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Graduation trip:taking daughter to Paris and Italy for 1st time; need advice

Graduation trip:taking daughter to Paris and Italy for 1st time; need advice

Nov 1st, 2007, 06:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 50
Graduation trip:taking daughter to Paris and Italy for 1st time; need advice

I wish to take my daughter to Paris and Italy for 10 days in June as a graduation gift. I may also let her invite a friend, and my sister will also join us. I have never been to Europe. My sister has made 2 trips but not to these locations. We will be applying for passports this month. Need good advise on an itinerary. We are thinking Paris a few days then Italy-something like Venice, Florence and Rome. Should be fly to Paris, then use train/Eurorail pass to them travel to Italy? Other than books, how do we do our best research? How do we find an experienced travel agent? Where do we start? Thanks
sunnyflorida is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 07:28 PM
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Just to start you off on this topic -- you should definitely look into flying into one city and flying out of the other (such as arriving Paris, departing Rome). This saves travel time by not having to return to your original destination. You also really don't need a travel agent. You can easily book everything online.

There are tons of threads on this forum that cover the type of trip you're thinking about. You might want to do a search and start looking around and figure out some more specifics and post back.

Ten days isn't a lot of time, so you might want to focus only on 2-3 cities. Remember, travel time between destinations eats up time you could otherwise be enjoying being in Europe!

Hope this gets you started.
bellairegirl is offline  
Nov 1st, 2007, 07:40 PM
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If you have 10 full days : Paris 6 days ( with a side trip or two) , fly to Rome or Venice for 4 days. Fly home from there. ( open jaw ticket).
danon is online now  
Nov 1st, 2007, 07:47 PM
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Having just returned from a similar trip...

I would spend 3 days Paris, 3 days Venice and 4 days Rome. Fly into Paris and out of Rome. Saves time. You can train from Venice to Rome in about 5 hours. Or you can fly Venice to Rome on one of the local European airlines (MyAir).

If any of you are not in good physical shape, then pick two of the three cities. There will be a lot of walking in all of them. (Personally, I'd cut out Paris and do 4 days Venice and 6 in Rome.) But these are all personal choices. Some people might choose Paris over Venice or Rome. What are your daughter's interests? Does she speak a foreign language?

I planned my entire trip through this board and Tripadvisor.com. You can do it, too!!

Good luck and have fun!
sarge56 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 04:16 AM
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Hi S,

With only 9 nights, I suggest:

fly to Paris - 4 nights,
fly www.myair.com from Paris ORY to Venice VCE - 2 nights,
train to Rome** - 3 nights
fly home.

** or Florence and fly home from Florence FLR or Pisa PSA

See www.1800flyeurope.com and wwwkayak.com for airfare.

See www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html for trains

See www.venere.com for accomodations in Italy.

In Paris, we always stay at the Hotel Bonaparte, 61 Rue Bonaparte in the 6th. From 128E dbl w/bkfst. It is located near 3 metro stops. Has AC and an elevator.

Tel 33 1 43 26 97 37
FAX 33 1 46 33 57 67
[email protected]

For more info, enter "Hotel Bonaparte" in the "search this forum" box.

Photos are at http://tinyurl.com/ludgd

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 04:31 AM
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I would have just tried to book tickets to Paris and back again from e.g. Rome is this is within the price limit. Once that is booked you have to look at hotels and you can find that online...and finally decide where you want to go, how long you are going to stay and how to get from on place to the other. One thing is for sure...you will get to see some of the most amazing cities in Europe and the world

Here is my trip report with pictures and links from Paris last year http://gardkarlsen.com/Paris_France.htm and from Rome the year before: http://gardkarlsen.com/rome_italy.htm .

We also went to Florence this year and that is another wonderful city: http://gardkarlsen.com/florence_italy_travelogue.htm

Good luck with the planning

http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 05:37 AM
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You can find affordable, central accommodation in Paris and Rome on these websites: www.paris35.com and www.rome30.com . There's also handy information about places to visit, night life etc. I hope you find it useful.
kdbcn2007 is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 05:55 AM
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I agree with ira's suggested itinerary. Or, skip Paris (hard, I know) and just spend the time in the three cities in Italy you mention. You could take trains or planes in the evening from one to the other to save sightseeing time.

If you could provide an idea of what you want to spend overall, or what you want to spend on hotels per night (and how many rooms?), that will help with hotel recommendations.
On average, except for business-style or top luxury hotels, European hotel rooms may be much smaller than what you have experienced before, and I think you should consider not all trying to share one room, if you were even considering that. There are such things as triple and quad rooms, but
space will be tight, and there will only be one bathroom.
elaine is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 06:13 AM
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Someone else on another thread gave some great advice: Unless this is a surprise, check with your daughter to see what interests her! We took our 2 daughters to Paris, and had a great time seeing SO many sights. They had a good time, but I think it would have been even more meaningful to have cut our a few of the normal tourist sites, and spent more time with them in tea rooms, and spending more time in a few, select museums, instead of trying to see EVERYthing in the 5 days there.
jkirkmd is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 06:42 AM
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this arrived in my email today


It's a helpful article called Europe 101 and it has a very general timeline for planning.

If you decide on your cities, I have long travel files on Paris and on the 3 big Italy cities, feel free to email me and ask for them at [email protected]
elaine is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 07:10 AM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. Daughter has taken one year of French and 3 of Spanish, but none of us and that is it.

I understand the thoughts about Italy only and maybe skip Paris, but at 18, she wants a stop in Paris.

It will not be a surprise, but I will be keeping some of the details as a surprise. We had already been informed that we would probably need two rooms, given the small European accomodations. With the dollar the way it is, not sure how expensive the trip will be. Is $1000 a day total for four people a reasonable budget to include all expenses--ie can we do it for 10 days at $2500 a person?
sunnyflorida is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 07:11 AM
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It is easy enough to ignore advice you didn't ask for or which does not apply, so...

When I see 10 days I think one 1/2 day upon arrival and one 1/2 day for departure with 8 full days in between, if you go to one city. If you do two cities, these two half-days are doubled and you end up spending a lot of your time packing, unpacking, and traveling. Sometimes traveling is as much fun as visiting if you are going by train, but usually these days it is time spend going to and waiting in an airport, flying, then deplaning.

Having said that, eight plus two 1/2 days in Paris would be enough time to see many attractions, but one per day with enough time otherwise to just wander around along the Seine, in the parks, through the Latin Quarter, etc.

It's much easier to plan someting like this and IMO you'd jave a better time.

Peter_krynicki is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 07:56 AM
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I took a trip with my daughter when she was in college that took us to Paris for three nights and then to Rome for five nights. We had traveled together to Paris the year before, so we spent less time in Paris than in Rome, but you could split the time equally between the two cities, and you could still take day trips if you wished. During our five days in Rome, my daughter and I took a day trip to Pompeii and loved that.

I like the idea of contrasting the two cultures, French and Italian, so I would not cut out Paris. But I don't think I would try to go to three cities in Italy in such a short time, unless you all really like being on the move.

If you do decide to go to more than two of the cities you name, I recommend that you read Sarge56's trip report about the trip she mentions above, to get an idea of whether you would enjoy traveling at that pace. This is a link to her report:

Nikki is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 08:06 AM
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I would fly into Paris, spend 5 days there, then fly or take the overnight train in a sleeper car to Venice, and spend 4 days there. Fly home from Venice.

You would just buy a point-to-point rail ticket with the overnight sleeper supplement (no rail pass is needed).

I also don't think you need a travel agent because the above trip would be quite simple to plan (make two hotel reservations, Paris and Venice) and buying the plane tickets.

You budget allows for $1000 round-trip plane ticket & $150/day per person expenses including covering the hotel and transportation, which I think is OK.
suze is online now  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 08:07 AM
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What a great gift!

If your daughter really wants to see Paris, then by all means go to Paris. It's a beautiful city. My suggestion, similar to some of the others, would be to limit your 10 days to 2 cities, so I think Paris and Rome. You should check out flights between the 2 cities. They tend to be pretty reasonable and will be much quicker than a train. When in ROme, you can take a day trip out of the city if you want a change of pace (Pompeii, Orvieto, etc). Given 10 days, and if those 10 days include travel time (which then means 9 days of vacation), 2 cities makes the most sense.

We took our kids a couple of 2 city trips of similar duration (9 nts)(Paris/Amsteram and Madrid/London). Both were great and we didn't feel rushed. In the case of Paris and ROme, you could easily spend a week in either of those places and not run out of things to do.
MFNYC is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 08:10 AM
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kdbcn2007: Advertising is not alowed on here (and looking at your other posts - have a little imagination naming your websites. berlin30, paris 35, rome 30 - sheesh)
janisj is online now  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Dear Sunny --

As much as I love Italy, all of it, I think 5 days in Paris and 5 in Rome is all you should try to do. There's not enough time to really get to know the feel of anywhere in Italy at 2-3 days each, with the travel time cutting into your days. Just soak up the two big cities as much as possible, and leave lots of time for sitting and relaxing in the piazzas and watching the people. Why?
Because, after this trip, you WILL go back!! As often as you can! Believe me! And then you can see other places.

charnees is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 02:12 PM
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Hi S,

>Is $1000 a day total for four people a reasonable budget to include all expenses-...

I certainly could, and that includes airfare.

ira is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 03:25 PM
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10 days - two cities only for sure. I'd do Paris and probably Rome with teens. Fly between Paris and Rome. Saves a lot of time and there are several budget European airlines. Believe me -- you DO NOT want to spend your vacation on the trains. They are not what you picture.

In both cities try to stay where there are market streets - kids will like eating there and it's cheaper. (For instance, Rue Mouffetard in Paris, maybe the Campo di Fiori area of Rome.)

shoefly is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2007, 04:41 PM
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Before you get locked into flying into a particular city and out of another, check the flight options (especially if you're trying to use frequent flyer miles). Venice can be tricky to return to the U.S. from, unless you don't mind setting off for the airport at 5 or 6 a.m. for an early morning departure. If you choose Paris and Venice, you might look into arriving in Venice and departing for home from Paris.
Jean is online now  

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