First time travelers

Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:42 AM
  #1  
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First time travelers

My mom and I want to travel to Western Europe in about a year. This will be our first time travelling internationally, so I ask your opinions on what areas are good for first-timers. We were thinking maybe London since it is English-speaking but we are looking for other ideas as well. Any input is much appreciated!
njpeters23 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:47 AM
  #2  
 
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In almost every European country people speak english, so travel around.
Ida101 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:48 AM
  #3  
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Ok, I realize that was a totally generic and broad question, but we are looking to spend around a week in an area. We like history and walking around just to get the feel of the place. We will not be driving anywhere and so it needs to have easy transportation. Geez, that didn't help at all did it.
njpeters23 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Germany is always my suggestion to first timers. Language is not really a big problem anywhere. If you are concerned with transportation, maybe stay in a city and take trains to smaller towns as day trips or an overnight. It's quite easy, I actually took my grandmother (78 at the time) along to a trade show in Frankfurt and we took the trains to several towns. She had no problems getting around.

Lily
LilyLace is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 09:00 AM
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oops, reasons I suggest Germany:

1. Quaint
2. Clean
3. Easy transportation
4. In expensive accomodations & meals
LilyLace is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 09:10 AM
  #6  
rex
 
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Keep trying. Take a shot at trying to answer these question(s)...

What makes you think you want to travel to Europe in the first place?

You can find "history and walking around just to get the feel of the place..." in Canada or Australia or Ireland or Hawaii - - but something must be speaking to you to say that (other places in) Europe will offer experiences to you that those places do not. What are those voices?

And use visualization... what do you see when you close your eyes and think "I can't wait to get to Europe so that I can...." - - how do you finish that sentence?

Let "us" know, and we will fill up the screen with good answers.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Since you haven't been anywhere in Europe yet, then I think Great Britain would be fine. It will all be new to you. You'll be able to deal with first time traveler issues a bit easier there than in other European countries.

While many people in other European countries do speak English, there are certainly a higher percentage in Great Britain than in Germany or France or ... .
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 10:28 AM
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London/Paris
Amsterdam/Paris
Paris/Venice

would be easy enough yet interesting 1st time city combinations. fly into one and out of the other, taking the train in between.
suze is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 10:44 AM
  #9  
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Thank you all for your input so far. And yes, once we get more of the details figured out I'll be back for more specific help.
njpeters23 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 10:48 AM
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One year? You have time to do some serious research. Next, Do you have any special interests? Have you a current passport? When does it expire? Debit, credit cards? Do you have a local library card. Just for fun...Read a Bill Bryson book about England.
GSteed is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 11:45 AM
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I vote for London, for what it is worth. That's where I went - alone - on my first trip out of the country when I was 25 years old, many years ago. It is where we took our kids for their first out-of-country experience. It's easy to get around on the tube, there's so much to see and do for every kind of interest and I do think it helps to not have to worry about the language for your first experience. My bet is you'll be hooked and will be planning your next trip - to Paris, Germany, Italy, wherever on the flight on the way home! Have a great trip and do lots of research/reading in advance. Get travel videos from your local library.
peggionthego is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 11:59 AM
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I agree w/many of the prior posters, for first-timers...Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland & the Netherlands are all, almost English first type countries. Very little homework (as far as language) would be required.
SAnParis is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:08 PM
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My first time was spent visiting Paris. I loved it and will be going back to Paris this year as well as spening a week in Spain. There are so many places to see and things to experience that you could pick just about anywhere. I just happened to pick Paris first since it was somewhere that I always wanted to go (and the airfare was an introductory offer - read "cheap"). Read this forum and others to identify what sights to see and activities to do. Then decide which one tugs at you the most. I'll bet that once you have done some research you will find a number of places that will interest you. Many people in Europe speak English. However, take this time and opportunity to learn a new language. It can be a lot of fun.
vcrew is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:11 PM
  #14  
ira
 
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Hi N,

Paris, Paris, Paris.

ira is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:12 PM
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I think any of these are do-able, but if you are especially nervous about not speaking the language, Austria struck me as more challenging in that regard than Italy, most likely because speaking the language becomes most pressing in restaurants, and I know far more Italian food words from eating voraciously in the United States than German food words. While none of the major European cities I have been to are especially difficult for English speakers to manuever in, Italian cities seemed slightly easier to me than Vienna (or Barcelona or Madrid). Prague is another city worth thinking about for the first time traveler as it is very beautiful, like something out of a fairy tale, and very much set up for English speaking tourists at this point. Judging from the number of British tourists there, I suspect it would be easy to combine London and Prague with some cheap intra-European flights.
emnyc is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 12:14 PM
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I love both London and Paris. Both are great for history and walking. Paris has better food, but London has some really great stuff, too. Do you love things that are English? French? German? Irish? One more than the other?
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