First trip to Europe -- overwhelmed!

Mar 16th, 2013, 02:25 PM
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Hi everyone!! Thanks again for all of your generous responses! I apologize for the the typo in my previous post -- I totally meant "Does this sound reasonable? How does travel from Italy to Santorini to ATHENS work?" You all have great ideas and they have been very helpful.

To be honest, my boyfriend and I are finding it very difficult to find the time to get this trip planned. (The tentative dates for the trip would be May 28-June 25 ish.) We are both medical students (in different years) and don't get much time together, so planning this trip is just turning into even more stress for us.

We decided we may want to cut Amsterdam out to make it easier for us. Fly into Paris, train down through Italy, and somehow get to Santorini and back. I'm going to spend some time today looking through some of the options you all have proposed.

My next question is: Should we wait before booking any flights to have our accommodations planned and ready to book as well? We have no idea where to stay (for cheap) in any of these places, so I'd welcome some advice regarding this as well (we're up for hostels too.)

What about transportation within each of the cities? Could we survive without renting a car?

Thanks again everyone!
alexlee33 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 03:46 PM
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Here's a guick update after searching the last hour.

A multicity trip arriving in Paris and leaving from Rome would cost about 1100-1400 CAD. A round trip from Rome to Santorini (Aegean Airlines) would cost about 350 CAD, however the layover in Athens is 8-14 hours, which is annoying, and leaves not much time to explore Athens because the flight to Athens always arrive at around 5:30pm. What do you guys think about this?

Accommodations seem pretty easy to find using TripAdvisor. Already found some beautiful cheap options in Santorini.

Here's my plan thus far:

May 28 or May 29: Edmonton to Paris
5 nights in Paris
June 3-19: Train trip through France and Italy
June 20ish: fly to Santorini from Rome (this is going to be tricky)
June 25ish: fly from Santorini to Rome to home

How does this sound?
alexlee33 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 04:01 PM
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Hmmm couldn't get you to bite on the Deadmonton comment.......

I'll look into to some Rome - Santorini options on those dates
Aramis is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 04:30 PM
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<< You might be able to stop in some other places like bordeoux or nice before you enter florence, pisa, rome>>

First of all, no first-time traveler to Europe needs to go to Bordeaux. I didn't go there until I'd been in France a couple of dozen times, and then it took me another decade to even "warm up" to it. Second of all, Bordeaux isn't even remotely on the way from Paris to Italy. Sheesh!

Alexlee, forget Bordeaux. missnomad has steered you totally wrong. Go from Paris to Avignon or straight to Nice. If you have a map of Europe, you will see that traveling down the Atlantic coast of France makes no sense at all if you are headed for Italy.

The rest of your trip sounds quite good if you can work out the Santorini from Rome bit.
StCirq is online now  
Mar 16th, 2013, 06:29 PM
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Aramis - hahaha. Edmonton sucks as you clearly know Hence why I'm so excited to get out of here! (But go Oilers and Eskimos!!! My boyfriend made me plan our whole summer around Eskimo games if you can believe it...)

And thanks for the advice StCrq! Ill scratch that out if my itinerary.
alexlee33 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 06:34 PM
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Good, because it makes absolutely NO sense at all from any perspective. Good luck with your planning! Go right to Avignon or Nice or Marseilles from Paris, not to Bordeaux for gosh sakes! Head EAST!
StCirq is online now  
Mar 16th, 2013, 06:40 PM
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I can find a non-stop on "Blue Panorama Airlines" for 286 Euros, or about $275 CAN for your "ish" dates.

The outgoing flight is early and the return flight is quite late into Rome. For a little more there are morning flights;

Rome (FCO) to Thira (JTR) - Thu, Jun 20
Blue Panorama Airlines S.p.A. Blue Panorama Airlines S.p.A. 2418 Dep: 7:00AM Arr: 10:10AM 2h 10m Boeing 737 Economy (K)

Thira (JTR) to Rome (FCO) - Tue, Jun 25
Blue Panorama Airlines S.p.A. Blue Panorama Airlines S.p.A. 2419 Dep: 10:50AM Arr: 12:05PM 2h 15m Boeing 737 First (P)

Cost per passenger (including taxes & fees) €285.81
Total cost for 1 passenger €285.81
Aramis is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 06:43 PM
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Sorry, that was the early return I pasted. The late one is 266 Euros, or about $27 cheaper.
Aramis is offline  
Mar 16th, 2013, 06:53 PM
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Excellent!!! Thank you so much, Aramis! Which website did you use to find these, may I ask? Don't think I saw these options on the matrix website that was posted above, or kayak.

I think I'm going to try and get everything booked by next weekend. Getting excited now...!
alexlee33 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2013, 04:35 AM
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I found it on Unfortunately, they only display fares, they don't book them, and sometimes what they display is not easily found on the mainstream sites.

Fortunately (had you worried for a minute there didn't I?) I just double checked it on the airlines own site, and got this - "You can SAVE, yes SAVE, 6 Euros by booking now!"

Roma Fiumicino Airport >
Thira Santorini Airport
20 Jun 07:00 Dep - 20 Jun 10:10 Arr
1 Adult (1 X €169,98)
Fare and Taxes €169,98

Thira Santorini Airport >
Roma Fiumicino Airport
25 Jun 10:50 Dep - 25 Jun 12:05 Arr
1 Adult (1 X €89,98)
Fare and Taxes €89,98

Total €259,96

Now I don't want to put pressure on you but this scheduling appears to be a very fortuitous circumstance. There are no other flights out for the 2 days before or after June 20 and no other flights back for 1 day on either side of the 25th return. So, if your Rome - Santorini dates are still "ish" and you want this kind of connection, you need to firm them up very quickly.

If you have problems with booking on the website (I'm not suggesting there will be, just being thorough) then take the flight information to a travel agent.

Have a beauty trip, eh.
Aramis is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Quick question. My boyfriend is concerned that if we book 2 separate flights, this situation could happen:

The flight from Santorini to Rome, which is supposed to arrive at 12:00, is delayed. Then we may be late for the flight from Rome to Montreal to edmonton, which would leave at 3:30 (plus we will have to pick up our checked luggage and check in during those 3 hours). He says that if we miss that flight, we won't get put on the next flight out for no extra cost, and essentially we'll have to pay for another one since the flights were booked separately. Is this possible/likely?

Thanks! If it's not an issue, I would like to book ASAP so please let me know!
alexlee33 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 12:39 PM
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especially with the instability in Greece - have been many many strikes I would always fly to your European departure airport at least the day before - spend the night in Rome before your flight - not only because of delays but other unpredicted events not foreseen - that is if you return flight is non-refundable as most are.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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I don't think instability in Greece is an issue at all. In fact, if i'm not mistaken there were more airport/airline strikes in Germany last year than in Greece. More to the point, if you are flying on a budget or charter airline, the aircraft will probably have been scheduled for other flights around Europe that day, any one of which could have had a delay. With very little slack time built in, delays can carry over to subsequent flights, and if the plane is late arriving at Santorini it will be late departing for Rome.

Now if you are flying on separate tickets and miss the flight out of Rome, it will be at the discretion of the airline flying you to Edmonton whether they will let you on the next flight at no extra cost. Maybe they would be charitable, but don't count on it. If I were you I would get back to Rome a couple of days before the flight home.
Heimdall is online now  
Mar 18th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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Alex - Your boyfriend is correct. If, for any reason you don't make the AC flight out of Rome, you have to rebook however you can.

I didn't know that your return flight was the same day as the day you wanted to return from Santorini or I wouldn't have been so congratulatory and I would have pointed this out.

You may have to take one of the connecting flights you found in order to arrive back in Rome on the 24th if you want to make Santorini work.
Aramis is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 05:49 PM
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It shouldn't be a problem staying an extra day in Rome on the night of the 25th. I only have to be home by the 29th, so this still gives me some cushion. Just wanted to make sure it was necessary.

How should I split my time between the cities? Is there any that deserve extra attention? I was going to split them mostly evenly with a day or two less in Nice and Florence, and extra night perhaps in Paris because of jet lag.
alexlee33 is offline  

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