Not enough time to see it all

Jan 19th, 2013, 09:13 PM
  #1  
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Not enough time to see it all

Hey everyone, i would love some travellers insight On must see places in Europe I'm currently planning a trip there for july/ august 2013 to visit my sister who recently moved to London and attend a festival in Belgium. We discussed just moving around london, france, Belgium, Netherlands, i would love to see some of Italy.
I want this trip to be full of exciting and unique adventures and explore European culture and get the most out of this trip. travelling from Sydney is a long way and an expensive trip so I want to cram as much of what this beautiful country has to offer. Appreciate the posts cheers
chelle88 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 09:22 PM
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Please clarify - How long is the trip? Two months July/August, or two weeks end July/beginning August, or ???
janisj is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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Everything turns on the length of your trip and your budget!
djkbooks is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 11:04 PM
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Make sure your flight is what is called "open-jaw", flying into one city and back from another. That way you don't have to backtrack to the first city.

Agree with djkbooks that length of trip and budget will determine how much you can do. Every move between places will cost money and time.

Do you want to see big cities (London, Paris, Rome etc.) or small villages or both? Museums? Beaches? Mountains? Old castles? Charming little farms? Ancient Roman ruíns?

Are you planning to rent a car or go by public transport? Sometimes a cheap flight is a better choice, but then you need to be careful about baggage weight/size limits. Actually, carrying large and heavy bags will not be fun on a train, either.
anyegr is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 11:51 PM
  #5  
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Sorry missed that important detail I am saying for a month the end two weeks of July and beginning two weeks of August. not planning on getting a car but we'll see I'd rather large cities lots of things to do and I guess if I resort to public transport it will be easier to travel to the main cities and towns. Budget isn't a major concern I guess I'll figure that out closer to my trip I just want to make the most of my time there. Great idea on the open jaw flight thankyou.
chelle88 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 11:59 PM
  #6  
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As for things I like I went to Europe before when i was younger and did the whole exploring historic churches and castles I want to have an open mind about European history and culture through food wine music and scenery.
chelle88 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 12:51 AM
  #7  
 
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so I want to cram as much of what this beautiful country has to offer.
Europe is not a country, so are you talking about UK or Belgium?
Cramming in a lot does not mean you will necessary see a lot. Most of your time will be spent travelling.
You have got 2 destinations on your list, my advice is to keep to those two.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 01:09 AM
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Can I just add that the "must sees" are what you decide are "must sees" they may be completely different to my must sees.
tipsygus is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 03:46 AM
  #9  
ira
 
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Hi c88

From the responses, I think that you can see that your question is much too broad.

You have 2 weeks in July and August.
You must visit London and some place in Belgium.

London is worth a week.

The rest of the UK can take up another week.

How long for the festival in Belgium?

Will you be able to spend 10 days in Italy?

Why not a week in Paris?

We can help you a lot more if you give us a draft itinerary.

ira is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 03:49 AM
  #10  
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Sorry ribeirasacra continent is that better and if we're going to get all technical I mentioned my sister lives in UK not traveling around UK just traveling from UK to Belgium for a festival then have the rest of the 4 weeks to travel and gypsygus can I just add have you ever recommended a place to someone or told someone about a place thing anything you like you can't guarantee that everyone you share your opinions with are going to share mutual opinions or likes and I can't guarantee that every place mentioned to be is going to be seen by me but its all part of researching and making sure that I see things I will like so may I also just add if neither of you care to comment places you have enjoyed seeing based on the fact not knowing what I like because you don't know me why are you in a forum?
chelle88 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 03:56 AM
  #11  
 
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oh chelle, if I may say so I think you need to slow down. [and a bit of punctuation wouldn't hurt either!]

so far, I have gleaned that you've got 4 weeks end July/beg august, that your sister lives somewhere in the UK [do you mind telling us where as it's relevant to how long you might stay there and how to get to Belgium] and that you want to go to festival in Belgium [where, when] and visit italy as well.

if you fill in those gaps, we might be able to help you a little more.
annhig is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 03:56 AM
  #12  
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The festival goes for four days I won't be spending a full week in UK as my sis lives there she sees it everyday. Itinerary is not as detailed because besides the festival and main flight there we have booked nothing we kind of like the idea of going somewhere and being spontaneous and in the moment whatever comes our way
chelle88 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 04:25 AM
  #13  
 
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Welcome to Fodors. I think this is what you are looking for.
"I want this trip to be full of exciting and unique adventures and explore European culture and get the most out of this trip. travelling"

4 weeks, London (possibly) to consume, say, 5 days, Belgium 4 days (date fixed by festival).

So, you need to understand that your choice of timing is in the high holiday season for Europe, many Northern Europeans go south in this period but it does mean that on certain dates (weekends etc) the airports, trains and roads will be packed.

Seeing even a good proportion of the UK would take at least 3 weeks so I think you need to dig out a good guide book and also have a look at http://www.thefestivalcalendar.co.uk/ this to see if you want to try and book any of these while you are in the country. The guide book should tell if say "the London Eye" is more important than say Stonehenge.

Then I'd dig into seat31.com to understand the train system and also that trains are great way around.

So have a good read and then come back, obviously we cannot help with spontaneous as that is in your court.
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 04:33 AM
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Four weeks. Ok. Do you want a quick whirlwind trip where you move every second day and see almost nothing and fall apart in exhaustion after half the time? (I hate those trip itineraries) Or a slow trip where you have a few bases to explore and maybe do a side daytrip from?

With four weeks you could easily do four cities, maybe five, without getting exhausted. Note that I said cities, not countries.

You will lose at least half a day, maybe even an entire day, every time you move. It will be either long hours on a train or long hours waiting at an airport.

Get a calendar so you can mark off any date that is absolute and can't be changed, like the day you MUST be back at work. It may also be a good idea to find out what cities you could fly into and home from. That would influence your plans a bit.

You mentioned a festival in Belgium. I assume you already know the exact dates for it. Any additional travel you want to do in Belgium and the Netherlands should be immediately before or after this.

Is your sister going with you on the Europe trip? In that case it would make most sense to start by flying into London to pick her up. It would also make a lot of sense to find out what places she wants to see if she is going with you. On the other hand, if she is NOT going with you on the Europe trip, you could put your London visit at the end of things instead.

There are frequent trains (Eurostar) between London and Brussels or between London and Paris.

You mentioned France. Do you actually want to see Paris, or is there somewhere else in France you would like better? It's a big country, but you don't have time to see all of it.

You also mentioned Italy. That really needs at least an entire month for itself. Personally, if I could only chose ONE city in Italy for a week I'd go to Rome. On the other hand, if I only had two or three days I'd chose a smaller place like Venice, because Rome needs at least a week.

So that's a week in London, a week in Belgium/Netherlands, a week in Paris (or other city in France) and a week in Rome (or other city in Italy). Sounds reasonable. But it's your trip so you have to make the final decisions.

Usually I'd tell people to split their big multi-country plans into multiple trips, but if you live in Sydney I can understand that the cost and time of the flight to Europe makes it difficult. I visited Brisbane, years ago, and I will not try such a long flight again unless I have at least two months to spend in Australia. Hmmmm.... Maybe I'll do that when I turn 50.
anyegr is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 04:38 AM
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Spontaneous is good. You will experience that whether you plan your trip and your hotels or not. Because it is high tourist season in Europe, I would advise booking hotels especially in major cities. If not, you will end up using your time to find hotels with available rooms and might pay more than you wish.

You need to do a little more thinking (and research) about what you want to see. This forum is a great place to research. Then come back with a little more information on where you want to go and we can weigh in.
mamcalice is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 04:38 AM
  #16  
 
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depending on your age/s you may qualify for a student rail pass which would enable you to be as spontaneous as you want:

http://studenttravel.about.com/od/ta...n/a/eurail.htm

loads of kids go backpacking in the summer and stay in hostels or couch surf; that may suit your style, though you have to accept that it's possible if you travel that way in July/August that you may just be unlucky and not be able to find suitable accommodation from time to time.

even if you don't qualify for a student pass, it might still be worth your while to consider getting an adult one, if this is what you want to do.
annhig is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 04:40 AM
  #17  
 
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and PLEASE think about using more punctuation - it will make what you post much easier to follow and therefore you might get some more useful replies.
annhig is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 06:31 AM
  #18  
 
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sorry seat61.com
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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Yes, PLEASE with the punctuation and capitalization. This is a forum board, not a text message.
Gretchen is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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makes total sense if going to big cities not to have a car, more and more a liability in big cities in many ways. And for some great resources to plan a European rail adventure I always spotlight these fantastic sites - www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com - download the latter's free and superb IMO online European Planning & Rail Guide (http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id2.html.

If traveling on several trains check out various railpasses.
PalenQ is offline  

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