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46 replies
I don't quite understand the Eurorail system
kenzie1040
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My friend and I plan on getting a rail ticket, but we’re not sure what type to get. We want adventure and no restrictions and want to be able to go to as many countries as we’d like. What is the best package to get for our circumstances?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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oldlady
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Quote:
My friend and I plan on getting a rail ticket
“Rail ticket” means a ticket for a specific train route (say Paris to Amsterdam) or even a specific train (the 7:23 AM Thalys train from Paris to Amsterdam on 20, January, 2009). I assume you’re asking about a Eurail pass (for folks who aren’t citizens or residents of Europe) or interrail (for European citizens/residents)???

1. How long is your trip? How old are you? Is your travel style whirlwind or laid back?
Do you intend to spend a fair amount of time in UK and in Eastern Europe? Any information on preferences for countries to visit (like do you want to go to Scandinavia? spend a lot of time in Italy?) will help give a better recommendation.

2. Best, given your criteria, is probably a consecutive day Eurail Global pass (assuming you aren’t citizens/long term residents of a European country) for Eurail member countries and point to point tickets for trains in countries outside Eurail. However, it’s impossible to know the absolute best deal financially without a very specific itinerary and a lot of time researching the individual national rail company websites to find what specials are available on specific days you want to travel.

kenzie1040
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oops! i meant pass. And yes, i was talking about a Eurorail pass.

1. We’re both under 26 (I researched and any ages under that gets a discounted price) and we are definitely planning on a whirlwind, we don’t want any restrictions one day if we just felt like going to greece to go to the beaches, thats what we want to do.

But i don’t understand the 1 month and say like 5 day aspect of the rail pass. If i get the global pass does that mean i could ride a train everyday persay? just an example. I’m very confused if you couldn’t tell

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
oldlady
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There are two types of global eurail passes, consecutive day passes and flexi passes. A consecutive day pass is good for 15, 21, 30, 60 or 90 days. You validate the pass the first day and it expires however many days later. A flexi-pass is good for a certain number of “rail days” (10 or 15) in a 60 day period. The pass has that number of boxes on it. Each day that you use the pass you put the date in one of the boxes. You can take as many trains as you like between midnight and midnight on that day. When you’ve used all the boxes, you’re done. IMO, a flexipass (plus the occasional cheap point to point ticket) is the better choice for most itineraries since you really don’t want to be on a long train ride more often than every 3rd or 4th day, so 15 rail days plus some cheap point to point tickets would cover a 2 month trip. However, since you seem to be totally opposed to any kind of itinerary, either a consecutive day pass or forgetting the pass and just buying point to point tickets is probably best for you. You’ll only be able to calculate what “would have been” the best deal when your trip is over.

Some info you might find useful in your decision. 1. The pass isn’t valid in UK, Slovakia, Poland. 2. There’s not much of a rail system in Greece, so you’re unlikely to use a pass there unless you take the ferry from Italy. 3. Trains are expensive in France, Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, so a pass will save money there. 4. Trains are cheaper in Italy and Spain, so a pass may be a toss-up there. 5. Trains are cheap in Eastern Europe, so a pass, which is based on rail prices in the more expensive countries of Western Europe is unlikely to pay.

kenzie1040
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thanks we have an itineary though. we’re planning on flying in to paris stay there for a few days then to amsterdam to berlin to prague to greece and then hopefully take a ferry from greece to italy then stay in rome and then venice then back to france… is this possible for 21 days?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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we’re planning on flying in to paris stay there for a few days then to amsterdam to berlin to prague to greece and then hopefully take a ferry from greece to italy then stay in rome and then venice then back to france… is this possible for 21 days?
Possible? I suppose so. Reasonable? In a word “no.”

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Yeah, I wouldn’t attempt that itinerary.

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okay well we’re cutting out venice and our days in france at the beginning aren’t counting for our 21 days. do you think that will make this trip more plausible?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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It might help a little, but I’d look into an open-jaw ticket to help eliminate the backtracking. I think Greece will be a huge time suck. If you want really want to go there drop some cities and commit a good amount of time to it.

kenzie1040
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welll the main point of going to greece was the beautiful beaches and we wanted to go to santorini. if we took this out of our schedule and added barcelona for the beaches, would that make more sense?

if you can’t tell, first euro trip

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
oldlady
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I agree with Augustin. It makes a lot more sense to cut Greece than Venice. Venice is only about 4 hours from Rome and it’s a compact city you can see in a couple of days plus the Lido (one of the Venetian islands) is a decent beach resort. Greece is a small mainland and a whole lot of islands — each of which has it’s own unique reasons to visit. It takes a lot of time to get to Greece and tons of time to get around Greece by ferry. A week is barely enough time for Greece and spending the time and money to get to Greece just to spend a couple of days in Athens is a huge waste, IMO — particularly if you’re interested in beaches. Save Greece for a future trip when you’ve got time to enjoy it and actually get to the great beaches.

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Everyone thinking of using a rail pass should go to www.raileurope.. and read the How To Use A Pass!!! Very informative.
Keep in mind that many train trips you will do require a SEAT RESERVATION or you will pay more and may be fined for not having one in advance. Overnight Trains & High Speed Trains require reservations. You should have knowledge of this in advance so you don’t miss trains. Since you are young and only have 21 days, see as much as you can and visit as many countries as possible on your first trip.

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okay thank you. another question is, does my rail pass cover trains, shuttles or buses within the city when i get to my destination or will i need to put aside more money for travel than just my money for the rail ticket?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
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okay thank you. another question is, does my rail pass cover trains, shuttles or buses within the city when i get to my destination or will i need to put aside more money for travel than just my money for the rail ticket?
Not generally, but sometimes. Buses generally aren’t covered unless the national rail company runs a bus in lieu of a train — in which case it will have a train number and show up in the rail schedules. A railpass covers the S-Bahn (suburban subway/light rail) but not the U-bahn (traditional city subway) in Vienna and German cities. It covers part of the RER (suburban light rail) in Paris, but not the part in the center of the city and it does not cover the Metro. It covers DART in Dublin. These systems, designed for suburban commuter traffic, have fewer stops than the traditional mass transit system, so are hard to use for sightseeing. Many European cities have train connections to the airport and these are often covered by the railpass.

If you’re using a select or flexi pass, you won’t want to use a day of your railpass to cover a few euros worth of local transportation. I would budget 5 euros a day for local transportation — overkill in some cities, barely adequate in others.

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Go to the Raileurope web site and click on railpasses and read what is included.
If you decide on a GlobalPass/Youth you can READ the Overview, Travel Bonuses and FAQ’s and that should answer all of you questions. If not, call them and speak with one of their agents on a Toll-Free line. Munich is the only city that the Metro/subway is included, but you can walk everywhere and metro/subways are cheap if you need them.
Be careful that you do NOT validate your pass upon arrival at the Paris Airport to take advantage of a free ride on the RER to the city. You will waste the days while you are in Paris. It is not worth it. Save your pass and go to the train station at least an hour before your train and go to the SNCF train info booth and validate your pass before boarding the train. If you do NOT validate your pass, you will pay a fine!
By the way, in my opinion, you can see everything in Athens in one day and than take off to the Islands if you want. You will waste a day each way taking a ferry to the islands. You will have to research arrival and departure times to make sure you do not get stuck spending the night in Athens before your flight departs the next morning. Also look at www.whichbudget… to check on airfare from Athens to Italy or back to Paris to see if you can see it all or you may need to extend your trip.

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kenzie1040 wrote:
But i don’t understand the 1 month and say like 5 day aspect of the rail pass. If i get the global pass does that mean i could ride a train everyday persay? just an example. I’m very confused if you couldn’t tell

If it says 1 month//5days, it means you may use it on five days of your choice from the consecutive 30 days. E.g. you buy it for Aug 15-Sep 14. And it is has five blank boxes where you write the date you desire to use it (e.g. Aug 22). Once you write the date in, the ticket becomes valid for that day until midnight. So it’s really a five day ticket, with limitation that these five days must be all within one month.

But there used to be a 22-day ticket valid for 22 consecutive days without the possibility to unuse some days within validity. That should be better for you (in case it’s still available), but then, if you stay too long on one place, you’ll waste a lot of its validity time.

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

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okay, i’m really nervous and actually scaredabout going on this trip now that i’m learning new facts and the fantasy of “backpacking” is actually becoming a reality.

1. how much money would i need for transportation for about a 22-24 day trip (besides my rail ticket that is)
2. safety. there is definitely more risks for women than for men while traveling. my mom has been telling me horror stories and now she really has me freaked out. What are some tips to stay safe.
3. and i was reading other posts and all of you guys know so much about europe and the countries around there, it makes me nervous that I may not get the real europe experience. I don’t want to go waste all this money on a trip and not really gain the full experience.

I’m sorry if all of you guys think i’m really pathetic after reading this post, I just don’t feel like the research I’m doing is providing me with all the little stuff i should know but not. please help with any tips you can provide i’d really appreciate it!

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
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1. I would budget 5 euros per day for local transportation. Some days you’ll use more, most days you probably won’t use that much.
2. You are much safer as a solo woman in most European cities than you are at home. Generally, you do not need to worry about your personal safety — unless you do something totally stupid like wander down a dark alley alone at night or get staggering drunk with some friendly folk you just met. You do need to worry about your money and your stuff as pickpocketing and purse snatching are common anywhere there are tourists or crowds, so use your head. Most of us keep only a small sum of money in purse or pocket and use a money belt.
3. You will have a wonderful time. You don’t need to know all the little stuff in advance. You will figure it out as you go along. For example, the European rail system can seem confusing at first, but once you’ve taken a train or two you will understand how it works and they way it works will start to make perfect sense to you. You’ll then be an expert. Just relax and keep a positive outlook. When something doesn’t go the way you expect it to, look for what was fun, interesting, educational or funny in the experience.

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Old Lady is on the money and well written! It is great that you are asking questions and wanting to learn before you travel. You are not pathetic, we have all been in your shoes on our first trip. I am very impressed. On my first trip for 3 months, I visited bookstores, found a comfy chair and did alot of reading. I took notes and typed up my own mini guidebook for each country/city that I was planning to visit. I did not want to be a stupid American. Just like the travel guide books, I would cut and paste info from tourist and travel web sites to my word document so I would not make the typical travel mistakes and show up to a museum when it was closed. I wrote small notes regarding trains, taxis, public transportation, tipping, food I wanted to try, places to avoid, museums, sites, and a my own MUST SEE list. I made sure that I visited places that my parents had lived after the war and places my brother, sisters and friends have visited so we can talk when I returned. Now you can print out maps to your hostel or hotel and the hours they are open or have lock-outs (closed for cleaning) and most importantly train schedules so you can get the most out of your days. The travel web sites has made travel so easy and much safer. Most horror stories are true and many happen due to alcohol. Meet other females in the hostel at breakfast or your roommates and give everyone an open invitation to join you and explore the city. Be sure to invite travelers from all over the world to join your group. This will enhance your experience. Make a BUDDY pact with other females that you will take care of each other in the bars or if you go on a pub crawl. Drink spiking is a problem in all bars all over the world. Be alert when some stranger wants to learn about you and your country and buy you a drink. I have run tours in Europe for 13 years, 75% female and the most commom problem we have to watch out for is pickpocketing in Pisa, Italy as you get off and on the train, walking up the stairs with heavy suitcases and at the bus stop and on the overly crowded busses to and from the tower. Do not leave anything valuable on your hostel bed if you leave your room for a shower or toilet or visit another room. Lock it up or carry it on your person. The only thing of value that a thief wants is cash, credit card, atm card, camera and passport. The rest in your bag is clean/dirty clothes. Carry your valuables on your person at all times and wear your day pack on your chest in crowded areas like museums, trains, buses, in line to buy tickets or food. Keep asking those questions.

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On my first trip for 3 months, I visited bookstores, found a comfy chair and did alot of reading. I took notes and typed up my own mini guidebook for each country/city that I was planning to visit. I did not want to be a stupid American. Just like the travel guide books, I would cut and paste info from tourist and travel web sites to my word document so I would not make the typical travel mistakes and show up to a museum when it was closed. I wrote small notes regarding trains, taxis, public transportation, tipping, food I wanted to try, places to avoid, museums, sites, and a my own MUST SEE list. I made sure that I visited places that my parents had lived after the war and places my brother, sisters and friends have visited so we can talk when I returned.
Ohmygod — somebody who’s more anal about travel than I am. I recommend doing all of this stuff, printing out the result, reading it twice and then leaving it at home.

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I, like many travelers have worked very hard for my money and with the poor exchange rates the past few years, I want to make sure I get more experiences and more fun out of every dollar I spend on travel. I meet hundreds of travelers every summer that never prepared themselves for what maybe a once in a lifetime trip and they waste so much money and valuable time by not being informed by guidebooks, travel guides and other travelers. That is what makes this web site very valuable for all travelers. You can learn something new everyday. I strongly suggest that whatever information you decide to take on the trip with you, take a minimum of 5 minutes on your flight or train and refresh your memory on your next city. Be sure to extend yourself to socialize with locals on the trains, at the toursit sites and at restaurants and beer gardens. Enjoy every minute of your trip like it will be the only chance you will get in your life to see these wonderful places.

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haha i’ll definitely make sure to do so. do you think that i could survive off of 35 or so dollars a day?

here is my money situation, please tell me if i’m wrong about anything!

plane: around 1,000
backpack: 200?
travel: 700
hostels: 350?

that leaves around 750 dollars for anything else..

does this sound about right?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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kenzie1040
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everything else is including food, tours, and what not

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
Requesting help with Transport, Itinerary
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Yes, it can work!
Shop around for the best airfare
Don’t spend $200.00 on a backpack. Search the web for closeouts. www.ebags…REI, SportChalet and look up local luggage stores in your city. Small family owned shops will work on the price to move the luggage because of slow sales. Always ask for a better price.
If you want a backpack that you will carry on your shoulders all the time, make sure it is front loading (lay on bed and the front panel zips open on all 3 sides and flaps open like a suitcase) Do NOT get top loading, which loads only through the top like a large laundry bag. Hard to get to items on the bottom without having to dump out the entire bag.
Make a plan on what hostels you want to stay in and figure out your rates. I suggest that you print a list of top 3 choice hostels for each city with web site and phone info. Along the trip, you and your friend my want more privacy and upgrade to a double depending on previous hostel experiences or you bail out on a crappy & dirty hostel and want a nice hotel along the way.
Food – is okay. Hit supermarkets as much as possible and pack food in your day pack on every day and before train trips so you don’t get stuck buying small bottles of water for $5.00 or $5.00 coke at a snack stand. Cokes in markets will cost less than $1.00 and 1.5 liters of water is as low as .25 cents to 1.00USD Refill from the tap in hostels. Yes, Water is safe to drink in Europe.
Another tip is not to go out and by travel items that stores try to sell to you. Most items you need are in your home. If you need it, buy it over in Europe.
Many cities have added FREE walking tours and you only tip them at the end based on how much fun you had.
When you return, please start a new post ( Kenzie1040 Just Returned09 )and tell others about your cost and experience.

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haha i will make sure to do that for sure. i wish i was just going tomorrow, i don’t want to wait another 6 months! when i make my post, ill be sure to mention how much help you and oldlady provided me! because seriously, i wouldn’t know anything without you two!

and a plus is, i think ive got my mom talked into letting us use her marriot points for one or two nights while we’re there. ahhh a nice clean shower will be nice after so long!

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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i think ive got my mom talked into letting us use her marriot points for one or two nights while we’re there.
Make sure you know exactly what’s included and what you might be charged for. The taxes could easily be more than a night in a hostel and you might get charged an exorbitant amount for breakfast. I once enjoyed what I thought was a free breakfast only to find it cost 26 euros.

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Keep in mind that you may find many cheap deals on 3-4-5 star hotels with last minute bookings. And the front desk staff in many hotels can offer you a deal. I would hide my credit card and show only 40 or 60 euros and say I am flying home tommorrow and only have 40-60 Euros left for a 1 night stay. many 3 & 4 star hotels took the money. It will be interesting to see what happens this summer with the economy and see if the dollar gets stronger or levels off.
Hostels are the best place to meet others, but it is nice to have a huge comfy bed and a private & clean bathroom. If your Mom gives you a nice hotel, be sure to load up your daypack with the great breakfast items & fruit without anyone watching.

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i sure hope the dollar gets stronger! i using a currency converter on some website and i couldn’t believe the difference between the euro and the dollar. america has some hard times to come in the very near future Frown

but hopefully, i get to take this trip BEFORE the economy hits rock bottom (actually i hope the economy never hits rock bottom, but you get the gist).

But for the points, it is equivalent for a free night in a hotel, would they really make me pay taxes for that?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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I use www.oanda… On your day of departure print out the traveler cheat sheats located in the left margin. Choose your currency and the Euro, British Pound and Swiss CHF and get the reverse as well. I glue stick them back to back and cover each side with clear shipping tape. (The poor man’s/woman’s lamination) It comes in handy walking the town and you can price out food, postcards, souviners, and prices you see on apartments, homes, etc.
Have your Mom show you on the Marriott web site, where their hotels are located and read the fine print on using her miles. When you find what you want, call the 800 number and make sure you can use the miles even though it is not in your name and ask them about taxes, hidden charges, breakfast price & taxes, and wether or not you need the Marriott card with you.

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But for the points, it is equivalent for a free night in a hotel, would they really make me pay taxes for that?
Often, yes. It may be an occupancy tax as opposed to a sales or value added tax. The hotel may be taxed for every guest, regardless of what, if anything, that guest paid. I believe that’s the case in France and I’ve booked hotels where the rate was for the room, but the added taxes were per person.

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well dang, that about defeats the purpose. again on the transportation aspect of this trip, in paris per se, whats the easiest way to get around? will i walk for the most part or will i be taking a tram, shuttle thing? my hostel said it was in the “centre” of paris so will that be close enough in walking distance to get to say the eiffel tower and the arc de triomphe?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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Walking is the best way to see Paris or any city for that matter. You can easily walk 5-10 miles or more in one day. A Metro ride home is great after a long day of walking.
The Metro/Subway costs 1.60 Euro per ride and is very convienent but watch out for pickpockets. The Metro offers one day passes, but plan out how many trips you will take so you break even or reduce your cost per ride. Most hostels say they are in the city center. Most hostel sites have detailed maps on their web sites and free maps upon arrival.
If I had a warm and sunny day in Paris, I would start at Notre Dame and walk through the church and than climb the stairs to see the big bell and a great view with the gargoyles. Next walk to Sainte Chapelle, The Conciergerie and than walk directly across the river and have a Gyro on rue De La Huchette pedestrian street. After lunch, I walk up along the river and visit Musee D’Orsay than to Rodin, Napolean’s Tomb and walk up the road to the Eiffel Tower. I would stop at the great supermarket at Ecoile Militaire Metro stop on Rue De La Motte Piquet and purchase food there or walk a 1/4 block to the great pedestrian street, Rue Cler and purchase food for a picnic on the lawn (Champ du Mars) of the Eiffel Tower. If you brought your hostel friends along, you can have a big picnic and than go up the Eiffel Tower. Sunset is approx. 9:55PM in summer so get in the shortest line at 8:00pm. After watching the sunset from the top, wait and watch the city lights go on. We would get off the elevator at the 2nd. level and take the stairs down the next two levels. (been there done that type of thing) Than we would go back onto the lawn and watch the strobe lights go off at 11:00pm and than either hit a bar or call it quits. Strobe lights flicker at the top of the hour for 10 minutes starting at 10:00pm. If you skipped most of the museums listed, walk up to Champ Elysees and stroll with the locals. Be sure to walk around the Louvre and the pyramid entrance at night, the lighting is amazing.

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Visit the RATP site (www.ratp.fr) for details on public transport tickets and fares. There are single ride tickets, transfer tickets for 90 minutes, and day tickets, see
age=tarifs” title=“http://www.ratp.info/touristes/index.php?langue=en&rub=decouvrir&cat=paris-visite&ampage=tarifs”>http://www.ratp.info…

Or you can walk. If you don’t stop before every shop window, half an hour’s walk should be enough to get you from the Triumph Arch to the Eiffel Tower.

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

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I studied abroad in Paris last summer for a month, so hopefully I can contribute some to this discussion.
If they say they’re in the center, many times they mean anything within the 20 Paris arrondissements which can be really far apart. However, the metro is really convenient in Paris. You will not go more than a couple blocks without seeing one, so you can always walk for a while and then catch a ride if you get tired, and it’s really cheap for single rides compared to other subway systems in Europe (consider the London Tube where it is 4 POUNDS for a single ride!).

I would recommend getting some sort of metro pass though, since you will probably be riding it alot. Places are further apart in Paris than you would think. Ex: from where we were staying in the 6th arrondissement, to go the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement, “right next door” you would think, was nearly two miles to walk (we had to do it on Bastille Day when the 250,000 people who were watching the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower all decided to get on the same 4 metro stops to go home). Some of the metro lines that lead to the Eiffel tower are partially above ground and have really excellent views of that side of Paris. The one that stops at Bir-Hakeim (nearest Tower stop), line 6, has great views approaching the Tower.

If you can stay somewhere close to line 4, I believe that is the most convenient line because it runs directly N-S through the very middle of Paris so you can connect to just about anywhere from there (many of the big stations are on it: Gare de l’Est, Gare du Nord, Chatelet-Les Halles, Montparnasse, and the other ones you can get to with one connection. plus Cité for Notre Dame, several stops close to Montmartre/Sacre Coeur, etc). Line 1 is the most convenient W-E line (Louvre, Arc de Triomphe).

http://www.ratp.info… << This is a great interactive map of the Paris metro so you can kind of explore the different lines and stops. It includes metro and RER (commuter train) lines, and all the different zones (it shows you the lines which run all the way out to Versailles for example). It also tells you the times of the trains, if they are running on time, the stops which are under construction/out of use right now, etc. which is really useful in planning journeys.

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2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
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wow thanks everyone, this is all extremely useful and i’ll definitely be able to use it on my trip! i allocated 5 dollars a day for excess travel. Do you think that will suffice?

Also, the most I have ever really been on is the metro in D.C and a few others but not in that big of cities, is that kind of how the metro in paris works? do you think i’ll just be able to get the hang of it after a ride or two?

I am leaving from united states with $15000 for 129 days
Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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Your 5 euros should be plenty. The DC system works pretty much like Paris and is actually one of the more complicated systems. Generally, you’ll catch on before you even get on a subway — just by reading the ticket selling machines and maps or by reading a guidebook. Many guidebooks include subway maps of the larger cities. The names of the last stops on the line are posted (not necessarily the “color” or “number” of the line), so you’ll know that you’re on the right line and you’re going in the right direction. You’ll definitely have the hang of it after a ride or two.

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the Paris metro is really simple to ride. I’d say the DC metro was probably more complicated, lol. You either buy a one-use ticket or a day/several day ticket. Find a stop on a line you want to take somewhere, and decide which direction you’re going (signs leading into that part of the tunnel will give all the stops from where you are to the end of the line in that direction. if you are going from Montparnasse to the Eiffel Tower stop at Bir-Hakeim, for example, you would take the Etoile direction. Bir Hakeim will be listed in the stops leading up to Etoile.) You go down that tunnel, insert your ticket into the turnstile, and enter the platform, which will have a map of Paris, many many advertisements, a few benches, some far too expensive vending machines, and also a sign displaying how many minutes until the next two trains arrive. You get on when the next train arrives (it will flash 00 when the train is approaching the platform so you can get up from your seat and be ready, etc). Whatever you do, do not stick your arm or leg in the door to get it to not close. These things do not work like elevators and you WILL get stuck in the door. I saw this happen once. Luckily the guy got out before the train started going. Also, you have to lift the handle to get the door to open, they don’t open automatically as you might think.

I am leaving from Atlanta, GA with $1200 for 14 days
London, Salisbury, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh, Inverness, Edinburgh, London
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I am leaving from Rouen with $1500 for 15 days
Venice, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Rome
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Sights
I am leaving from busan, SK with $1000 for 13 days
Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Bangkok

2008—Language study abroad in Paris, France
2009—Archaeological field school/dig in Lau, Fiji
2010— Birthday UK trip!
2011— Teaching English in South Korea
2012— ????

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is there a website for ferries? and if i’m going from rome to nice, i should take a ferry right? and where would I sail out of?

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Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kirkcudbright, Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Munich, Salzburg, Budapest, Hvar, Korčula, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Ohrid, Corfu, Taormina, Palermo, Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona, Cinque Terre, Nice, Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Zürich, Colmar, Paris, Rothenberg, Heidelberg, Amboise, Chambord, Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, Giverny, Normandy, Versailles, Strasbourg
I have budgeted $7000 for 83 days
Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kraków, Salzburg, Munich, Venice, Rome, Certaldo, Florence, Cinque Terre, Nice, Marseilles, Lauterbrunnen, Interlaken, Paris, Dublin, Cashel, Galway, Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Belfast, Kirkcudbright, Fort William, Inverness, Edinburgh, Alnwick, Oxford, Leeds, London
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I strongly agree, Packer. Your comments are quite informative and very helpful. Thanks for sharing. Smile

I made this itinerary for my family. We’re four (4) in the family plus 4 of my siblings. We plan to go to Europe come April. Is this itinerary workable/ok?

Countries: 1. Paris – April 20-22
2. Rome – April 22-24
3. Vienna – April 24-26
4. Prague – April 26-29
4. Berlin – April 29 – May 1

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Kenzie, I don’t think there’s a direct Rome-Nice ferry. I think you’d have to go Rome-Corsica, and switch to another ferry for Corsica-Nice. You can fly Rome to Nice for as little as 60 euros or so: http://www.blu-expre…

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Countries: 1. Paris – April 20-22 2. Rome – April 22-24 3. Vienna – April 24-26 4. Prague – April 26-29 4. Berlin – April 29 – May 1

You can’t even do this itinerary on the most whirlwind of organized tours. 2 day in each city??? Not counting travel time?? Even flying takes 5 hours (with getting to/from airports, flight time, check-in time, security time) and most flights end up killing the better part of a day. You arrive in Paris sometime on Monday and sometime on Wednesday you’re going to kill 5 to 13 hours getting to Rome?

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Oh! Guess we should re-study our plans! This is a very practical observation that we must consider. I’m thinking of deleting Vienna in the itinerary so I can allocate the days to other cities. Thanks, Oldlady, for your comment.

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Dietsoda,
Get out a blank calendar or set up a vertical calendar on Excel so you can move column B up and down to match your travel date. Write down each of your travel days and travel time.
Arrival at European airport, baggage claim, customs, immigration, hotel transfer, check-in, freshen-up. Now you will see how much time you have to site see that first day.
On the day you plan to travel to the next city, figure out if you plan to use plane or train and do the same; Hotel checkout, metro or taxi to airport or train station, check-in at airport/customs, immigration or buy tickets at train station. Departure Time, Arrival time, transfer to hotel, check-in, freshen-up. How much time to site-see today?
This will give you an idea on how much time you spend travelling vs the free time in each city. Also look at the age of your siblings and plan what they will be interested to see in each city so they won’t be bored. I always tell everyone to sit down and discuss a MUST-SEE list so everyone is happy before you go. If siblings are old enough, than on some days the group can spilt up and meet back at the hotel.
Good luck and let us know how your trip went.

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We four couples from India would like to see Europe by euro rail. Our tentative itienary is as follows. Paris to Berlin to Warsaw to Prague to Vienna to Salzburg to Innsbruck to Zurich and back to Paris from where we will return to India. We hope to complete the above round trip in 15 days travelling in between the halts at night so as to give us sufficient time for local sightseeing.
Would some one give his opinion as to the feasibility of the said trip and whether we can complete it within 15 days time.

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Would some one give his opinion as to the feasibility of the said trip and whether we can complete it within 15 days time.
If you’re talking about 15 days on the ground, in a word, “no.” 8 fairly widely spaced cities in 15 days isn’t reasonable. You could do things like visit Salzburg as an all day stop on your way from Vienna to Innsbruk and take a couple of overnight trains, but I think you’d find the trip exhausting and would seriously wish for more time in every place. You could accomplish it with a 15 day railpass, although a flexipass or select pass will be a better deal financially.

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Kenzie1040 – Did your parents give you the go ahead?
Did you save enough money since your posts in January?
Are you going this summer (2009) or did you flake out like your friend?

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I have never done that, so, I am sorry, but I cannot give you an advice in this matter.
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