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Itinerary to visit multiple cities in multiple countries

Itinerary to visit multiple cities in multiple countries

Old Jul 8th, 2015, 06:38 AM
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Itinerary to visit multiple cities in multiple countries

Hey guys

I am looking for some insight as to the most inexpensive way to travel to europe and see atleast 2 cities in each country. I am looking to go to France (Nice, Paris), Spain (Madrid, Barca), Italy (Rome & Florence/any other option). I have about 21 days excluding travel days.

I am thinking flying budget airlines will be most cost effective between countries however i am not sure the cheapest way to go around between cities. I would like to keep my costs as low as possible so i will be staying at hostels.

Another question regarding flight and hostels, should I book these now or can i wait to book them once i get there just incase i change my mind and decide to see a different city. I will be travelling from Oct 1 to Oct 24 so if anyone can provide any insight as to places to see/hostels to stay in/foods to try would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 07:12 AM
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I don't know any way to answer the question you have posed about cheapest air itinerary without doing a lot of googling and playing around with the possibilities to see what comes up cheapest. You might as well start with looking at what would be the cheapest in and out of Europe combo -- that is to say, is it cheaper to fly to Paris and leave from Florence -- or is it cheaper to fly to Nice and leave from Rome? Can get time consuming to look. If you haven't done this already, you might ask your question on the Flyer Talk Forum, where people might have some great tips for you.

If you are thinking of doing any beach time in Nice or Barcelona, you might want to put those at the front of your trip, even if it means spending extra, to optimize your chance of warmer weather.

In Italy in October, there is a lot of great food to eat. Be especially on the lookout for artichokes in Rome (steamed or fried in the Jewish quarter), and dishes in Florence that feature pumpkins, kale, chestnuts or pasta pockets filled with potatoes, plus mushrooms. Also for Rome, read up on local Roman pizza, try the gnocchi if you are there on a Thursday, and read up on the typical pasta dishes unique to Rome if you are okay with cheese and pork. Florence has great soups (which are also great for the budget), good salami and don't be afraid to order beans for a main protein instead of meat. Wine in Florence is very good if you drink. Autumn pears are delicious.

Both Rome and Florence have excellent markets (and the one in Florence has a food court upstairs), so you can also eat cheap by going to the market and picking up a picnic. Large autumn pears are truly delicious (usually better than apples.) You often get very nice green grapes as well in the markets.
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 07:13 AM
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Hi mustafa,

Have you booked your flight into and out of Europe yet? you may find that you can get a good deal on a round trip fight [into and out of the same airport] or an open-jaw one [into one airport, out of another] which could influence the shape of your trip.

then there is travel between place to consider - some can be easier to get between than others. Flights may look cheap on the face of it, but by the time you factor in the charge to put luggage in the hold which many "cheap" airlines levy, the time it takes to get to and from the airport, check-in time, the cost of getting to and from airports, they begin to look like less of a good deal.

also they "lock" you into a set itinerary which by the sound of it you may not want.


if you are under 26 you may be able to get a cheap railcard for Europe - the man-seat 61 website is a great one for working out the best deals:

http://www.seat61.com

Hostels should be reasonably easy to find in October, but it would be a good idea to know where they are and have contact details for them in advance.

Finally, 6 cities in 21 days doesn't seem like much, but once you factor in getting between them [at least ½ a day in each case] you've just lost 3 days out of your 21, leaving you only 3 days in each place. add in the time it gets to orient yourself, working out the local transport system, finding the best and in your case cheapest bars and cafes, and really you're not giving yourself very much time at all.
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 07:31 AM
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Continuing annhig's theme on a shortage of time for so many cities, consider the added expense of moving around, compared with staying in place and maybe taking trips outside a city by cheap local bus. You may also find that a weekly rate on rooms through a site such as Airbnb may get you a much nicer accommodation and for less than you'll pay at a hostel.

My primary point is that moving constantly is expensive, so consider all the advantages, including as annhig mentions, getting to know a place a bit better, good for your enjoyment as well as your budget.
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 07:55 AM
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I just returned from a month-long trip to Helsinki, St.Petersburg, the Baltics (Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius) and Poland (Gdansk, Ketzryn, Torun and Warsaw).

Nine cities in one month...way too much. I'll never do that again.I traveled by plane, train, bus and car. By the time I got home, I was pretty burnt out.

I spent either 3 or 4 days in each city, and I made the rookie mistake of not really considering how much time and effort it takes to pack up and check out of a hotel, get to the next destination, etc. The result was that I didn't spend enough time in any of the cities I visited.

I know this is not the question you asked, but it's the only answer I can give. I agree that you have too many destinations, though the places you've suggested are all delightful.

I think you need to get a guidebook or two--maybe one of those "best of Europe" guides. It will answer many of your questions.

And...assume you'll be back. You don't have to see everything at once.
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 08:09 AM
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Thank you guys for your great comments.

This is a tentative itinerary that I have no problem completely altering given that I will be travelling alone.

Do you guys have any suggestions regarding how many days you would spend in each country and city if you were in my shoes.

I was thinking the following:

Paris (get rid of Nice): 3-4 days
Madrid: 3 days
Barca: 3 days
Rome:3-4 days
Florence: 3-4 days

I know "annhig" suggested 3 days may not be enough in each location so just wondering how many days would you guys spend and what sightseeings could be accomplished during the period.

I am also looking to spend sometime on the beach, depending on the weather so i was thinking replacing Barca with San Sebastian but at the same time, my main focus on this Euro trip is to see History, Art, Culture. Do you guys have any input in this regard. Has anyone been to San Sebastian that can provide some insight.
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 08:20 AM
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Rather than counting your city stays by days, redo the list and count the nights. Doing so will give you a better idea of the time you have to spend seeing a place, excluding travel time. Three nights, for instance, gives you 2 full days and less useful bits of 2 more, likely mostly used for transit activities. It will give you a better idea of how little time you're really allotting for enjoyable activities and relaxation.
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 09:12 AM
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good idea from MmePerdue, and don't forget to allow for the travel time.
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 09:33 AM
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I would decide how long to spend in each city based on what you want to see there. For instance - in Florence are you very interested in Renaissance art or are you planning on doing day trips to any hill towns outside?

Or would you prefer to spend more time in Rome seeing a combination of ancient sights, Vatican city/St Peter's and the plethora of other sights - as well as some cafe sitting (to get a feeling of what Italian life is really like)?

As for hostels - some are great and some are awful. If you don;t reserve in advance who knows where you will end up. As a first step do some research so you know which are which in each city (check Let's Go Europe or Europe on a Shoestring in any bookstore or library) and then check to see if they still have availability for your dates. (If they have practically no room left then the answer is you will need to reserve in advance).
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 10:05 AM
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Assume that you are going by rail - renting a car in one country and returning it in another can have steep drop-off surcharges and if going to big tourist cities as one is want to do cars are useless - especially in Italy where private vehicles are off-limits in wide swaths of towns these days.

For info on train travel check www.seat61.com - great info on discounted tickets that if you book (in stone - no changes nor refunds usually) way in advance (because they are sold in strict quotas and when exhausted they disappear) - also for general info www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com - you may check into a Eurail Saverpass valid in Italy, Spain and France also.
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Old Jul 8th, 2015, 12:29 PM
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October is not optimal for San Sebastian. You might find that your best shot for beach time is Barcelona, and early in October rather than later.

When it comes to figuring out how long to stay where, I find there is no substiute for looking at a guidebook to decide what you want to see and what you DON'T want to see. My first two trips to Rome, I had several things I very much did not want to miss and got to see them, but I deliberately did not go to the Vatican Museums because I had other priorities. I also selected sights for Barcelona and eliminated others. I can spend more time in Florence than I can in Paris -- but I'm not trying to influence you. Just pointing out that this is your trip, and wearing somebody else's travel shoes can really be painful.
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