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European Travel

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by bratkar, Jan 6, 2013.

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  1. bratkar

    bratkar Low-Roller

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    After 5 Straight trips to Vegas the last two years. Hubby and I decided for our 20th anniv we were going some place else..... Someplace new. Started out as two weeks in Key West, now the ideas have kinda of moved a bit. Still looking still trying to decide. He brought up the idea of Ace's Cafe in London, we've always wanted to go there. Then started looking at the time we want to vacation and its right around MotoGp being in LeMans and Formula 1 being in Monaco. That being said, after spending the day looking all over websites, I'm more lost than I was before I started. We figure we probably can not afford the Monaco trip. (at least not in the way we want to travel). But would like to still travel to Milan to the Ducati and Ferrari Factories. Ireland is also not out of the picture. We both love history, cars, motorcycles and travel...... We just cant seem to decide on which we want to do. While I'd love to spend 14-21 days traveling to all of our desired locations or at least most of them, vacation time and budgets wont allow it. I'd like to have some spending money while there! If you could only pick one place, London, Milan, Paris, Dublin for 6-8 days... What would it be??????

    Thanks for help! You guys are always great with advice!

    Kelli
     
  2. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Of those you list, I've been to London, Dublin & Paris and have loved them all and would go back to any in a heartbeat! We just spent Thanksgiving week in an apartment in Paris, actually:thumbsup: I love Italy too - I just haven't been to Milan.....(we were in Venice for a few days fall 2011; I've been to Florence & Tuscany as well as Rome....)

    It's too hard to choose. I want to visit them all. Can't do everything - just need to pick one and have fun:peace:
     
  3. gpenguins67

    gpenguins67 High-Roller

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    Have you considered a mediterranean or western european cruise. I just googled it and found that do spain, london, all over italy, greece. And the plus side is that your food is included in the price. Also, I would take a look at possibly doing some tour groups. A friend of mine did it where they would bus them to a few different cities all over Europe and set them up in a hotel, then you were on your own for a day or two to do whatever you wanted there (i think he booked that through AAA).
     
  4. celticnoel79

    celticnoel79 Low-Roller

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    I'm from Europe (Scotland) and have visited a lot of cities you mentioned, just stick with Vegas, you have Paris, Milan, Venice all on the strip and if you want Dublin just go to Nine Fine Irishmen in NYNY! Ok I'm joking but after your trip you will compare it to Vegas and from my own experience, every destination pales into insignificance to that Paradise in the desert!
     
  5. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    I totally agree with Celti's advise

    Several years ago I went to Europe and enjoyed seeing so many places.

    Just book a group tour where you don't have to worry about where or what hotels you have to stay in each city. It will be all planned out for you.

    Plus, you will have some security from your tour guide and the hotels you stay at. One time I was in Rome and a taxi driver tried to over charge me when I returned to the hotel. I paid him the right amount and I ran into the hotel and the Hotel men stopped him from chasing me once I got into the hotel. They knew I had paid the right amount.

    One day I got real sick with a fever and the hotel knew I was with the tour group and sent a doctor to my hotel room to see me and I got better after taking the antibiotic meds. The next day I was fine to travel again.

    BUT....one day I was in my hotel room in Vegas looking out at the beautiful lights of the Strip hotels and I said to myself that Vegas was more beautiful than Europe. On that day I decided that I didn't need to go back to Europe because I had Beautiful Vegas right in my country.

    I stayed at the Paris hotel last month in Vegas and I felt I was in Paris. I can read French and also speak some of it so it was fun being there. I have been to Paris, London, Rome and other Italian cities, Venice, and other countries.

    My advise is to visit the major favorite places you would like to see. Lucy
     
  6. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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    as racing/cars seem to be a bit of a theme how about doing london then over to LeMans for the 24 hour? Maybe tack on Paris at the end or just hang out in NW France..
    I know a few people who have done Le mans and they have had a great time.
     
  7. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    We don't cruise often, but for us it's a great way to get an introduction to a new area. Last year we did the Black Sea - but that started in Athens and ended in Venice. I'd seen about half the ports but they were all new to my husband, so that was fun. I tend to prefer a relaxing apartment stay so I can shop for food at local markets and cook, drink wine & beer & relax at the end of a day walking around. That's just how I want to travel. The thought of a tour of Europe with a group in a bus makes me cringe, but if you want to see a lot it can be very cost-effective and efficient. I guess I did the backpacking/eurail pass thing 20 years ago, and the thought of doing that now makes me cringe too:eek: Though I had a BLAST doing it in college!

    If racing & cars are so important, I agree you should make that the focus of your trip and just find an area/event(s) that are in your budget and explore from there!
     
  8. bratkar

    bratkar Low-Roller

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    Thank you everyone for your replies! Hoya, I was hoping you would reply!!! Thank you! Your travel sounds very much like ours.

    A Cruise, well neither of us have any desire to do an actual cruise at all, no matter where it is. Its not an option at all. Tours, escorted again, not an option, we've done other escorted tours. Neither of us do well with them. We are actually looking into what is called independent travel packages, with a rental car. They give you a basic itinerary, booking with the different hotels. A couple that I have looked at do span over different areas, just depends on how far and how much we want to travel around there. We both do a lot better when we dont have to stick to others schedules.

    I wish we could do the 24 hours of LeMans, just doesnt fit into when we take our vacation. It is on our bucket list though. MotoGP is there the time we would be there and we love Motocycles so...

    My husband is fluenent in French and I remember a bit from School, I'd have to brush up big time, but that wouldnt be an issue at all for France. England/London, I dont think we'd have much of an issue either. Dublin, about 60/40.

    Someone mentioned they stayed at Paris in Vegas, we did too, 3 weeks ago, I hated the place!!!!! And couldnt wait to check out (might have had something to do with just leaving our stay at Encore) But thats another story ( I still have to type up my trip report) Vegas while its cool and all, we've burned out on it for a bit.

    Anyway, the search still continues...
    Thank you everyone SO much. It does help a lot
    and Hoya, just tell me I'm not crazy for thinking I dont need to be surrounded by a tour group to do traveling around Euopre.
     
  9. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    There are people who don't know how to arrange travel or don't want to bother with the details. Those people should use travel agents or book tours. If you want independence and are able tohandle (or, like me, really enjoy!) the planning process, arranging any kind of vacation travel in 99% of places in the world today is easy to do online. Go for it! You can find reviews online (always read with a grain of salt or 20:rolleyes2:) you can make reservations online, figure out currency conversions & time differences (I have xe.com and timezoneconverter.com bookmarked - I use them almost daily for work) You can look at maps/satellites and see how easily you can walk from your hotel/apartment to the pub for dinner and a pint. You can plan out your itinerary on the Paris Metro (which is really cool because their route planner tells you if you should walk 5 minutes to a different station because the route is easier than using the "closest" station!)

    I love the Internet. It makes travel - real or Fantasy - SO MUCH easier. Sure there's TOO MUCH information out there and at some point you just need to make a decision and be happy, but all the same - I prefer it to the early 80s where'd I'd have to get up in the middle of the night to try to book a European hotel for my parents :ssst:

    I've seen some interesting & appealing packages for Ireland (they might exist in other countries - I seem to see them most often for Ireland) where you pay one price for a rental car & a number of B&B vouchers. SOmetimes airfare is included. The great thing is the B&B vouchers are for a network - not a specific location - so you could go anywhere (or presumably stay in the same place the entire time) I have no idea if they work out realistically - being able to get a room when & where you want/need it, but the concept seems good, and affordable! My mom and I did a driving B&B tour of Ireland the Christmas of 1992. What a blast. I was in college in Belgium for the year, she was recently divorced ;-) I didn't drive as I was under 25, and thank goodness- the car was a stick shift, of course, but shifting with your left hand? Oy! We're so lucky we didn't have any accidents. Esp on some of the "roads" we went on ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  10. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Just wondering, do they have a number of free wifi in europe? I was thinking of vacationing in europe and wondered how easy it was to use wifi up there.

    I heard some stories about tour groups (rush rush, no time or very little to relax or stop) and so I was looking at going on my own (hostelling, etc.) so I can take a few more days off to enjoy the cities.

    I also heard that it is usually easy to check out the bulletin board at the stations for places to stay the night, is that still true? and are costs low or more expensive to do it that way?
     
  11. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I've found free wifi in most hotels and apts where we've stayed in Europe in the past couple years (and cruise terminals:nworthy: In Romania!) but I don't know about hostels, or other public places like cafes/restaurants......
     
  12. bratkar

    bratkar Low-Roller

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    Hoya,

    for me, 50% of my vacation is the planning process and finding all the 'neat things'. You and I sound very much a like. I can over do it sometimes and just get info overload and have to back away with what I have, but all in all. I love the planning aspect. And yes, I have a lot of friends that would much rather have some one else plan everything out for them. The girls trip this year is that. I must decide where we are going and what we are doing and when and everything. I guess part of that for me comes from, I want the best possible price I can get and it always seems for what I want to do, planning on my own does that.

    That really sounds like a neat package for the b&b's... That sounds perfect. I might have to look into that too. See, its little stuff like that, that I'm glad I can come here. Everyone searches for info differently and finds different things. So I may need to pick your ear a bit more if you dont mind!

    Key West seemed so easy last Friday that I wasnt even thinking of starting the planning for at least 2 months. How fast they change!
    Then at lunch my husband threw at me, if we waited till July we could go to Croatia with an old friend of ours and stay with him. Sure I want to see Croatia too, just not sure thats the place I'd pick for my 20th anniversary or wait two months to 'celebrate it'. mmmm

    Kelli

    Thank you so much for your little tidbits! and advice, they are great.
     
  13. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    Ah, we don't care too much about celebrating on "dates" - we celebrate when we can get away from work and have a good deal on a vacation. We celebrated my husband's 40th birthday 6 months after the fact. This year is mine and it looks like we'll be celebrating (with travel, at least) 3-4 months after the fact. Our 10 yr anniversary was a month late. And so on. Though I have to say - we tend to do anniversaries closer to the "proper" date- because we got married at a good/slow time, work wise. Our birthdays happen to fall in a pretty busy time for both of us at work:eek:

    I love to help people plan travel & brainstorm ideas - this is fun!

    Re: Croatia -a co-worker of mine spent part of his honeymoon sailing there and said it was GORGEOUS! I was in Slovenia last year on the Black Sea cruise and it was amazing but a teeny coastline - Croatia is definitely on my list:thumbsup:
     
  14. bratkar

    bratkar Low-Roller

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    Thats how we celebrate travel for my birthday it works out better if we take it around Christmas instead of two weeks before. His birthday we dont always travel but try to do some little getaway 'around' the day. Anniversaries is just before American Memorial Day which is best for american travel and for our work, so it has usually worked out.

    I'm glad I'm not boring you or 'stalking' you (well maybe a little!)

    Ok found out a little more his family is located in Zagreb, Croatia. The more we talk about it our July dates are kind of limited because of racing here at home that we do. So its not looking promising this year.

    Kelli
     
  15. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

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    You could look into a cruise that takes you to some of these places. That way your food & room is covered. You would do shore excursions.
    But if you were to do it on your own I would say fly into Gatwick and take the Eurostar over to Paris. Spend a few days in Paris.
    You could even stay at Euro Disney. The parks are every small. Then take the Eurostar back to London and stay there a couple of days then fly home.

    Was in Monaco over the summer and it has to be the cleanest place on earth!
     
  16. Canyonero

    Canyonero Tourist

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    If I could choose just one European city, my recommendation is Rome.

    Especially if you like history, this place is it. It oozes history. Standing in some spots with even a little knowledge about their past is a mesmerizing experience. And there are just too many beautiful spots to choose from. On my last trip, I stayed in a hotel overlooking the square where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Just a random tidbit of information about the place, but it gave me the chills every time I looked out the window.

    Plus, the dining can rival Paris imho, and is therefore among the best Europe has to offer. Within Rome, everything important is within walking distance, unless your walking distance is very limited.

    If you want sightseeing, go with a tour group. If you want to experience Europe, arrange for your own trip.
     
  17. LucyR.

    LucyR. VIP Whale

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    Canyonero gave some great advise

    I was very young/solo and clueless to know what was important to see in Europe when I decided to take a tour of Europe. It was a perfect way for me to do because I never felt rushed and I could go explore the cities on my own once we would arrive in each city. I also had the choice to go with the group or go on my own. I remember I would choose to take off on my own and had a fantastic time.

    What was really important was to get a taste and feel of each city and to see which cities I would want to visit again.
    I want to someday go back to visit the Vatican City. I am now able to choose where I would want to go visit and stay for a few days on my own with no tour group.

    Makikiboy, I had a friend say that she had a lot of trouble of wasted time trying to find a hotel for the night at each city. She wished she had planned ahead and reserved hotels instead of wasting her days looking for a place.
    She wasted her tour of the cities time. Lucy
     
  18. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    I agree with Lucy about the planning ahead idea

    Even if I spend my afternoon sitting outside on a patio having a drink and relaxing it beats the hell out of running around trying to find a hotel .I have friends who "wing it", but every so often they 've been burnned having to drive miles out of their way or pay a huge price for the last room.
     
  19. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    Given those choices.....easy.........Paris !
    .
    From Paris, I would take a Day Trip to Bruge.
    .
    I've seen alot of the "tourist" city destinations of Europe.
    But...
    the one I really want to see is PRAGUE.
     
  20. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    I like Prague better than Bruges:peace: Though the beer is better in Belgium:beer: (or at least, more varied!)

    Our November 2012 trip, we were deciding between NYC, Paris, London or Brussels and decided on Paris. At some point in the near future, we'll do a beer tour in Belgium (which will be a bit of a pilgrimage for me since I lived there 20 years ago) but this wasn't the right time to do that. But beer, wine & food are our "thing" and what we like to plan travel around. Find your "thing" and it makes it easier to plan:peace:
     
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