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Old 11-03-2016, 06:53 PM
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I too would vote for a river cruise if you can afford it and want a leisurely trip but able to see a number of places in a relatively short period.

Get on board, unpack, lounge around and watch the world go by, stop at interesting places, take local tours, all meals easy to get to and costs, though they may seem high, are at least less of a surprise. I think it would be a great way (especially if you have more than 2 in your party) to see enough to know where you would like to go back to next time, be able to find something that pleases everyone, and not get bogged down with trying to keep everyone coordinated on multi-transportation modes and while lugging suitcases around from place to place. Much more time to enjoy each other as well as the scenery and history. Look into that kind of tour anyway as you are doing your planning.
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Old 11-04-2016, 06:14 AM
Location: Austin
29,557 posts, read 16,540,173 times
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Originally Posted by unknown00 View Post
I've never been to any parts of Europe before. I need lots of suggestions/advice! It will be with wife & extended family, everyone is an adult, money is not really an issue

Lastly, any advice from experience would be appreciated too!
Pick a convenient arrival city, rent a car and drive around the country to see it. Then depart from the same city.

Don't just see big cities.

For your first trip, England might be your best choice since there would be very little language challenges.
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Old 11-04-2016, 06:55 AM
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England would be a great choice! I forgot about that but I lived there for a while. Fly in and out of London which may be a direct flight depending on where you live. It's all English speaking so no language barrier and you can do a ton in a short time. If you do go there I highly recommend day trips to Stratford upon Avon, Bath and Stonehenge. Definitely plan to see at least one show, drink pints in a pub and have high tea at Harrod's. The White Cliffs of Dover are totally worth a day trip as well.
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Old 11-04-2016, 07:24 AM
Location: Southern Nevada
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If you have never done it, driving a RH drive car on the left side of the road can be scary. I rented cars in Ireland and Scotland and never really got comfortable with them, especially in the bigger cities like Dublin and Edinburgh. It is also VERY expensive since you need to take max insurance and your U.S. credit card will not cover foreign car rentals. In London, forget it. Take trains and taxis.

I went back to Scotland in 2012 to golf my way around the country. I used ScotRail and taxis exclusively and it was actually cheaper than renting a car by a longshot.
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Old 11-04-2016, 07:56 AM
Location: Saint Paul, MN
1,365 posts, read 1,450,195 times
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Originally Posted by SFBayBoomer View Post
I guess I'm in the minority here. I might be able to do a 7-10 day trip to New England, but would never consider a trip to Europe that was only 7-10 days long. Jet lag is a bummer, and it's a real thing.

My very first trip to Europe I spent the first three weeks just in Paris, with a day side trip to Versailles before branching out to other countries. And that was in the days when there were very few places that were inundated with tourists, when I had to change currency at each border and learn to speak other languages, because even most small hotel/pension owners could not speak English.

Is there any chance at all that you can stretch the trip out to at least 2-3 weeks?
That's a nice idea in theory. There is something to be said for spending an extended amount of time in a place and really digging in.

But if it had to be a 3-week trip or nothing, virtually nobody would be able to travel much of anywhere. You do realize that most working people get 10 days of vacation total, right? And that has to cover family events and holiday plans beyond the day itself (who wants to work Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas?) and the day you have to take off to meet the plumber/cable guy/landlord as well as any leisure travel? And if you have been with one company long enough to amass an extra week of vacation time, it's pretty likely that your higher-level job duties mean you can't get away for that long at a stretch anyway.

Lengthy trips are awesome. I went on a couple over the summers when I was in college. The sad reality is that I will probably never get to do so again in my life, just like other working adults.
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Old 11-04-2016, 09:00 AM
Location: Bloomington IN
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With 7 days I don't think I would attempt more than one city or one country. Even with 10 days I wouldn't recommend more than 2 cities maximum.

We sent our 2 kids together to Europe as a high school and a college graduation gift. They had about 3 weeks before our oldest started her post-college job. Because she had a friend in Madrid that is where they started. They stayed about a 6 days there. Next stop, via rail, was Paris for 5 or so days. It gave them time to see the highlights of the city and travel to Versailles. For some reason our son wanted to visit Zurich so that was next for a couple of days. Via rail they traveled to Rome for the remainder of the trip. They did have an unexpected overnight stop in Milan because of an issue with the train tracks.

I'd highly recommend using the rail system. It is slower than air, or maybe even driving, but it really allows one to see the beautiful geography of the various countries.
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Old 11-04-2016, 03:24 PM
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If money is not an issue at all, I'd look for two completely different experiences.

I recommend Iceland to everyone. A day in Reykjavik, a day at the Blue Lagoon and couple days in somewhere like Pingvellir National Park.

Then head off to...

Paris, Scotland, Berlin, whatever...
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Old 11-04-2016, 03:51 PM
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How exciting! My first trip to Europe I did a traditional 10 day Mediterranean cruise. Started in Venice and ended in Barcelona. Also hit Athens, Cannes/Monaco, Naples/Pompei and I think some others. The beauty of a Mediterranean cruise is that you travel between the cities at night and spend the day enjoying the ports. You can also do the trip's excursions or hire your own guide and do what you want which makes sense if you are traveling in a group. Look up cruises by Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Royal Carribean etc. Find one that has ports that interest you and fits your schedule and end and/or begins in a city you would like to see more of. It is always good to allow a day or two to tour the beginning/ending city if you have the time.

This is similar to what we did. Begins in Barcelona, ends in Venice.

This one also has some very nice stops.

For 7 days this one has a spectacular itinerary.

I recommend if money is not an object that you go for at least a balcony room.

Last edited by mic111; 11-04-2016 at 04:04 PM..
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Old 11-04-2016, 04:49 PM
Location: Niceville, FL
7,696 posts, read 16,148,308 times
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Originally Posted by Camaro5 View Post
I It is also VERY expensive since you need to take max insurance and your U.S. credit card will not cover foreign car rentals.
American Express has a $13-$25 (varies depending o nstate residence of cardholder) PER RENTAL- not per day- CDW/'Super Cover' supplemental auto insurance policy that covers all of Europe except for the Republic of Ireland and Italy, which have some quirks in their national auto rental laws. I've fortunately never had to file a claim with it but others report the claims process with AmEx goes smoothly.


I assume a lot of other premium cards have similar supplemental insurance offers.
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Old 11-04-2016, 05:17 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,708 posts, read 40,113,239 times
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My USA, Chase 'travel' card covers international car rental insurance.

driving a RH drive car on the left side of the road can be scary Keep the steering wheel to center of road, OUTSIDE lanes are the slow ones (with tractors and such)

motorcycles are a bit more difficult (and fatal) to remember which side you should be driving on. After 1 yr abroad (much in NZ, AU, SGP, TH, MY, UK) I find myself riding MC on the wrong side OFTEN back in USA.

Clockwise 6 lane rotary with 7 exits might get you excited while driving 100 - 140 kmh.
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