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Tour Through Europe...help us plan!


Jun 6th, 2012, 06:58 PM
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Tour Through Europe...help us plan!

Hey, guys! My boyfriend and I are planning a summer trip (May-late July or August) to explore Europe. We'd like to keep it as budget friendly as possible (but still splurge on a few choice things). Our itinerary includes: Belgium (Brussels, Bruges), Britain (London, Canterbury), Croatia (for Lake Plitvice), Czech Republic (Prague), France (Paris, Normandy, Monaco), Greece (Athens, Crete, Santorini), Hungary (Budapest), Ireland (Dublin), Italy (Rome, Milan, Verona, Venice), Lithuania (Vilinus), Netherlands (Holland, Amsterdam), Norway (we're staying with a family friend), Poland (Krakow), Spain (Madrid, Barcelona), Sweden (Stockholm) and Turkey (Istanbul).

We're taking ANY suggestions (even if it goes a bit outside the prior places listed). Good eats, hostels, hotels, couch-surfing experiences, not-to-miss places, etc!

Thanks so much!
KayliS is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2012, 07:35 PM
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Too many destinations. Get a guidebook or two.
Pegontheroad is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2012, 08:33 PM
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How long is this trip? And yes, do some research (look at Destinations link above to start), buy a good guidebook (Lonely Planet is good for your age group), do sone reading and come back with more specific questions.
socaltraveler is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2012, 08:42 PM
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I hope you have a year to accomplish this. It will be great fun.
StCirq is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2012, 09:21 PM
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You have 3 months (90 days) and have listed 27 places to visit.

That means that you have 2 to 2.5 days for each location. The rest of the time is travel time. You'll also spend lots of money to get from place to place so I would not call this type of trip a budget one.

Start reading some guide books such as Let's Go for sights to see in each location. There must be some reason you choose the places you want to see.

This board is generally not a hostel or couch surfing group. You should take a look at the thorn tree forum on the Lonely Planet web site as there are more backpacking type travelers there.
adrienne is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2012, 09:27 PM
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At this point, you need to prioritize your destinations and start to narrow your choices.

Get a really good, really big, map of Europe. Pick your number one dream destination. Use Paris as an example. Think about what you want to see there, how long it will take, what day/side trips you might want to take from there, how long it will take getting around, etc. In other words, how many days/nights in each place.

Build from there and try to create a sensible itinerary without lots of backtracking. Figure out how much time it will take you to get to the next destination. Your trip won't necessarily start from the first place. All that moving from country to country will be time consuming and very expensive.

Think carefully about why you want to go to a country and want you want to do/see there. For example, why only Dublin after going all the way to Ireland? Why only Verona, Milan and Venice rather than Rome or Florence in Italy?

You want to see a lot of places, but you won't see much at all if you waste lots of time getting from one place to another.
Sassafrass is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2012, 10:20 PM
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While you're going through the process well-described by Sassafrass, factor in a day every so often when you essentially have nothing you must do. Ninety straight days at a non-stop pace will take a lot of the fun out of it. Consider summer temps everywhere when plotting the order. You'll likely want to move generally from north to south.

Also, don't forget you're going to need to do laundry several times which on a tight budget means spending some time doing it yourself.

You've picked great destinations, but they are almost entirely cities. I love cities too, but some excursions into the countryside in each country would be a nice break.
Jean is offline  
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Jun 6th, 2012, 11:15 PM
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You aren't going to have time for any long stays with in depth looks into anything. But that may not be a horrible thing. It depends on what sort of person you are and what interests you. If you want to see a little of everything and then rush off to the next place before you get bored, then your itinerary sort of makes sense. I'd get exhausted after half the trip, but that doesn't mean you will be.

Do you have any idea of what you want to see in the places you have listed? Any specific sights that interest you? Or did you just pick some cities that you'd heard about others liking?

I agree with Jean about the laundry and having days of doing nothing. I do not agree with her about doing excursions into the countryside being a nice break, unless you actually like the countryside.

I hope that list is only alphabetical and not the order you want to do the countries in.

How are you planning to get between places? Train? Flying? Driving? Have you looked at distances and actual travel times? The more you move around the more it will cost.

I'm not entirely sure which of those countries are in the Schengen area. If you are going for more than 90 days you may need to look that up. Your profile doesn't say where you are from, so I don't know if you have to worry about it or not.
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