Itinerary input: London to Prague

Jun 23rd, 2013, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 112
Itinerary input: London to Prague

Hello fellow travelers! We finally have enough miles to afford a family trip to Europe again. We need to book air in July for June of 2014. Unfortunately, now that the kids are older, they cannot miss school, so summer it is! My plan is to leave as early as we can in June to try to beat the heat and some of the crowds. We have 3 weeks. My kids will be 16, 13 and 11.

With AmericanAirlines, I know I have to book 330 days in advance to get the tickets and avoid British Airways and their fuel surcharges. We only have enough for 2 round trip free tickets so we will be purchasing the other two. No rush on those. We can split the family 3/2 so we don't have to have the same flights. Any tips on the best time to purchase? Any tips on AA award travel?

Thanks to Dr. Who, the kids ranked London #1 which will be great since my husband has never been and my last visit was 25 years ago. I have a strong desire to see Prague. So, our very rough itinerary looks like this, at least in terms of beginning and end - I am very fuzzy on the middle!:

London - 5-6 nights (rent a flat)(I am sure I can find a thread with recommendations)

Easy Jet? RyanAir? to Munich to get to Fussen
(Travel through Bruges on the way?)

2-3 nights Fussen to go on fairytale castle tours (we prefer trains and tours to driving on our own)

Salzburg (because its on the way)

Prague (5 nights)(we can stay at the Sheraton for free) - fly home to SFO from Prague

Looking for any and all input on itinerary, accommodations, tours, stupid mistakes! Thank you all in advance - I always get invaluable input. We are very much driven by cost. I am weak on geography in this area so I don't have a good feel for distances and train schedules/costs.
Jill02 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2013, 09:11 PM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 650
I am very fuzzy on the middle!

Who isn't.
BigAleinstein is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2013, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,289
Our trips to London and Prague. Can't help with the rest.

Our flat in London worked well for us (see TR) as did having a private guide in Prague for a half day.
indy_dad is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2013, 10:01 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Our family of four is flying Munich to London on British Airways next week. It was around the same price as the cheap airline and much easier without the luggage restrictions/extra charges that are found with the cheap airlines.
amy_torres_sd is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2013, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I would suggest you check AA to be sure that you won't be forced to fly BA back from Prague (or Munich or Berlin for that matter). You may be able to use AB and connect in Frankfurt...

Have a good trip!!

Travelforbeer is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 07:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I have been to all of your destinations and enjoyed each one however London, Bruges, Fussen (Munich), Salzburg and Prague in 3 weeks would be too many stops for me. You can take a high speed train from London to Bruxelles and then a short train trip to Bruges but it will be a much longer day of travel to get to Fussen from Bruges. As much as I love Bruges I suggest dropping it from this trip and flying between London and Munich. You'll have more time in your destinations rather than using up so much time traveling to reach them.
Scootoir is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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As usual, great input. Backing out the overnight flight, we have 20 nights. If we do 5 in London at the beginning and 5 in Prague at the end, we have 10 for the middle...? I think 3 in Fussen is enough and 2 in Salzberg... The other 5 are open... Maybe explore Great Britain? London is the only place I have ever visited...
Jill02 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2013, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 308
Hi Jill02-
Here is another set of options if you decide to fly London to Munich, skipping Bruges. You could rent an apartment in Munich for 5 days or a week. Then daytrip from Munich to Fussen, Lindau, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and Salzburg.

However, after a couple of daytrips from Munich, I would recommend renting a car after 5 nights in Munich and drive to Salzburg for 3-4 nights, stopping at Prein to visit Herren Chiemsee on the way. After a day or so in Salzburg take a daytrip by car from Salzburg to the Salzkammergut area (St Wolfgang, Hallstatt). I understand Halstatt had a lot of flood damage in May so you might want to check this out first. Another daytrip from Salzburg is Berchtesgaden, only 30 to 45 minutes away.

Return your rental car to the main train station in Munich and get on the express bus from Munich to Prague.(You could drive from Salzburg and drop the car off in Nuremberg if that makes sense from a cost viewpoint. The same bus runs from Nuremburg train station to Prague.)

Just another list of possibilities- Have a great trip!!!

Travelforbeer is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 08:58 PM
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Thanks Beertraveler! Those are fantastic ideas. I try to avoid hotel changes and much prefer longer term apartment rentals... I will look up the cost/length of that bus trip from Munich to Prague. Buses over trains? I love the day trip idea so you are free to go where you want/when you want...
Jill02 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,543
I haven't used American FF miles in a while, but the last time I did I was able to book the outbound flights 330 days in advance, hold those reservations in suspension, and then book the return flights 330 days in advance of the return date. I always call and speak with a human, even if I'm charged a fee. Since you're going to be buying tickets as well, this might be another reason to speak with a FF program agent to make sure all goes well.
Jean is offline  
Jun 26th, 2013, 09:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Also, be open to the idea of doing the trip in reverse if the award options work better that way.
Jean is offline  
Jun 30th, 2013, 02:18 PM
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Jean - for a three week trip, will AA hold the outbound reservation for 21 days until the inbound flights open?

Jill02 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2013, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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They used to be willing to hold the reservation for a month, but as I said earlier I haven't booked AA award miles in a couple of years. The only way you'll know for sure is to call the AAdvantage Program and ask them.
Jean is offline  
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