First time to Europe

Jun 16th, 2011, 04:05 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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First time to Europe

Finally going to cross the pond! Want to spend time in London, Bath, Cotswolds, and take a train trip to Paris. I also want to visit Giverny and Versailles. I have about 18-20 days, but don't know where to go first, middle, last and how long. Flying into London from US and want to fly out the same. Thanks for any suggestions for "must see" places.
Lizzy165 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2011, 04:19 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,552
" , , , and want to fly out the same."

I makes much more sense to fly open jaw (into London and home from Paris or vice versa)

Otherwise you have to return to London the day before your flight home.

w/ 20 days you could spend a week in London and a week in Paris and 5-6 days in Bath and the Cotswolds.

You could fly in to London, spend a week, then take a train or (better) drive to the Cotswolds for 3 or 4 nights, then on to Bath for a night or 2. Then fly from Bristol to Paris and fly home from there. Or if you REALLY want to take the Eurostar, you could take a train back to London, cross the city to St Pancras and take the train to Paris - but that is pretty convoluted.

Or another option would be fly in to Paris, spend a week, then take the Eurostar to London for a week. Then out to the Cotswolds/Bath and finally take the express coach from Bath to LHR to fly home.
janisj is offline  
Jun 16th, 2011, 04:46 PM
  #3  
 
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Agree that flying in and out of London makes no sense - it forces you to waste a day getting back there. Open jaw tickets are no more expensive (and esp then travleing back to London).

I would start in London since for a first-time there is little language shock - although other things - like prices - might be.

Also agree to rent a car to see the cotswolds - very difficult to do without it - since there are so many small towns you will want to see.

As long as you have 5 full days in Paris I think it's OK to do 2 day trips - but I wouldn;t reduce it further than that.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 16th, 2011, 04:47 PM
  #4  
 
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You will probably find that flying into London and out of Paris is a little more expendsive but not if you factor in the trip back to London to fly home from there. An open jaw ticket makes so much more sense. I would take JanisJ's advice on the order of your itinerary.
mamcalice is offline  
Jun 16th, 2011, 05:43 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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To price "open jaw" tickets, for most online airline reservation systems you should use the "multi-city" option. (Do not price it as two one-way tickets.)
ellenem is offline  
Jun 16th, 2011, 05:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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sometimes open jaw in to London and out of Paris can be cheaper because UK departure fees are higher than those out of France.
janisj is offline  
Jun 17th, 2011, 03:20 PM
  #7  
 
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W/only 5 days in Paris, I'd skip both of the day trips altogether OR skip Bath & add them onto the Paris portion.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 03:05 AM
  #8  
 
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I just checked some random dates and RT in and out of London is a little more than $100 cheaper than open jaws London and Paris BUT as has been pointed out, that will get eaten up by the trip back to London. So go with open jaws, will not only save you money, but also time.

I'd probably split it 6 days London, 6 days Bath/Cotswold, 1 day travel to Paris (eats up most of the day), 7 days Paris with the day trips towards the end so you can skip them if find you love Paris so much you don't want to leave it for the day trips.
isabel is offline  
Jun 18th, 2011, 03:28 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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definitely open jaw...don't lose valuable vacation time traveling back to London to fly home

I might limit the day trips from Paris to just one

Just my opinion, but I was disappointed with Bath

Leave for Paris on the first Eurostar from London so that you make the most of the time in Paris

You will have a great time just planning your trip! I love both London & Paris-so will you!
denisea is offline  

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