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Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

Phoenix, Arizona
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Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

We are in Germany for two weeks visiting family this summer. Our three family locations are in Frankfurt area, Hamburg, and Sigriswill, Switzerland (near Berne and Thun). While in those three areas we will see some sites and take tours of local area. We are spending around 2-3 days each family place, generally an evening, the next day, and leaving before lunch the next day. In between we have some flexibility. TA has been immensely helpful so far, and I would like to get some more specific feedback.

Our goals are to visit different areas, not necessarily spend a large amount of time at one destination. We are more interested in viewing iconic sights or areas instead of spending all day in a museum, seeing an area in detail, or partaking in "nightlife." Since we only need 2-3 nights in a hotel, we would like a nicer hotel or resort.

We will have a diesel car to drive.

Here is our basic itinerary:

1. Frankfurt area (Family) 1.5 days

2. Hamburg (Family) 2 days

3. Eltz Castle (2-3 hours), Trier (Spend the night in Villa Hugel and see Roman ruins) 1 day

4. A village in the Colmar area (probably Eguisheim or Kaysersburg) .5 days

5. Sigriswil, Switzerland (Family) 2 days

6. Stuttgart - Mercedes Museum 1 day (Spend the night at Le Meridien - I can use spg points to make it free)

7. Heidelburg area (with family) 1 day

8. The Rhine and Frankfurt area (family) 2-3 days

We have options for an extra day or two in between our family stops, how should we use them?

We could possibly choose ONE of the following, and would like other options because this is just what I was thinking:

- Between Frankfurt and Hamburg - maybe go to Berlin for the day and night?

- Between Hamburg and Switzerland - run around Alsace longer, or maybe belgium, luxembourg?

- Between Switzerland and Stuttgart - go to Salzburg, Austria or Munich? or even Italy? (Milan doesn't seem like the area of Italy we would like to visit lol)

Hopefully our unique (and fortunate) travel makes sense. We are looking for feedback in between the three destinations of Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Sigriswil (Thun) Switzerland.

Thanks

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Stuttgart, Baden-Wurttemberg
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1. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

Between Switzerland and Stuttgart there is a lot to see and do without making a huge detour to Munich and/or Salzburg. Have a look at what I wrote in #1 of tripadvisor.com/…49932873 . Going south from the Swiss border area to Stuttgart you have the falls of the Rhine at Schaffhausen, Switzerland; Germany's largest castle (fortress) ruin in area, Hohentwiel by Singen; Then a fairytale-like castle, Burg Hohenzollern by Hechingen; then our favorite town in Germany, Tuebingen which to me is just quintessential Germany; and then the nextdoor delightful well-preserved medieval Bebenhausen Monastery. That's a lot of great places to visit without having to make any detours out of your way. Those places are probably described in more detail in that hotlink.

Hanau, Germany
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2. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

Why in the world are you going to Frankfurt then all the way up north just pass Frankfurt on your way to Switzerland?

The best would be to fly to Hamburg, drive down to the Mosel/Rhine area then Frankfurt - Heidelberg - Stuttgart - Colmar area and then down to Switzerland and fly out from there, that would save a lot of back tracking and open jaw or multi city ticketes run around the price of a return ticket, maybe a little more but you save that on ground travel.

Phoenix, Arizona
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3. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

Those three areas are totally based on our family members we need to visit, the main one in Frankfurt. Also, we are flying during high season. Tickets are outrageous. We did get 2 11hr nonstop flights from Las Vegas to Frankfurt for $2500. A quick check with your idea shows 2 tickets for $3600, 16hr flights.

I love driving, so we are fine with that

Las Vegas, Nevada
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4. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

Unfortunately, AirBerlin has quit flying between Las Vegas and Düsseldorf. These were by far the cheapest flights to Germany. However, I believe they still fly Los Angeles-Düsseldorf. My wife mentioned the other day that someone now is flying Las Vegas to Zurich which could be another possibility besides your Condor flights. Of course, there are many airlines that fly between the US and Germany, and to many German cities and from lots of American airports..

Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

Marcopolko,

You offer some excellent suggestions, areas I have not considered before. The link with your gracious information is truly one of the greatest postings of all time. In my short time looking at options, Tuebingen and Schaffhausen, Switzerland will certainly be the most considered.

We are flying out of LV to FRA on Condor. Our family in Frankfurt is where will be staying the most.

I booked a car through Gemut, they used AVIS. We are returning to Frankfurt Airport and have read some horror stories about damage charges but hopefully we will be ok.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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6. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

I've also seen a lot of horror stories about German car rentals, but at least Avis isn't the major concern. I've never really ever worried about those car damage scams because I am always fully insured at no extra charge using the rental agreements of my former company with the major car rental agencies, the best of both worlds, an inexpensive rental with complete insurance coverage. Only once years ago in Vancouver, Canada did some one try to pull a pre-existing damage scam on me, but as soon as he saw my rental terms, not another word was said.

I would examine your car thoroughly including the wheels and document all existing damage. Last year in Las Vegas when I rented a car I examined it thoroughly before taking it. On returning it, I noticed that I had missed some quite severe pre-existing damage above the driver's door on the roof where I never looked caused by the car rental's car wash machine brushes, so look all over. Luckily, with the terms of my rental agreement, I just don't have to worry about such things. And it would probably be best to make sure that an employee signs that the car is undamaged when you return it. It's probably good to rent through someone like Gemut as the actual rental companies probably like to keep them happy, unlike the victims of the scams who are usually foreign tourists that have little recourse.

Stuttgart, Germany
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7. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

When you pick up your car do make sure ALL damage is listed inc under front bumper. It seems the car returns in FRAare handled by a company that handles returns for most/all rental companies and they like to list every bit of damage. It can happen on pick up that the staff say it is not worth listing as we consider it normal wear and tear, car is returned in FRA and it is another story.

Have a fun trip!

Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

Thank you for the quick response, and the valuable information!

9. Re: Itinerary Help Please-Eastern Germany/Western France

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