Itinerary help needed!
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jul 7, 2012 8:23 AM Last Post By: sami1234
Jul 6, 2012 6:59 AM
Itinerary help needed!Hi! I desperately need help regarding my itinerary for next year, as I will be travelling to Europe with 3 friends.
We're all from Sydney, and none of us have planned our own trips!
We will be 18 then, and are planning to go in June & July.
Here is a rough itinerary planned:
4 nights in London.
3 nights in Amsterdam.
3 nights in Zurich.
Zurich- Grindelwald (a small town in Switzerland)
3 nights in Grindelwald.
5 nights in Paris
3 nights in Berlin
3 nights in Prague.
4 nights in Rome
3 nights in Venice
3 nights in Florence.
3 nights in Dubrovnik
4 nights in Barcelona.
(Sorry if it was a little hard to understand, I don't really know how to write itinerary's properly!) My main questions are:
-Do you think we will be able to see all the major sites in that time frame?
-Will we be rushed? Should I add some time on?
-Are there any cities that are not really worth going to, because they are similar to other cites?
-Are there any countryside places that are recommended? I would really like to go to more of the countryside but I'm just scared about the travel as I won't be able to drive.
-Should I change the route?
Thank you very much! x
Jul 6, 2012 7:51 AM
1Will we be rushed? Should I add some time on?
We have seen crazier itineraries here, this one looks doable. Just make sure you don't underestimate the logistics and time related to moving from one place to another (Paris to Berlin is a 10 hour train ride, Prague to Rome more like 20 hrs and you'll be lucky to get from Florence to Dubrovnik in less than 24 hrs by train and/or ferry - so I guess you'll fly some stretches ?)
Are there any cities that are not really worth going to
Bin Zurich and add those 3 days either to the Swiss countryside or one of your other destinations
I'm just scared about the travel as I won't be able to drive
No need to drive; public transport (trains and buses) are well organized. A car would be a liability in any larger city.
Have fun !
Jul 6, 2012 8:11 AM
Jul 6, 2012 8:26 AM
3It would be a good idea to plot your route on a map because you are going round in circles, meaning more travelling = wasted time = more expense.
Agree with lilyramone above - forget driving (if you are only 18 you would have difficulty finding a hire company that would let you drive a hire car, the distances you plan are far too great and in big cities a car is a big problem). It would help if you said why you had picked these destinations. You ask whether there are any countryside destinations recommended- the simple answer is yes, thousands, and the only way to see those is to visit just one or two countries and not the whole continent in the 5 or 6 weeks you plan to spend here. Europe is packed with places which have been lived in for centuries- that's why it is so different from Oz.
Just for comparison, on my last trip to Oz (14 years ago I'm sorry to say - promise to return soon!) in just over 3 weeks we visited Brisbane area - Sydney area and Melbourne. If you look at that distance, and then compare what you intend to do with about twice as much time, you'll see you're trying to cover a much larger area, so I'm suggesting you assess why you want to go to the places you listed (and none of the thousands of smaller places in between). Oh - and how's the budgeting going???
Jul 6, 2012 8:47 AM
4If you're just flying to London for the ticket price, (sure its nice to see London) that takes you far awawy from your itennerary.
Drop London. It adds los to your expenses and staels time from the rest.
Have fun/not schedules.
Jul 6, 2012 9:18 AM
5Just a thought for you. To get 4 full days in a city you need to sleep there 5 nights. Now look at your schedule from that point of view. You have a lot of moves here and that is going to take a lot of travel time, getting to and from hotels, etc.
Five days for Paris is good, but if you can add a day or two you should think about it. There is alot to do there.
Jul 6, 2012 4:09 PM
6Unusual, an itinerary that's sensible, even a bit slack...
Zurich don't not need 3 nights. Subtract 1, possibly even 2.
I'd also chop a night off Prague and Barcelona, but others will disagree.
#3's got a valid point re travelling around in circles. Get an Atlas and figure out a logical route. Note that you can buy open jaw tickets (fly into city A, back from city B - I think you got that, but in case someone else reads this and doesn't get that it's invariably no more expensive on long haul in general to do this).
If you want a day trip out of Amsterdam, try Bruges.
Jul 6, 2012 11:05 PM
7Thank you for your replies! Been very helpful!
I have tweaked my itinerary as I realised that I was going round in circles- thanks for pointing that out haha :) I also left out Dubrovnik and Zurich, and added San Sebastian and Brugge.
4 nights in London.
Spend a day in Brugge.
3 nights in Amsterdam
3 nights in Berlin
2 nights in Prague
3 nights in Grindelwald.
3 nights in Venice
3 nights in Florence
4 nights in Rome
3 nights in Barcelona
Barcelona- San Sebastian
2 nights in San Sebastian
San Sebastian- Paris
6 nights in Paris. (Day trip to Versailles)
Sound a bit better? :)
@mike9: I would love to spend more time in Europe to explore more countries but I just won't have the time, and if I only go to one/two countries I won't really feel as though I'm experiencing the REAL Italy haha!
I've saved out $5000, and my parents are giving my $5000 so the budget comes to $10K... do you think that will be enough for hotels + spending money there?
And I understand what you mean about me travelling in a HUGE place in a not-that-long time period, as Australia is not that big and you spent quite a bit of time here!
@gawkabout: Well I honestly would LOVE to see London, so I really wouldn't be able to cut it off my list!
Jul 7, 2012 3:40 AM
8Right, this is getting better.
1) I'd balance London and Paris at 5 nights each, even allowing for a day trip to Versailles and maybe a day trip to Oxford or Cambridge.
2) I'd stick Paris in between London and Bruges (cos it's right there and hardly a detour at that stage in your trip.
3) If you do 2, I would then fly easyjet to Bilbao from Rome (cos it's the nearest airport available to you coming out of Rome), do San Sebastian, then take the 6 hr train down to Barcelona. I'd then finish off in Barcelona and fly home from there - you can go via Dubai or Singapore.
4) Accom - don't do hotels. Do hostels. You'll meet similar aged backpackers doing the same thing, far more sociable, and also a damn sight cheaper.
5) Learn how to cook basic stuff - eg knock up salad, spaghetti bolognaise, ham and cheese omlettes, that sorta thing. It saves a lot if you can cook your own food.
6) With this trip you don't need to drive anyway, use trains. Refer to http://www.eurail.com and http://www.seat61.com and for the timetable (just use the current dates to get a gist of transit times), http://www.bahn.co.uk. Don't use http://www.raileurope.com - it's a middle man and just adds on extra fees that you can avoid.
$10k AUD is a considerable budget for a 37 day trip; it's currently circa 8,302 EUR, divided by 37 days = 224 euros per day; even taking out $2,000 AUD for the flight first you're still at 172 Euros a day - many backpackers are running around on 70 euros a day or less. You could do this trip without your parents gift, with it it means you could see anything you like, have the odd meal out, or drink an awful lot (and I do mean a LOT), or extend your trip further for a few weeks - either in Europe or in SE Asia on the way back. Money isn't going to be an issue, clearly.
Jul 7, 2012 5:32 AM
9@fwoggie: thanks for your advice, you've obviously been travelling for some time! :)
Yep, putting Paris in between London and Bruges is sensible. To be honest, I didn't want to finish in Paris, so thank you for the suggestion, and finishing in Barcelona sounds fun.
I know this may sound a bit naive, but are hostels safe? I don't mind staying in them however my parents are a bit hesitant, as its 4 young girls travelling, and some nights we may come back pretty late. The parents are just a bit scared as we've heard of some young girls getting murdered whilst in Europe (especially an Aussie girl who got murdered in 2008 in Dubrovnik). However, it saves a lot of money than I'm all for it!
Yes I need to brush up on my culinary skills, eating out every night would be expensive (and fattening!).
I think I will use my parents gift, as I don't really want to be restricted whilst there. I would love to extend the trip by another 2 weeks or so, adding more time in France especially, however University starts on August 1 and I need to be back at least a week before that... so I unfortunately don't have the time :(
Jul 7, 2012 6:08 AM
10if I only go to one/two countries I won't really feel as though I'm experiencing the REAL Italy
Shouldn't that be the other way around? Apart from the fact that "the REAL x" is a bit of a misnomer - everywhere in Italy is equally "real", if you want to see what most people mean by this expression (i.e. Italy away from the tourist hotspots), you'll have a better chance of that if you spend more time in fewer countries rather than 3 nights in a country's capital or major tourist hub. But don't let that put you off - it's your holiday, you've come up with a slightly rushed but for a first-timer quite sensible itinerary and if this is how you envision your ideal first trip to Europe, by all means go for it!
If you want a day trip out of Amsterdam, try Bruges
I think it makes more sense to visit Bruges in between London and Amsterdam. There are other places that are more convenient (half) day trips from Amsterdam - use the Advanced Search box at the top right of the page to find the "Get out of Amsterdam" threads which has so many options that you'll end up wondering why you spend only 3 nights in the Netherlands, and then only in its capital.
I know this may sound a bit naive, but are hostels safe? I don't mind staying in them however my parents are a bit hesitant, as its 4 young girls travelling, and some nights we may come back pretty late. The parents are just a bit scared as we've heard of some young girls getting murdered whilst in Europe (especially an Aussie girl who got murdered in 2008 in Dubrovnik)
A few years ago, a Dutch couple spending their honeymoon in New Zealand were brutally murdered. Ask your parents if they think Australia is unsafer now - I understand their concern as this is your first independent overseas trip, but they should not forget to keep things in perspective. All of Europe is extremely safe; yes, incidents do happen, but they are just that - incidents. Use common sense and you should be fine, especially since there's four of you.
Hostels are safe. It doesn't hurt to watch your valuables while you're in the shower or out sightseeing though, just in case - it only takes one dishonest fellow traveller to lose your stuff, after all. Most hostels provide lockers, btw. Bring a key lock, again just in case.
Jul 7, 2012 7:04 AM
11European backpackers have been sadly murdered in Australia :/ It can happen in reverse too.
I agree with #10. There's a couple of solutions you can take.
1) Don't leave drinks unattended in bars (easy when there are 4 of you).
2) Take a small padlock as many hostels have lockers to store your stuff.
3) Consider booking a 4 bed dorm so you have your own room. This costs more than 6/8/10 bed dorms, but you'd know the other 3 inhabitants well, and you certainly have the funds to cope with the added expense. Availability can be limited, so book in advance once you've sorted out your itinerary.
4) If 4 bed dorms aren't available, female only dorms almost always are.
5) Don't walk around cities on your own very late at night/early in the morning if it's deserted - take taxis instead.
Jul 7, 2012 8:23 AM
12@aribo: haha ohh woops that was typo! I meant 'I wouldn't feel as if I've experienced the real EUROPE' lol.
Yep, I totally understand what you guys are saying... Sydney is unsafe at times as well (especially at train stations at like 3am).
Thanks for your suggestions, will certainly use them- I'll defs be packing padlocks & will keep my valuables always on me.
Hopefully the trip will be perfect (haha I've been dreaming about travelling for a couple of years now) :)
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