21 Day European Itinerary
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Jul 19, 2012 10:51 PM Last Post By: Fwoggie
Jul 19, 2012 6:52 AM
21 Day European ItineraryMy family of 7, my mother, myself, husband, sister, and 3 children (16, 9, & 8) are heading to Germany for a wedding end of May or beginning of June 2013. We have never been to Europe and will most likely only make this 1 trip so we decided to extend it to see some sites. I don't have the exact date of the wedding yet, so I am posting days of week. Please tell me if our plan sounds realistic or overly optimistic.
Tues. flight from US east coast
Sun Germany; take night train to Paris
Mon - Thurs Paris
Fri early train to London
Tues early train to Holyhead, then ferry to Dublin
Thurs rent van, Kilkenny, Waterford
Fri Waterford? (or somewhere else along this route)
Sat Blarney Castle, Cork
Sun Bunratty Castle, Cliffs of Moher
Mon Flight home
We have 3 1/2 days in Germany, Berlin area I believe, but I am leaving that up to my friend unless she tells me otherwise; 4 days in Paris; 3 1/2 days in London; 5 days traveling around southern Ireland. Does that sound ok or is it overly ambitious?
Jul 19, 2012 7:40 AM
It sounds alright apart from the Ireland leg, which is very ambitious. I think also that you will probably only get to do half of what you have planned in Berlin, Paris and London. By the time you get to Dublin you will be exhausted. One suggestion is to fly from) London to Dublin. Try aer lingus www.aerlingus.com or Ryanair www.ryanair.com. This will cut out a long tiring trip from London to Dublin.
I think (personnally) when you get to Ireland maybe spend a day in Dublin, I wouldn't be in a hurry to see Kilkenny, Waterford or kiss the Blarney stone (especially Blarney!) given the time you have to spend in Ireland. I would head for West Cork or Kerry or further up the West coast to Connemara and take in some of the scenery and chill out a bit. The Ring of Kerry is probably one of the more famous routes, however I would (if it were me) take a trip around the Beara penninsula starting in Glengarrif (Co. Cork) and ending in Kenmare (Co. Kerry). A day or two on either the Ring of Kerry or the Beara pennisula will have you wanting to come back to the Emerald Isle. The difference, in my opinion, is that Beara is not as commercialised or touristy and there is a really good hostel in Allihies. Stunning.........
If you decide to fly from London to Dublin the best deal (cheapest) will probably be Ryanair. Ryanair are a no frills airline with the emphasis on no-frills. Make sure you are compliant with their conditions with regard to weight and cabin baggage. They will charge you if you are overweight and will make you put your hand luggage (1 item) in the hold if it is over 10 kg or bigger than the stated dimensions. Make sure you book in (and pay online) for your luggage. You can update your luggage after booking if you need to. You also need to check in online and print out your boarding card - if you don't they will charge you €40/£40 per boarding card at the check in desk! You also have to make sure the information on your id (passport) is exactly the same as the information you supply when booking in or they will not let you board. This may all seem a little onerous however once you play by the rules you get good, safe, and crucially, cheap airtravel.
You will hear a lot of negative talk about Ryanair and they are a really cheerless lot however they have made air travel much more accessible than it was in the past.
I think that once you have done the tourist trails in Berlin, Paris, and London it would be better to get to Ireland and relax for the few days you have.
Sounds like a wonderful trip. Enjoy.
Whacker (Dublin) :)
Jul 19, 2012 10:51 PM
2Agree with #1. I'd also consider flying the Berlin to Paris leg, justification being it may be cheaper than the train. The night trains are good, but don't count on getting much sleep. Also, no compartment holds seven, so you'd have to split up the party. Book as far ahead as possible for the cheapest train price. For planes, see skyscanner.net and expedia.com combined to figure out the various options; not that Paris Beauvais is over an hour outside of Paris.
You also need to consider the size of the van to drive around in, whether it can fit 7 people + your luggage. Note also that fuel prices are roughly double what they are in the States.
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