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New York or Europe?

Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
12 posts
1 review
New York or Europe?

OK so... I've been a visitor to these forums for a few weeks but have found what I've needed without posting until now.

Me and my girlfriend (21 & 23) are looking for somewhere to go this September. Finding inspiration wasn't hard, we want to see the world and are open minded enough to go anywhere. However, we only have 3 weeks to travel as that's all we can get off work. We could probably go a few days more if needed. We've picked September simply because we should have enough spending money by then.

Earlier in the year we had planned to Interrail in September from Cadiz through Seville/Granada/Valencia/Madrid/Barcelona/Southern France/Tuscany/Rome/Naples/Bari (Free ferry to Greece) then finish up with a relaxing week island hopping around the Cyclades before flying home. However, our job situation has changed and this would be whistlestop to say the least in 3 weeks. Also, with the Euro/Pound rate it would be more expensive, I've heard from friends paying well over the odds for groceries and beers on package holidays recently. Our budget was about £1750 each.

This made us switch our attention to a week's trip to New York City. At the end of 2010 we are planning on moving to Toronto for a year to work, so thought that a week in NYC would also give us a chance to stay in Toronto for a day or night and check it out albeit briefly. Bare in mind neither of us have ever been out of Europe. The dollar/pound rate is OK at the moment and I have found flights from Bristol (our local airport) to NYC for £250pp return in September. However, this is still NYC, the hotels/hostels are not cheap and there is LOTS to see and do, and we wouldn't want to spend our time there thinking about our money. Chances are we would spend as much in a week in NYC as we would 3 weeks backpacking in Europe.

It turns out our budget will be around £1500 each now, that will have to include everything (flights, interrail tickets etc). I know that is not alot and 3 weeks isn't alot of time, but we have both got the travelling bug and turned down the chance of a Med package holiday this summer because we are bored of them.

As you can see our Europe itinerary was quite comprehensive but just covered Spain, a whizz through the South of France, Italy and Greece. Nice and sunny, full of culture but still familiar, and relatively safe for our first backpacking trip. Then theres the NYC/Toronto option. What would you do?

(Sorry for the essay!)

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto, TripAdvisor Support
Level Contributor
66,942 posts
80 reviews
1. Re: New York or Europe?

"Then theres the NYC/Toronto option."

Hi Mash86;

NYC is approx. 500 miles / 800 km from Toronto. As you are considering moving to / living in Toronto, I would suggest visiting Toronto.

Have a look at this current thread on the Toronto forum about cheap airfare.


You could spend an entire week in Toronto and still have plenty to see and do !

Best Regards

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,655 posts
1,027 reviews
2. Re: New York or Europe?

Well, yes, the idea of Toronto did come to mind reading your post, Mash!

Another thought might be Washington DC? Lots to do there and some lovely surrounding countryside. Or how about picking *one* European country, or maybe two?

I know 3 weeks isn't that much time, but also think about Las Vegas or maybe Los Angeles, as there are often flights from the UK at good prices.

What do you like to do on holiday?

New York is terrifically expensive . . . probably the most expensive city in the US.

Phila., PA
Level Contributor
305 posts
100 reviews
3. Re: New York or Europe?

I second the motion for Washington, DC. It is one of our favorite towns, with much to do if you like theater, good restaurants, and great sights. There is probably the highest concentration of free things to do in any US city I know of. Excellent museums, all free - check out the Smithsonians. Excellent public transportation system as well, on par with what you see in Europe, unlike a lot of US cities (NYC is another exception). Good connection with a lot of day trips from there (Philadelphia, Virginia Beaches, Williamsburg, etc.) Great theater scene - not on NYC level, but excellent. Georgetown. A lot of good reasonable hotels on the less central areas still on the metro net. Arlington, VA is an excellent place to stay that is still on the metro lines. The tourist areas are way safer than NYC, in my opinion as well.

BTW, no mater where you go, use VRBO.com for 1 bed apartments rather than hotels - you can save a lot and be more comfortable.

Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
12 posts
1 review
4. Re: New York or Europe?

So we've decided that Europe it is!

But... What's a decent budget? If we were to spend £60 a day each, and go for three weeks, thats £1260, then with flights and interrail on top its about £1600/1700. Looks like most hostel private rooms and guesthouses are about £20pppn. That would leave us with about £40 a day to spend each on other travel/food/drink/souvineers, which seems like a nice amount, I don't spend that here!

Is it realistic?

Or is Europe as expensive as everyone is saying at the moment?

I haven't been to a Euro currency country for 2 years, and the Euro/Pound rate isn't favourable for us Brits at the mo. Added to that the number of tourists are reportedly down in Euro currency countries, which means inflated prices.

Level Contributor
5,330 posts
42 reviews
5. Re: New York or Europe?

I would recommend eastern europe--prague, budapest, croatia/dalmatian coast

NYC is great, so is DC but, your $$ will go better elsewhere

I would stay away from most of western eu--Portugal and Spain are the better-priced countries than France & Italy

Def go w/hostels and apt rentals--there are so many! v

just my opinion....

blogger for luxurylink.com

airline pilot spouse (INTNL)

long-time contrib TA

traveler for more yrs than you have been living!!

You're so young--have fun--I loved Eastern Europe and food/bev are diverse--wines, beers, dumplings, meats, fish, goulash, sweets...(Stopping myself from drooling)

Im off to prague next week for 2 night stay w/hubby for layover

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
42,655 posts
1,027 reviews
6. Re: New York or Europe?

So did you ever decide where in Europe, Mash86?

7. Re: New York or Europe?

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