Replies: 5 - Last Post: Apr 22, 2012 1:55 PM Last Post By: EricaHat
Apr 22, 2012 2:19 AM
Plan on travelling for 3 months around Europe (or where ever 3 months may take us). Should be lease a car or look into hiring a motorhome. Two couples involved. We have had NO experience with Europe before, so any advice would be most welcome. Looking at going to Nepal next April for a month, then head over to Europe for another 3.
Apr 22, 2012 2:42 AM
1Advises about Europe in May, June, July 2013 - what kind of advises (or experiences) you are looking for? Do you have a basic idea about why you will come to Europe - which countries?
Apr 22, 2012 3:27 AM
2Your question is indeed too vague. Perhaps you could share what sort of trip you are planning (cars and motorhomes aren't a great idea if you spend, say, 75% of your time in cities) and which countries you plan to visit. "Europe" is a totally meaningless word when it comes to discussing travel practicalities.
Apr 22, 2012 3:56 AM
3A few generalities.
A week's stay in an apartment should cost about the same as two nights in a hotel, and then you also have the convenience of larger rooms, a kitchen, you won't trip over the other occupant, and perhaps the ability to do laundry. This will also allow you to see how the locals live. In and around most places in Europe there should be easily a week or two of excellent things to do, if not months' worth.
I like alternating staying a week in an apartment, and spending the next week traveling to another place for another week's stay, seeing things along the way. This means you can have relaxing enjoyable times in between trying to cram in as much as possible.
If you are only traveling to large cities, public transportation will usually be excellent and a car will be a handicap as you may have difficulties navigating around large strange cities and expensively parking your car.
A car is excellent for visiting places in smaller towns, more rural areas and the countryside. There is also lots to be seen in these places, and these are my favorite places to visit. For having an automobile for long lengths of time, the lease schemes by the French automobile manufacturers (Citroen, Peugeot, Renault) will be cheapest.
Of course, you can do both and only rent the car where it is an asset allowing you to easily visit the countryside.
There are basically an infinite number of places you can visit, so let YOUR personal interests guide you, not what many other people rightly or wrongly do. Public libraries have lots of good free information. I particularly like books with lots of pictures (not necessarily guide books), because if I like the picture, I'm almost guaranteed of liking the place. You can also good books on European churches, cathedrals, castles, palaces, monasteries, medieval towns, archaeological sites and the like and select places that will interest YOU.
Personally, the best information I get on places in Europe is from excellent large scale (at least 1:150000) maps which show on each localized area hundreds or thousands of places of interest to tourists of all types, and rates these into the categories: unrated, better, and best sights whether they be man-made or natural features. Such a map that I have centered on the city in which I now live has over 4000 places of interest on it, and even the unrated places can be excellent.
Don't make the mistake of visiting only large cities and capitals. They probably have more in common with each other than the rest of their own countries.
Europe is more than centuries old buildings, it's also the modern people too. Get a chance to observe them instead of fellow tourists which happens too much in many places. See what's the same or different about their lives, and perhaps if you appear interested in more remote areas, you might even be invited into their homes. If you stay in an apartment and shop for groceries, that can be a real eye opener as to cultural differences.
Oh, and a few of my favorite scenic spots in Europe which you probably never heard of: the Faroe Islands, and the Orkney and Shetland Islands of Scotland. Great scenery and great people!!!!! It's places like these that are long remembered, not just another large capital city. And for my favorite European city, Istanbul, that's just the European part which most people will find exotic.
http://www.bahn.com is a good source of train information for all of Europe, and http://www.viamichelin.com for driving information including routes and good estimated driving times.
Edited by: marcopolko
Apr 22, 2012 5:49 AM
Apr 22, 2012 1:55 PM
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