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10 replies
Need Help with Itinerary
Kimberlee
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I am planning to take my niece to Europe after she graduates from high school. She has never been before so am trying to make this a trip of a lifetime for her. I have been to all of these places but am wondering if I should add a day trip from each place while I am there or if I should stick to only the cities I have listed.

I am thinking of these places where we would be staying in each city for 5 days. Also planning on flying between cities to cut down on how long it could take if we were to take a bus or train from each city.

Dublin
Paris
Rome
Athens

oldlady
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13 hours each way to/from Sacramento, plus 1 hour to get to airport plus 3 hours recommended check-in time for international flights. At least 6 hours with time to get to/from airports and check-in time for each of your flights in Europe. That’s way more time in airports, on airplanes and getting to/from airports than I’d want in less than a month.

Since you’ve been to them all, you obviously have your reasons for these cities, but I think a smaller geographic area would make a better trip. I think you’ll want to spend a couple of nights (at least more than a few hours on a day trip) outside the capital cities in both Greece and Ireland.

clevelandbrown
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Are you of Irish ancestry. If so, keep Dublin, but if not, go to London instead; prices to get there are often lower, and it is a good place to see and a convenient and fast train ride to Paris. Athens is quite a trip, and most of the sites in Greece are in the islands, so I would want more time there; in fact, I would probably make it a separate trip. If you are flying from Paris to Rome, consider flying to Florence for a few days, then taking a quick train ride to Rome. Venice would also be good, but a longer train ride.

Look at the cost of multiple destination, or open jaw, flights. You may find it advantageous to fly into London or Dublin, and home from Rome or Athens. It would save the cost and time of getting back to wherever you first landed.

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Cil
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It might be nice to include your niece on the planning. If she does a bit of research on possible destinations, she’ll feel more involved/invested, and you’ll come up with a personalized itinerary that satisfies both of you.

I agree with Clevelandbrown about Dublin as well as Athens.

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I concur about Dublin. It’s not a bad place, but considering you basically HAVE to fly to get there, it is kind of a hassle to get to. So unless you really have a reason to WANT to be there (or if you already live in Europe and it’s an easy RyanAir flight away), I’d skip it and use the time for some of the other cities you’ve mentioned.

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Bigfoot
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Indeed, Dublin is not interesting enough, so skip it. Athens seems to far out to me, and unless she is a student in old history, it is not that exciting either. Plus, with the current financial turmoil in Greece, you don’t know what you can be expecting in a couple of months.

I would stick to Paris and Rome, and maybe pick one or two smaller towns. Maybe a few days in Tuscany, Switzerland, or visit that Cinqueterre where all Americans are going.

Other options would be London, Amsterdam, Munich.

Kimberlee
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I am not of Irish ancestry but my niece is and her first choice was Ireland. I added Paris since that was her second choice of places to see. But she did say she wants to go to at least one place I haven’t been before so am trying to think of what city I would like to see. I like the idea of including her in on the planning. Plus I know how much I can spend so if needed we can cut out some stuff. She knows we will be staying in hostels and taking the train or bus for our day trips. Still have some time to decide but wanted to start working on the initial planning.

Thanks everyone for the great advice!! Now to figure out what she really wants to see and go from there.

clevelandbrown
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We are just back from Ireland, with a week in Dublin, and we both liked it even though we are not of Irish ancestry. I particularly liked the traditional Irish music found almost everywhere, but most often in the temple bar area. The music is in pubs and often, particularly in the evenings, the patrons have too much to drink, but you can still go there and enjoy the music without the beer. Dublin is a busy city, however, and you have to daytrip to get to the beautiful Irish countryside. We did take a metro to Howth, a fishing village that was very pleasant, and the trip cost very little. I’m not sure, but I think Malahide, a scenic castle, might also be easily reachable.

I posted a long trip report about our visit; you can find it by clicking on my name above our picture.

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Madrid, Toledo
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Cil
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I agree that Dublin is certainly not a bad place, and there are wonderful day trips from there, such as Glendalough.

Also we too enjoyed live music there.

Kimberlee
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Well, I booked my flights from San Francisco to Dublin and then from Rome back to San Francisco. Ended up choosing Dublin for four days, Paris for five and Rome for five. Had to cut out Athens since I am only able to get two weeks off from vacation. But coming back, I will be in Copenhagen overnight which I am looking forward to. Hopefully can see a little of the city before our flight leaves the next day.

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Enjoy!Smile