First Solo Trip.. Itinerary thoughts?

Apr 3rd, 2017, 02:03 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2017
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First Solo Trip.. Itinerary thoughts?

Hello

I'm planning a trip to Europe for June this year for a month. I'm a female and I'll be 24. I've been to Europe with my family, Italy and France. I've also never travelled alone, but I'm pretty independent.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on my rough itinerary, no length of stays as of yet, just want to get flights booked this week. I don't want to lock my entire trip in and have no flexibility.

I'm not after a party trip or a trip that jumps from city to city without really seeing them. I'd prefer to spend a bit more time in each place. I plan to do some travelling between cities with busabout (good way to meet people) and also trains and boats.

Please review my locations below and let me know if you have any thoughts/comments/advice. Let me know if I've left any info out!

Thanks in advance.
-------------------

Fly from Sydney to London

London to Scotland (catch up with Scottish friends for a couple of days)

Make my way to Berlin, obviously have to look into travel options, any suggestions?

Berlin to Prague

Prague to Italy.. Venice, Bologna, Milan.. Happy to spend some time in Italy exploring, I have Italian heritage, happy to keep my time/location here flexible.

Italy to Croatia... Split then Dubrovnik (possibly sail from Italy? again any travel suggestions?

Spend the last few days exploring the Greek Islands and fly from Athens.

-------------------
nskdwyer is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2017, 02:43 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,676
Well first of all, I think you have too many places for a month. Even if you like a very fast pace (and you say you don't want that) you really need five weeks for that itinerary. Many people would say twice that. But London and Scotland will take close to a week even if you only give London 3 or 4 days (minimum to see any of the 'must sees') then get up to Scotland (most of a day) and a 'couple' days there. Getting to Berlin, then Prague from Scotland (obviously need to fly) and on to Italy (probably yet another flght) will need another week and net you only 2-3 days in each of those cities. And really, a week each for three cities in Italy, Croatia and Greek is minimum.

So I'd suggest either doing five full weeks or cut one area.

Re keeping time flexible. The problem with that is that the best accommodation fills up weeks (or months) in advance in high season, leaving the 'flexible' people with either very expensive or undesirable lodging. Same thing with trains. They are not only much more expensive bought within a day or two of travel, but some trains do fill up meaning you could have to wait around hours (or more) for a train. I just got back from Italy this week (so was there in March, not high season). We ended up changing our plans (due to rain) and the first two hotels I tried in Rome were full. The new train tickets were almost twice the cost they would have been had I booked them a few weeks earlier. And that's March, it will be worse in June. So I urge you to forgo flexibility if cost is any issue for you.

But not to sound like it doesn't look like a fun trip. Just consider things like logistics - how long will it really take to get from point A to point B (not the length of the flight, but getting from one hotel to the next including local transportation, waiting for security, etc. I usually figure close to five hours, even if the flight is only an hour).
isabel is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2017, 07:53 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I agree -- Too much in too little time.

Which places are most important to you - because this definitely needs editing. Maybe 7 to 9 days in the UK (where in Scotland are your friends located - that will make a difference re how much time you'd need) and the same or more in Italy. Then one or two other destinations.
janisj is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2017, 09:56 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 231
I agree with the other posters. If you keep both Italy and Croatia I would do it in reverse. Go into Milan and work your way from west to east in Italy. So Milan, Bologna, Venice then catch a boat to Croatia from that area. Good luck planning and have fun!
or2nh4me2 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2017, 04:02 PM
  #5  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I'm also in the too-much-for-your-time camp.

And I think isabel has given you some very good advice about flexibility vs. booking in advance.

I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things and places you most want to see in each location, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together, with an eye to limiting the time you spend in transit and maximizing the time you spend actually seeing the places you include on your final itinerary.

IMO, you will see some wonderful things no matter what you decide, but if you limit the number of places you try to see, you will, I think, have a much more enjoyable experience.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Apr 4th, 2017, 02:50 AM
  #6  
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Great thanks so much for all of your responses.. I've had a big think about my itinerary and have narrowed it down to 2 options.. The first option has more countries, the next option has less.

---------------

OPTION 01
Arrive Berlin - Prague - Northern Italy + Italian Alps - Slovenia - Croatia - Greece

*I know there must be a lot to see between Prague and Italy but I don't have the time *

---------------

OPTION 02
Arrive Rome - Travel around Italy, up to the Alps - Slovenia - Croatia - Greece

---------------

How's that for cutting down!?

Any thoughts?
nskdwyer is offline  
Apr 4th, 2017, 03:07 AM
  #7  
 
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Option 02 sounds better. Just for your info, it's surprisingly difficult to get from Croatia to Greece, considering their proximity, but easy to get to Greece from Italy. There are no ferries between Croatia and Greece, so you either need to fly with a full service airline or go back through Italy. This web page shows direct flights to Athens Airport from other European airports:
http://www.aia.gr/traveler/flight-in...ghts/european/

In the summer are direct flights from Italy to some of the Greek Islands, not sure about Slovenia or Croatia.
Heimdall is online now  
Apr 4th, 2017, 07:32 PM
  #8  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,380
Better, but still too rushed from my perspective.

For context, I felt rushed trying to see Slovenia & Croatia in one month. I spent 4 weeks just in the Switzerland. I'm having a difficult time planning "just" one month in Greece. I've spent more than 6 weeks in Italy and know that I've barely scratched the surface.

Again, consider making up a calendar.
kja is offline  
Apr 4th, 2017, 07:55 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Having spent a good chunk of my life in Sydney, I know how you feel - it's such a long way and you want to maximize etc. etc. So I congratulate you on cutting back (your first idea nearly floored me) - I like your latest version 2 but would turn it around, for reasons stated.

Fly first to Croatia.

But search for the cheapest flight to Europe - anywhere - from Sydney, then look how to get from that arrival airport to Croatia, probably best by a separate airline.

In Europe, there are many more cheap airlines than Down Under, so you can take advantage of those.

For example, if your best long flight gets you to London for example, plan on spending a night to come up for air, then pick one of the many direct and indirect cheap one-way flights from London to Zagreb or Dubrovnik or even Pula or Rijeka or Zadar.

Plan carefully so you have time not only to sleep in London (to begin to feel human again) but then to make your flight the next day from whichever airport you'll be leaving, possibly Gatwick or City or Stansted.

Look at www.whichbudget.com and www.skyscanner.com and directly on the websites of easyJet.com and Monarch and Norwegian and Ryanair (flies to Rijeka and Zadar from Stansted).

The way many of these budget airlines work is that they start with a very low fare and then you pay for anything additional that you need - bags, seat reservation if you feel you need to know what seat you'll be in, food if you don't want to bring your own sandwich... The bag fees don't come cheap, but I trust you'll travel light.

From Croatia head north to Slovenia and into Italy, then it gets a lot easier - a great deal of options to go over to Greece.

If you can fly home to Sydney from Greece, well and good, but taking another cheap one-way flight to London or any other best Europe hub can make a big price difference, so play with that idea.

Happy planning!
michelhuebeli is offline  
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