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The W - Random - Travel to Europe
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Doc_whiskey
Frankfurter








Since: 6.8.02
From: St. Louis

Since last post: 15 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
I am in the midst of planning a honeymoon and we may do one of the following three trips:

Florence and Rome
London and Edinburough
Dublin and Irish countryside

The problem is I have never really taken a long trip that I have planned before. I am working with a travel agent but she keeps sending me packages that are more tours of these areas that seemed to be aimed at older couples. We would prefer to see some sights ,but do so at our own pace. Has anyone planned a trip like this and if so any advice? The two things that concern me the most are the hotel we stay in (I want something that is nice but not ritzy and cost prohibitive) and transportation to and from sights. Please help as I am getting married in August so I figure this has got to start getting booked now.



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samoflange
Lap cheong








Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 379 days
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.52
My number one rule of traveling is to never use a travel agent or go on packaged tours. My approach is to do some research and pick out a handful of things to do/see in each place. Don't plan exactly what to do each day ahead of time, because day-to-day weather and general energy levels should dictate what you do each day.

I have read almost all of the major guide brands and I feel Rick Steves has the best travel guides for Europe, especially for people not very experienced with traveling. I would strongly suggest getting his Europe Through the Back Door book for tons of great general information as well as the books focused on the areas you will be visiting. There's no need to buy the newest (pricier) editions either, since most of the information from earlier editions will be exactly the same and TripAdvisor or other such sites can be used to help with locating hotels that fit your comfort/price range. If you have any Goodwill/thrift shops or secondhand book shops nearby, check them out since barely-used travel guides are plentiful on those shelves.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 8 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.66
If you want to strike out on your own and be able to handle it and see neat things, enjoy the people, and immerse yourself in the culture, go the Ireland route.
You can rent a car, book B&Bs easily as you go and the Irish people are incredibly. Plus no language worries and less big city stuff. if you want big city experience, the London trip is good but I enjoyed those cities less than Ireland. Same for Florence and Rome. You will enjoy whichever way you go.

Word of caution, slow down. Don't make your goal to see as much as you possibly can in the shortest time. See less, spend more time there and enjoy it more.



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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.43
    Originally posted by samoflange
    I have read almost all of the major guide brands and I feel Rick Steves has the best travel guides for Europe, especially for people not very experienced with traveling. I would strongly suggest getting his Europe Through the Back Door book for tons of great general information as well as the books focused on the areas you will be visiting. There's no need to buy the newest (pricier) editions either, since most of the information from earlier editions will be exactly the same and TripAdvisor or other such sites can be used to help with locating hotels that fit your comfort/price range. If you have any Goodwill/thrift shops or secondhand book shops nearby, check them out since barely-used travel guides are plentiful on those shelves.
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AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.39
if you go on the continent (as opposed to england and Ireland, I agree with most of what has been said, but I would add: don't get a car, just ride the trains. They go everywhere and all the time.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift

samoflange
Lap cheong








Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 379 days
Last activity: 372 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.52
Also, if you have a smartphone than you can get to work while you are abroad, do it.

I don't know exactly how to determine if that is the case with your phone (if you have one), but you can figure it out. I don't use a mobile data plan at home or when just traveling around the US/Canada (my HTC Vision is more like a smartcamera that can send SMS), but the convenience of an instant internet connection is a total game-changer for international travel (yeah, Canada you don't count).

It's not something you -need- but it is something that will make your trip easier and more enjoyable. Just don't be checking your email or the-w.com when you should be enjoying the local sights!
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 134 days
Last activity: 7 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.19
(Sounds obvious, but) take lots of pictures!



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AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

Since last post: 13 hours
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.39
yeah - the obvious stuff:

Voltage converter thing - gotta have one

I suggest a small roll of TP with you wherever you go - a lot of bathrooms didn't have it. Most bathrooms that do, cost a little bit, like .25 Euros or something.

I'd take one of those battery packs that you can get for your phone that you charge up and use. Assuming you are going to use your phone to take pics, it will suck if your phone dies at some castle somewhere where there is nothing but 250V and you don't have your converter. They have those at Amazon for about 60 bucks.

If you make it to northern Europe, make sure you tell them you want to see the old City Hall in any city you are in. It's going to be a magnificent old building surrounded by beer halls and food places and a huge open space. I assume it is simular in southern Europe too.

If you want, you can get a phone for just while you are there at the airport. Smartphone is an option.

If you go to Belgium, go to Brugges.

There we go



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.

That the universe was formed by a fortuitous concourse of atoms, I will no more believe than that the accidental jumbling of the alphabet would fall into a most ingenious treatise of philosophy - Swift

Stefonics
Bockwurst








Since: 17.3.02
From: Queidersbach

Since last post: 4 hours
Last activity: 2 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.85
Being here since October, and doing a lot of traveling, I have some opinions on what was said. Most of it was very sound advice. AWA, I've never seen a WC without toilet paper. I've been to some really grimey places, but they always have TP. Maybe I was just lucky? If you *need* a phone over her, buy a pre-paid. 15 Euro will get you a phone with unlimited calling to anyone else on the same network. Get your new wife one, and it's much more convenient than having to unlock your phones (if you even have a GSM carrier right now). Yes, take LOTS of pictures. Northern Europe and Southern Europe are very similar; the City Hall/Castle/Food/Beer thing goes throughout the continent. Don't do tours. Buy one of the penny books from Amazon and just go yourselves. You will have more time to stop at the things you both like and are under no time contraints to go to the next place. People here are generally friendly, if you try to speak a little of the language to them. They will get you to where you need to be, and locals are invaluable when finding a great restaurant. Other than that, if you come mainland, have fun. Drop me a PM, and if you're in the area, I would love to meet up for a beverage.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 1 day
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.38
London and Edinburgh. It seems like it's your first time across the pond (or close to it). Probably best to stick with no language barrier. And it's a lot easier to do your own thing and go at your own pace in cities where there are more options. Main problem is both towns, but especially London, are expensive.

(edited by MoeGates on 2.2.13 0028)

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