Europe travel

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dundrillin
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Re: Europe travel

Post by dundrillin » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:01 pm

I would say Italy is a must. Rome and Venice are stunning,Florence also. Naples takes you near Capri, also the ruins of Pompeii. On the downside, pickpockets in Rome are notorious, my wife had her watch stolen from her wrist and did not realise it until later- they are very skilled. Tourist traps can be very expensive i.e. Gondola in Venice £55 each for a short trip. But the sights are truly awesome.

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Re: Europe travel

Post by Homer » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:15 pm

When can you go, or want to go? Climate, high season crowds with high season prices can affect your enjoyment. So could going during a month when most of the locals are on holiday.

What's your budget? Mixing a lower cost country with a higher cost one means not having to cut corners in both.

Where to go? Start by naming the ones that first pop into mind. There's a reason they're at the top of your mind. Or start by naming the sorts of things you want to do/see/eat/drink the most - then find cities or countries that do those best.

I've taken 8 trips to Europe, or Europe plus adjacent, between Spring of 2013 and 2 weeks ago. Here are some practical tips.

Consider an Open Jaw ticket, that is, fly to city A, come home from city B on the same airline. Fly, bus or train between the 2 cities, preferably with interesting destinations between.

Trains were far more convenient than planes in Spain and Portugal. Flying Stuttgart to Amsterdam was substantially less expensive than the train. Never bothered comparing other 3 hour+ flights to trains. Best source for all things train: https://www.seat61.com/

Rome2Rio.com is good for initial ideas how to get between destinations.

For destinations where cruise ships stop, it's much better to be there on days when none are in port compared to days when ships combine to spew 15,000 people. Google 'cruise ship port load'.

Three ways to fly to Europe. First is a lonnng overnight non-stop to your destination, or then a short flight to it. Minimum fuss, maximum time cramped in a plane. Second is via the middle east. Leave BKK at 1 or 2 am, then 6 hours later interrupt your sleep and confuse your body clock with a 3 hour layover. Third option is my favorite. Daytime non-stop 11 1/2 hr flight to Vienna on Austrian Airlines. Stroll during the evening, stay a night, then a 3 - 3 1/2 hr flight to most places in Europe. Arrive refreshed.

Venice? It is FAR better to stay on the island than be a day tripper, because you can be out and about before and after the day trippers. It's also far more expensive. The well located budget places fill up many months in advance. That leaves the budget places in the parts of Venice that are not much like the Venice tourists envision.

No idea what your interests are. Mine took me to Stuttgart. Why? Both Porsche and Mercedes have museums and factory tours.

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STEVE G
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Re: Europe travel

Post by STEVE G » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:30 pm

No idea what your interests are. Mine took me to Stuttgart. Why?
An excellent beer festival!

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migrant
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Re: Europe travel

Post by migrant » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:03 am

OK we have narrowed it down. Thanks for all the suggestions and messages, now that we are more specific, seek more.

We will go beginning of October for 2 weeks, fly into Paris, go to Normandy then on to Rome where we will fly out of.

Thinking of renting a car vs train. I like to drive new areas plus the availability of seeing more.

Any thoughts specific or otherwise are more than welcome!!
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Re: Europe travel

Post by pharvey » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:36 am

migrant wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:03 am
Thinking of renting a car vs train. I like to drive new areas plus the availability of seeing more.

Any thoughts specific or otherwise are more than welcome!!
Would go for a car every time - simply (as you say) for the fact you can see more and also "freedom of movement". There are options of "Rail-cards" etc., which would be a cheaper option, but IMHO far less enjoyable. Personally, I would pick up a smallish car (Fiesta for example), get the deal on the likes of Expedia.com beforehand.

DO NOT RENT AT AIRPORT

Hope you have a great tip!

:cheers: :cheers:
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Re: Europe travel

Post by Dannie Boy » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:02 pm

pharvey wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:36 am
migrant wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:03 am
Thinking of renting a car vs train. I like to drive new areas plus the availability of seeing more.

Any thoughts specific or otherwise are more than welcome!!
Would go for a car every time - simply (as you say) for the fact you can see more and also "freedom of movement". There are options of "Rail-cards" etc., which would be a cheaper option, but IMHO far less enjoyable. Personally, I would pick up a smallish car (Fiesta for example), get the deal on the likes of Expedia.com beforehand.

DO NOT RENT AT AIRPORT

Hope you have a great tip!

:cheers: :cheers:
Can you rent a car in one country, take it to another, and then drop it off in country two?

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pharvey
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Re: Europe travel

Post by pharvey » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:41 pm

Dannie Boy wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:02 pm
pharvey wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:36 am
migrant wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:03 am
Thinking of renting a car vs train. I like to drive new areas plus the availability of seeing more.

Any thoughts specific or otherwise are more than welcome!!
Would go for a car every time - simply (as you say) for the fact you can see more and also "freedom of movement". There are options of "Rail-cards" etc., which would be a cheaper option, but IMHO far less enjoyable. Personally, I would pick up a smallish car (Fiesta for example), get the deal on the likes of Expedia.com beforehand.

DO NOT RENT AT AIRPORT

Hope you have a great tip!

:cheers: :cheers:
Can you rent a car in one country, take it to another, and then drop it off in country two?
I guess the big issue is the company you hire from - I've done it in the past with Hertz where I've rented in France and dropped off in Spain - insurance was a bit expensive from memory, although I guess you could do through a third party(?)

:cheers: :cheers:
"You've got to get your first tackle in early, even if it's late". Ray Gravell :wink:

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Re: Europe travel

Post by arcadianagain » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:54 pm

Any recommendations are purely personal to the recommender, but if you`re going to Italy Florence is a must, the Amalfi coast is my all time favourite, and even Venice with its canals is car-friendly. In Rome I used the hop-on hop off open top buses which you can also use for a night tour of the city on the same ticket.

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Re: Europe travel

Post by pharvey » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:49 pm

arcadianagain wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:54 pm
Any recommendations are purely personal to the recommender, but if you`re going to Italy Florence is a must, the Amalfi coast is my all time favourite, and even Venice with its canals is car-friendly. In Rome I used the hop-on hop off open top buses which you can also use for a night tour of the city on the same ticket.
Absolutely no offence and I agree recommendations are purely personal. However Venice and Rome are simply ridiculously expensive - Venice renound for rip-off merchants (not been to Florence). The Italian lakes are incredible, but again stupidly expensive - lesser known lakes in southern France far better value.

It's all got to be based on what you want to see - the real tourist spots, the quiet life, the coast, (language etc.).

:cheers: :cheers:
"You've got to get your first tackle in early, even if it's late". Ray Gravell :wink:

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Re: Europe travel

Post by arcadianagain » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:32 pm

pharvey wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:49 pm
arcadianagain wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:54 pm
Any recommendations are purely personal to the recommender, but if you`re going to Italy Florence is a must, the Amalfi coast is my all time favourite, and even Venice with its canals is car-friendly. In Rome I used the hop-on hop off open top buses which you can also use for a night tour of the city on the same ticket.
Absolutely no offence and I agree recommendations are purely personal. However Venice and Rome are simply ridiculously expensive - Venice renound for rip-off merchants (not been to Florence). The Italian lakes are incredible, but again stupidly expensive - lesser known lakes in southern France far better value.

It's all got to be based on what you want to see - the real tourist spots, the quiet life, the coast, (language etc.).

:cheers: :cheers:
No offence taken Pharvey, but budget locations were not part of the spcecifications. From my experience there are plenty of affordable places to eat and stay in everywhere

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migrant
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Re: Europe travel

Post by migrant » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:01 pm

Thanks Guys!

We usually stay in mid priced hotels. Can't see spending a lot of money on a place to sleep, and shower. I tend to eat well, the wife not so much, she is satisfied with Thai food all the time.
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joelle
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Re: Europe travel

Post by joelle » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:59 am

you could rent a car once you are at a major city to visit the area around and take a train for long distances between cities as it is less tiring, quicker, specially by using the fast train TGV and safer, and also if you are flexible on travelling times you can get some good deals on the railway site like "https://en.oui.sncf" or by going to the station to find out the best ways

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Re: Europe travel

Post by handdrummer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:12 am

If you're looking for hotels and restaurants check out Rick Steves travel site. His books are well worth the money. He's been traveling to Europe every year for many years and knows the countries well. I used his Paris book for a hotel and found a comfortable, clean, hotel room with shower a couple of streets from the Louvre for very little money.

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Re: Europe travel

Post by PeteC » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:14 pm

^ He also has a huge YouTube library. See below link. Pete :cheers:


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCchgIh ... BfnMQ5pDdg
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STEVE G
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Re: Europe travel

Post by STEVE G » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:12 pm

Dannie Boy wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:02 pm
pharvey wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:36 am
migrant wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:03 am
Thinking of renting a car vs train. I like to drive new areas plus the availability of seeing more.

Any thoughts specific or otherwise are more than welcome!!
Would go for a car every time - simply (as you say) for the fact you can see more and also "freedom of movement". There are options of "Rail-cards" etc., which would be a cheaper option, but IMHO far less enjoyable. Personally, I would pick up a smallish car (Fiesta for example), get the deal on the likes of Expedia.com beforehand.

DO NOT RENT AT AIRPORT

Hope you have a great tip!

:cheers: :cheers:
Can you rent a car in one country, take it to another, and then drop it off in country two?
I've done it with Hertz before, from Luxembourg airport to Brussels. I only had the car for about three hours but it just happened to be the only way of catching a flight.

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