Which two cities? One trip on budget

Oct 5th, 2000, 06:11 PM
  #1  
Kim
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Which two cities? One trip on budget

I plan to take my daughter (21) to Europe next May or September for two weeks. I was there on the "grand tour" in 1964 but this will probably be her one and only trip - and we will be on a budget. A bed/breakfast or pensione would be just fine for our hotel. I'm thinking Amsterdam and Paris? Suggestions?? I'm open. Thanks.
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 07:10 PM
  #2  
Linda
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That is hard. Paris is not to miss but I would take Prague, Berlin, Rome, Florence over Amsterdam. They are less expensive, more beautiful & interesting.
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 07:17 PM
  #3  
jwagner
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Paris and Rome. Two distinctive cities. If it's her only trip, it'll give her experiences in two of the world's great cities. But if you are going to be gone for two weeks, why not try to wedge a third city into your trip, say London?
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 08:05 PM
  #4  
Bob Brown
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Hi Kim. When you say "budget" what kind of figures are you talking about?
Paris can be very expensive unless you are careful with your money.
The biggest expense of course is getting there in the first place.
The city is full of small hotels, but even those can run $100 a night for two.
Many posters on this forum have mentioned several hotels that are quite good for under $90.00 a night.
Try this web site:
http://www.france-hotel-guide.com/75paccue.htm
It lists hundreds of hotels. If you don't mind having the shower down the hall, you can get rooms considerably cheaper. I agree with the other posters that London would be interesting, but it too can be expensive. Vienna is also interesting, but far enough away from Paris that getting there and back is a major expense item.
If you can get a copy of Rick Steves' Paris Guide, he mentions some budget hotels. Also, Fodors has several good recommendations.
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 08:27 PM
  #5  
Bob Brown
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I forgot to mention that the Let's Go Paris guide book also lists some student oriented housing. Hotel Marignan in the 5th Arr for example has single rooms for about 250 ff per night. That is under $40 at the current rate of exchange.
It is very popular and the book says reserve well in advance.
If I were suddenly thrust back into my student days, and knew about the Let's Go series I would use the various specific city issues extensively to find housing. You should be able to find this series in any large bookstore.
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 08:49 PM
  #6  
Diane
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Paris is wonderful and exciting. So is Amsterdam. I also think Amsterdam would be a great city for a young adult. Both cities have so much to offer in the way of museums and architecture. Both are so 'alive' and both offer a diverse selection of day trips outside the city center. I think of London as being one of the most expensive cities I've toured, however, I fell in love with the countryside, which is much more reasonably priced.
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 09:48 PM
  #7  
Sjoerd
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Amsterdam and Paris is a good choice. Both are reasonably priced as the euro is so low now against the US$. if you come to Amsterdam in early May you can still see the tulips and other flowers.
Amsterdam to Paris is only 4 hours by train, and you could stop in Antwerpen, Brugge, Gent or Brussels for a day or two on the way.
In Amsterdam, you could stay in the Youth Hostel in Vondelpark, which has double rooms for approximately 35 US$ and is clean and nice. Also a great way to meet other travellers.
 
Oct 6th, 2000, 05:26 AM
  #8  
Rex
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May I add one of the oldest perspectives (on this board) to your planning?

WHY do you want to go WHERE with your granddaughter? WHAT about Europe will likely compliment her likes and dislikes - - things she already knows about, and things she might like to learn more about (whether she knows it or not). Does either of you have any affinity for any of the languages spoken in Europe?

The less you are in BIG CITIES, the more of Europe you can get to know, on a more affordable budget.

And a small group (custom, but not necessarily) tour can offer you more trip for less cost than you might suppose. You might be surprised at the opportunities to travel in such a manner with small group "tour leaders" that travel essentially on a non-profit basis (thus, at no cost to you) - - myself included.

Please feel free to write to me directly if I can answer more questions about such a trip.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Oct 6th, 2000, 06:09 AM
  #9  
jc
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Paris and Venice. If you shop around you'll find that NW has been offering a RT fare for $409.20 that takes you to Venice via Amsterdam, then back to Paris, and then home through Detroit. Just a suggestion: avoid any $40 hotels in Paris. Spend $80-$100 and get a decent place (it will be small). Get the Cheap Eats and Cheap Hotels books and use them. By the way, your best bets for decent prices and great ambience will be in the 5th and 6th. That's the area you want to stay in. When you get to Venice, splurge and stay in the Flora Hotel - $150 per night. And take the public boat into Venice from Marco Polo Airport - don't use the taxi or the bus because you'll miss the wonderful experience of entering Venice for the first time by water - something you'll remember always. And do not be tempted to stay outside Venic just to save on your hotel - big mistake. By the way, Rome will keep for another time, and when you go to Rome, access ScalaReale's website for restaurants and walking tours (we used them in March 2000 and they were great). Paris and Venice are unforgetable. Wish I were going too. Ciao, J
 
Oct 6th, 2000, 07:11 AM
  #10  
AC
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Hi Kim:
I would try Air France Vacations. My first trip to Paris and Amsterdam with my mother was arranged with them. There was a choice of hotels with Breakfast included in various price ranges. We took the high speed train from Paris to Amsterdam and it was very nice. We got 3 day Museum passes for Paris which we did not have enough time to use and discounts for a few discounts in some local stores.
I am not sure what your price range is but I thought it was reasonable. I hope this is not your last mother-daughter trip and certainly not her last trip to Europe. Have Fun!!
 
Oct 6th, 2000, 07:35 AM
  #11  
Diane
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You can easily do Paris for a week. With a 21-year old, I'd recommend a hotel in the Marais or Bastille area...it is filled with wonderful shopping, and I think you can feel less like a tourist than you might in certain popular areas on the Left Bank. If her interests are literary or artsy or just plain wide open to anything, Paris is a "no brainer." Either London or Amsterdam are easily paired with Paris, and Munich is another thought, or maybe Barcelona. What foreign language did she take in school? Sometimes even a smattering of a language they didn't even particulary enjoy studying results in a link to a foreign county they are surprised to make!
 
Oct 6th, 2000, 01:11 PM
  #12  
lisa
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I would definitely vote for Paris and Rome.
 
Oct 6th, 2000, 04:52 PM
  #13  
Bob Brown
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After having spent 9 days in Paris, I have come to one conclusion:
9 is not enough!!
If you take day tours to Fontainbleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte (a real jewel to visit), Versailles, Chartre, perhaps Giverny and Rouen, and a Loire Valley overnighter, you can exhaust 14 days very quickly.
Of course it depends on what you like to see and do. But for me Paris has so many great art museums and great musical performances so that I still have a trip left in me for 4 or 5 days that would cover new ground and still leave unseen attractions.
The Musee de l'Orangerie was closed when I was there last month, and that is still on my list.
 
Oct 6th, 2000, 05:08 PM
  #14  
elaine
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Kim
I'm sad to think that your daughter, at the age of 21, seems predetermined to have only this one European trip--I hope it's not for a sad reason. If the reason is purely monetary, I hope that situation will improve some day and you will both travel to Europe again.
I am usually an advocate of not spreading limited travel time too thinly across too many destinations, but in this case I would suggest
London, Paris, and Venice or Rome. All are connected by train connections
(and a night train will save you a night's lodging, although you will be short on sleep). It will give you three countries and cities to experience, each quite different.
As suggested, look into student-oriented guidebooks and travel packages, and there are resources for even booking rooms in college dormitories that have rooms available
outside of the school year. Others on this travel forum have praised EF tours, just for one example, which are budget-oriented and apparently very satisfactory.
London is quite expensive, it's true, but with research there are still bargains to be found almost everywhere.
My travel notes have suggestions for lots of travel websites, many of them
tight-budget oriented. If you would like to see them, email me.
Good luck.

 
Oct 11th, 2000, 07:52 AM
  #15  
Kim
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Thank you very much everyone, for all of your suggestions. My daughter is totally open to traveling anywhere in Europe - as long as it's not freezing cold (We're located near San Diego). She is getting more and more excited about the trip every day. We'll both be researching all of your suggestions - and that will be part of the fun! Thanks again. Kim.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 08:07 AM
  #16  
hmh
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Look in to the City Package tour which Trafalgar has for 7 nights in Paris. It includes hotel, breakfast, 1/2 day city tour and 1/2 day Versailles, a Seine cruise, and R/T airport transfers. In 98, it was about $550 p/p--which did not include airfare--as we took the Budget hotel. Rooms were small but across from a metro station and within walking distance of he Eiffel Tower. Except for the r/T transfers, and the 1/2 day tours, you are on your own and can do whatever you like. A week was hardly enough, tho. Have done Trafalgar's London pkg also, but it is not as great a value, as only 6 nights. Another company that friends have used is "Travel Bound/Europe Bound" which offers 3 day pkgs in various cities as well as more in-depth type. The museums in Ams are great and you can take day-trips out to other interestig cities, as mentioned above.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 08:22 AM
  #17  
taryn
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hello mom. i am just surfing the internet. i am glad about the responses we got. i will keep researching on this stuff.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 09:11 AM
  #18  
Cindy
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Kim, I would suggest London and Paris, with day trips from both bases. I like the idea of starting in London without the language barrier and then plunging on into Paris.

I am not a fan of the itinerary that includes Rome, for two reasons. First, Rome fits nicely into a subsequent trip (Rome/Florence/Venice). Second, I think Paris is a must, and transit between Rome and Paris is a pain. You either pay to fly, or you do an overnight train. The latter wouldn't be my favorite way to spend an evening. If you only do London and Paris, you only have the Eurostar train to hop to Paris.

Oh, and for what it is worth, I didn't find Amsterdam to be all that interesting, and I went there when I was 21 on my first trip to Europe.

Have fun!
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 09:12 AM
  #19  
No Ads
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Rex, that sounded awfully close to commercial promotion, don't you think?
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 09:21 AM
  #20  
Annie
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Hi Virginia & Taryn:
First of all enjoy your holiday together, I am sure it will be unforgettable. September is a great month because the weather is still decent and Daylight Savings Time is still going. I vote for Paris and Amsterdam. Both are cities you will both love. It is easy to get to one from the other. I stayed at the Doelen in Amsterdam. It under went complete renovation in 1998. Even with the construction going on it was a lovely place. One block from the main street and three tram stops from the Centraal Station. It is part of the Golden Tulip chain (very popular in the Netherlands). In Paris it was the Aramis Ste Germaine. Very french, the rooms are on the small size but the bathrooms were pretty big. Clean and comfortable and the metro stop is across the street. I believe it is part of the Best Western chain. Don't let that worry you it is not like one of the chain hotels in this country. There are plenty of places to see in both cities and I hope you have many more trips together
 

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