Help with destination choice!!!

Jun 4th, 2005, 07:14 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 52
Help with destination choice!!!

I am planning my annual trip to Europe and I cannot decide the itinerary. Normally I know exactly where I want to go but this time I am simply overwhelmed and need input. So I defer to all you experienced travelers to help me!

I have 15 days total, leaving Phoenix on November 17 and returning on December 3rd. I am flying into Paris (although I suppose this could change as I haven't booked the award ticket yet)My plan was to rent an apt in Paris for the first week and travel out on daily train journeys to places I wanted to see. Then I thought, well maybe only 5 days! I have been to Paris twice before but both trips were whirlwinds and I remember nothing but the Eiffel Tower!

It is the 2nd week I am struggling with. Ryanair and Easyjet offer so many choices! I thought of Barcelona,Athens,Prague, Venice and Palermo. I have been to Venice twice as well but again, whirlwinds! The other cities I have not yet visited.

Could I do perhaps 2 of these cities in addition to Paris if I can make the right connections? And will it be too cold in Prague? I was in Vienna last January so I don't think it could be too much colder than that, right?

If it helps I have been to England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. My favorite by far is Italy.

All input is greatly appreciated and if anyone has recommendations on lodging I welcome that as well. I am a budget traveler and do not drive while traveling. I also am a 50ish female and I travel alone and love it!

I await your suggestions with pen poised!
Ryanair takes November reservations beginning June 14 so I would like to be set by then

Thanks again
luvsmacca is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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I too love Italy, so my choices would be Rome (you did not say whether you have been to Rome...) and Palermo. Not relaxing, either of them, but so much to do and see, particularly in Rome. Palermo (and Monreale and maybe a quick trip to Agrigento -- Agrigento simply because it's the easiest of the Greek sites to get to by public transport) is good for four or five days.

I'm also a woman who travels alone and loves it. I've been going to Rome for longer than I would like to say and can count on the fingers of one hand the times that I have been treated badly as a woman alone. And the Palermitans could not have been nicer on my only trip there so far.

Finally, the weather is more likely to be better, the farther south you go.

I would suggest flying Paris-Rome return and Rome-Palermo return (with one of the discount airlines).

For budget lodgings, have you looked into convents? There are a number of threads out there on convents in Rome.
Eloise is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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Well it sounds like you are a more seasoned traveller than I in terms of the number of places you've been, but maybe you tend to do short whirlwinds a lot? I tend to prefer fewer stops for longer (so I don't wind up with memories of only one or two things from a location.) For example, if all you remember of Paris is the tower, why would you spend a week or less and plan "daily train journeys to places I wanted to see"? What about Paris itself

It's also hard to advise you without knowing your interests. If you like art and museums, you could easily spend the entire time in Paris and do day trips or a few overnights. I personally have a desire to go to Bilbao so might consider a France/Spain trip. Just remember that time of year can be cold and wet.
mclaurie is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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I spent 12 days in Rome this past Christmas and loved it. However I was unprepared (my own fault) for the crowds on the trains and my plans had to change due to there being NO available seats to get out of Rome until after January 6. Add to that my ticket to Paris on Volare airlines turned out to be useless as the airline had gone "temporarily out of Business" and neglected to inform me. When I went to reconfirm my flight, I was told I was out of luck. So the 5 days in Paris turned into 5 additional days in Rome before I could get home.
Long story short, I have seen enough of Rome for awhile!
As for Palermo, after reading a lot of posts on this board it seems that traveing around Sicily without a car is perhaps more difficult than it seems. I may save that trip for a tour or when I take my daughter with me.

Any thoughts on Milan or Bologna? I have done Rome, Florence, Sorrento and Lake Maggiore in Italy.

luvsmacca is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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I tended to whirlwinds in the beginning of my traveling days but the last few trips have been more time in fewer places. These places I listed as having been to are over a period of 8 years so it really isn't all that much.

As for 7 days in just Paris, I am not much of a museum person and I need to be on the go. I do want to wander the Seine and the streets of Montmarte. The day trips I was thinking of were to Reims and maybe Normandy and Versaille, so I was still planning at least 4 full days in the city itself.

I love the rain, it is my favorite weather. And living in Arizona I don't see a lot of it so the rain is a plus for me! Fewer people and a peaceful landscape.

Spain is looking like the choice here.
Any thoughts on Barcelona as opposed to Madrid?
Thanks again everyone. I love this board!
luvsmacca is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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Dear luv,

Now that you have slowed down sufficiently to enjoy your visits, may I suggest that you spend a week in Paris and a week somewhere else - you might find Venice interesting.

I think that the most convenient way to get to Venice from Paris is to fly CDG to Bologna and train from there.

>As for 7 days in just Paris, I am not much of a museum person ...<

I did a week in Paris last year and did not go into a single museum.

ira is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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If you're traveling as soon as November, you may want to check the availability of FF seats prior to firming up your itinerary. For example, if there're no seats available to Paris on your travel date, you'll have to plan your itinerary based on destinations that ARE available.
Betsy is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 09:37 AM
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Thanks Besty. I have already put in the request they just haven't come back with flights yet. And I am fully prepared to buy a ticket if they cannot suit my dates! But thanks for the suggestion
luvsmacca is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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Do you think a week in Venice is too long? I thought that Venice was doable in about 3-4 days?
I am leaning towards Barcelona I think. Easy connections from Paris on both Ryanair and Easyjet. So if anyone has help for that city please let me know
luvsmacca is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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Hi luvs,

Do you think a week in Venice is too long? I thought that Venice was doable in about 3-4 days?<

Over the years, we have visited Venice for about three weeks and are still working our way through our "to do" list.

If you do go to Venice, I think you will find taht day trips to Verona, Padua and Bologna will help relieve any ennui that develops.

ira is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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>>>>Ryanair and Easyjet offer so many choices!

Ryanair takes November reservations beginning June 14 so I would like to be set by then

it seems you are organising the trip around these discount airlines. i suggest that you keep an open mind because these airlines are not always the best way to fly. in all my travels around europe, i have never used these airlines. i've been open to it but they never offered the best overall deal as compared to "regular" airlines.
walkinaround is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Prague is such a beautiful city, you really should try and make time for it if you can. It will be alot colder than arizona though! I visited prague in january and even though it snowed a bit, the temperature wasn't unbearably cold or anything; but as I say, compared to arizona it will be alot colder (visited there last august so I know how hot it can be!).

We used bmibaby airlines from england and the flights were about £7 each way (excl. tax). not sure if they fly within other european countries, but you might want to check them out.

We found that about 4days was plenty of time to visit most of the city, so you'd easily be able to fit it in if you spent about 5days in two other cities.

Have fun!
redlou is offline  

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