Please suggest best itinerary

Old Aug 5th, 2016, 06:52 AM
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Please suggest best itinerary

Hi, we are a family of 4. Our booking is as follows:
Arriving 23 Dec- flight Mumbai - Paris CDG, onward train to Brussels (cost included in the ticket).
Dep. 4th Jan - Train from Brussels to Amsterdam, onward Flight Amsterdam to Mumbai.
During these days, we plan to see
Paris 3 days
Venice 2 days
Barcelona 2 days
Rome 2 days
Berlin/Koeln 1 day.
Amsterdam 1 day
We have 12 days at our disposal. We are ready to travel in the night.
To save on travel cost, we have option to fly by Easyjet, or by night train.
We can skip train trains to and from Brussels and drop Brussels visit. We can also drop Barcelona if it becomes too tight a schedule.
Please suggest a best route, so that our Christman and New year is memorable.
Thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 07:29 AM
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Some things do not make sense:

Why go to Brussels on the 23rd when it is not included in your wish list?

Why Brussels on Jan. 4th.? Where do you think you will be on Jan. 3? If Paris, just go directly to Amsterdam.

Drop Barcelona. Drop Berlin/Köln. Go to Munich instead, as it is on the night train routes between Rome and Amsterdam.

http://www.eurail.com/europe-by-trai...ity-night-line
Michael is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2016, 07:40 AM
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So sorry, you do NOT have 12 days, but only 11 (not counting day of arrival - Dec. 23 - or day of departure - Jan. 4. So sorry, your plan does not account for time consumed in (1) packing bags, (2) checking out of Hotel #1, (3) traveling to train/plane/bus, (4) time traveling to next destination, (5) time consumed retrieving baggage, (6) time spent traveling to Hotel #2, (7) time checking into Hotel #2. I strongly recommend you lay out your plan in the following format. I hope you will see that your plan is WAY, WAY too ambitious.

Day 1 Leave Mumbai, arrive Paris
Day 2 Explore Paris
Day 3 Explore Paris
Day 4 Leave Paris at ____o'clock via train; arrive Amsterdam at 2:00 p.m.
Day 5 Explore Amsterdam
Day 6 Leave Amsterdam via 9:00 train for Berlin; explore Berlin
Day 7: Leave Berlin via Easyjet (?); arrive Venice
Day 8: Explore Venice; leave Venice via plane/train; arr. Rome
Day 9: Explore Rome
Day 10eave Rome, arrive Barcelona
Day 11 Explore Barcelona
Day 12 Return to CDG for return to Mumbai.

If you wish to see train stations and airports, it's a great plan. If you wish to see/experience what Europe has to offer, reduce your trip to three stops MAXIMUM. That would be Paris plus 2 others.

If it is not too late, purchase a "multi-city" airplane ticket so you can return to Mumbai from Rome or Barcelona, rather than having to travel back to CDG for the trip home.

Less is more.
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 08:06 AM
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Yes, I agree, you don't have the amount of time you think you have. It takes three nights in a place just to get two full days. Each time you change locations it will eat up at least half a day. As zorro says, choose a maximum of three cities.
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 08:53 AM
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My suggestion to improve your itinerary, maximise your enjoyment of your trip, and to save money, would be to decrease the number of destinations. I think you're mostly going to be seeing airports, train stations, and the inside of airplanes and trains. In 12 days, I would go to one destination, possibly two. Since you've booked flights into Paris and out of Amsterdam, there's your itinerary!
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 09:46 AM
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Is your flight already booked into Paris and out of Amsterdam?
If so, can it be changed?
If not, wait to book until your itinerary is set.

Your current itinerary does not work at all. Europe is bigger and more spread out than you seem to think. Look at a good map. Do not plan routes that crisis cross.

Choose the three places you are most interested in seeing. Drop the rest.
If you are stuck with into Paris, out of Amsterdam,
Day 1, depart Mumbai, arrive Paris
Day 2, Paris
Day 3, Paris
Day 4, Paris
Day 5, fly to Venice
Day 6, Venice
Day 7, train to Rome
Day 8, Rome
Day 9, Rome
Day 10, afternoon flight to Amsterdam
Day 11, Amsterdam
Day 12, fly home.

That really short changes Rome, but if you have to go through Amsterdam, might as well have a day there.

Absolutely no time for anyplace else!!!
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 10:46 AM
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To save on travel cost, we have option to fly by Easyjet, or by night train>

For lots of stuff on trains and night trains check www.seat61.com- great info on discounted tickets if you book months in advance to guarantee them; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Possible night trains for you:

Berlin to Amsterdam
Rome to Germany - Munich
Venice to Paris or v.v.
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 11:42 AM
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Agree with KyraS, but you could also spend a day or two in Brussels and visit Ghent or Bruges from there. To see more than Paris, a little of Flanders, and Amsterdam would be in effect to see nothing and spend your entire vacation in planes and trains.
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 01:23 PM
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Sorry, but it sounds horrible. An entire vacation in train stations and aiports. Ugh. When I travel, I want to actually SEE things and BE in places.

Why don't you just abandon the idea of floating all over the European Continent and go to one or two places and enjoy the holiday season there? It's winter. It's the holiday season. Things are going to be closed. It's dark by 5 pm. Just go to London or Paris and call it a day.
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 02:22 PM
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I would revise the itinerary as follows:

Paris 3 days
fly to Venice
Venice 2 days
train to Rome
Rome 3 days
train overnight to Munich
day in Munich
overnight train to Amsterdam

That might give you a full day in Munich and a full day in Amsterdam before the flight home.

Crowded, not my style, but then I do not know what your interests are or how you generally travel. I have an acquaintance who has spent 1 day in Istanbul and considers that sufficient. For her, the day excursions offered by cruises are more than enough.
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Old Aug 5th, 2016, 02:31 PM
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I'm not sure that there will even BE any night train from Rome at that point. That whole night train thing is in flux.
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 12:38 AM
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also: nighttrains: horrible traveling, no sleep, so that "saves a night in a hotel" is really an illusion
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 01:57 AM
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bad plan in the middle of winter and hi-festival time, not good.

I'd do Sassafrass's trip
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 05:35 AM
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Dear Michael, Thanks!
I liked your suggestion on itinerary
Paris 3 days
fly to Venice
Venice 2 days
train to Rome
Rome 3 days
train overnight to Munich
day in Munich
overnight train to Amsterdam
I would now explore the best train/air connections.
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 07:03 AM
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<i>horrible traveling, no sleep, so that "saves a night in a hotel" is really an illusion</i>

I remember quite a few students who did that when Eurail passes were cheap.
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 07:06 AM
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train overnight to Munich
day in Munich
overnight train to Amsterdam

Nooooo
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 07:43 AM
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If the overnight train is not available, then just fly from Rome to Amsterdam.
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 12:47 PM
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Angel1, whatever places you choose that work for your interests are good. No quibbling about that. However, you always need 2 nights in a place to net 1 whole day, 3 nights to net 2 days, etc. Do not count all those days in Venice and Rome as whole days there. Getting from hotel in Paris to the airport, security and waiting for flight, flight, time getting to hotel in Venice, will eat up about 1/2 day, leaving 1 & 1/2 days in Venice. The same will be true taking the train from Venice to Rome, so you will not have 3 days in Rome. You will have 2 & 1/2 days. That is no problem as long as you know that is all you have and not thinking it will be more. It won't be. You are also adding another place back into the mix.

Personally, there is no way I would take 2 night trains back to back like that, especially in winter with kids, unless I was just going for the fun of riding on trains.

If it is at all possible to change your flight out of Amsterdam to departing from Rome, do that so you have more sightseeing time and less travel time.

BTW, you may have unusually warm weather, but it is more likely to be cold and rainy part of the time, so be sure to have warm clothing and rain gear.
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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<< ...unless I was just going for the fun of riding on trains.>>

But it's NOT fun riding on trains at night, especially with kids. You can't see anything, it's uncomfortable, and you end up arriving at your destination as a wiped-out mess. And then...what? You park your luggage (that alone is an experience if you don't speak the local language and have to read instructions for putting your bags into lockers) and take your cranky kids into Munich (do you even know how to get around Munich? Do you speak German?) for the day, try to wake them up and drag them around the city all day, and then repeat the whole horrible experience again getting from Munich to Amsterdam and doing the same exhausting routine in a brand-new city with another language and so forth? My kids would have considered this child abuse.
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Old Aug 6th, 2016, 02:15 PM
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StCirg, that is exactly what I was trying to indicate, but in a round about way. Better to be direct as you were. Hope the OP gets the message clearly this time.

Another note for the OP. Your trip is so rushed, it depends on everything going perfectly, and it mostly does. However, With international flights in play, I would never risk arriving in the departure city the same day as the flight out, even in Summer, but especially in winter. If the international departure flight is delayed, that is one thing, but if it goes and you have been delayed somewhere before then, you are stuck.

A few years back, my flight in Europe, in winter, was actually re-routed to an airport about five hours from my destination airport. I had to overnight there. Luckily, I wasn't connecting.
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