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Going to London, Paris, Rome, & Prague for 8 days... what should we budget?

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Oct 3rd, 2012, 04:11 PM
  #1
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Going to London, Paris, Rome, & Prague for 8 days... what should we budget?

My husband and I leave in a month for Europe (we have never been) and I am wondering what to expect to spend a day. We have already paid for our rooms and all of our traveling between countries. A few people have told me horror stories of quickly blowing through their budget and I am worried what I thought would be enough is too low. We definitely plan on sampling lots of local food (probably not too many "sit down, full" meals) as we go and doing all the touristy things (Eiffel Tower, Vatican City, etc).

I know we are doing a lot in one trip, but 8 days was the most we could do, so I just am looking for advice and/or estimations.

Thank you!
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 04:51 PM
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8 days? You're kidding right? You'll have one good day in each country. This is not a vacation. Good luck!
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Ok that is not helpful. All of our traveling (mostly by plane) is either early in the morning or late at night. We have 1 full day in London, 2 full days in Paris, 2.5 days in Rome, and 1.5 days in Prague.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:12 PM
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I don't mean to sound cynical but have you accounted for travel time to each city? You will be spending at least 6 to 8 hours traveling to and from each airport. After check in to your hotel you will be lucky if you have enough time to find a nice restaurant eat dinner and maybe stroll around for a couple hours.

So your 1 day in London turns out to be maybe 1/2 day, your 2 days in Paris maybe 1 1/2 days, your 2.5 days in Rome maybe 2 days and your 1 1/2 day in Prague turns out to be 1 day at best.

Have you done anything like this in the past? I think you are doing way too much on your trip here. Traveling can be exhausting and I hope you report back with your trip report. Regards!
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:16 PM
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You need to pick up a good guide book (or 2) that will give you some info on the entrance fees and and dates/times of the exhibits and sights you're interested in.
You can get a City Pass in some cities that gives you access to museums and also public transport but will you see enough (or be there long enough) to get your money's worth?
Some sights require advance reservations.

Doing some planning will save you time and money.
Your trip is quite a whirlwind and you could easily spend a fortune on cab rides into and out of cities to catch your flights. Do you know how far the airport is from CDG to your hotel? Will you take the bus? Cab? How much?
What you'll spend in Prague for dinnner may only get you a cafe' and croissant in Paris.

Do you want to see as many museums as you can? Entrance fees can add up. A hop on-hop off bus in London will give you an overview but where will you hop on? And where will you hop off?

Make a list of your interests - museums, sights, walking, eating, river tours, etc and try to find what interests you in each city. What is open when you're there? Not every sight is open every day.

Then add up cab fares, bus/metro tickets, entrance tickets, tours, lunch, dinners, snacks. Are you going to do any shopping? Presents for people back home?
I'd get some more info on the cities you're going to visit - get a rough idea of costs - set a budget and then ask about good restaurants, is the Louvre worth it, etc.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:25 PM
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Actually we fly into London at 10:40 pm and have all the next day in London and leave London the following morning at 5:30 am. We'll have a few hours on the train to Paris and we arrive at 9:30 am. We have the rest of that day and the next day until we fly out the second night at 9:15 pm. We land in Rome a little after 11:00 pm and have two full days in Rome until we fly out the third day at 3:15 pm. We land in Prague at 5:00 pm and have that night, the next day, and a few hours on the third before we have to head back to the airport to go home.

It'll be tight but we will definitely have time to have a ton of fun. If you see the original post I did specifically say ". . . but 8 days was the most we could do, so I just am looking for advice and/or estimations."
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:32 PM
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You have designed a very comprehensive tour of the various airports of euopre. All you need is one day of bad weather (fog?) or a pop-up strike - and you will have not time in at least one city.

Frankly, in 8 days I would stay in one place. If you really have to see more- then just do London and Paris - so you will at least have 3 days in each city (IMHO not enough for a first trip - but a start).

As for your budget - assume everything will cost more than in the US - a lot more if you are from an inexpensive area.

Obviously is you are willing to do picnic lunches with a sandwich from a market and grab a quick dinner in a cafe you can spend less - but you won;t be getting any sort of feel for the real life of any of these cities. I suggest looking into 1) cost of getting from airport to your hotel - and vice versa - 2) cost of local transit (since you won;t have time to walk everywhere - my preferred mode of local transit) and 3) cost of entry to the major sights.

I would follow the rule of having access (through CC and your checking account via ATMs) to twice as much money as you think you will need.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:38 PM
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Just remember your flights between Paris-Rome, Rome-Prague and Prague-home are all International flights.
You'll need to be at the airport 2-3 hours before departure, not inlcuding the time to get to the airport. I'm assuming you'll be taking cabs or private hire to cut down on travel time.
If you're checking luggage you can wait anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour for it to arrive in baggage claim, then make your way thru customs and the airport to meet your driver.

You'll definitely want to plan all your time to make the most of each city.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:44 PM
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If you stick with this plan, the only thing you will discover on this trip is that you can't possibly travel this way and expect to see much of anything except the inside of airports, taxis and planes.

This is just crazy. Choose one or, at most, two cities. London and Paris would be a good pair and take the train from London to Paris. I don't think anyone could travel this way unless they are on "The Amazing Race".
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:44 PM
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I have already booked a pick up car through most of the hotels so we can go straight from the airport to the hotels. We also are only taking carry on bags to cut down on time.

I specifically wrote "I know we are doing a lot in one trip, but 8 days was the most we could do, so I just am looking for advice and/or estimations." Everything is booked and paid for so telling me to change things will not help.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:57 PM
  #11
 
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Well for specific information - and not to reco that you eat here - but to provide a direct comparison:

At TGIF in the US a cheeseburger plate is about $9

At TGIF in London the same platter is about 10 pounds - or $16

Similar prices will apply elsewhere - with more upscale places being much more expensive - and a quick stop for a slive for lunch being much less expensive.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:03 PM
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In order to enjoy the short time you have for this trip, it will be essential to plan everything carefully -- budget, scheduling, transportation -- and allow for traffic jams, airline strikes, whatever, and have alternative plans that you can put in place if needed. If you don't already have 1 or 2 travel guides, get them or read them at the library and plan your daily itinerary in each city. From these books you can also get an idea of meal costs, taxis, entrance fees, etc. Then, as a previous poster suggested, plan to spend twice that amount. I assume you will use ATMs for your cash purchases and credit cards for the big stuff. Just be sure you have plenty of cash available in case of emergencies and enough credit on your cards. Oh, and be sure to let your credit card companies know you will be traveling abroad so they don't put a hold on your card. Good luck on your trip and do come back and post your experience.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:03 PM
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Have you heard of jet lag? When are you planning to get any sleep in London? If you're taking the Eurostar you have to be at St. Pancras 30 minutes ahead of time at the latest, and you have to get there.

I await the trip report with interest.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:13 PM
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If everything else is already paid for your budget for food etc won't be that high. You won't have time for many if any sit down meals as you said in your original post.

Take some granola bars with you as you will be leaving and / or arriving at crazy times and your body clock won't have time to adjust.

Breakfast/ lunch and dinner in London? Budget $100 each or 70 pounds (you can get away with spending less or obviously splash out on Michelin starred meals but this is a very comfortable budget for one restaurant meal plus snacks/cafe treats on the go)
Museums are mostly free.
2 full days in Paris = $200 each (comfortable budget for food). Check online websites for costs of any tourist stuff you intend to to do.
Rome the same = $200 each for food
Prague $100-150 each for food

For 8 days food and activities included I'd estimate you would spend between $500 and $1000 each. If you drink alcohol moderately expect to be closer to the upper limit.
You don't have time to eat or do all the activities available.

Good luck and I hope for your sake there are not any delays in your flights or you might miss a country!
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:53 PM
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Stop. Rethink. This travel you are describing sounds excruciating! How about London for four days. Eurostar to Paris for the remainder. Don't torture yourself. Travel is supposed to be fun, not a marathon race. Just sayin'. Hopefully, there will be many more opportunities for travel in your future but please don't sell yourself short on your first international experience.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 07:03 PM
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Wow, this is a nightmare. What were you thinking? Next time, come here before you get on a plane. This sounds like torture. I realize you say that "telling me to change things won't help," but you seriously need to change things. Have you ever been to Europe before? Experienced jet lag? Done a trip like this? It's beyond ridiculous and you will pay the price. You're going to spend a bundle of money and "enjoy" a whole lot of airports.

The issue of how much you will spend on food is utterly insignificant in relation to the issue that you are trying to see about four times as much of Europe as one could even hope to see in the really short time you have allotted.

Go to one place and enjoy it. Seriously.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 07:05 PM
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nytraveler sets out a very simple comparison of costs and it will work for you if you estimate what you'd spend in the US for a typical vacation day of meals and activities and then add about 50% to cover increased costs with the pound/euro you won't be far out.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Your budget will completely depend on what you want to do and see. You could spend next to nothing by seeing free parks, or you could spend hundreds by seeing places that charge admission, which can be quite high. Depends solely on you.
Most of the large museums in London are free, but not in Paris.
Same with meals. A ready-made sandwich and bottled water in a convenience store can be as little as the equivalent of $5.00. It is up from there.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 07:29 PM
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Your budget is irrelevant - honest. You will have next to no free time in any of those cities. So you won't be doing anything much but traveling to your hotels, checking in, unpacking, packing, checking out, traveling to the airport, hanging around waiting for your flight, traveling in from the airport in the next city, checking in . . . and repeat.

Sorry -but this is a ridiculous itinerary -- and you have added all that unnecessary extra travel just makes it REALLY expensive to see almost nothing.

"Most of the large museums in London are free, " True, however you won't have time for more than maybe 1.
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Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:05 PM
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"We have 1 full day in London, 2 full days in Paris, 2.5 days in Rome, and 1.5 days in Prague."

No you don't

Look at just this part: >>we fly into London at 10:40 pm and have all the next day in London and leave London the following morning at 5:30 am. We'll have a few hours on the train to Paris and we arrive at 9:30 am. We have the rest of that day and the next day until we fly out the second night at 9:15 pm.<<

In reality you have one jet lagged day in London. And then have to be up an out the door by about 04:30 AM because the train has an advance check in requirement.

The second day in Paris you will have to be packed and out the door of the hotel by 5 or 5:30 PM (takes an hour to get to the airport and you need to be there by 6:30 or 7PM). You won't have time for dinner in Paris.

Your head will probably be spinning and you will have spent a LOT of money to mainly explore airports and train stations.

Can you change any of this mess?
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