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Old 08-26-2004, 03:12 PM   #1
 
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Ok folks I know this sounds lame but I figure I'd ask: my wife and I want to go backpacking in Europe for the first time next year, we're tight on money but we're looking to have the greatest time of our lives, these are the countries we wanna visit: Portugal, Spain, France and England (and maybe Switzerland as time allows), we only have 14 days to spend there but yet we don't wanna miss out on anything. What's the cheapest as far as moving around those countries: plane/train/bus? We might spend more time in Spain and France than Portugal and England. Please help!!!!
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Old 08-26-2004, 10:02 PM   #2
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With only 14 days and four countries, I figure you are only going to want to hit the main cities (London, Lisbon, Madrid/Barcelona, and Paris). With such little time, your best bet is to check out the cheap flight companies such as Ryan Air and Easyjet. You will have to be on a strict itinerary this way, but at only 14 days, that might not be a problem. If you order your tickets far enough ahead, you will be paying very little for them and it should be cheaper than taking the train (which will be pretty long in some cases for you trip).

Also, you should probably save Switzerland for another trip, since England and France are expensive and you are on a tight budget.
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:58 AM   #3
 
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Thanks for the reply I appreciate the ideas, however, Ryan Air and Easyjet don't seem to fly from/to Portugal?? You're right those are the exact cities we're trying to reach, unfortunately my job won't allow me to leave for more days, so I figure this 14 days should give us a pretty decent idea of Europe. I'm also not sure where I should go first, I did notice that London seems to be cheap to land but yet expensive to run around? Also what's the difference between a Hostel and a Bed&Breakfast?? Has anybody bought air tickets through airfare.com?? thanks.
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Old 08-27-2004, 10:18 AM   #4
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You could take an overnight train between Lisbon and Madrid; it shouldn't be more than 6 or 7 hours, I can't remember exactly. It is easy to fly in and out of Madrid or Barcelona. If you are traveling with your wife you probably want your own room which is often harder to secure at a hostel. Hostels tend to be better for single travelers looking to meet others, and usually there are lots of people in a room.
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Old 08-27-2004, 02:45 PM   #5
 
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sounds great, thanks. Maybe train from Lisbon to Madrid, plane from Madrid to Paris and Paris to London, does that look familiar, anybody???
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Old 08-28-2004, 11:52 AM   #6
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Flying into London will always be the cheapest, but you are correct that it is expensive to get around there. A good itinerary could be
Fly into London
Fly from London to Paris (you can take the train also but it is very expensive)
Fly from London to Barcelona
Train from Barcelona to Madrid (7 hours)
Train from Madrid to Lisbon (8-9 hours, can do an overnight train)
Train from Lisbon to Madrid
Fly from Madrid to London

The other option, could be to fly into London and take German Wings to one of their two hubs in Germany. They fly to Lisbon, and even though this might take a good part of a day to do, this way you can avoid the shuttle back from Lisbon to Madrid and you could do this

Fly into London
Fly German Wings from London to Cologne or Stuttgart
Fly German Wings to Lisbon
Train from Lisbon to Madrid
Train from Madrid to Barcelona
Fly from Barcelona to Paris
Fly from Paris to London
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Old 08-28-2004, 11:53 AM   #7
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Forgot that you did not list Barcelona as a city to go to, so ignore that part of my advice. My mistake
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Old 08-31-2004, 11:53 AM   #8
 
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Thanks for the hint skidrage, now I'm debating between them 2 'cause I like them both!! Oh by the way, you've just included Barcelona on my itinerary, Europe here I come!!!
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Old 09-26-2004, 05:57 PM   #9
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http://www.mobissimo.com/travel/results_ai...ea560b&seqNum=1

It's only about $211 to fly between Lisbon and Madrid and I think that extra $80 is is worth it to cut off 8 hours of travel time.

The train between Madrid and Lisbon takes between 9h30 to 10h00 it's rediculous.
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Old 09-30-2004, 11:28 PM   #10
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Hello Jorgino, I am really not too sure why anyone would want to go to Europe and then fly from city to city? After all, what are you and your wife going to see of Portugal and Spain, between Lisbon and Madrid, from 30,000 feet?

Why don't you and your wife both try hitchhiking? I found it to be one of the cheapest and most interesting ways to see Europe and the world.
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Old 10-05-2004, 07:08 PM   #11
 
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Hi Marcfj, sorry it took me so late to reply but I've been busy working (gotta save that money you know...) I think your idea is valid and I myself did a lot of hitchiking when I was in Lake Tahoe area (just beautiful!!!) the problem is that if you noticed, I mentioned we only have 2 weeks, so, I can't just up my thumb and here we go.... unfortunately I have to stick to an itinerary and means of travel that will allow me to see England, France, Spain and Portugal in 2 weeks, of course I'm not gonna die if I don't get to see this 4 countries on my first trip to Europe but ever since I was a little kid, I wanted my first trip to Europe to consist of visiting these 4 countries, even if it's only the main cities. As a matter of fact, I'm kinda already dreamming about a second trip to Europe where we'll start in the Netherlands and go Germany, Austria, Switzerland and down to Italy, and then of course there's a fourth trip, a fifth trip, a sixth trip.....
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Old 10-13-2004, 03:19 PM   #12
 
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Do you guys have any idea on how this companies can survive charging 200 and 300+ for trips that RyanAir and Easyjet charge like 30.....?????
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Old 10-13-2004, 07:41 PM   #13
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sure, there's always the ppl who are too lazy to look around....the ones who dont care about the extra mula so long as their time is convenient.....the ones who cant get on the ryanair/easyjet flights b/c they're all booked up.....the fact thatr since they're charging more, they make more for every ticket sold...etc etc etc.....not everybody in the world are as conscientious about $$ as us backpackers are (haha & I say "us" backpackers even though I havent actually done any backpacking myself yet but plan to....that and I am bloody cheap haha)
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Old 10-14-2004, 07:49 AM   #14
 
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Well put Simply Angelic, I forgot that some of these "folks" actually have money and can afford to travel "in style".... :greenguy:
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Old 10-18-2004, 03:31 PM   #15
 
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but I can't fail to mention that these "folks" don't have nearly as much fun as we do, backpacking is for the spirit-minded person who's not scared to go out there and win the world!!!!!
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Old 10-18-2004, 04:02 PM   #16
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As great as the prices at Ryan Air and Easyjet sound, they do have their drawbacks. If you don't book early enough, you will end up paying $200-$300 for a ticket. Usually the cheapest prices for the flights on those companies is only during mid-week, so if you fly out on Friday or so, the ticket is more than likely going to be closer to $100.

Also, these companies don't fly everywhere. If you live in London you can pretty much fly these low cost flights to most of the top destinations in Europe, but everywhere else it is more difficult. Flying Easyjet for example from Amsterdam will take you to only 7-8 cities (mostly in England) instead of the 30 or so from one of the London destinations.
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Old 10-19-2004, 07:23 AM   #17
 
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You're completely right skidrage, lucky for me, I checked and they flight to all the places I wanna go on my first trip (London, Paris, Madrid and Faro) this first trip to Europe will be kinda of an "teaser" for me (2 weeks only as I can't get off work more....)
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Old 10-21-2004, 08:15 AM   #18
 
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oopss, I meant "they fly".......
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Old 10-21-2004, 08:20 AM   #19
 
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fortunately for us (I know some of you will have a heart attack right now) WE WILL HAVE the tickets purchased well in advance and A SET ITINERARY down to the seconds, because as much fun as "winging it" sounds, we can't afford to do that in 2 weeks, 'cause if we wing it too much we'll end up not doing anything at all, when I travelled a whole month around America, I didn't care about Itineraries and so I was able to run around, the only drawback is that I ended up spending more time in some parts than other and as a result I wasn't able to go see the WTC (this was in 2000 of course...)
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Old 11-08-2004, 12:11 PM   #20
 
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gee, I guess I scared everybody away, no more nice replies to my dilemma...
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