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Spending 2 weeks in Europe : suggestions?

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May 25th, 2012, 11:04 AM
  #1
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Spending 2 weeks in Europe : suggestions?

Hello, me and my family are looking to spend 14 days in Europe, and will be flying in from O'Hare International to Rome, Italy where our trip will begin.

We're looking to expand our trip farther and venture through the following:

-Rome, Italy
-Switzerland
-Austria
-Germany
-Belgium

and if possible, London and/or Paris.

I know that travel between cities and such will take anywhere from hours to up to half our day, which we're trying to calculate into our travel plans.

Do you have any suggestions on which places should definitely be seen and if you think this is possible. Much thanks.
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May 25th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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If you consider the time to go to an airport then fly somewhere then make your way from the airport to the city center you should calculate a full day for travel.

Have you been to Europe before? What kinds of things are you planning to do?

The major cities, because of what they offer, are Rome, Paris and London. Obviously you can spend your whole time in any one of those and not wear it out. You should probably try to speand at least 3 days in each big city outside your travel time. From your list I would skip Switzerland, Belgium and Austria this time and save them for a later trip. If time permits you may want to add in Florence or Venice as side trips from Rome.

Sit the family down and see what everyone is fantasizing about and plan from there.
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May 25th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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You could probably spend 2 weeks in Italy and not have enough time. Also know tha you will probably be scolded on this message board for even suggesting the number of countries you want to visit.

If you must, do a week in Italy and a week in Germany. You will be thourghly exhausted by the time you return to the States and will no doubt require a 2 week vacation.
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May 25th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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If you're flying RT to Rome, that will limit you. If you had and open jaw for another city to fly back from, that would make it easier.

You could spend 2 months in Paris alone, and still barely scratch the surface.

Try starting with Rome, then Florence (day trip to Siena) and Venice. Figure out how long you might want to spend in each of these cities.

A good guide book like Fodors would be the best way to start. Once you understand what's in each of the cities, then you can narrow your trip schedule down.
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May 25th, 2012, 11:32 AM
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If you make your way to Venice you can take the overnight train from Venice to Paris. Its not for eveyone but my sister, cousin and I did last year. It was quite an ezxperience but it's not for everyone. I agree with Aisle- leave out Switzerland, Belgium and Austri for another time.

We just got back from a 10 day trip in Italy. We started in Venice, went to Tuscany and ended it in Rome. It was not enough but now we know where we want to go back too.

In my oppinion-Tuscany is a must, but it's just me.
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May 25th, 2012, 11:39 AM
  #6
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Thank you all for your opinions and input.

This is our first time traveling to Europe and my dad was the one who suggested seeing the multiple locations above. It seems that due to time constraints and limited traveling time, it just won't be possible.

We'll look at cutting Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland and focus more on London, Rome and Paris with Venice also being a stop.
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May 25th, 2012, 12:06 PM
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You might then check out flights to Paris from Venice.

Easyjet flies to Paris CDG, but most of their flghts are in to Orly.

From Paris, the chunnel train to London works.

You need to start planning a daily budget to average out your expenses for hotels and food. Depending on how many of you there are in your family, you might also want to look for an apartment.

You have lots of travel work ahead of you. This forum seems to be self-planners. Also, look at trip reports for the destinations you want to visit. Perform a search for each of the cities to get a good idea as to what fits best with you.
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May 25th, 2012, 01:48 PM
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Lauren, you didn't mention whether or not your tickets are to and from Rome. Have you booked your airline reservations yet? That does make a difference in what we suggest. If your tickets are already booked, and are roundtrip from Chicago to Rome, then I recommend either spending the two weeks in Italy (you can visit Rome, Venice & Florence & maybe another area, such as Tuscany or Cinque Terre), or do Rome and Paris. If you haven't booked your airline tickets, & really want to see London, then you should fly into Rome and out of London, and visit Rome, Paris & London.
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May 25th, 2012, 01:57 PM
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here's a suggestion -

fly into London, 4 nights [you need at least one day to recover from jetlag, and London makes a easier intro to europe as we speak an approximation of your language.

get eurostar to Paris, 3 nights [nothing like enough, but you'll be back]

fly to Venice, 3 nights

train to Rome. 4 nights.
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May 25th, 2012, 02:08 PM
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The flight tickets have not been booked as of yet.

It would be easier to either:

a) Fly into and out of Rome, and just venture around Italy.

b) Fly into Rome and out of London, exploring Rome, Paris and London. Or vice-versa.

It looks like we'll be looking into hotels that provide suites or apartments that will room 5 people.
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May 25th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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Lauren - I would suggest flying into London, for the reasons i set out above.

flying out of a different city eg Rome means that you don't waste time back-tracking.

even if you were just going to Italy, into Venice and out of Rome would make more sense than into and out of Rome.

if you stay 3 days or more in any place, you can usually get an apartment. 4 days would be better.
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May 25th, 2012, 02:41 PM
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annhig means for 3 days you can get a real apartment, not one in a hotel. look on VRBO.com, and for Italy, sleepinitaly.com, italyperfetct.com and trip advisor.com.

Also google vacation apartment rental + the city name to find more refs.

You are smart to limit your stops. I would spend my time in Rome, Paris, and London on this trip, no more moves than that, as you will spend too much time moving. Actually I would advise choosing two places and doing some day trips out of them to see some of the smaller towns or regions. you can get some ideas by buying a couple of city guidebooks, as they usually include suggested day trips. Rick Steves has some good books for newbies.

Believe me, you will go back to Europe again, and see more!
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May 25th, 2012, 02:58 PM
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annhig means for 3 days you can get a real apartment, not one in a hotel. look on VRBO.com, and for Italy, sleepinitaly.com, italyperfetct.com and trip advisor.com.>>

lol charnees - thanks for providing the translation. yes - proper apartments would be better than "suites" and most probably cheaper.
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May 25th, 2012, 03:14 PM
  #14
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Thanks guys. I'll look into apartments instead of suites.

also, it looks like round-trip flights from O'Hare to London and back are cheapest, which would then include a flight from Rome, back to London. (approx. 2hrs and 45min)

I looked into flying into London and then out of Rome, and it looks like flight costs from Rome to O'Hare are over double the cost at $3054/person (non-stop.) I know my parents wouldn't take the bullet to bare a single stop along the way, despite the difference in price. ($1015/person)

Looks like a round-trip flight into London suites them best, and we'll have to compromise to fit an extra flight in from Rome to London.
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May 25th, 2012, 03:31 PM
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Lauren - i don't think that the price differential should be that much.

what you are looking for is the "multi-city" button where is says one-way, or return [which will just give you O'hare - London - O'Hare]. you need to put in O'Hare to London for the outward leg, and Rome - O'Hare going back.

Sorry if you already know this, but lots of people don't and try to book two one-way trips, which are more expensive.

if you are stuck with the round trip option, it might be a good idea to go straight to Rome [or Paris] and work your way back to London. that means that your time in london won't be broken up and you'll be in the right place for going home.

you could of course also investigate the costs of flying into/out of Paris and Rome.
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May 25th, 2012, 04:21 PM
  #16
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Man do you pay a price for non-stop flights both way. I'm looking at double the cost of 1-stop flights.

Thank you for the tip!
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May 25th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Double the price for nonstop from Chicago to Europe? That's surprising. Where are you searching and for what dates?
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May 25th, 2012, 05:01 PM
  #18
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I'm going through Orbitz.com

Dates: July 22nd - August 2nd (any time) -peak season may be the reason for the jump in price.
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May 25th, 2012, 05:32 PM
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Try searching at kayak.com. Also, if possible, be flexible about which days of the week you can travel.

Using Kayak, the least expensive nonstop for your dates I found was on American Airlines [multicity: ORD-LHR (London), FCO (Rome)-LHR] for $1537.

What price were you finding?
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May 25th, 2012, 06:05 PM
  #20
 
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Lauren,
You do realize the Olympics are July 27 to Aug 12 in London. It is not surprising that airfare to and from and housing in London on your travel dates is very pricey. Unless you are planning to attend the games, I would leave London out during this trip. Just a thought...
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