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Post High School Graduation Trip

Old Mar 1st, 2008, 03:46 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Post High School Graduation Trip

A few friends and I, four in total, are trying desperately to plan a trip to Europe after high school graduation this May. Admittedly, our parents are wealthy enough to be able to send us, but the "burden" has been placed upon us to figure everything out. I have been a few times before, but when I was much younger and with my parents in tow. We are looking for something different, and while we no doubt want to hit the touristy spots (i.e. London, France, Rome, Sicily...etc) we are all interested in culture, food, wine, and - unsurprisingly - European women as much as the next epicurean.

We would like to go for 14-20 days, but for as cheaply as possible. (Four to a room, take the economy train, walk everywhere we can, etc.) I would like to spend no more than three thousand dollars (mainly due to the fact I promised myself I would pay for half) total including flight from LAX, trains, taxis, hotels, food, wine, museums... everything.

So I leave this to you; what do I see and how do I do it? Keep in mind I have a very, very strong interest in Italy, but would like to see a Paris and London as well. I hope you can help me plan the trip of a lifetime.

justinbrooks is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Well in 14 to 20 days you can;t see all of eueope.

The biggest mistake that first tine planner make is to try to see to much - and end up seeing not much at all - with everything running together.

Since you have been with your parents you have probably seen many of the major monuments - and now should take time to explore the culture and life in a more relaxed way.

For 14 days suggest no more than 4 cities (NOT countries) and for 20 days no more than 5 or 6. And you're going to have to decide on what mix of cities, countryside and beach that you want.

For young people Amstedam, Berlin and Prague are usually big attractions - since they have lots of night life - as well as tourist activities. Or some for go Barcelona - cities plus beach - or Ibiiza - just a gigantic party resort.

If $3000 is half the trip you should have not trouble if you're reasonably careful. Just be very careful about drinks/hard liquor - which are VERY expensive due to being heavily taxed. Beer and wine are find - often less than sodas.

And if you really want to save money look at hostels versus hotels - some have rooms for only 4 people - if you check around.


nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 1st, 2008, 06:09 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
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Hi Justin, you've gotten some good advice about limiting the number of cities for the length of time you have. You are sure to get a lot more great advice here. If you haven't already, you may want to check out Lonely Planet's boards, too.

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/index.jspa

Have fun planning and traveling.
lucy_d is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 02:33 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 566
About Italy a good place for you could be Urbino, in Marche: culture, food and wine; then Friuli Venezia Giulia, the north-east of Italy, to visit Trieste: culture, food, wine and . . . . whatelse !

Vincenzo
vincenzod is offline  
Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 03:59 AM
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I would start in London, as it is usually the cheapest ticket, and you will likely save at least a couple hundred dollars. I would spend 3-4 nights there. Use Priceline for hotels or check out the hostels. And, please, practice your binge drinking before you go. The Brits are world-class binge drinkers and you want to try and keep up.

From London, I would fly to Amsterdam (s/b less than $100). And, remember the cost of getting to the airport. It is cheaper to get to Heathrow and London City than Gatwick. Personally, I would pay up to $20 extra to fly from London City, because it is so much quicker and easier. If you really wanted to save some money, you could look into the overnight bus or train. I doubt it would save you a lot of money on the transport, but you would save money on lodging for the night.

Again, I would be looking at 3-4 nights in Amsterdam. And be sure to eat bitterballen while there. Deep-fried gravy, yum.

Train it from Amsterdam to Paris, spending another 3-4 nights there.

After Paris, I think you should make a choice between Italy, Spain, or "other". In Spain, I would try to hit Madrid, Barcelona, and perhaps one of the southern cities. If Italy, Florence and Rome would top the list. Maybe Venice if you had time. For "other", I would look at Prague and Budapest, maybe Berlin.

If you decide on Spain or Italy, then I would look into a rail pass. If heading to the "others", I would likely look to fly.
travelgourmet is online now  
Old Mar 2nd, 2008, 11:50 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 5,830
If you are going to Italy, some of the towns that have the elements you want, including college students, are Florence, Perugia, and Bologna. of course, in Rome, they often hang out at the Spanish Steps. Bologna, of course, is renowned for food. Florence has more art, Perugia has a lot of art and an interesting hilltop town with underground excavations. And we certainly had some good food there!

charnees is offline  
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