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Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

Canberra, Australia
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Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

Hi!

I was hoping for some travel advice for an upcoming Europe trip.:)

My boyfriend and I are both Australians on our late 20’s who will be travelling to Europe for nine weeks in June and July 2014. We are flying in and out of Milan. This will be my first time in Europe.

So far we have booked two nights accommodation in Milan, followed by a flight to Berlin where we will stay for five nights. After that we are not sure of what order to do things.

From Berlin I am thinking of travelling to the following countries in this order; France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and back to Italy. Does this order make sense?

After Berlin we would like to go to Paris. Is there any recommendations for a stopover for 2-3 nights on the way? I was thinking Amsterdam but am very open to other suggestions, especially if there is a must see in Germany on the way through.

Rather than booking accommodation before we get there we were hoping to book as we go, which will allow us to be more flexible. Is this an efficient way to do this? Or are we setting ourselvess up for a world of pain?

Also, any tips on the best way to get between these countries would be most appreciated. Be it driving, rail, ferries or flights.

This is my first time posting on a forum. Whilst I am so grateful to have this opportunity I am finding the logistical side of things a bit overwhelming, so thought I’d ask for help.

Thanks so much!

Georgina

sydney
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1. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

Hey Georgina

head straight to www.seat61.com and read everything there about travel in any of the countries you plan to visit.

then get a map & work out a logical route - Milan Berlin Paris doesn't seem very logical to me ... 9 weeks seems like a long time but in reality is 6 countries in 9 weeks - a week and a bit in each isn't much. We spend 6 weeks in Germany in Dec/Jan '12/13 and hardly scratched the surface. There is so much more to Germany than just Berlin.

I do understand Europe is a long way for Aussies to go but I think you may be better to cut a couple of countries off the list for this trip and see the rest in a bit more detail.

You will also save heaps if you can sort an itinerary in advance and buy 'advance purchase' tickets - up to 9 days ahead in Germany - see www.bahn.de - do a 'dummy booking for any long route (say Munich to Berlin) for next week and for a date in the first week of August to get an idea of the savings. You can change to English by clicking on the little flag at the top - no designation for Oz so I used Antarctica... have a play round it's a very easy site to navigate once you get the hang of it. Seat 61 will have links to other national rail carriers to. DO NOT even consider the eurail pass - they're no longer the value they once were (when you parents were your age)

cheers

helen

Edited: 3:29 am, May 08, 2014
Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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2. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

I think heading to a general guidebook for Europe with lots of pictures might be a good idea, to see what inspires you most from your list as you will have to be very selective..

You could easily fill a 3-4 weeks just in Spain and Portugal which are both beautiful and varied countries. We spent 16 days in Croatia 3 summers ago and didn't even get to Dubrovnik! Italy is wonderful but it seems you have only Milan in mind, not (to me) the most inspiring of Italian cities (apart from the cathedral). And as Helen says there's a lot more to Germany than Berlin (and in 5 days you can't see "all" of berlin, I'd say a week out of your nine, Potsdam being a must for at least a day.

Stuttgart, Germany
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3. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

As you will be travelling in peak holiday time then booking hotels might be better,otherwise you may well have to take what you can get at whatever price.

Waterloo, Belgium
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4. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

Hello

I find it too many countries too, but you are young and it is your trip.

If you travel by plane, look at the low cost companies (vueling, air berlin, easyjet, even Ryanair...) I often flew Paris-Berlin with Easyjet for less than 100 € for instance. Look at price comparator sites (I use Kayak or Opodo mostly)

If you want to travel by train, some of them are best reserved about 90 days in advance (SNCF and Thalys for instance).

Also look at maps when taking a flight : Ryanair for instance tells you they go to Paris, but you land in Beauvais, about 60 kms from Paris, from there you must find a shuttle (and pay) etc.

Have fun, 9 weeks in Europe is great !

Barcelona, Spain
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5. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

Ryanair uses creative geography in its airport names sometimes, with the other airlines mentioned you will be landing at the main airports.

Flights can be cheap but it needs advance booking and as said July is holiday time. Ditto for train travel.

For many journeys in Europe people fly because it is often cheaper than the train.

In Spain people take the train for Madrid-Seville, Valencia-Barcelona and since the high-speed train service started Madrid-Barcelona but otherwise flying with vueling is quicker and usually cheaper eg Granada-Barcelona. Travelling between Portugal and Spain by train is surprisingly difficult these days, buses are more convenient (or flying, depending on the distance)

skyscanner is a site to compare prices for flights. I would still book with the airline direct but at least you can see who covers the route

Canberra, Australia
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6. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

Thanks everyone, I have found all your advice very helpful. It is hard to work out what itinerary makes sense logistically from Australia.

Also, I should have clarified in my first post that the reason we are flying in and out of Milan is because that’s where the Qantas flight from Australia lands/departs. It in no way means that we are only interested in seeing Milan in Italy. We will also see Rome, Venice etc.

Again many thanks!

Georgina

Bluffton, Indiana
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7. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

I did nine weeks with friends in Europe, many years ago. I hope you have a wonderful time! We just came back from a shorter trip to the British isles, but I can say that prices sure aren't what they used to be. I would still consider a Eurail Pass as train travel is very expensive, and those individual tickets will end up costing you more in the long run. It may be worth looking at tourist train travel passes within the countries you are planning to visit if they offer them. Look into taking a sleeper between some destinations. Go with the second class (6 to a compartment) for overnight travel between destinations. This may save you time and for a reasonable added charge to Eurail Pass it will also be cheaper than a hotel/Pension. We booked all of our accomodations ahead of time, and that may help with places and times you are sure of. Use an organization like booking.com to compare hotels/B&B's and hostels according to your budget. In many cases you can book and not pay pay until you get there, and cancel up to a few days ahead of time if this doesn't suit your schedule or you find something better. Good Luck, be safe, have fun!!

sydney
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8. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

itk - <<those individual tickets will end up costing you more in the long run>> no they do not - I bought tickets for 2 for 6 weeks in Germany for less than one eurail pass would have cost. if you know your dates of travel and can book ahead (up to 3 months) then there is absolutely no way the pass is cheaper

there are also compulsory seat reservation fees (and often quotas for the # of seats available to pass holders) to factor in with the eurail pass

Paradise, California
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9. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

"Rather than booking accommodation before we get there we were hoping to book as we go, which will allow us to be more flexible. Is this an efficient way to do this? Or are we setting ourselvess up for a world of pain?"

I agree with Bongoblog. You may find a place, but a.) you will have to spend valuable time looking for it, and b.) it will probably be at a less favorable price since others will likely have snagged the better-value places.

It would make sense to me to book a place that suits you in a strategically sound location for 4-6 days at a time. Then be flexible and spontaneous about day trips from that strategically sound location.

"After Berlin we would like to go to Paris. Is there any recommendations for a stopover for 2-3 nights on the way? I was thinking Amsterdam but am very open to other suggestions, especially if there is a must see in Germany on the way through. "

The Middle Rhine Valley is such a place. If you want to see more of the Germany that thmoore suggests, spend 5 nights here in a town with good rail connections. If you settled in St. Goar or Boppard, or Mainz, for example, or even the slightly dull Koblenz, you could day trip easily to some great places - wine villages, medieval castles, Ancient Roman settlements, majestic cathedrals, WW II museums...

www.welterbe-mittelrheintal.de/index.php…

flyhahn.com/regions/holiday-regions-germany-…

www.romantic-cities.com/Cities.5616.0.html

And day trips by train are quite inexpensive here - travel within all of Rhienland-Pfalz for €27/couple/day on a Rheinalnd-Pfalz ticket daypass, or within a tighter radius on the VRM mini-group ticket daypass:

vrminfo.de/en/…

Then head off to Paris.

Edited: 8:24 pm, May 30, 2014
Minsk, Belarus
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10. Re: Advice for nine weeks in Europe June/July 2014

I would suggest using Ryanair Scanner application for Android devices makes the process of searching for the best Ryanair offer fast and easy. It provides aggregate view of flights fares across range of airports and dates and provides option to look for flights not only between 2 airports, but also from country to airport or vice versa.

It will allow to keep your journey cost reasonably low.

Google Play address: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details…

Release announce …blogspot.com/2014/06/searching-cheap-ryanai…

Edited: 8:45 am, June 01, 2014