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Old 04-07-2014, 12:23 PM
 
3,565 posts, read 1,873,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
I actually prefer checking a wheelie bag a) so there's a longer gap between doing laundry becoming mandatory b) so I'm not dealing with TSA security theater about allowed items in carry ons- I don't want to say 'I can't bring it back; if I find the perfect bottle of wine or olive oil or amazing jam in more than a 2 ounce container and c) I tend to connect through giant airports, and schlepping a large carry-on from B terminal to F terminal at ATL can actually be a lot more annoying than an extra give minutes waiting for it to show up on a baggage carousel after the flight.
I prefer to check baggage, but I like to bring the smallest luggage possible. I'll usually check a small to mid-size roller and then carry-on a backpack with my electronics.
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,990,908 times
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For you guys who check luggage: Wait until the first time that you are going someplace and your bag doesn't show up. Maybe it shows up 1-3 days later, maybe never. Great way to (nearly) ruin a vacation. And remember, all that the airline is going to give you is $500 and that's if the bag never shows up. In the meantime, you're dashing around town buying underwear and clothes and stuff.

Nope, happened to me once, never again.

Very often, I do check baggage going home. Let them have the bag full of dirty laundry. I'll take the money and go shopping when I get home. But the souvenirs, meds, jewelery and anything else I consider critical or irreplaceable goes with me in my small backpack or whatever I can take on the plane.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:58 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
1,318 posts, read 1,182,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
For you guys who check luggage: Wait until the first time that you are going someplace and your bag doesn't show up. Maybe it shows up 1-3 days later, maybe never. Great way to (nearly) ruin a vacation. And remember, all that the airline is going to give you is $500 and that's if the bag never shows up. In the meantime, you're dashing around town buying underwear and clothes and stuff.

Nope, happened to me once, never again.

Very often, I do check baggage going home. Let them have the bag full of dirty laundry. I'll take the money and go shopping when I get home. But the souvenirs, meds, jewelery and anything else I consider critical or irreplaceable goes with me in my small backpack or whatever I can take on the plane.
I think the risk of a lost or delayed bag can be minimized by taking direct flights. My group of fellow travelers usually prefer to pay a slightly higher price for a direct flight, so limit the risk of these kinds of complications and to save time.

That being said, I did have bags get lost / delayed twice in the last couple of years (Amsterdam in 2008 and Taiwan in 2013). Both times, the airlines were able to locate the bags and had them delivered to my hotel within 48 hours.

I would definitely recommend packing at least one or two changes of clothes in your carry on if checking a bag. In my personal experience, this is enough to tide you over until you get your bag.

Depending on the trip, checking a bag can have benefits. For a trip this long, a checked bag can provide the extra storage space for essentials. However, purchasing a small bottle of Woolite and rinsing out a few things in a hotel sink can supplement the clothing supply a bit further.

A checked bag also allows the packing of things that will not be allowed in a carryon. For example, if you like to carry one of the expandable metal walking sticks for hiking, that will likely not be allowed in a carryon. A pocket knife is another item that will need to go in a checked bag, instead of a carryon.

Also just to follow up on a couple of items in Xander.XVII's post.

There is a subway line in Rome, but I never used it. I did use the taxi's several times. This is both reasonably cheap and can be considered an "extreme sporting event" since you may feel like you are facing your imminent death the entire time you are in the cab. Make sure you catch the taxi at a taxi stand or have your hotel call you one. However, walking in Rome is an outstanding experience, if you can do it. It is an amazing city with unexpected sites around every corner (and cat poop on every sidewalk).
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:40 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,545 posts, read 3,653,233 times
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The 2016 Euro Cup soccer champioship will be in France fron June 10 - July 10 so the continent will be focused on the games during that time frame. I've been in Italy during the Euro Cup and again during the World Cup and it was great fun. Accomodations in France might be expensive and hard to get -- I'm not sure of the schhedule or the game locations...but you might want to check that.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:08 AM
 
37 posts, read 73,365 times
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Accepting you will purchase your airfare 3-4 prior months the excursion; you may need to begin arranging 5-6 prior months the genuine outing. At that point, you and your sweetheart may have distinctive hobbies.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:21 PM
 
1,789 posts, read 1,448,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish Taco64 View Post
........ I get why some people are suggesting we cut a place or two but here is our thought....with the cost of airfare and the difficulty in getting prolonged time off of work, we aren't sure how many chances we will get. .......
Thats fine, but at some point you run the risk of turning a great experience into a mad dash of trying to keep to a schedule and constantly saying no to cool things to do and see because you don't have time. Thats no way to vacation. I still suggest you trim down the schedule a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish Taco64 View Post
Loving all of the great info I'm getting! I have another question. For a trip like this, would you recommend traveling with only carry-on sized luggage? ..... although my girlfriend certainly is not warm to the idea. .....
No. I recommend at least one of you check a bag, your gf will appreciate it. She isn't thinking about how long its gonna take to do laundry...she is thinking about this pair of shoes and these jeans with that shirt for the afternoon and that pair of shoes and that blue dress at night. In other words, the things she is picturing in her head wearing to different places and times isn't gonna fit in 1 carry-on. Get used to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
For you guys who check luggage: Wait until the first time that you are going someplace and your bag doesn't show up. .....
Has never happened and I nearly always check a bag. I think the instances of this are overblown. I do always pack as if its going to happen though, and nothing gets checked that I can't easily replace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyTarge13 View Post
..... There is a subway line in Rome, but I never used it. I did use the taxi's several times. This is both reasonably cheap and can be considered an "extreme sporting event" since you may feel like you are facing your imminent death the entire time you are in the cab. Make sure you catch the taxi at a taxi stand or have your hotel call you one. However, walking in Rome is an outstanding experience, if you can do it. It is an amazing city with unexpected sites around every corner (and cat poop on every sidewalk).
I found it easier to walk, and just taxis when needed also.

I at first thought that the colosseum was a stray cat shelter. Never seen so many feral cats.
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Old 04-17-2014, 05:17 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
1,318 posts, read 1,182,273 times
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Default Cats in Rome

Yes, Justanokie, there are a lot of cats in Rome. Actually, if you are in Rome, you might go to Argentum square,where there are some great ancient ruins and a free cat clinic staffed by volunteers. I love animals and really liked the attitude of the staff at this clinic. They accept donations and have a gift shop, which helps support the clinic. I purchased several gifts there.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Idaho
533 posts, read 471,116 times
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Hey everybody! I got tons of good input from this thread when I started it, and am back hoping for more.

First off, I have to agree with what was said earlier, 3 weeks is not enough time for all we wanted to do. But my girlfriend(now my fiance) and I have found a way to add more time to our trip. We realized that we would never be able to get more then 3 weeks off of work, and even that was pushing it. But in a few years we plan to move across country, and it occurred to us that the best time to do this trip is while we are in between jobs. So, in theory, the trip can be as long as we want, provided we save enough money. Now we are leaning closer to 5 weeks.

So we started talking again about things we wanted to do and I brought up a few days in Iceland first. Seem to be several benefits to this, one being cheaper flights. Plus it would slightly lessen to time zone shift right off the bat(my fiance gets very bad jet lag). We would probably spend 3 days there, one for her to recover, one at the Blue Lagoon, and one doing a tour of Geysir, Gulfoss, and a few other things. Good idea?
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,678 posts, read 16,092,150 times
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If you can easily/cheaply get yourself to Boston or BWI (check Southwest for bargain fares there) Wow! Air ("Iceland's most punctual airline in 2013") is currently running some teaser fares for starting service to the USA. Might be worth checking out while cheap seats are still available:

Book your flight | WOW air US
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,868 posts, read 14,239,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otterprods View Post
1. Pick your favorite single region.
2. Go there.
3. See it thoroughly.
4. Come home.
5. Repeat for some other location another year.

I cannot stress enough how much I agree with this. This is the best way for my wife and I. It's the least amount of stress and the most amount of fun. We're so good at traveling that we don't really NEED to plan ahead anymore. We plan anyway. But most of the time we abandon our plans and just do what presents itself when we arrive.

We cannot wrap our heads around the travelers who have an excel spreadsheet with each sight to see and the time and date it must be seen. Everything planned to the minute -- except the possibility of having ANY fun.

Eisenhower was right about a lot of things, but especially about planning: "In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable."

As for the trip as outlined by OP -- my only suggestion is to skip all internal air travel in Europe and just use their rail system. Buy the appropriate rail pass beforehand. The Munich-Innsbruck-Venice train is one of the prettiest on Earth. You are REALLY missing out if you fly from Paris to Munich. You could take the train and spend a day in Epernay that way. (Google Epernay. It's my favorite place in France.) Then there's the possibility of the other prettiest train on Earth -- Mannheim to Bonn on the Rhine and back. My wife loved this train trip so much she asked to skip Bonn entirely and just take the next train back down the Rhine instead.

The Paris-Munich-Rome-Paris train loop is EASILY, EASILY done. We have taken this exact trip twice. And we could do it again in a heartbeat. It's one of the world's great trips.
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