Our itinerary

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Jun 13th, 2011, 05:29 PM
  #1
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Our itinerary

Hello everyone,

My husband and I ( both age 27) are leaving in a week for our first trip to Europe. My husband was set on backpacking and just seeing where the wind blew us ( as they say). I have finally convinced him to let me book some places after showing how pre booking could help stretch our budget. I wanted to post our itinerary as we have it planned and take any suggestions on where to stay. We are looking to stay as affordably as possible. I know that Europe can be expensive and we have been saving for YEARS for this trip. Any recommendations for 2 novice travelers would be helpful!!!!

Rome- 3 nights (already booked a hotel)
Florence- 3 nights ( with some day trips possible... Siena? Pisa?)
Venice- 1 night
Cinque Terre- 2 nights
Switzerland- 3 nights... We can't decide if we want to travel to a few different towns or just pick one. Do you have a favorite place in Switzerland you reccommend?
France- 4 nights. We plan on going to Paris but any other suggestions for day trips or places to stay would be helpful.

England and ireland- we have family in London and will be using that home as a home base while journeying to ireland for a 4 day block of time.

We are flying open jaw into Rome and out of London.

Thank you in advance for sharing your expertise.
McGuire18 is offline  
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Jun 13th, 2011, 05:43 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Post your hotel budget.

You can bus from Rome to Siena for about 15€ if you want to spend a night there instead of day tripping.
http://www.sena.it/

If you want to day trip from Florence the Sita bus is the best option.
http://www.sitabus.it/sita-toscana/Firenze-Siena06.pdf

The buses are better options than the trains between those cities as they take the same time, but drop you in the center of Siena and the train doesn't.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 05:44 PM
  #3
 
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Have you thought about your travel time between cities? ... you pretty much lose a day every time you move from one to the other.

Also, your arrival day is rarely a full day and departure is usually in the morning so first and last days are pretty well washed out.

I think you are trying to see too many places in too little time... although you don't say how much total time you have available. If it were me, I think I'd drop at least one place in Italy, add at least a day to Venice and fly from there to Paris skipping Switzerland.... otherwise you are risking "If it's Tuesday this must be Belgium" syndrome...
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Jun 13th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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This may seem harsh -- and I don't mean it that way -- but you may have been saving for years but it doesn't look like you've researched/planned at all.

Florence to Venice (for only 1 night) to the CT makes no sense. By the time you get to Venice - why bother, since you'll have to leave again first thing the next morning.

You have VERY little time in Rome since day 1 will be exhausting/jet lagged.

4 nights in Paris is also quite short --let alone adding any other parts of France/day trips.

Plus it sounds like you are traveling on a budget. All that moving around does increase you costs - significantly.

IMO you need to re-think things - and in a hurry since finding places to stay in some of those places on such short notice will be tough.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 05:48 PM
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Before landing in UK, you will be in a minimum of 6 cities/towns in 16 nights. Way too much time spent traveling in between IMO. As others on this forum have pointed out, each time to change cities you lose a half day checking out of hotel, getting to train station, train travel, check in at new hotel etc. If you can only allot one day to Venice, I would omit it and use the day somewhere else. In Switzerland and Paris, definitely stay based in one spot with perhaps a day trip if necessary.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 06:26 PM
  #6
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Ok... THanks so much and keep it coming! We are going to cut switzerland and add a day to Venice and Paris. We will still have another day to play with and we will decide what to do with it soon. Please keep the info coming.

As for the budget... Yes we are traveling on a budget... Isn't everyone? We care more about experiences than luxury accommodations and will only be in the room to sleep. We would like to have a clean place with air conditioning. No other frills necessary. Our total trip is something like 26 days.
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Jun 13th, 2011, 07:12 PM
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"Yes we are traveling on a budget... Isn't everyone? We care more about experiences than luxury accommodations and will only be in the room to sleep."

My comment about budget had nothing to do w/ accommodations. By >>All that moving around does increase your costs - significantly.<< . . . I meant extra travel costs more than staying put a few days. For example 6 days in one city will cost less than 6 days split between 3 cities.

The more destinations you squeeze in, the more $$/££/€€ you'll spend.

But - re accommodations: You really (REALLY) do need to pre-book your rooms in most of those places. Taking pot luck when you arrive in a city in high season can mean staying in a nasty place and/or paying more than you need to.

It may already be too late to find anything economical in Venice or on the CT. Not booking ahead may seem 'romantic' - you want to be foot loose. But not finding anyplace at all to sleep w/i your budget (or spending your whole day searching for a hotel) is generally NOT the least bit romantic.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 05:33 AM
  #8
 
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We went to Italy and we went to Rome, Florence, the Cinque Terre and Venice. Out of all the places I think the Cinque Terre was our favorite and Venice was our least favorite. Don't get me wrong, Venice is a really cool place to see, but we just found it so touristy it was kind of hard to enjoy... It may also be that it was our last stop and we were tired by this point.. ha ha. I thought 1 day or a day and a half day was enough for me in Venice. I would suggest that you do the Cinque Terre first, then Venice and then on to Switzerland as it makes more sense travel wise. It will probably be easier to go from venice to Switzerland than from the Cinque Terre to Switzerland, as the Cinque Terre is so remote and then you won't do any back tracking.

I think you have planned alot to see, but everyone has a different pace for traveling. If you get bored after a few days in one place than it's fine, but if you like to relax and really soak in every city you visit then you may want to re-consider how many places you visit.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 05:36 AM
  #9
 
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We stayed in Vernazza while in the Cinque Terre at Albergo Barabara (http://www.albergobarbara.it/) It was extremely affordable and the perfect location. It was a tiny room, but felt very private and we weren't there to be in the room anyway!
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Jun 14th, 2011, 07:45 AM
  #10
 
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Also, if you are only going to have 4 days from Ireland, coming in from London I would fly into Dublin and do day trips to the surrounding countryside. Traveling in Ireland is slow and not as efficient as the other countries you are visiting so 4 days really isn't alot of time there.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 08:53 AM
  #11
 
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Um, air conditioning doesn;t realy match with a lot of budget accommodations. If you know you need it - and I wouldn;t consder italy in summer without - you need to tie down you lodgings now - as in today. You haven;t said what your budget is - but you may already be too late for Venice or CT
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Jun 14th, 2011, 11:46 AM
  #12
 
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Let me preface this post by saying that I havent been to Italy yet, but I am in the planning stage. My husband and I were trying to go to a bunch of places in Italy in two weeks (12 full days) because instinctively, when you are spending so much time and money to take this trip, you want to go and see as many cities and/or countries as you can.
So I posted our initial itinerary and after seeing similar reactions from people in this forum, we rethought our intinerary and changed to 3 cities, venice, florence and rome, allocating 4, 3, and 5 days in each.

AND I am SOOO glad I did. Now that i am actually sitting down and planning out the day to day schedule about where to go and what to see, I realized I still dont have enough time in each!
I understand your desire to fit in as many locations as possible, but IF you want to hit majority of the main attractions in each, give yourself enough time to do so.
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Jun 14th, 2011, 12:23 PM
  #13
 
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Booking open-jaw flights was a GREAT decision. I'm glad you're cutting out Switzerland. I'd put your "extra" day in Rome, assuming you have enough time in London - there is SO much to see there, and as others have said, your first day will be jet lagged like crazy if you're coming from North America. I also might consider cutting out Venice or the CT (I actually liked Venice, so clearly this is a personal decision). They're 5-6 hours of train travel apart, not to mention checking out/checking in and finding your way to a new hotel.

I think janisj's comment about traveling around costing more meant things like train tickets (our tickets from Rome to Venice, for example, were €58, and that was the cheaper Mini fare). So there's a money cost in addition to the time. Plus the intangibles, like "we just got here and we're tired and lost, so let's just eat dinner at this clearly overpriced tourist trap."

Where exactly are you planning to go in Ireland? Public transportation (outside of Dublin) isn't quite as good there as much of Europe, so if you want to go to the more scenic areas like the southwest, you'll either be constrained to bus/train schedules or have to pay to rent a car. On the other hand, if you stay in Dublin and decide to do day trips to places like Glendalough, you'll have to add in the cost of those trips/tours. Just a heads up.

In terms of budget, are you looking at hostels? Sometimes they're not much cheaper than a b&b (I found this to be true in southwest Ireland), but sometimes they can save a lot. Some do have age restrictions. Just a thought.
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