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I need help planning! My first trip to Europe!

I need help planning! My first trip to Europe!

Feb 4th, 2004, 10:11 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 5
I need help planning! My first trip to Europe!

Hello! Let me first thank you all for your help!
My friends and I are planning to backpack thru Europe at the end of March for 3 weeks. We hope to visit the following cities:
1) Barcelona
2) Madrid
3) Rome
4) Florence
5) Venice
6) Amsterdam
7) Greek Islands
8) Paris (we'll be here for about 5 days with family).
I'm know that I only have 3 weeks to go to these places so I'm not sure what the best way to approach this is while saving the most money we can! If you think that there is some city in here that is not worth visiting, please let me know! Any advice at this point will be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!
Also, does anybody know anything about visiting the different Islands of Greece? What is the cheapest way and how do I go about doing it...thanks =)
lananhh3 is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 10:32 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,815
Three weeks is 21 days. Giving it the benefit of the doubt and assuming you have all 21 of those days to travel, minus the 5 days in Paris is 16 days. You have seven destinations other than Paris. That gives you 2.3 days for each location - WITHOUT considering the travel time between them.


Do you have a magic carpet? I think you're going to need one.
StCirq is online now  
Feb 4th, 2004, 10:46 AM
  #3  
jay
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 998
stcirq is right. i would try to whittle down your plans a bit. it is a very ambitious travel schedule. spend more time in fewer places. you will have a better time.
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Feb 4th, 2004, 11:15 AM
  #4  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Your aspirations are totally incompatible with "seeing Europe" in a money-saving way - - even if your only goal is to collect a daily newspaper in each of these places.

If you want to keep Spain, you need to drop Amsterdam and the Greek islands.

If you want to keep the Greek islands, you need to drop Spain and Amsterdam.

If you have any ("deeper") interest in getting to know something of the culture of France, Spain or Italy - - for example, if you have studied any one of those three languages, then you ought to lighten WAY UP on the other two (for example, maybe just one of the major cities, as you currently have listed for France) - - and ADD IN some NON-"major metropolitan" destinations in that one country.

Europe is so much more than CITIES. Swap out "2 times 2.3 days" for four or more days in Burgundy or Normandy, Lombardy, Catalunya or the Veneto. Get to know one country better that way - - and you will find you will be back to Europe over and over again, to get to know each and every country, a little more personal and close-up.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 11:49 AM
  #5  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,143
Dear lana,

First, three weeks is not enough time to "backpack through Europe". My friends who did that usually spent the entire Summer break.

Second, you are doing an "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium" tour.

Since five days are devoted to Paris, I suggest that you work out which two other places you would like to visit and focus on them.

Have you considered London, Amsterdam and Paris for your tour?

Have a wonderful trip.
ira is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 12:21 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,511
Take heed on the comments above. I would add one thought. Budgets and big cities are seldom compatible--spend half of your time in rural venues if you want to see Europe.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 12:39 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,858
Lana, go on trafalgartours.com and click on their 'Breakaway' program which has a 'European Break' itinerary spanning 22 nights (or 24 days including overnight flight and the day you return home.)

I'm not suggesting you take this tour, rather it is just a quick and dirty way of finding a sample whirlwind itinerary. Remember two things: commercial tours can generally keep up a faster pace than people traveling on their own and two) should you pick this pace of travel, you can see a lot of places from the exterior, but don't count on too many inside visits. In other words, fast paced trips meet very specific goals - be sure those goals are yours.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Feb 4th, 2004, 02:41 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
I agree with other posters that your itinerary is very ambitious - it looks like at least 7 days would be spent just traveling from 1 city to another. For me the trip you have outlined would take at least 8 weeks.

Before going any further I suggest you do a quick look at each destination and make a list of the things that you must see and do there. Then allot a time for each (3 hours to explore the Forum/colloseum? or is a 5-minute photo op enough? 2 hours to hit a couple of high spots at the Vatican Museums or drive past St. Peters in a taxi?) and total them. This will give you a realistic idea of how long you need to stay in each place to met your expectations. Then add in travel time (for most of the desintations listed a full day including locating and cheking in/out of hotel, going to/from ariports or train stations) and you'll have at least a basic idea of how much territory you can realistically cover while seeing what you want.

nytraveler is offline  

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