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We need your help!!! Which order of cities makes sense?

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Aug 17th, 2012, 05:34 PM
  #1
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We need your help!!! Which order of cities makes sense?

Hello all you lovely travelers!
My friend and I need guidance on how to plan our two week Europe trip at the end of September/beginning of October. I should note that I will be flying to the Middle East at the end of this trip. We will begin our journey in London. After that we wish to see Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin.

1. In which order should we do this? We have researched and there are SO many options out there so we'd like to hear some of your experiences!
2. Once in Europe (outside London) would booking a train ticket in advance be highly advised or would train/plane tickets still be reasonable day of purchase?
3. Are these four cities adequate and would anyone recommend anywhere else instead or somewhere (preferably inexpensive) to include??

Thank you !
laeastsider is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2012, 05:46 PM
  #2
 
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Train tickets purchased at the last minute tend to be at full price. To get an idea, login www.sncf.com and assume a trip next week between Paris and Amsterdam. Then look at the price if you order the ticket at the beginning of October. You might or might not see a significant difference. The best prices are ordered three months in advance.

The order of your travel will be determined by your flight to the Middle East. If you find a low cost flight from any of the continental cities you mention, use that as your end point and work backwards from there.
Michael is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2012, 06:15 PM
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If you are referencing this Sept/Oct, you are rather late in being able to find the lowest train fares. Buying any transportation ticket on the day of travel will almost always mean you will pay the highest fare available. You can look here for fares:

www.tgv-europe.com (select Afghanistan or Antarctica as your country to preclude being sent to Rail Europe and higher prices)

Additionally, this period is the very busiest of the year for Parisian hotels and the most sought after hotels will have long ago been booked. Attempt any Paris hotel search for this period and you might be surprised at how much is not available.
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Aug 17th, 2012, 06:35 PM
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No train tickets, or especially plane tickets, purchased on the spot are going to be anything but the highest price available, assuming you are talking about this upcoming September/October. You have already forfeited any bargains.

Same for hotels. If this trip is for 2012, you have effectively done yourself out of any savings/bargains at all.

I would absolutely not add any destinations. Four in 2 weeks is already a jam.

I would go from London to Paris to Amsterdam to Berlin and fly to the Middle East from there, unless prices for flights to the Middle East dictate otherwise.

This wasn't the best plan if you were trying to save money.
StCirq is online now  
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Aug 17th, 2012, 07:03 PM
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They are adequate if that is what you want to see. They wouldn't be my choice, but they are yours.
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Aug 18th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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I would purchase ticket for the Eurostar right now,, they would have been cheaper two months ago, but as it is you have to hurry .. Then purchase tickets on Thalys for Amsterdam. Not sure about Berlin , would not be my personal choice.

As noted, its so late, you will have to work hard to find good accomadation at a good price in Paris,, September is a very busy month!
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Aug 18th, 2012, 03:40 PM
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well, I think train fares in Europe are generally "reasonable" in any case, even when regular fare. I think a lot of train travel is a real bargain in Europe, it is always cheaper than in the US for the same distance, seems to me. Long distance TGV fares (in France, for example) can be a bit pricey, but still aren't that bad for the distance covered. Short distance regular trains it doesn't usually make any difference when you buy them.

However, there really isn't much choice given the itinerary isn't even set yet.

I'd do UK, France, Netherlands, Germany, but the reverse would make as much sense.

You certainly must know that air fares are never the same price on day of departure as bought 3 wks or more in advance.
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Aug 18th, 2012, 03:51 PM
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As an example, I spent 40 euros for a one way ticket first class ticket on the idTGV for a one way Paris to Nice for this july. I bought the tickets 120 days out. On the train ride down we were chatting with an American couple in seats across from us.
They told us they bought their tickets three weeks previously. They paid 200 euros each. I felt pretty darn good!
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