Need help planning this trip!

Aug 14th, 2010, 07:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Need help planning this trip!

Hi all. Just returned from my first trip to Europe and fell in love. We are planning on going back next summer for 2 weeks and here is a list of places I want to visit:
Barcelona, Spain
Possibly Lisbon, Portugal
Southern France (Nice, Monaco, etc)
Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscancy Italy
Possibly Belgium
Possibly Luxembourg

What are your thoughts? We've done lots of cruising so I thought maybe a 5-7 day cruise could cover some of them and maybe the other week we can do rail travel?
Thanks for your thoughts
SueKrauss is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 07:09 PM
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Friends of mine took a cruise from Barcelona to Venice. You could add something on before or after.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Aug 14th, 2010, 07:53 PM
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That's 8 countries (including your three possibles) in 13 days?

Taking your confirmed cities and allowing 1 day for each country without a city listed, you have 9 places to visit.

Skipping Lisbon entirely and taking the most direct route FROM Barcelona through your confirmed cities (Innsbruck, Zurich and Brussels were used), you have about 33 hours of driving/rail time, or 4 days traveling 8 hours a day. You end up in Brussels, not even back at your starting point with all that.

Even if you stop in Zurich, it's 27 hours of travel.

This is simply impossible as you have it listed. I think you need to think about cutting your desired destinations by at least half.

Excitement can do this to the most seasoned of us
Aramis is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 09:10 AM
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Yes...excitement can do that and indeed it has!
Okay, so what should we do? Based on where you've been and what you've seen, what would you advise? I'm 48, my husband is 52 and our boys are 10 & 11. We loved Paris, NYC, beach. My husband loves food and wine. We'd like to have a base and take day trips by rail, so what's do-able? Thanks again!
SueKrauss is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 09:18 AM
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Cut down Italy to Rome & Florence. Less than 2 hr apart by train whereas Venice is 4.5 hrs from Rome.

Even so, you'll want 2 full days in Rome and a day in Florence minimum. (NOTE: Our last trip -- our second to Italy -- was a whole week in Rome less an overnight in Florence, and we didn't get bored at all..there is so much to do.)

You can, however, add to your efficiency by taking sleeper trains between cities if available...otherwise you might spend the equivalent of up to two full days just traveling if you try your itinerary.

ssander is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 09:18 AM
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Almost every one of the places you've listed deserves a very bare minimum of one week. I would pick one, yes just one, of the places on your list, preferably one with good rail and other public transport options. The places you list are phenomenally different from one another, so it's impossible to recommend one over the other without having any idea of your interests. In fact, how did you come up with this list?
StCirq is online now  
Aug 15th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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These are just places I want to see in my lifetime! We can cut the cruise and just do 2 weeks (plus a few days extra) to travel OR do a 5 day cruise and leave the rest for rail travel.
I would love to see more of France. Italy is very appealing, as well as the Czech Republic (oops. forgot to add that one to my initial post!)
Would love to see Austria, Switzerland, Spain but maybe that's a separate trip?
Can I do France, Prague, Italy in 2 weeks?
SueKrauss is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 09:45 AM
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I strongly reco against a cruise as a means of seeing europe (unless you mean one of those river cruises that stick to a couple of countries). On a cruise you often spend a large amount of time getting from the ports to the cities they serve - and you never get to spend evenings in the cities (which is often the most enjoyable part of the day - a relaxed dinner and a romantic stroll back to a hotel through floodlit piazzas with splashing fountains beats racing back to a port for a mediocre dinner on a boat.

If you have 2 weeks I would pick 4 cities (cities not countries) and actually see something of each of them. You don;t have to stick to one country - we usually pick two and sometimes three - to have a feeling for different cultures - but make sure they aren't long distances from each other. I think you would enjoy that much more than paying through the nose for super-rushed bus tours of a couple of highlights and then back to the boat.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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Well, if your preferred approach to travel is to "do" places, sure, meaning you can get to all those places in 2 weeks. Have you looked at a map of Europe? Paris to Prague is about 15-16 hours on a train.

Even if you just want to check places off a list, it would be wise to pick countries that are in close proximity to one another.
StCirq is online now  
Aug 15th, 2010, 10:37 AM
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wow, you could ease back and just do the southern east part of france and the North west of italy for two weeks.
bilboburgler is online now  
Aug 15th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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You just returned from your first Europe trip....where did you go?
Judy is online now  
Aug 15th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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Judy, we flew from Rochester, NY to Paris and stayed in an apt. there (7th arrond) for 5 days. After that we took the eurostar to England and did a 12 day Baltic Cruise which took us to Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Sweden & Finland. We got back and spent a day in London and flew back home.
We loved, loved Paris. We also enjoyed our time in Estonia, Sweden & Finland. It wasn't a lot of time there, but that was okay because it gave us a feel for the area and whether we'd like to go back sometime and explore more. We also liked Berlin but it was a super busy day for us. We'd like to explore more of the countryside someday. I wasn't crazy about London. The people were lovely but the area I could live without.
I know I'm a bit overzelous with travel....there is just so much to see! We love to cruise and have some down time on the boat (especially when we can send the kids to kids club and be alone for once!)
I also like it because it gives you a taste of a place and you can decide if you want more at a later date!
SueKrauss is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks! That explains a lot. If you enjoyed the Baltic cruise, perhaps a Med cruise leaving from Barcelona and ending in Venice would work for you. It would cover many of the places you'd like to see.
Judy is online now  

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