First Time Trip to Europe

Jun 13th, 2007, 08:33 AM
  #21  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
PS,

>We're estimating maybe 5000 or 2500 USD for each of us.

That's a generous budget if it doesn't include airfare.

For cheap lodgings and other advice for young people, go to the Thorntree Forum at www.lonelyplanet.com.

ira is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 08:34 AM
  #22  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,159
Just noticed:

> planning a two week long trip to Europe .. We are planning on spending three weeks..<

Is that last week unplanned?

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Jun 13th, 2007, 08:55 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 461
hi chasingskirts - Travel is personal, so these are my opinions of what I would do if I were 19, and had never been to Europe, had 3 weeks (and had the benefit of my 40 year old (ish) experience... (it may not suit you, but this is what I would do for me!)
I would assume I was going back, and that what I didn't see this time would be waiting for me next time
I would approach it as creating the opportunity to collect experiences, rather than a checklist of sites.

I would research and pick the 2 cities that I had the greatest connection with (let's say for arguements sake, Rome and Paris). I would find an apartment in Rome for 1 week at the beginning, and an apartment in Paris for 1 week at the end (or vice versa). (I would start on vrbo.com to see what kinds of apartments might be available for what prices - if you go that route, there are plenty of other resources for apartments) In those weeks, I would see the sites I wanted to see, but also learn the specifics of a neighbourhood. In the week in between, I would research things between the two cities, and take the week travelling from one to another - staying in youth hostels where possible (because meeting Germans or Australlians in France is still travel , but leaving the option open for hotels or other things.
We did the backpacking through Europe thing in our early 20's, and the vivid memories I have are more around the travel itself, places we stumbled on, and places we got to know, rather than 'got to see'.
My 2 cents!
Canada_V is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 09:19 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,979
anyone thinking of a "Eurail" trip who is fairly clueless on european trains, passes and alternatives to passes i always refer to three sources: www.ricksteves.com where you'll find lots on european trains, a list of budget flights and other train alternative options and 2- www.budgeteuropetravel.com to request the excellent and free European Planning & Rail Guide - a great primer on European trains - itinerary planner for each country with rail maps, etc. Though oriented to railpasses anyone even using one train and unfamiliar with the system should get it. 3- the best source of info on ANYTHING i've ever seen - Fodorites - ask and ask questions and you'll get a lot of expert ideas (and some looney ones too but...)
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 11:51 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,618

I think you have a good general plan.

I don't think it is too much time in Florence, given that you are artists. You can take daytrips to Rome and Siena (see the floor of the cathedral), and with a longer stay you can save money by getting an apartment -- they can be harder to find for shorter stays.

An extra cost benefit of an apartment, besides the per-night savings, is you don't have to eat every meal in a restaurant.

As a general rule, to save, money on food, buy from grocery stores and have picnics if you have to.

I vote for Barcelona, too.

Two young women from Chicago will find it quite comfortable to travel in these places -- use your city instincts in the cities and you will be fine.

I would be astonished if a Eurorail pass was worth the money -- you are just not travelling around enough.
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