about what you want, and especially how many nights you actually have aside from travel time to and from Europe, in order to get useful information here. Lots of people willing to help, but you need to do some research. 😀

And I have to ask...you're staying with your friend for the week following the wedding? They won't be going on a honeymoon or otherwise want to be alone? Just curious!
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 08:54 AM
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Welcome to Fodors and congratulations on making your first trip to Europe.

https://www.map-france.com/Bornel-60540/

The above website has lots of info about the Borneo area, including hotels, BnBs, etc. You will have to check, but it is not that far into Paris, I think. Look at train or bus service. Does you friend live there? Perhaps she will provide lodging arrangements and information for the area.

Will your friend and new husband not be traveling themselves after their wedding?

You do mean June, 2024, correct? That is great because it give you time to learn about some of the travel, lodging, sightseeing, etc. you will need to know in advance.

Do you have unlimited funds and time? Things to budget for: Cost of flights to Europe, Lodging (varies greatly from place to place), Food, cost of travel (train, plane, ferries, taxi, etc.) from place to place.

When you say Greece, are you thinking Athens, some of the islands? Exactly what? Which islands? The mainland plus islands requires ferries and flights, plus flights to Greece from another country you are visiting and it is time consuming.

Italy may look small, but in reality is a large country because of the length and it is huge in sights to see, even just the main ones that tourists see. Venice, Bologna, Florence (including Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Assissi, countryside of Tuscany, Rome, Naples (Pompeii) the Amalfi Coast would be a rushed three week trip. People often concentrate on only two or three places. At least Italy has great train service so travel from place to place is easy.

There are several other threads going right now, by first timers. One is a family of four beginning in London. Another is someone who, like you, wanted to do several countries, including Greece and Italy, but has dropped some because of time and cost. The threads are long, but absolutely filled with good advice (almost travel primers) and worth reading thoroughly.

First trip out of USA, in May, two teen daughters. Any and All help much appreciated!

Last edited by Sassafrass; Jan 14th, 2024 at 09:00 AM. Reason: More info
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 09:01 AM
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Yes you really need to set some priorities in what is doable within your budget and your time as well as what you are interested in doing and seeing. If you have unlimited budget and unlimited time you can visit several destinations. Without unlimited time and/or budget, most people stick to one country or even one area within a country. You can easily spend months traveling in France or just Paris and the immediate area around. There are so many worthy destinations in France.
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 09:08 AM
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Empty Nesters Take First European Trip

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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 12:36 PM
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Writing in January 2024 and saying "next year" do you really mean travel in 2025?
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody
Writing in January 2024 and saying "next year" do you really mean travel in 2025?

Good catch. When I said it was good to have plenty of planning time, I meant to write 2025. Sorry about that.
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 01:35 PM
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A beautiful wedding and a young couple with 18 months to plan a dream vacation. This is going to be a fun thread to follow! Where is Bornel?

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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 02:47 PM
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Google maps shows that there is a train from Gare du Nord station in Paris, to Bornel. It takes 48 minutes (+ getting to the station and waiting for the train). Paris looks like it has a lot to do. I have never been to France. I am a man-solo traveler. I have traveled to Europe 6 times so far (Lithuania for a Yiddish class I got college credit for), London, England but at the time I wrongly believed I could only go to one city per trip; Florence, Pisa, Naples, Pompeii, and Rome, in Italy; Greece but mostly the mainland, but 2 nights and most of 3 days on Crete, but I would have been as happy if I had gone to Olympia in Western Greece instead of Crete, I didn't give myself enough time to see Crete well; Parts of the Netherlands and Belgium; and Madrid in central Spain and Seville, Cordoba, and Granada, in Andalucia in southern Spain.

How many nights do you have after the wedding before you return to Canada? How many nights are you spending in France after the wedding? You mentioned spending from June 6th to 14th with your friend and her husband. Why don't you just focus on the Paris area and maybe some other areas, in France? Or if you have enough time, maybe add in just one other country in addition to France.

I never philosophically thought I was planning a trip to Europe. I always thought I was going to a specific country. Europe is close to the size of the United States, depending on exactly which countries you want to include at the eastern part. Just focus on one country or maybe two adjacent countries. A lot of other experienced travelers will say something similar to this: They are all right.

Last edited by michaelpianko; Jan 14th, 2024 at 02:59 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 03:12 PM
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Are you friends not planning on a honeymoon after their wedding? Bornel looks like a small place. Perhaps your friends would like to spend time in Paris with you (or somewhere else?)
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 03:14 PM
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Are you planning for six weeks in Europe following the wedding? Or more time than that?
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 04:17 PM
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That's the problem...it's difficult to give advice when we don't know how long they have.
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 04:39 PM
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The OP (Original Poster) needs basic help here.

None of the responses had a $ sign anywhere in each post

The OP might benefit from an estimated weekly cost, aside from airfare.
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 08:55 PM
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Estimated weekly costs could be extremely different depending on type of hotel, type of restaurants they want, locations, how they plan to travel between places (fly, train, drive?),

Without knowing any of this, as I said previously, the OP needs to give more information in order to get useful help, which plenty of people here are happy to give.

Last edited by SusanP; Jan 14th, 2024 at 08:58 PM.
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Old Jan 14th, 2024, 11:58 PM
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Before getting into costs, I want to say this. You are naming whole countries as places to see. Some, like Spain, are probably much larger than you might think and will require more travel than you expect. It would be better, maybe, to list a couple of places or cities that you most want to visit, or the one country you most want to visit. Start with a place or two you have dreamed of seeing: the Islands of Greece, Ancient Rome (the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, fountains, etc., etc.,), Venice (glorious churches and all canals for streets), Paris. Most major cities, IMHO, need at least four or five nights minimum (three or four days), but you might base in a smaller city and travel to other places just for a day There is so much. You have plenty of time to make changes, but you must start by making a few choices. How much time it takes for a “nice trip” depends on what you want to see. It will help if people have a little bit more information.

Your budget might determine the length of the trip. Your itinerary will affect the budget. Your travel style will affect budget or the budget will determine travel style. They all go hand in hand. We don’t know if you will be happy with hostel type lodging, prefer an apartment, a modern Business style hotel, a big chain hotel, or something more unique and romantic. Lodging is important to some people, less so for others. Lodging may be more important in some locations. Some people are happy eating sandwiches and staying in cheap places so they can stay longer. For others, the whole trip may focus on food. We’ve stayed in just about everything, from cheap, run down places to pretty sumptuous splurges. The more I travel and with age, the more important lodging has become. It is part of the travel experience. I don’t necessarily mean big or fancy, but places with character, where the staff is super helpful, where there is a pool in hot climates, a location where you can step out and be right in an interesting place. So, something for you to consider.

This is one of my favorite hotels in Paris. It runs about $250.00 per night, so about $1,000 for four nights. OTOH, I noticed BNBs in Bornel from $55.00 a night. You may spend $500 for a week in an out of the way place or $1,000 to 2,000 for a week in Paris.

In Italy, my favorite hotels in Venice and Sorrento run about the same as Paris. However, those are both costly cities. We stayed in little Apartments in Provence for half that, so there are too many unknowns for people to make solid recommendations about overall costs.

It seems to me that people often underestimate a few things: how much there is to see in European cities,, how worth while it is to visit less famous places outside major cities, distances, extra costs and travel time between places and countries, lodging costs, how much of a nuisance a car may be, how easy and convenient public transportation is in many areas, the inconvenience and extra cost of doing RT and the extra cost and time spent going into and out of a city which is cheaper, but in which you have no interest. You can get great advice on logistics once people have more information.

Also just realized auto correct was changing Bornel to Borneo in my earlier posts.

It will be great to see your plans as they develop. Stick with this thread so people will know your progress.
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Old Jan 15th, 2024, 12:02 AM
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just logging on to see the OP's response
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