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need some help

 
 
Reply Fri 10 Jan, 2020 03:50 am
I want to visit Europe in March, but I've never been there. What are the best cities to visit, and how can I plan a trip, but not spend a lot of money?
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 208 • Replies: 12
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jan, 2020 06:37 am
@Xavier88,
That's exceptionally general. It's like saying you want to try food.

Start reading.

Consider the business section of the paper (can be online of course) to check on exchange rates. Those will start to give you an idea of costs. Go to travel websites (places like Orbitz) and see what their prices are. If they have links for things like ground transportation and accommodations, follow them.

Remember, any form of travel has the following expenses:
  • Transportation to the site (for you, it'll be either plane or ship. Keep in mind, airlines charge fees for checked bags, and by definition you will have at least one checked bag)
  • Ground transportation (would you rent a car, take public transportation, rent a bike or a motorcycle, try ride sharing, take taxis or buses? Even if you can walk long distances with ease, there will be times you're tired or have too much stuff to carry, or it's just plain too far)
  • Accommodations (would you stay in a resort, a hotel, a bed and breakfast, a college dorm, a youth hostel, someone's house? Would you stay long enough where renting an apartment is cost-effective?)
  • Food (will you cook, go to restaurants, try to get accommodations with meals included? Would you know where to shop for meals? Do you have dietary restrictions or preferences which would narrow your choices?)
  • Souvenirs (this could be the trip of a lifetime so consider you will want to remember it with something beyond photos. Also take into account shipping if it's large, possible duties or taxes, wrapping things that are breakable, and if you have enough room in a suitcase or if you would have to buy one)
  • Safety (do you need a safe in the room you're staying in? Do you need to limit your ground transportation choices because you're concerned about being robbed or assaulted? No one likes thinking about this stuff, but you should)
Also, consider how fit you are, if you can walk around a lot, if you must carry oxygen, etc. What languages do you speak or at least have a chance of understanding? People speak English in a lot of places, but that doesn't mean the street signs are in English.

How well do you roll with the punches? Do substandard or weird accommodations bother you, or do you shake them off as an adventure? How well do you adapt to how others do things? Are you going to get all bent out of shape if someone insults America or the president?

Think about the sights you would like to see. Museums? Old buildings? Natural wonders?

How long will you be there? That will define how far you can go from whatever your home base is. You can't, for example, see all of Italy in a week. You probably can't see all of Rome in a week.

Have fun-- much of Europe is lovely. But please, do some research.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jan, 2020 01:31 pm
@jespah,
I spent a week in Tuscany, which turned out one day Florence, one day Pisa, one day Lucca, one day Pistoia, and the rest at the campsite.

I do a lot of city breaks, Prague Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Paris. That's the cheap way for us to do it anyway.

One gem is Crete, it's got **** tons of culture, ruins, caves, herbs, sacred wells the lot. Also it's very popular with the package holiday crowd which means it's very cheap.

I'd recommend booking through a British or German travel agent to get the best deals. You'll probably have to fly to London or Berlin first.

The Cretans really like the British as well, which is very nice for us. I don't remember meeting any Americans over there, but the main reason the Cretans like us is because of WW2, so I don't think it will do you any harm.

In March it will be very nice, and almost everyone speaks English as well.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2020 08:43 pm
@Xavier88,
I can't advise on where to visit as it is totally dependent on what your interest are and what you like to do- do you like to see touristy type places, history, natural beauty, do you like night life, do you like the arts, city, countryside, wine tasting, foodie - as you can see I just touched the surface of various interests.

For traveling on the cheap - I did this as an early 20 something --- not sure where you are traveling from - I traveled from US Boston area. Because I wanted to do it on the cheap - for flights I picked the approximate dates I wanted to travel and then check various cities in Europe and bought the cheapest flight I could get. The more flexible you are and the more in advance the better.

Then since I was in the US I was able to buy a Eurorail pass for the number of days I wanted - it is typically cheaper to buy in the US and then activate it in Europe when you arrive. We planned where we wanted to go in general but left it flexible enough so we could change plans if we decided to stay longer or see a different area. We did some research on hotels, accommodations, sights, restaurants so we had a basic game plan.

For accommodations we stayed at inexpensive B&Bs. We did not make reservations - except the first night - after that when we arrived at a new destination, we simply went to the tourist information (pretty much one at every train station) and they would help us find inexpensive accommodations. It worked out really well for us. Also to help save on B&B costs, we took some overnight trains and slept on the train (this also helped in being able to see alot and felt like we were not "wasting " time to travel) - one thing to note though - you may not want to do this say if you are traveling through the alps or other areas where you have beautiful views. To make it easy to travel we packed light and used a big backpack instead of luggage.

It was a great way to travel, tiring, but we saw alot and really experienced the cultural as well as met lots of people from various countries traveling this way.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2020 10:01 pm
@jespah,
jespah wrote:

It's like saying you want to try food.




As a matter of fact, I would like to try food.

Any suggestions?
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2020 10:40 pm
@chai2,
Yes.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2020 10:45 pm
@glitterbag,
Are you British, or from Microsoft?
glitterbag
 
  2  
Reply Sat 11 Jan, 2020 10:49 pm
@roger,
Touche
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2020 04:45 am
@Linkat,
Rail is notoriously expensive in the UK. It's cheaper to fly than take the train. Seriously.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2020 08:52 am
@glitterbag,
glitterbag wrote:

Yes.


Thanks!
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2020 01:08 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

Rail is notoriously expensive in the UK. It's cheaper to fly than take the train. Seriously.

Yes I have heard they had gone up in price so depending on what you plan on doing and how much traveling and where it actually might be less to buy a ticket than a pass.

So definitely do your research. The only problem my own opinion with flying between countries in Europe is the inconvenience - and you would likely need transportation to and from airports to get to your destination. Also if you want to visit many countries - I just found the train easier with much more flexibility especially if you like to plan as you go.

You could always rent a car - I never did in Europe itself so not sure the restrictions between driving through different countries if anything. I did when I went to England and drove all over England and Scotland - returned the car outside of London while staying in London as the subway was much easier to travel around.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2020 01:35 pm
@Linkat,
I'm not talking about the rest of Europe, but rail is doing v badly over here. It's not just the price, there's a load of strikes and other industrial action going on.

On a good day it's pretty ****, you don't want a bad day.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jan, 2020 01:36 pm
@Linkat,
I've not had any problems hiring a car in Europe with a UK driving licence.
0 Replies
 
 

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