Madrid, Italy, Paris - Summer / Fall '17

Old Sep 14th, 2016, 09:25 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Madrid, Italy, Paris - Summer / Fall '17

Hello All! My husband turns 50 next year and I would like to plan a trip that would cover two - three countries in Europe. We would travel in May or the end of August / beginning of September (Labor Day) for approximately 12 days. Our two adult children and their significant others would also join us for the trip.

Since we were in Barcelona and Toulouse this year my thoughts are Madrid, Italy and Paris or London. Is this feasible from a timing perspective? I am open to renting a car to drive to different towns. I would like to go the AirBnB route.

Our main goal is to take in the culture, food, some history, but more about sharing the experience together, while celebrating my husband. Any direction is welcomed.
Alyss is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2016, 09:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Life starts at 50.

At first, I'd recommend going in may - much less tourists and not so hot as it can be in Italy, but also in France.

I love Madrid but find it less festive than Barcelona, but not been so often. Maybe Sevilla instead ?

Italy : I'd go to Napoli (since I've not been that much) to see Herculanum or Pompeii - or Cinque Terre which will be less crowded.
But it is a 'or'.

Paris is one of my favorite - can't go wrong going there, same applies to London.

Forget the car - a liability in cities, and in the place I mentioned not really useful (maybe to go to Herculanum).
Take fast trains from London to Paris : Eurostar, buy 3-4 months ahead to get the best times, and TGV ( or (they changed names but you'll redirected I guess). Or fly - Madrid to Paris or .. are not that expensive : look at to find the flight and book direct with the air company. Vueling would probably be the best choice.

AirBnb : I would not take them at all, because your stays wil lbe short actually, and certainly not to Paris (read 'some' of the threads 'any update on apt in Paris' or 'Airbnb in Paris' which are listed on the left of the screen.

And buy guidebooks to make your decision : you cannot really go wrong, can you, but it is your trip.
Whathello is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2016, 01:26 PM
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I like traveling in spring also. The hours of daylight are longer, and there are flowers and fresh green foliage.

12 days is not a lot. You could do just Italy. Or maybe two stops. In the latter case get open jaws tickets into one city, out of another. For example fly into Rome and out of Paris or London. These tickets should cost about the same as round trip and save the time and expense of backtracking.

For a trip in May, I suggest starting in the south and working your way north for better weather. If you go late in the summer, reverse this; start in the north and move south.
Mimar is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2016, 02:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Lots of possible combos:

day trips from London
day trips from Paris


Paris and Switzerland

Paris and Amsterdam or Belgium

And on and on

Trains are indeed fantastic- for lots on planning the train part of the trip if that is in the cards (London-Paris 2 hrs)(Paris-Amsterdam 3.5 hrs) - Paris to Venice by overnight train, etc. check - great info on discounted tickets; and

Also if two bases are far removed check out cheap flights - and are sights you can check on that.

Fly into one city like London or Paris and fly out of another like Rome or Amsterdam.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2016, 02:15 PM
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12 days is fine for two countries, I do it all the time (well, as much as I travel to Europe). Of course no matter what you do, you should do open-jaw tickets if you are doing two countries (or perhaps even same country).

3 countries may be a bit much in 12 days unless they are neighobrs and the ones you name are not (you could do Belgium,Paris, London, for example, or even Amsterdam instead of Belgium). That's just an example, but with Spain, I'd only add one other country.

Your plans exhaust me just reading about them, to be honest. Not the 3 countries in 12 days, but throwing in wanting to rent apts everywhere, driving, and dealing with four other adults to please. With all of that entourage, I might make it just one country, actually. Otherwise, you could do Madrid, fly to France or Italy and then do some more rural type vacation with a car at least part of the time. But you don't need a car at all for Madrid, Paris or London.
Christina is online now  
Old Sep 14th, 2016, 02:26 PM
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"I love Madrid but find it less festive than Barcelona" Whatthello

You couldn't be more wrong. Madrid is 10 times livelier than Barcelona, and much more famous for its nightlife.
Loacker is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2016, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you must go the Airbnb route, be aware that almost all of the short-term rentals in paris are illegal.

If you have 12 full days on the ground in Europe, I'd recommend just two bases, so you spend less of your time getting from place to place and more of your time seeing/doing/experiencing. Renting a car will just make your life more complicated.

People have different experiences of different cities. Whether I like your destination sis truly irrelevant - the issue is where do you and your family want to go. As I said, I'd choose two places. You can then do day trips if you'd like. But with 12 days in two major cities, I'd never make it out of the cities, there is so much to see and do in all of these places.
Kathie is online now  
Old Sep 15th, 2016, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,817
Both Paris and Barcelona have declared war on short-term vacation rentals. A new law was passed in Paris which should take effect sometime soon. Legal apartments will be allowed to list on the internet only if there is a registration number issued by the city.

For 6 adults, you would probably be spending much more on an apartment - if you could find one with 3 bedrooms and 3 real beds - than you would on separate rooms (with 3 separate bathrooms) in a decent hotel.

A hotel will allow you to drop your luggage and go explore, if your room is not ready - apartments will accommodate this only if you rent the night before.

Since you will only be spending a couple of days in each city, it's frankly not worth the trouble to rent apartments and stock them with food, etc.
fuzzbucket is offline  
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