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Old 09-21-2009, 06:15 PM
 
5 posts, read 21,937 times
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I'm in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Europe in the summer of 2010 for my wife and I.

In general, there are two major options with many sub options from there.

Option 1. Base in Aviano Italy area with friends who live there and go out and come back from there with their home serving as a base.

Option 2. Stop in Aviano for a bit at some point but spend the rest of the time on the go.

I don't have a major preference one way or the other. Cost and what we get to see are the two considerations. I would like to try to keep the total cost under $10,000 and would like to do (AT LEAST) the following things and am open to ANY suggestions or help.

In no specific order:
Venice
Rome
Athens
London
Some sort of longer/sleeper rail ride as neither of us have done a sleeper before.
Paris - Don't need long here. I'd be happy just seeing the tower and getting out.
Edinburgh or something cool in the north of the UK?

What am I missing? How should I go about doing this.

Also, if flying in through Amsterdam with a 36-48 hour layover is possible, I wouldn't mind seeing the city.

Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Kalamazoo
80 posts, read 169,157 times
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In Italy, I recommend that you definitely check out Cinque Terre. They are five seaside towns near Genova and are very quaint and not as touristy as the Amalfi Coast. That being said, I would also recommend seeing the Amalfi Coast. :] Capri and Pompeii and definitely worth a visit but I wouldn't bother with Naples. I loved touring some of the small towns in Tuscany. My favorites were Volterra and San Gimignano. You should give yourself 3 days in Roma at the very LEAST if you want to see everything. Venice is very magical, definitely don't miss it.

In England, London will need a few days to see all the sights as well, and that is if you rush. I've been wanting to visit outside of London but haven't had too many opportunities. Cambridge is nice to visit for a couple hours. Edinburgh is a really cool city and driving up the 'castle coast' may be up your alley. I liked St. Andrews too but the hikes and scenery in the highlands was my favorite.

I don't know how much time you have but I liked driving around Ireland is great! It is so scenic and beautiful.

Also, if you are looking for smaller town Europe without the crowds, check out Slovenia. Ljubliana and Bled are especially amazing.

I would definitely try to go to Amsterdam for a couple days if you can. My recommendation is to stay in the Jordaan district, rent some bikes and see the city that way.

I haven't been to Athens but if after some research you decide it might be too expensive and touristy, try the Dalmation Coast in Croatia. It is much cheaper and probably more beautiful (I have heard Athens is kinda gross, but I'm sure you are probably going for the historic sites).

I am not sure what exactly you are looking for in places to visit, museums? Nature? Historical sites? That would help us know what to recommend. Also if you have any specific questions about certain areas I have mentioned, you can DM me, and I may be able to help.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:00 PM
 
30,325 posts, read 31,191,100 times
Reputation: 13995
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerLon View Post
I'm in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Europe in the summer of 2010 for my wife and I.

In general, there are two major options with many sub options from there.

Option 1. Base in Aviano Italy area with friends who live there and go out and come back from there with their home serving as a base.

Option 2. Stop in Aviano for a bit at some point but spend the rest of the time on the go.

I don't have a major preference one way or the other. Cost and what we get to see are the two considerations. I would like to try to keep the total cost under $10,000 and would like to do (AT LEAST) the following things and am open to ANY suggestions or help.

In no specific order:
Venice
Rome
Athens
London
Some sort of longer/sleeper rail ride as neither of us have done a sleeper before.
Paris - Don't need long here. I'd be happy just seeing the tower and getting out.
Edinburgh or something cool in the north of the UK?

What am I missing? How should I go about doing this.

Also, if flying in through Amsterdam with a 36-48 hour layover is possible, I wouldn't mind seeing the city.

Thanks in advance!!!
Definitely take advantage of your layover/stopover in Amsterdam to see the city.
Rome & London require a few days each min.
Venice is very romantic, but you don't need as much time to see it as Rome & London.
I would also suggest that you allocate a few days to Paris. There is much more to see in Paris than just the Eiffel Tower.
I have never been to Athens (although I know there are many historical sites to see in the area) or Edinburgh.
Another possibility in the UK is visiting Wales instead of going up to Scotland.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:43 PM
 
5 posts, read 21,937 times
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I should certainly know more about Wales (as I am 50% Welsh) but what are some nice sights? How is travel from London area to Wales?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
Definitely take advantage of your layover/stopover in Amsterdam to see the city.
Rome & London require a few days each min.
Venice is very romantic, but you don't need as much time to see it as Rome & London.
I would also suggest that you allocate a few days to Paris. There is much more to see in Paris than just the Eiffel Tower.
I have never been to Athens (although I know there are many historical sites to see in the area) or Edinburgh.
Another possibility in the UK is visiting Wales instead of going up to Scotland.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:44 PM
 
5 posts, read 21,937 times
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Overall I am looking for advice in terms of the best route to take, the best time to book, any suggestions on GREAT vrbo's or B&B's, anything to help keep the cost down......
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:09 PM
 
30,325 posts, read 31,191,100 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerLon View Post
I should certainly know more about Wales (as I am 50% Welsh) but what are some nice sights? How is travel from London area to Wales?
Wales Tourist Information
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:35 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,153,042 times
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$10k is a nice budget. How much time do you have?

Do you feel comfortable renting a car? Can you do an open-jaw ticket (fly into one city, fly out another? Maybe fly into Rome, and out of Amsterdam, Edinburgh or London.)

Shoulder season (late May) can often be cheaper but we've done okay with late June into July--just remember that Italy/Greece/Croatia can be hot in mid-summer, and not everyone has AC. (I'm thinking about budget.)

I am unconvinced that Croatia is really cheaper than Greece, but the Dalmatian coast is beautiful. Athens is very busy, worth one night, it is the rest of Greece that is enchanting--but I would put it off for another trip, it's just too far, and consider the Dalmatian coast instead. (Or if Greece is a must, then narrow your countries down.)

If you had 3 weeks, it would be nice if you could begin in the warmer countries, then work your way north. If you can't do a real open jaw, you could do a loop from Rome, then return home from Milan. But in and out of Rome is doable.

You could fly into Rome, spend 3-4 days, then drive or train north, stopping in Florence if you care about art/architecture, stopping in Tuscany (Siena! Montepulciano! Cortona!), then visit your friends in Aviano.
You can see Venice in 1-2 days.
Then visit your friends in Aviano.

*This is where you have to decide whether or not to do Greece or Croatia.
We took an overnight ferry to Corfu from Venice and it was delightful.
You could take the time to do a round trip to Corfu, then return to Venice.
Or you could take a ferry to the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia. They do not go all the way to the south of Croatia, though.*

From there head west along the Cinque Terre, stopping a couple days, then into coastal France.
From Nice you could take the TGV train to Paris. Paris is MUCH more than the Eiffel Tower.
You could take the Eurostar to London from Paris, and a night train from London to Edinburgh. Northwest Scotland was one of my favorite places, ever. But maybe you don't want to go further than Inverness.
If you do open jaw, you can fly home from the places I named above.
If you are doing a loop, look for budget flights back to Rome on easyjet, RyanAir, BMI baby or others here: Which Budget That site might help you with Croatia/Greece, too.
BMI Baby has a flight from East Midlands to Dubrovnik. You could add Croatia to the END of your trip.

Of course Ireland is lovely as well.
It depends how much time you have--don't forget the travel itself takes up time, and sometimes you want to just relax.

You have a lot of destinations on your list so I am not sure it would be such a good idea to rent a flat or apartment--but maybe you could narrow your choices and spend part of the time renting some place.

I hope I have not bombarded you with too much information. We have patched together a lot of interesting trips over the years, and we are budget conscious, as well--with a few splurges.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Kalamazoo
80 posts, read 169,157 times
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Look into staying at 'Tourist Farms' wherever you can find them, usually not right in cities. They are cheap, include breakfast and you can get a look at the local culture as well.
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:22 PM
 
5 posts, read 21,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
I hope I have not bombarded you with too much information. We have patched together a lot of interesting trips over the years, and we are budget conscious, as well--with a few splurges.
No, absolutely not. Keep it coming.

10k is what we're trying to keep it under... We could go a bit longer if needed.

I do feel comfortable renting a car if that is what would be cheapest and am willing to use open-jaw and book multiple tickets if needed.

We would like to go between 3-5 weeks if that is possible within our budget with a 5 day stop or so visiting our friends in Aviano.

In terms of Greece, I would be happy seeing the historical sites in Athens. However, I would be willing to do that another day. Is there any way to do a 2-day trip from Rome just to see some sites?

Any suggestions of where to look for housing options? We don't need 5* hotels but I don't want to go the hostel route either. What are my budget conscious options?
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Sverige och USA
702 posts, read 2,750,919 times
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I typically like to intersperse some nature along with big cities when traveling. If you'd like that, I would suggest going to the Dolomites which is near Aviano. Also, I would skip Greece as it is out of the way from the general direction of the other cities on your list. Although I haven't been to Athens, most people I know who's been there thought it was quite dirty and polluted and wasn't a major highlight. However, if you must go to Athens, consider flying on cheap airlines rather than the train.

There was a sleeper train from Rome to Venice overnight, which I assume exists the other way around.
I would also suggest Florence and the Cinque Terre if you have additional time in Italy on your way back North from Rome. I would also suggest more than a few hours in Paris, a few days is a must and then it is an easy hop to London. Good luck.
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