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We are traveling to UK: 10 Jun - 1 Jul.. Best way to start planning and how soon we need to get this done to be most effective on planning our trip. We our planning using the Rick Steve people for advise on a paid phone assist...What sort of questions are best...Don't want to waist to much time if not needed...Best traveling tips too...Rental car train etc.. Thanks Robert


Posted by
7834 posts

Do you know what your want to see/do at each destination? If not, it would be to your benefit to look at some guide books and decide what your 'targets' are.

Are you set on the order of travel or can you be flexible there?

The more info and specifics you can give them, the quicker it will go and be the best use of 'time on the meter'.

Posted by
4909 posts

Maybe I'll get kicked off the forum for this, but this book and this book, together, would cost about the same as an hour on the phone with RS staff. They would give you much more information than any conversation could. They would help you figure out what questions you might want to ask the RS people, or those on this forum. You could bring along the portions of the books related to the places you'll visit -- "a guide in your pocket." There's also a lot of good information through the "Explore Europe" and "Travel Tips" links above on this page.

When you look for flights, consider using the "multi-city" option on Kayak or another search engine, flying into London and home from Ireland. That will cost little or no more than a round-trip ticket, and save you the time and cost of backtracking to your landing city. When you've decided what flights you want, book them through the airline's own website, so you're doing business directly with the airline instead of with a third party. That can be helpful in case of any problem later.

Trains vs. cars depends on whether you want to spend time exploring countryside or smaller towns between the cities. For that a car would be best, but keep in mind that they drive on the left, which can be a challenge for some of us (like me). Otherwise, you'll do better between larger cities by train. I haven't been to Ireland, but my guess is that the best way to get between Britain and Ireland in your time frame is to fly. The alternative, a ferry, might be fun but would take much longer.

Posted by
5697 posts

WHEN to start planning -- right now! But as suggested above you should have your destinations roughly figured out (what YOU want to see and do there, not anyone else's "must see" items) Paring down your list from the many possibilities is one of the hardest -- but most necessary -- steps.
Good idea about looking at the guidebooks first -- you may even be able to browse your public library's copies for free. Just don't highlight or rip out pages -- buy your own copies for that ;- )
Start looking at airfares to the place(s) you want to fly into / out of. And alternate airports near you that might make sense for lower prices or better flights. Get a feel for what regular prices are, so if there should be a flash sale you can jump on it.

Posted by
19527 posts

I see a list of five cities. Most folks who go to Scotland (and I assume also Ireland, but I haven't been there) want to see some of the beautiful countryside. Are you sure you want to hop from city to city? And are you sure you want to try to hit all three countries in about 20 days? Each one has lots of worthwhile destinations.

How many nights are you spending in Europe, not counting the night on the plane?

Posted by
10309 posts

First, and others have hinted at it, you are aware that Dublin and Galway are not in the UK. (I'm only going by what you wrote.)

I agree you need to look at the guidebooks first and come up with your own questions. Just asking the basics to the RS staff will cost you plenty. When you have your list of questions, come back to this board and you can get many of them answered for free. And you also get more suggestions than just the RS way.

Posted by
26452 posts

Welcome to the Forums.

Are you only interested in money saving strategies? That's the Forum where you put your question.

If you want more specific or even general questions about England, Wales or Scotland and also Ireland, each of those has its own Forum where you can ask all those.

Posted by
3571 posts

Questions about where to start planning a trip surprise me, because many destinations, suggestions and answers are already on this site. Start HERE, by clicking the Explore Europe link, top left of this page.

Posted by
2917 posts

I agree with Dick. Most of your potential questions will be answered in the guidebooks.

Posted by
24 posts

I agree with those who said buy the guidebook first - I had a list of 3 things I wanted to ask someone (e.g. when is the weekly rollerblade in the Paris streets and do they rent rollerblades) when I was considering doing a phone consult and I found the answer to all three in the Paris guidebook. Still, I know it's tempting to have a real person look at your itinerary and double-check its feasibility. I might yet do a phone consult too.