Where to start? Greece/ Italy

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Jul 11th, 2009, 11:34 AM
  #1
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Where to start? Greece/ Italy

2010 is our 35th wedding anniversary. We love history, as well as hiking, sight-seeing and wine-drinking! I was thinking cruise (no stress) but after reading posts I think we would be happier with more days in each place! We have the summer off so time isn't a factor (money is!) ! Any suggestions on how to start planning this would be appreciated (perhaps with the idea of 2 to 3 weeks)!! We like small and charming - as compared to ritzy! We are pretty adventurous! Would it be too crazy to rent a house for a month as a home base??? THanks in advance!
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Jul 11th, 2009, 11:47 AM
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I would start with the basics:
1. when?
2. how long?
3. how much ?
That will dictate what is feasible.
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Jul 11th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Good questions!
1. June or July 2010
2. 3 to 4 weeks (money may limit time!)
3. Hope to have about $6,000 saved up.
Does that help?
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Jul 11th, 2009, 06:53 PM
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That budget may buy you 2 weeks if you are frugal--if you include air fares. Do not try to do both--pick one or the other--I am partial to Italy. So far you have mentioned 2 or 3 weeks, renting a house for a month, and finally 3 or 4 weeks. You need to focus on specifics before you can plan.
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Jul 12th, 2009, 12:37 PM
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Well, it's hard to make a specific plan if you don't know how much your money will buy! It appears I can rent a 1 bedroom apartment in Rome for about 120 Euros. So...if I budget $3,750 for lodging...does that sound reasonable (3 weeks). Maybe we can only do 2 weeks!! Do you think we can get a cheaper apartment???
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Jul 12th, 2009, 02:49 PM
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Heer is a start. You may be able to do it for less in 2009 but I still say $6000 for 2 weeks. Do not mix $$$ and euros.

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/planning/budget.htm
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Jul 13th, 2009, 06:31 AM
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Have you been to Italy and/or Greece before? If so, where and do you want to return to any of these places?

With 3 - 4 weeks, I think you could do both countries. Anything less, I agree I'd tend to stick with one country. We love both, so I'd probably try and see some places in both countries we haven't seen before if I had 3-4 weeks.
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Jul 13th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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If you have more time than money, have you considered doing a home exchange? You can start at www.homelink.org.

Unless you rent inside a city, you will probably need a car to get around. Have you considered that or do you prefer to limit yourself to public transportation? Which is perfectly fine and probably much cheaper.

Bob gave you a link to budget planning on the Slow Travel site. You might want to look elsewhere on that site. There's loads of information about renting apartments and villas, including reviews, and also information about using public transportation and/or driving.
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Jul 13th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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With $6000 I agree with Bob - you should do 2 weeks, any more than that and you'll be stretching your budget very thin. Besides airfare and lodging, you'll need to factor in food, admissions (which can really add up), transportation between cities, and any shopping/tours/extras you might end up wanting.

I would do Italy over Greece but that's just me. With 2 weeks you could do a nice trip including Rome, Venice, Florence and a few days on the coast (either Amalfi Coast area or Cinque Terre would be nice). You can take the train between all of these places. You should be able to find accommodation for around 100-120 Euros a night - we stay in hotels in this price range when we travel, and always manage to find comfy, charming little hotels and/or apartments, but they will be on the basic side, nothing fancy.

Amanda
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Jul 13th, 2009, 09:26 AM
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Hi gog. If you have not traveled that much I would stick with a two week vacation the first time. This way you could learn what it takes to find good deals on airlines tickets and hotels. Its a learning process and you do get better at it the more you do it.

Try going to a big city, Paris, Rome, Athens and spending all your time there. Learn what you like and then go for it.

See ya later
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Jul 13th, 2009, 11:15 PM
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I haven't been to Italy and Greece in 30 years!!! We did London and Ireland 5 years ago! Had a wonderful time! We do travel a lot! BUT not in countries that don't speak ENGLISH! So it sounds like we better up the savings if we want 3 weeks! I hadn't thought of a home exchange! No one wants to come where I live BUT I do have two weeks booked at our timeshare on the Central Coast! A wonderful California beach town - maybe someone in Rome would like that! We exchanged it this year with a teacher in Calgary and we are leaving next week for her timeshare in Banff!!
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