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Europe: Western Cafés, castles, architecture, art, wine, the Euro, gastronomy, let´s meet up, and pub crawls.! Oh oui, backpackers paradise...

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Old 01-10-2006, 07:53 PM   #1
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Hey there.

Just stumbled upon the Travelpunk site and have found it super helpful. Anyway, I'm planning a trip (two people) for a month in Europe June through July. I have a bunch of questions but I will start with the loosely decided upon route.. I'd really appreciate those of you who could answer them for me!

We're buying the Eurail flexipass to get around, is this the best method?

We would like to go to Ireland but we don't know what the most cost effective way to get in and out of the country would be.. Anyway, that is another story in itself.

3-5 Days We plan on taking a backpacking tour in Edinburough through Skye and then visiting relatives I just realized I had somewhere in Scotland.

3 Days London

1-2 Days Amsterdam

3 Days somewhere in Germany.. reccomendations?

3-4 Days Paris/Versailles

3-4 Days Barcelona

3-4 Days in Rome, possibly finish in Venice (Is this a good idea?)

That puts me at 25 days and gives us 5-6 days to dick around wherever we feel like.

Anyway, here come the questions.

1. What is the most cost effective way to get from Edinborough to London and from London to Amsterdam?

2. Where should we go in Germany?

3. As far as hostels go, is online booking necessary? did you prefer the group style hostels or the individual rooms? Any ones in particular that you'd reccomend in the cities I've mentioned?

4. Does our route make sense?

5. Should we fly in/out of the same city or is it really necessary?

Anyhow, thanks for the help. I'll check back tomorrow and see what information I can learn.

Thanks a million,

Dave + Paula
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:14 PM   #2
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first off....WELCOME TO TPUNK!


i too will be in europe this summer between late may-july and will be visiting many similiar countries to you!
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:17 PM   #3
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if you want some of the information i have pulled up for my trip Personal message me and i will give you all the details. i know i have my heart set on seeing munich when i'm in germany as well as magdeburg and possibly berlin.
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Old 01-10-2006, 09:21 PM   #4
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Hi guys and welcome to TravelPunk... I'll take a stab at a few of your questions, and I'm sure others will chime in with their own worldwise advice, as well.

1. The most cost-effective way between Edinborough/London and London/Amsterdam is consistently a bus (or in the case of the latter, bus/ferry/bus) - however, they take forever and a day, and you can often find cheaper-than-dirt-cheap fares on discount airlines like RyanAir, EasyJet, and BMI. Check out whichbudget.com to see who serves those routes.

3. You're going in the peak season, so booking ahead for at least one night in each city is helpful. Paris and Amsterdam are particularly low on hostels for as large/visited as they are, so it's definitely good to book in advance for those cities during the summer. Also, the centrally located/popular places in Barcelona can book up like mad.

Following are my usual hostel recs for the cities I know... London: Astor Hyde Park (Bayswater area), Amsterdam: Flying Pic (Central is umm, central, the Park location is much nicer), Paris: BVJ Louvre (dead center, no curfew/lockout, but few amenities), Barcelona: Hôme Guest House (out in the suburbs but sooooo nice)

4. Your route makes total sense... I'd use those extra days to tack on a day or two in each of the cities that you like (I could easily spend weeks in Paris, London and Barcelona) or use them for daytrips/

5. Flying in/out of the same city isn't necessary if you can get a good price on an open-jaw ticket. Airlines seem to be loosening up on these types of tickets lately, especially if you put the trip together on a site like Orbitz.

Good luck and bon voyage...
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:13 AM   #5
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Question about airfare -

I'm trying to book this mid-late May. I've signed up for Travelocity, Orbitz, AA, and British Airways websites for fare deals. What would be the best route in getting cheap tickets? I've seen some great specials but have not come across anything that starts in May and goes through June/July.. any advice? I've seen some great rates on the boards but nothing telling me where or how.. any advice for that time of year? Do I need to wait until March when specials come out or should I purchase a ticket from Dallas to Edinborough/London for rougly $800 including taxes (USD) asap? Thanks again for all the input.

Dave
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:57 AM   #6
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Ehhh.. the fares from the US to Europe generally go to crap from late April 'til late August, as that's primetime to go. The cheapest I've ever made it over in the summer was $800 from the west coast to London, although if you jump on a good deal, you can make it over for around the $600 mark.
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Old 01-11-2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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Ugh - Guess I'll have to start shopping.

Also - I've been reading about Cinque Terre extensively on the boards and on tourism websites - I would love to go there. Does anyone have experience there in the Mid-Late June timeframe? I've read not even to bother during these busy times.. Anyhow, thanks a million for all of your advice so far...
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