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    by ibobi Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 20, 17 at 01:24 PM
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Solo, inexperienced traveler struggling w/ logistics

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This is my first post, so please be gentle....

I'm a woman in my late 40's, traveling solo for a month beginning 5/20/15. Last year, I took my first solo trip for 24 days, entirely by train (Rhine, Munich, Vienna, Rome, Nice, and Paris, in that order.). I should've left Paris off that trip, as I've been there 3x before and ending in Nice would have been perfect at the end of a long trip. This year, I'm flying from Los Angeles into Frankfurt (necessitated by mileage upgrade) and home from Barcelona. Upon arrival, Berlin and Prague are musts. I'm leaning strongly towards Amsterdam as well for the first part of the trip, though Budapest is trying to seduce me.

I'll then venture South, hopefully to warmth (either to Arles and then Spain or just Spain and perhaps, Lisbon). (I'd love to spend more time in Italy - especially the Amalfi Coast, but without a car and more time, I think I need to let that one go... for now.)

A couple things. I prefer trains unless they make absolutely no sense; I've no interest in renting a car; and I don't want to stay anywhere less than 3 nights. 4-5 is my preference. I'd rather take long day trips than check in and out hotels after a day or two. It's exhausting, especially when you're doing it by yourself.

In the early stages still, but initially I'm getting tripped up on a few things:
1. What is the most logical train route after I've gotten to Frankfurt, given that I'm stuck w/ flying into Frankfurt? It looks like (Amsterdam-Berlin-Prague?)
2. What's the best way to get to my 4th stop (which at this early stage could be Arles/Avignon or somewhere like Madrid (this would be the last stop before Barcelona, I suspect). My exit options will influence my route in 1., above, even if I'm doing some backtracking. I think I can take a night train from Amsterdam and perhaps Prague without an overnight stay somewhere so I can get directly to my destination, but any experience with this?

(I'm being greedy and know I'll get many conflicting opinions, but for those of you who have been to Amsterdam and Budapest, with this itinery in mind, do you have strong feelings about one over the other and why? I'm passionate about WWII history, but beyond that, I'll find something to love no matter where I am (except if it's a brewery, a vineyard or it involves shopping.)

Thank you so much in advance for your thoughts.

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