EUROPE 2013 (2months) - Need Advice :)
Replies: 36 - Last Post: Nov 19, 2012 1:09 PM Last Post By: Maestro
Nov 18, 2012 12:53 AM
15plainspoken words above, yet I largely agree.
please take your time compiling your itinerary, yours looks a bit like a quick shot and therefore a bit generic. personal remarks:
-very little time in London, will be barely enough to let you recover from jetlag
-take Eurostar train to Paris
-miss out on Bordeaux, take the night train Paris-Madrid instead
-drop Valencia, take a daytrip to Toledo instead
-instead of Marseille, stop in Nîmes or Avignon and enjoy the countryside of Languedoc/Provence (Pont du Gard, Uzès etc.) good local busses
-I can recommend Antibes as a pleasant base for the Cote d'Azur (good local busses/trains)
-distribute the time from Milan/Bologna to Venice/Firenze/Rome (if time permits, consider a sidetrip to Lucca)
-instead of taking the time-consuming route via Brindisi/Corfu, take a budget flight (with aegeanair) Rome-Athens, add the time saved to the Cyclades (and an eventual visit to Naples)
-drop Rhodes, there's no direct ferry to Istanbul. you may enter Turkey via Samos or Kos, though, and visit some excavations if you like. otherwise I'd recommend flying Athens-Istanbul directly.
-cannot comment on Eastern Europe, too little experience, consider dropping by the EE branch for better input
-idea: Prague-Berlin-Amsterdam (there'd be loads of sidetrips and stopovers I could recommend for this bit)
-I'd put Antwerp instead of Brussels, and visit Ghent/Bruges from there
-either Eurostar back to London or open-jaw back to LAX
-I forgot Switzerland: you might put it between CdA and Venice. Zürich IMO not worth the trouble.
no idea how the nights pan out now, yet this gives you a decent and robust, though not extremely innovative itinerary you can enjoy. for some extraordinary tweaks, you've still supplied too little in terms of interests/expectations...
hope this helps,
Nov 18, 2012 1:47 AM
Nov 18, 2012 1:50 AM
17I just added up (roughly) how many days I've spent in those destinations.
As a tourist,not living or working.
Somewhere around 250 in total.
One day in Monaco was enough for me though ;-)
Nov 18, 2012 1:51 AM
Nov 18, 2012 2:09 AM
19Simyas, I am willing to believe you when you say you've read the link I provided in #2, but your last replies don't show that you've digested any of the advice given there. To put it bluntly: this itinerary is crazy. I wouldn't chose it even if I got paid for it.
You really cannot compare Costa Rica (= country) to Europe (= 47 countries). Or to the US, for that matter - Europe has a much higher population density and a much longer history, which is reflected in its variety of cultures, languages, cuisines, architectural style etc. etc. Besides that, different countries have different price levels and weather depends on where in Europe you go to, so questions like "how's the weather in Europe" or "how expensive is Europe" cannot be answered by anyone.
In addition to the advice in the link that you supposedly read and to the excellent replies you got to your itinerary plan, I'd like to stress that when you travel solo, you do need to factor in time to make arrangements for accommodation, transport (no idea what you mean by "taxi buses" and "eurorail", by the way) etc, and to take care of the laundry, emails and what have you.
Perhaps you're happy when you can spend half the day travelling to a place, take a few pictures of famous monuments and then move on. In that case perhaps an organised tour is the right thing to do for you, because it means you won't lose time and energy on travel arrangements. But believe me, I've made the very mistakes listed in MTL's sticky myself to on my first (solo) trip, and by day 10 all those famous buildings start looking the same and you'd rather leap off a monumental cathedral rather than visiting yet another one.
Nov 18, 2012 7:20 AM
20First I was going to say do it yourself, but after I read you initiary I think you better take the Contiki tour.
I often use tours to plan my vaccation, but I delete places and don't add other ones, you want to cover 7610 miles and this is without the islands, ferries are slow or expencive.
Ask yourself, would you enjoy a roadtrip from New York - Miami - Los Angeles - Seattle to Columbus, Ohio in that time frame, sure it can be done and I love to travel fast too, but in Europe there is so much more to see and do, if you really want to do it look into cheap flights at least for
Also you put together some places like Madrid/Valencia there is 4 hours between those two, also
Dijon - Lyon, Rome - Napels are not exactly side by side, to enjoy Europe you should reconsider your initiary or book the tour.
I once took a pre planned tour, very stressful, hotels far away from towns so you where stuck there and had to pay the prices they asked for, not cheap, I think you'll have to top off the tour price with abround another 1000,-- $ for drinks, not included meals and some things you want to buy.
Nov 18, 2012 12:22 PM
21Ooops, I did do my math wrong appologies so scratch all of that. Bottom line is I have 5100 euro to spend on the entire trip (not counting air).
For the millionth time this is a ROUGH draft itinerary. To those who have given constructive criticism like @Nautiker post 15, I thank you :-) . Thats the kind of advice im seeking. To those that are getting touchy and snotty **points to the disgruntled guy in the corner --> @MTL** lmao....its not that serious, I promise. Im not asking you to interject your opinion so much as im asking you to constructively refine mine. So unless you can help me with ACTUAL suggestions of how to amend my rough itinerary, I see no point in you commenting.
I already know "what classic mistakes" my itinerary has. I already know "it might not make sense to spend 1 or 2 nights in a certain place." I already know "there is going to be a lot of travel time." THAT IS WHY I AM ASKING FOR SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS/ALTERATIONS TO MY ITINERARY!
And yes, I was comparing Europe to Costa Rica in regard to my travel style. I completely get that Europe is much more dense and rich, but my preference/point still stands THIS IS A SAMPLER trip. Many of you keep commenting on how I will miss out if I only stay 2-3 days. That's fine, bump it to more in your revisions of my itinerary--but STILL, please recognize that my goal is NOT to see and do everything this trip. That will be for my next trip to Europe.
Let me make this simple. Look at post 9 and answer:
If you were me, and had 5100euro to spend, how would YOU change this itinerary to reflect the MOST places I can/should visit in 61 days?
All the side chatter isn't necessary. Just repost this itinerary with your changes. Simple. Thanks.
please add suggestions for transportation (i.e. ferry here, train there, overnight here, etc.)
Nov 18, 2012 12:59 PM
22@ Nautiker - thank you again for your post 15. in terms of interests, im looking to do the typical sight seeing this time around WITH focus on great food ;-) So that means I want to do your typical boring touristy churches, leaning tower, lourve, arenas, mona lisa, ferris wheel, museums, wine tasting, etc. Basically visit (as much as I can) what each city is most known for.
The contiki tour demonstrates a good example of this. In general, and as mentioned in my first post, it is a very good tour and reflection of what I want to do--which is a lot in a little time. The only reason why I veered away from this tour is because my thought was that I could stay longer and maybe do more on my own (and possibly for less). If worst comes to worst or if planning on my own becomes too overwhelming then I will just take that tour.
In the meantime, I was just hoping to get input from other travellers based on their own jouneys so I could compare. This won't be my last trip to Europe and I think people are missing that when they give suggestions. All the quaint and best kept secrets are for next time when i'll stay just as long but visit MUCH MUCH fewer places.
Nov 18, 2012 1:46 PM
23Without getting into the arguments, many of which I agree with, I would suggest maybe picking up to 10 destinations as your framework. Perhaps; London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Budapest, Prague, Munich, whatever. Then plan to stay at least 3 nights in each of these (you can always cut them down if you want to), and then you can decide which places make sense to visit in between. Maybe a day in Bratislava between Budapest and Prague, for instance. Maybe the train routes and changes will decide these for you in some instances. Then you have flexibility built in to stay longer anywhere along the way, or to take a side trip to somewhere you hadn't planned but are invited to by someone you meet...
Nov 18, 2012 1:53 PM
24The contiki tour is not a good tour. It sucks big brown donkey dick.
if you spend so little time in a place that you can't get a clear sense of whether it's worth visiting later in greater detail, well, what's the point? Is 3 hours or so really enough time for you to make those decisions? If so, you possess an insight I lack.
You know, you could do your research before you leave instead of once you arrive, and thereby ensure that you spend all of your 60 days in places you're very likely to enjoy.
Do yourself a favor and start looking at travel times between your proposed destinations.
A third option, mentioned very early on by Aribo, is to arrive with no set itinerary and stay in each place as long as you like. And as long as you're happy where you are, you won't regret the places you're missing.
I was just hoping to get input from other travellers based on their own jouneys so I could compare
That's exactly what you got.
This won't be my last trip to Europe and I think people are missing that when they give suggestions
No, people aren't missing that. You're missing that people aren't missing that.
please recognize that my goal is NOT to see and do everything this trip. That will be for my next trip to Europe
Sorry, you won't be doing everything on your next trip either. Besides, I thought the idea WAS to see and do everything this trip so you could narrow it down to longer stays in fewer destinations next trip. You can't do it all. Regardless of how many trips you take.
My work is done here. You're certainly not obligated to heed any advice offered. Live and Learn. Good luck.
Nov 18, 2012 4:25 PM
Nov 18, 2012 8:18 PM
26way to go Simyas. Stomping your foot on the ground like a pampered princess and demanding help is a great way to lose friends and alienate people.
But if it were really up to me i would do what Aribo says- just book a return ticket and go with the flow. Because I am not the anal retentive type who enjoys chaining myself to a fixed itinerary. I believe in serendipity.
Nov 18, 2012 9:57 PM
27Im not asking you to interject your opinion so much as im asking you to constructively refine mine
Many posters on this branch would be extremely happy if they received half the constructive feedback you got. Perhaps you should realize that "constructive criticism" doesn't necessarily mean that people give you a pat on your back and tell you everything you do is awesome.
So unless you can help me with ACTUAL suggestions of how to amend my rough itinerary, I see no point in you commenting
Your basic concept and approach of this "plan" is, frankly speaking, totally wrong. What you're trying to achieve is competely unrealistic. Moreover, you haven't given a hint as to what sort of sights and activities you're interested in. You'll probably hate me for saying this, but you haven't yet reached the phase of selecting your destinations.
If you were me, and had 5100euro to spend, how would YOU change this itinerary to reflect the MOST places I can/should visit in 61 days?
I'd cancel it and use the money to buy a really big tv, so I can watch travel documentaries. Seriously.
THIS IS A SAMPLER
Compare your current plan with taking one bite of a hamburger, one bite of spaghetti bolognese, half a piece of sushi, half a chocolate, two grains of rice, half a potato, one bite of steak tartare, one slice of cucumber and so on. Would you consider that a satisfying meal?
All the side chatter isn't necessary. Just repost this itinerary with your changes. Simple. Thanks
Please learn some manners. You clearly don't understand the purpose of this forum and that the people you're talking to a) are volunteers who can either help you if they like you, or ignore you if they don't and b) are giving advice based on their own extensive experience.
Since you don't seem to be getting the point and are displaying a shocking disrespect for other people more experienced than you, I suggest all of us refrain from posting further replies unless you offer an apology and show signs of an ability to engage in a conversation among adults.
Nov 18, 2012 10:14 PM
28Unfortunately Aribo, I think your metaphor provides for too much information. OP's situation is more like walking by a restaurant, looking in the window, taking a whiff of the aroma and deciding on that info whether to return for a five course meal.. Repeat 30 times at 30 different restaurants.
OP, if the choice is that everyone misunderstands you, or one person, you, misunderstands everybody else, which seems more likely?
Nov 18, 2012 11:14 PM
I see you're very keen on doing all the standard stuff - "typical boring touristy churches, leaning tower, lourve, arenas, mona lisa, ferris wheel, museums, wine tasting"
The problem is that you won't have enough time. Everybody suggests you dramatically cut back on the travel you do, to avoid spending an inordinate amount of time (over the total) on trains and buses. This itinerary is possible, but everyone is unanimously recommending against.
Fly out LAX
UK - arrive 11am
By the time you've got the gate, disembarked, cleared immigration, got luggage (assuming your flight arives on time), found your way to the tube, got to somewhere central, it's gonna be more like 1pm. Allow another hour to freshen up for a shower, get orientated, decide what to do given weather at the time, and I reckon you'll have 7-8 hours before you hit a wall and jet lag kicks in and you stagger home to fall asleep for the day.
Next day you're gonna wake up late (jet lag), call it 11. This gives you a whole day to do stuff.
Next morning you need to get a train to Paris. So I reckon if you go hardcore, you'll get about 17 hrs solid of sightseeing, and I do mean non stop wandering around until 8-9 at night.
Problems - changing of the guard takes 1/2 hr, Buckingham Palace tour takes 1 hr, Tower of London takes 1-2 hrs, shopping takes as long as you like, Madam Taussauds takes 2-3 hrs, erm.... London eye takes 1 hr if prebooked, 2 if not, walk from eye to the Shakespeare theatre along the south bank takes 30 minutes, St Pauls cathedral takes 1 hr, Covent Garden takes 1-2 hrs, trip to the theatre takes 3-4 hrs, Trafalgar Square takes 1/2 hr, Big Ben and Parliament takes 15 minutes unless you go into Parliament itself in which case it's more like 90 minutes, 10 downing street takes 5-10 minutes, London Dungdeon takes 1 hr, HMS Belfast takes 1 hr, Tower bridge is a mission to get to so takes 30 minutes, Harrods takes 30-60 minutes. Greenwich, Kew, Hampton Court Palace and Windsor could all take 1 day.
Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Academy of the arts, Museum of London, Design Museum could all last me 1/2 day each, ditto Natural history museum, natural science museum, transport for london, victoria and albert, british museum (1/2 day to 1 day each)
Getting to your Parisian hotel will lose you half a day.
Getting to Bordeaux will lose you 2/3 of a day, no point, take a night train direct to Madrid and skip Bordeaux
The problem with Europe (over the US), is that we have 2.5 times as many people in about the same space, and there's a lot to see and do. Even if you're determined to ignore a lot that's on offer (because you'd have to, because those of us who live here also have to), it's still quite time consuming to get from A to B because there's such a lot of people and towns and cities in the way.
I don't think 5,100 euros for this much travel over 61 days is sufficient. That's only 85 euros a day. Sorry. You may be able to squeeze your budget to the max by buying a pass or losing some stuff from W Europe and adding to E Europe. This perhaps makes more sense. See http://www.seat61.com.
(5 star Hotel)
From US$212.78 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$190.56 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$142.43 per night