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first trip to europe HELP

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London, Canada
posts: 2
first trip to europe HELP

my husband and i are heading to europe this coming summer (2013)... my sister lives in Germany... so our plan is to fly into Germany...spend a week living with her ( see Germany and close by attractions)... then venture off on our own... our question to everyone is..... where should we go..what should we see...... what to pack... back pack it or have a normal travel suit case...should we fly home (Canada) out of a different country or go back to Germany.... what is a reasonable budget ??????????????????? p.s...any additional advice would be great

thanks everyone who reads this!!!

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 17,742
reviews: 50
1. Re: first trip to europe HELP

this is not a travel agency -- you are essentially asking a bunch of strangers to do your basic homework

you need to look at some travel guides (Rick Steves Europe in 22 days is not a bad start for a 'see everything fast' sort of trip ) and then draw from that your priorities

once you have a general outline of things you want to do, people here can help you tweak it or provide feedback on timing and so forth

you know yourself and what you are interested in. why are you coming to Europe? make that the start of your planning. then come back when you have a rough idea of what you want to accomplish.

Paris, France
posts: 11,656
reviews: 12
2. Re: first trip to europe HELP

This is such a broad question that it's nearly impossible to answer.

...venture out on your own for how long? How much to budget is really up to you.

Maybe your sister in Germany can give you some suggestions.

Luggage? I suggest packing light. It's much easier to move around if you can easily manage your own luggage.

Agree with janettravels that Rick Steves is a good place to start.


Vancouver, Canada
posts: 8,589
reviews: 53
3. Re: first trip to europe HELP

Agreed...we have no idea what your interests are. You need to do your OWN basic homework and we will be happy to help you after you have some basic ideas...

You need to think about...now do you want to travel (coach, train, car or train) Do you want ot visit cities or stay in the country....do you want to stay in hotels, b&b's or vacation rentals?

London, Canada
posts: 2
4. Re: first trip to europe HELP

Thanks for the tips on the Rick Steves. We have done homework on some places that we know for sure what we want to see i.e Normandy, auswitch, coliseum, Paris, Skydiving. We are more just asking what other possible sites that are unique to see that you wouldn't know about from just movies etc. And pertaining to the budget, we are just curious on possibly what other travellers have spent on more of a touristy trip. For the luggage we are wondering wether a rolly suitcase or a backpack is best. We are planning on staying in some hostiles as well as some hotels. Travel wise we are open to anything from coach to train, and car. In the end we are looking at possible suggestions on whats cool to see and learn what others thought was amazing and think others should see. Thanks for your time

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 8,589
reviews: 53
5. Re: first trip to europe HELP

How long will you be travelling for, after you leave Germany?

posts: 3,057
reviews: 15
6. Re: first trip to europe HELP

Besides Germany, if you want to go to Paris, Normandy (which is a large region) and Rome (I'm guessing that this is the coliseum that you want to see)--you have a pretty full itinerary already. If you read a guidebook, you will find suggestions for places to visit that aren't in movies.

Your budget will be determined by many factors, including whether you plan to drive, take a train or fly from place to place. Trains from Frankfurt to Rome and then Rome to Paris can take from 10-12 hours each, including transfers, and may cost more than 200 euros per person for each trip, depending on when you buy the tickets.

"what others thought was amazing and think others should see." I think that Vienna is beautiful and the Matterhorn is awesome, but they would be far out of the way from the places that you have mentioned as the places that you "know for sure." Again, look in a guidebook and look at a map of Europe to find points of interest between these three major places.

As for whether to use a rolling suitcase or a backpack, that's entirely up to you.

I'm sorry; I'm getting grouchy. Please return when you have your plans formed a little better and be sure to post in the correct forum.


Paris, France
posts: 11,656
reviews: 12
7. Re: first trip to europe HELP

Good. You've narrowed it down to Poland (Auschwitz), Italy (Coliseum in Rome),

and France (Normandy, Paris). Now you can start figuring out your logistics.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 8,589
reviews: 53
8. Re: first trip to europe HELP

You really NEED to spend a considerable amount of time with a guidebook and a MAP. You are talikng about going to Poland to visit one destination (Auschwitz), then Central Italy for (I assume) the Colosseum in Rome and then Normandy? And Paris etc...

Until you have a long look at a map and read some books and try and get a handle on the scope of what you are talking about doing, I don't think anyone here can close to helping you...

Edited: 6:45 pm, December 29, 2012
Antibes, France
posts: 5,569
9. Re: first trip to europe HELP

I think how you are going to travel ( backpack or suitcase etc) depends on your mode of transport- car, train or plane ? . Nowadays budget airlines are the best option for getting around Europe cheaply and easily e.g Germany to Rome, Paris etc - but beware the dire pitfalls of huge charges for baggage and other extras. You should study the routes of such airlines serving Germany and work out an itinerary.

I note Auschwitz is on your list. No disrecpect but I was horrified when some years ago in the breakfast room of a Prague hotel; I overheard 2 ladies (of North Americam origin by their accents) discuss their separate visits to that unfortunate place. ' It was great ' said one. 'Just like that movie- what was it - Schindler's List ?'.


posts: 159
reviews: 22
10. Re: first trip to europe HELP

Depending on where in Germany your sister lives, Auschwitz (or Stutthof) is not too far away. Berlin is one place in Germany that you can't really miss. If you are interested in history, art, design, music, you'll find everything there.

You have to be aware though that Germany is a large country. Travelling in Germany and between other countries in Europe will take a considerable part of your time.

Plan your travel and time wisely after a thorough research. Enjoy!