First trip to Europe

Oct 24th, 2012, 07:36 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 38
First trip to Europe

My boyfriend and I are traveling to Europe for the very first time. We live in the U.S and we are unsure as to which country in Europe would be most ideal for our first trip.

We would really love to go to London but it may be too expensive at this time. We are recent graduates so affordability is key.

Our tastes are pretty open and we are willing to give anything a shot but we are thinking of destinations in Western Europe.

I've done some research already but would love some opinions from the well-traveled person.

Thanks in advance for your advice!
Mandy4305 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2012, 07:43 AM
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I should probably mention we are looking to go for about 10-15 days, we are not heavy into the party scene but dancing could be fun. We wouldn't be renting a car so 'walkability' is also ideal.
Mandy4305 is offline  
Oct 24th, 2012, 08:56 AM
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Welcome to Fodors Mandy. You have posted on the very general "Travel Tips" forum. You will get much more/better response over on the Europe board (See the 'Change Forum' pull down menu)

BTW - while London can be very expensive, it can also be done an a low budget. Most of the museums/galleries are free and there are terrific 2for1 discounts for most of the for-pay sites, transport is reasonable, and there are ways to economize on accommodations.

So even though there are MANY other terrific destinations, don't discount London if that is where you want to go.
janisj is online now  
Oct 24th, 2012, 10:59 AM
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As janis suggested, you'll get a lot more info on the Europe forum. You don't have to pick a specific country to post there.

Also as she said, don't give up on London. That's one of my favorite cities in the world and can be done a little more budget friendly. One trick is to find a small apartment for the week or so that you'd be there (a week in London, a week elsewhere is often a good fit). I rented a studio apartment for the few days I was in London the second time and it was great... I could do laundry, I could cook, etc. That meant that I didn't have to eat every meal out but could bring home groceries and have some meals at the apartment. Just eating every other dinner at 'home' (and yes the apartment felt more like a home than a hotel ever does) really helps save the budget.

When you repost this, some ideas to consider:
- What is your budget (after airfare)? $200 a day for two people is a LOT different than $200 per day each.

- What is your comfort level for lodging? Some people would be happy with a studio apartment for two, some would want a one bedroom, some are comfortable with a basic hotel and some what the more luxury style.

- What are your interests? Some dancing but not interested in the club scene is great, expand on that idea a bit. Do you like museums (art, history, etc), do you like history, do you like churches, etc? One thing that draws me to a lot of my destinations is history and architecture so old palaces, castles, churches/cathedrals are going to draw me like a moth.

- You said that you would love to visit London... okay, why? What draws you? Is it worth shortening your trip by a few days to go there and stay in your budget?

- What time frame are you looking at? Next spring/summer, sooner? Many people discourage London (or any of the UK really) in the winter because it gets dark early and can be cold and rainy. I was there at the end of December a few years ago and absolutely loved it. There were no crowds so I felt like I had the city to myself. I had visited in May before that and had gorgeous weather and blue skies.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Oct 25th, 2012, 05:56 AM
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janisj-- will definitely re-post in the Europe forum as well, thanks for the tip!

Iowa_redhead: I think finding an apartment in London is a great idea, hadn't thought of that beforehand. I'm not sure if this is a reasonable amount for 15 days (seeing as this is my very first trip abroad, so not sure how to budget) but we wanted to stay around the 3-5k mark to include everything.

I'll be sure to include your suggestions in my re-post.

We are very open to visit anywhere, but we've always wanted to see London, experience some culture and their history and we figured as a very first trip out of the U.S it might convenient not to have the language barrier.

Thanks again for your tips!
Mandy4305 is offline  
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