Travel

Planning a trip to Europe. i need lots of help!

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  • Feb 26th, 2005 2:46 pm
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Deal Fanatic
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Feb 19, 2004
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I would start calling travel agencies/airlines to see if they will have cheap ticket around the time you want to go. Definitely call British Airlines.

It is probably cheapest to fly to London then train to either Amsterdam or Paris. Once you are in Europe, I would suggest avoiding taking planes. Trains in Europe are fairly efficient. Someone mention railpass already so check out some sites that sell them. I think there is one that is for two people (not 100% sure). One trick to save hotel/hostel fees is to take overnight trains for the long distance trip, say Paris to Rome, or Rome to Amsterdam.

Check weather, it will proabably be warm in Rome by springtime while it's still chilly in London.

I've only been to Amsterdam and Paris myself.

For Amsterdam, must see the Red Light District (drool), Canal tours, the Heinikli museum, Van Gogh (only if you are REALLY interested), etc

Paris, Talamasca said it already, the women are hot (drool again). well Paris is pretty standard for must see. The Arc de Triomphe around 6pm

Have fun


more:

Goto supermarket and make your own lunch/dinner.
Some hostel actually has private room.
ISIC card is a must
Some museums are free. Likewise for other form of enterntainment
Carry loose change for toilet or go to museums for toilet.
Museum pass is worth it in some case.
Learn the local language (at least "Hi", "Can you speak English", "Thank")
insert witty comment
[OP]
Newbie
May 22, 2004
36 posts
thanks again for the replies. real experiences are so much better than reading brochures etc.

here is my itinerary. I've left out hotels, as they are still undecided.

First Day - fly from T.O. to London. Check in for 2 nights.

-fly to Amsterdam. Check in for 2 nights

-fly to Venice for 2 nights

-fly to Rome for 3 nights

-fly to Paris for 4 nights.

-fly back to London for 1night. Then take the return flight home.

I know that's alot of flying...but adding trains into the mix actually increases the budget since the flights are soo cheap. We are also gaining 2 whole days when we fly which is a big bonus.

I need suggestions on Hotel locations for Rome, Paris, and London. I have been using expedia.ca, hotels.ca, and lastminute.com for hotels. Are there any other good ones?

Has anyone been on the EuroStar? I may take the train from Paris to London, just to experience a train ride. It's going to be 100extra over a flight. Is there scenery during this route? Am I going to be cramped next to a stranger? Or should I take another train ride somewhere else...

We plan on bringing $1000 extra EACH for food/transportation/everything else. Is this ok for 2 weeks?
Sr. Member
Feb 13, 2003
752 posts
I'm surprised noone has mentioned that it seems like your overdoing it. This is a vacation, take some time to enjoy your surroundings. It just seems to me that your spending half your time in the air.
Paris is a beautiful city, you could spend 2 weeks and not see everything. The cafes, museums, and all the culture is only really enjoyed when taking the time to see it. I've been to each one of those places and I can tell you, each are amazing, and are worth splitting the cities into 2 separate vacations...
Don't forget the fact if your taking Ryanair/Easyjet, their airports are outside the cities(at least Paris and Rome) and it will take you awhile(30-45mins) getting from and to your final destination.
I'd take the train from Paris/London, it stops right downtown London...
The $1000 cash won't last too long, at least it didn't for me, I ended up spending $1500 in Paris/Rome alone...
el_cheepo wrote:thanks again for the replies. real experiences are so much better than reading brochures etc.

here is my itinerary. I've left out hotels, as they are still undecided.

First Day - fly from T.O. to London. Check in for 2 nights.

-fly to Amsterdam. Check in for 2 nights

-fly to Venice for 2 nights

-fly to Rome for 3 nights

-fly to Paris for 4 nights.

-fly back to London for 1night. Then take the return flight home.

I know that's alot of flying...but adding trains into the mix actually increases the budget since the flights are soo cheap. We are also gaining 2 whole days when we fly which is a big bonus.

I need suggestions on Hotel locations for Rome, Paris, and London. I have been using expedia.ca, hotels.ca, and lastminute.com for hotels. Are there any other good ones?

Has anyone been on the EuroStar? I may take the train from Paris to London, just to experience a train ride. It's going to be 100extra over a flight. Is there scenery during this route? Am I going to be cramped next to a stranger? Or should I take another train ride somewhere else...

We plan on bringing $1000 extra EACH for food/transportation/everything else. Is this ok for 2 weeks?
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 19, 2004
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Is that $1000CAD or €1000??
If it's Canadian, then bring more.
If it's Euro, then you should be fine.

Also, I hope you are not including hotel fee in that 1000 dollars.
insert witty comment
[OP]
Newbie
May 22, 2004
36 posts
Thanks for the replies. I would love to have more time, but unfortunatley, I don't, I also think that there is a lot of flying but I want to see all the places listed.... The 1000 is CAD and does not include hotel fares.
Sr. Member
Feb 13, 2003
752 posts
I got screwed when I flew from Paris -> Rome on Ryanair. I came into Rome around 11pm at night, there were only 8 taxis waiting at the airport, and each wanted 80euros to take us downtown. We decided to wait 30mins for the bus to take us downtown, was around 10euros each. All in all, from the airport to our hotel in central Rome took us over an hour to get there...
Nevermind the fact that we took a bus from Paris to the Ryanair airport, (about 45mins from start to finish)...It was a very long night and I don't think I'd do it that way again...
For the hotels, I used priceline. Since I wanted to be in the center, and not out on the outskirts of the cities I paid more for the hotel rooms. Even with priceline, I was still paying well over $100CAD/night, typical sit down dinner is 30-40euro each...After all, your in some of the most famous food places in the world, have to try it out...
I have seen this echo'd in some other threads, but don't bring all the cash with you, use the bank machines all around if needed...
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2002
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I flew around and it was fine (london -> toulouse, toulouse -> Paris, Paris->london). It is quicker to get around than train and I don't find the train all that scenic when I did use them.

Overnight trains are useful though. Save on time and money. But they are uncomfortable. Really uncomfortable. Imagine 4 sweaty people in one cabin, one on top of each other, snoring loudy, smells of unknown origin.... then add another 2 people to that cabin. I had chest pains when I woke up for some reason :(

I think you can do it with $1000 CAD, but don't expect to eat anywhere nice. France is lovely just to go to a park and have a nice baguette, cheese, meats and wine (which is REALLY cheap and REALLY good). We picnic'ed almost everyday.

London is going to be the most expensive place. I can't imagine living there. I went when it was 2.50 CAD = 1 pound. Fish and chips costed me 10 pounds! I don't pay that much for sushi let alone fried fish.
Member
Feb 3, 2005
408 posts
1 upvote
$1000 cdn each is not impossible, though it will be extremely tough. Be prepared to spend more (I think $1500 was previously mentioned) if you want to enjoy the sites and food. If you try to convert everything back to Cdn funds, you won’t have a good time.

The Eurostar from London to Paris is anything by scenic, but it's pretty fast and convenient. It's something like 55 euros (return), takes you from Central Paris to Central London in 3 hrs, and you can show up 20 mins b4 the train leaves.

Check out this site for train fares in Italy, I would take a train from Venice to Italy.
http://www.trenitalia.com/home/en/index.html

Also, watch out for pickpockets – they’re all over Europe. And watch out for sketchy dudes in the Red light district in Amsterdamn...they will harrass you for change like no other bums...
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Mar 24, 2004
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How about driving? I wanna do this when I graduate. Rent a car with a few buddies and go across europe.
Deal Fanatic
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Feb 19, 2004
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Hymac wrote:
Also, watch out for pickpockets – they’re all over Europe. And watch out for sketchy dudes in the Red light district in Amsterdamn...they will harrass you for change like no other bums...
I completely forgot about this.

One of my friends got mugged in Amsterdam, but he has a fake wallet in the back pocket so he only lost a cheap old wallet.

Another one of my friend got mugged in Paris, he managed to chase the mugger(teeager, i think) down and got his wallet back. Again his wallet is in the back pocket.

Just beware of your surrounding and you should be okay.


Speaking of Amsterdam, beware of drug dealers on the street corner.
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Deal Guru
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Apr 26, 2004
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Has anyone been on the EuroStar? I may take the train from Paris to London, just to experience a train ride. It's going to be 100extra over a flight. Is there scenery during this route? Am I going to be cramped next to a stranger? Or should I take another train ride somewhere else...
I've taken it from London to Brussels. Not much in the way of scenery as it's pretty much just farmland and industrial areas. Southern England and Northern France aren't exactly renowned for their scenery anyway. You don't really feel that you're going 300 km/h as there's nothing to compare it to. Seats are comfortable - I took 1st outbound and 2nd class inbound and they were both fine with no problems.

Unless there's a big savings, I'd recommend taking a train from Venice to Rome. Both city's train stations are centrally located and you'll be riding through Tuscany, one of the most beautiful and scenic regions on Earth.
How about driving? I wanna do this when I graduate. Rent a car with a few buddies and go across europe.
No. Gas is very expensive in Europe (roughly twice what it costs here) and driving and finding a parking spot in the major cities is a nightmare. A lot of Europeans also drive like maniacs - in Rome, red lights seem to mean "go faster!" rather than "stop."

As for accommodations, check out the Let's Go travel guides for their recommendations. If you're willing to do the hostel thing, you can save some money there as even a basic hotel room with shared bath can easily cost $50 CAN/night.
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Jul 24, 2003
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manixc wrote:I completely forgot about this.

One of my friends got mugged in Amsterdam, but he has a fake wallet in the back pocket so he only lost a cheap old wallet.

Another one of my friend got mugged in Paris, he managed to chase the mugger(teeager, i think) down and got his wallet back. Again his wallet is in the back pocket.

Just beware of your surrounding and you should be okay.


Speaking of Amsterdam, beware of drug dealers on the street corner.
maybe, just maybe, this suggests that you should not carry a wallet (real or fake) in your back pocket, if at all possible. . .
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Mar 24, 2004
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Talamasca wrote:No. Gas is very expensive in Europe (roughly twice what it costs here) and driving and finding a parking spot in the major cities is a nightmare. A lot of Europeans also drive like maniacs - in Rome, red lights seem to mean "go faster!" rather than "stop."

As for accommodations, check out the Let's Go travel guides for their recommendations. If you're willing to do the hostel thing, you can save some money there as even a basic hotel room with shared bath can easily cost $50 CAN/night.
Totally forgot about that. I'm sooo doing the hostel/train thing though. I'm a budding photographer so I can't wait to capture the sights. Just afraid of getting my equipment stolen though. Hm... insurance ;)
[OP]
Newbie
May 22, 2004
36 posts
wow, the feedback is great! please keep the replies coming....any advice appreciated. i'll be going over the itinerary over the weekend, and if it's revised, i'll post.

and i think i need a second job :o
[OP]
Newbie
May 22, 2004
36 posts
also, how early should i book the hotels and reservations?

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